Amy Roloff Learned Matt Had 'More Than a Working Relationship' with His Girlfriend Before Divorce
In her new book, A Little Me, Amy, 54, alleges that Matt, 57, was involved with his current girlfriend Caryn Chandler while the Little People, Big World stars were still married. Prior to dating Matt, Chandler was a long-time employee at Roloff Farms in Hillsboro, Oregon, where the TLC family’s show is based.
“Matt was spending more and more time at the tavern he often frequented in the evenings after filming and working on the farm, and our farm manager seemed to be around more and more often as well. What, if anything, was going on?” Amy writes in her book.
“Then it dawned on me. Matt and our farm manager, who had been working for us a number of years by then, seemed to have more than just a working relationship or friendship. I saw messages, pictures, and other things that should not have been shared between people who just worked together and were still married to other people,” she writes. “I was devastated.”
Amy later writes, “In hindsight, I know I should have said something right away, but I didn’t. I was scared and ashamed anything remotely like this could be happening. Was Matt really interested in someone else right in front of me? Why would he even go there when we were still married?”
Matt and Chandler did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
After 27 years of marriage and four children together — they share twins Jeremy and Zach, both 29, daughter Molly, 25, and youngest son Jacob, 22 — the TLC stars finalized their divorce in April 2016.
Earlier this year, the mother of four got candid about the end of her relationship with Matt in multiple Facebook Live videos filmed with her friend Lisa Dixon, when she opened up about the “problems” in their marriage and alleged that Matt and Chandler were “involved” before she split from her ex.
“When you know you have issues and you know you have problems, whether it be on your side or another side, I think when you start looking before you’re separated of marriage, that is hard. I mean when you become involved or much more than just a friend, but you become maybe more in a relationship that’s more than just a, ‘Hey, hi friend, let’s go out for coffee’ type of thing, I think that can be hard on the other person as well,” Amy said in a video filmed on March 31.
“And I think that’s what happened in my case. You know, we have someone that worked for us for a very, very long time on our farm and I believe — this is all from my perspective — you know that there was more than just friends going on. And I think that evolved to a point where that got in the way of our marriage as well,” she continued.
Amy went on to assure viewers that while she’s not upset that Matt has found happiness with Chandler, she was pained to learn how she believes their relationship began.
“It’s not that I’m sad that Matt has found someone, I think it is more about how it evolved, how it happened, how it began. I think that’s what hurt. And unfortunately may have, through an edited show, caused me to be a little bitter; may have had me come across as being a little more angry. It was hard, I’ll be frank. It was tough. It was a process for me, and it will be a process for a little bit longer to get through,” she continued.
In a second Facebook Live video filmed April 28, Amy said that she is “slowly embracing” Matt and Chandler’s relationship, though it’s still difficult for her to witness.
“Thank you guys for watching the show. Keep watching, I hope you keep watching. There’s great stories from Zach, Tori and Jackson and I think the journey of Chris and I and obviously you’ll also see the journey of Matt and Caryn. I’m slowly embracing that for many different reasons,” she said.
While she admitted, “I’m not jealous or bitter,” Amy did “admit, I will absolutely be frank with you guys, I think it was hard and sometimes it’s still hard for me to see them just because they both were — and obviously Caryn was so much a part of my world in a different context. And then now to see that … well, a long time prior to separation, prior to divorce and in whatever capacity.”
“But you know, life goes on and I will allow myself that time to embrace it, but I am happy that if Matt is happy, he’s happy. And if I’m happy, I’m glad that I’ll be happy,” said Amy.
She added about her and Matt’s marriage: “It’s just something that didn’t work and you know, I’m still sad about it because I will always be sad about divorce. I’m totally on page that there are seasons that you go through a relationship, just like there are seasons that you go through being a mom. … But that doesn’t mean as a mom it’s like, ‘Okay, you’re not working out for me, I’m checking out.’ There can’t be a checkout time. So relationships, you know unfortunately a lot more than I think should have checkout times and they get divorced and stuff. … Some marriages and some relationships, they need to be divorced, but I think there’s also just as many that — relationships take work.”
When a fan went on to directly ask whether Amy believes Matt was cheating on her, Amy replied, “You know what, I can’t say that. You know, there’s definitely things, you know, more than just a guy and a girl friendship. But, you know, it happened.”
Although the divorce was hurtful to Amy, she’s choosing to be respectful about the split for the sake of her famous family.
“I think in the long run, for the sake of my kids, for the sake of my grandkids, I think we remain respectful and I think, I want my kids to be happy for us and also be willing to be at both houses. So that would be my dream because obviously, it would be very, very sad to me if suddenly they didn’t want to come to my house because of who I’m with,” she said.
Responding directly to a fan, Amy said that’s she’s not sad for herself over how things turned out post-breakup. “I’m not sure why you’re sad for me. Sometimes people get over divorce very easily and I am over the divorce, but I think divorce is also you lost something, something didn’t work out that you thought, expectations that it would. So, I’m not sure why you may be sad, but I’m not sad for me.”
Since her divorce from Matt more than three years ago, Amy has embraced her singleness, become a grandmother, and found love with boyfriend Chris Marek.
And although she’s uncertain about what the future looks like, she’s relying on her faith as she navigates the journey.
“Life is moving on. I’ve got a lot of great things going on. I’ve got a good relationship, I’ve got good friends around me and good community,” Amy said. “Life may feel a little bit uncertain sometimes, but I put it in God’s hands. My faith puts it in His hands and I just hope I do the best I can to follow Him.”