Hannah Brown's Relationship with Jed Wyatt Was Struggling Before His Girlfriend Came Forward
Their televised engagement may have looked picture perfect, but once the cameras stopped rolling, The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown says things with her fiancé Jed Wyatt were far from ideal, even before news broke that he had a girlfriend when he went on the show.
“It was hard right off the bat,” Brown, 24 — who got engaged to Wyatt on the season finale after agonizing over her decision between him and runner-up Tyler Cameron — tells PEOPLE. “We loved each other, but it wasn’t as perfect as I thought it would be.”
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For one thing, Brown, who broke up with Wyatt last month after she discovered he’d been lying to her about his past relationship, was still upset over her family’s initial reaction to Wyatt.
“I felt like my parents were looking at the [situation] financially and that really upset me,” she says. “And I could tell there was something more, but they wouldn’t say anything. I think there were already rumors [that Wyatt had a girlfriend when he went on the show]. They were worried, but they had no proof so they didn’t want to say anything.”
And so, after Brown and Wyatt got engaged, “I didn’t call my parents for like, three days,” Brown tearfully recalls. “I knew they’d be disappointed. I wanted to be able to celebrate finding my person and have that time to be with him.”
But just two days after the proposal came another blow.
“It was the first time Jed said anything to me about another woman,” says Brown. “He said he wanted to let me know that he was hanging out with a girl before the show, but that it was nothing serious. I said, ‘But you ended it with her?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, whatever it was.’ ”
Says Brown: “It was really sucky. I’m like, oh great, we’re going to have to deal with this. I would have liked to have known about it before. It definitely bothered me.”
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On top of everything else — and before PEOPLE’s exclusive interview with Wyatt’s ex — Brown was still overwhelmed by the emotional fallout of her breakup with Cameron.
“I was very honest to Jed about the fact that I was still struggling, and that I said goodbye to a person I loved,” says Brown. “[On the show], I thought Jed was very secure and confident, and that’s something that’s important to me. But I realized that he isn’t.”
“I didn’t validate him enough,” she adds. “That put a strain on our relationship. He wasn’t the man that I got engaged to.”
And then, five weeks into their engagement, the final bombshell, when news broke that Wyatt had in fact been in a serious relationship with his ex when he went on the show.
“He didn’t own up to it [right away],” recalls Brown. “Then I asked him, ‘Did you tell her you loved her?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, I did.’ I used some language. I was like, ‘What the beep!’ I asked him, ‘Is there anything else you need to tell me?’ But I didn’t find out everything until the article came out.”
Continues Brown: “It was really embarrassing to have to send an article to my fiancé and circle parts and ask if they were true. It was rough.”
Ultimately, Brown says she knew she had to end things, and that the shocking news was only the final straw in an already difficult relationship.
“I don’t think the struggles are uncommon,” she says. “But it wasn’t just what everybody knows about the PEOPLE article that made it hard.”
If he hadn’t betrayed her trust?
“It’s hard to answer that right now,” she says. “But I definitely don’t think I would have given up.”