Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's 'Marriage Is Even Better Now' After 'Rough Patch': Source

A source close to the NFL star and supermodel tells PEOPLE that there's now "more of a balance between work and family life"

Tom Brady, Gisele
Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen will always be on each other’s team, despite any ups and downs over their 11-year marriage.

A few years ago, the couple faced a particularly difficult chapter in their relationship when the supermodel, 39, dialed back her career to focus on their kids, Benjamin, 10, and Vivian 7, as well as Brady’s son Jack, 12 (with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan) — and expected the NFL star, 42, to do the same.

“She felt that she and Tom had a deal, but it didn’t happen,” a source close to Bündchen tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “Instead he was constantly busy, and Gisele was alone with the kids a lot. She was very unhappy.”

On April 8, Brady himself opened up during an interview with Howard Stern for his SiriusXM show about how Bündchen was upset with him “a couple of years ago” for focusing on his career more than his family.

“She didn’t feel like I was doing my part for the family,” he admitted. “She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house, and then all of a sudden when the season ended, I’d be like, ‘Great, let me get into all of my other business activities. Let me get into my football training,’ and she’s sitting there going, ‘Well when are you going to do things for the house? When are you going to take the kids to school and do that?’”

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Tom Brady</a>, Gisele
Tom and Gisele. Stefanie Keenan/Getty
  • For more on Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s marriage, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Brady said he was “resentful” at first over Bündchen’s issues. But after Bündchen wrote him a heartfelt letter about their relationship and her frustrations, he “realized that for his marriage to work, he had no choice” but to change, the source says.

“They got to the point in their marriage where only two things can happen — you decide you can’t fix it and get a divorce, or you decide to work through issues to save it,” the source says.

RELATED VIDEO: Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Enjoy Romantic Stroll on the Beach During Trip to Costa Rica

So Brady cut back his schedule of team activities with the New England Patriots (after 20 years, he will now play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and other projects, and they went to marriage counseling. Now “there is more of a balance between work and family life,” the source says.

“They had a rough patch, but their marriage is even better now,” the source adds. “Gisele is very happy.”

Another source tells PEOPLE that Brady and Bündchen — who celebrated their 11-year wedding anniversary in Costa Rica in February and are currently social distancing in Tampa Bay amid the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak — “are both so dedicated to one another, and they put in the work.”

“I found a wife and a woman that I saw myself with for the rest of my life,” Brady told Stern, 66. “She’s been an amazing supporter in everything I’ve done.”

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