"Reality shows don't break up couples – couples break up couples," the Donnie Loves Jenny star tells PEOPLE exclusively

Credit: A&E Network

It’s not the first honeymoon phase for either Donnie Wahlberg or Jenny McCarthy, but Wahlberg can feel that, this time, this marriage is built to last.

“We’ve both been married before, but we weren’t ready for that,” Wahlberg, 45, tells PEOPLE. “I think we got in before we were prepared to, and now we’ve finally found what we’ve always wanted.”

A year after they began dating, the duo exchanged vows in August at the historic Hotel Baker in St. Charles, Illinois, outside McCarthy’s hometown of Chicago.

“We have both been independent for so long,” he says, “but there’s also 20-some-odd years each of us sort of looking to settle down and pitch a tent and have a family life.”

Though the former View host, 41, and the Blue Bloods actor have now made it official, Wahlberg says not much has changed since saying “I do.”

“No real surprises. She didn’t suddenly, like, pull out her false teeth or reveal she had a wig,” he jokes. “Everything is kind of the same. That’s just how we are. It’s like there really is no one else around when we are together.”

Even now, with cameras documenting every moment of their marriage on the reality series Donnie Loves Jenny, the stars aren’t afraid the show will affect their relationship.

“I know people say there is a curse on reality couples, but my opinion is that reality shows don’t break up couples – couples break up couples,” he says.

“For us, we felt like we could make a fun show that was very reflective of our lives and had a lot of love in it,” he continues. “It’s something we wanted to do, we felt like it would be fun and we could have a great time.”

Donnie Loves Jenny airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on A&E.

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