A loyal fan of The Bachelor, she says some contestants seem to be milking the show for fame and career

By Andrea Billups
February 25, 2015 02:10 PM
Michael Kovac/Getty

Trista Sutter‘s positive outlook and warmth shone through when she appeared on the debut season of The Bachelorette.

But the now, the happily married mom of two, 42, is sharing how she faced the “dark” days of her life, including an early two-year struggle with infertility that she said shook her faith for a time and tested her relationship with her firefighter husband Ryan, Fox News reports.

“I always wanted to be a mom. It was always my dream, and although I wanted to be a career person for a very long time, overplaying that at all times was to become a mother,” says Sutter, who wed Ryan in 2003 in a televised ceremony, and who penned a book, Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart, which was released on paperback on Dec. 30.

“When you get married you believe, ‘Okay, the next natural thing is to have babies.’ When that doesn’t happen you start to question your relationship, you start to question yourself, even God,” the onetime Bachelor runner-up tells Fox News. “It’s a very difficult thing to not be able to do anything about making a dream of yours come true and questioning whether something is wrong with you. So that was definitely a dark time in my life.”

She also shares a traumatic period for her own mother, who was raped and impregnated as a teen.

“She was date-raped, and she ended up getting pregnant and giving the baby up for adoption because she was raised in a very strict Catholic home and didn’t even tell her parents about it,” Sutter says.

Four decades later, however, her mother had a very different story to tell, Sutter reveals.

“Forty years later she got a phone call, and we have since met,” Sutter says about the child her once mother gave up. “Cathy is her name, and she is part of our family now as we’ve always wanted her to be.”

A loyal fan of The Bachelor since she was its popular (and very first) runner-up, Sutter laments that some contestants today appear to join the show for fame or career advancement, making it a bit less innocent than in its early days. But she’s still a believer in its ability to open doors for true love.

“I think it’s still the same show. Yes, people have figured out that people are able to stick around sometimes if they want to. Ali Fedotowsky is now a correspondent on E!,” she noted of The Bachelor‘s power to create reality TV stars.

“If there are people out there looking for that fame, they might think, ‘Well I’m going to go on this show because I want to promote my business’ or ‘I want to be an actress.’ So yes, that takes away from some of the innocence, but I’ll always believe in the bottom line of the show, that it truly is about people meeting and figuring out whether or not they have the compatibility that will work for a lasting relationship.”

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