"When we started, it felt like everyone was trying to break us up, or they thought we were together to be famous," Spencer Pratt says
It’s been 10 years since Heidi and Spencer Pratt wed on The Hills. Now, they’re back on reality TV with The Hills: New Beginnings — and their marriage is better than ever, they tell PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.
“We have a much deeper understanding and love for each other now,” says Heidi, who dated Spencer for years before they wed in 2009. “We’ve been through so much.”
But with the new show come new challenges, including the new parents’ efforts to balance motherhood with work and fame.
“I was a little nervous to leave Gunner,” says Heidi, 32, of their 20-month-old son. “And it was challenging to dive back into this, when I’m a mom now, and I’m different. There’s more at stake.”
Continues Heidi: “I felt more responsibility for my actions. We can’t say to Gunner, ‘That was before we had you.’ We would go out together before, and now, I’m like, ‘Spencer you need to be home at this time.’ It created a different dynamic.”
Spencer, 35, felt the push and pull as well, navigating between nights at the club filming and being at home with family.
“I understand Heidi wanted me home,” he says. “But the cameras are still at the club. We’ve been trying to get The Hills back for years, and so I don’t want to leave the cameras because I have a curfew. It was a back and forth.”
As for their marriage, both Heidi and Spencer say viewers are in for a more authentic look at their real relationship.
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“We are pretty raw and open. There are ups and downs,” Heidi says. “People will be able to relate, because when you become new parents and then you have jobs and friends and all these things, it does add new pressures.”
But in the end, “We have a deep love and respect for each other,” she says.
Adds Spencer: “When we started, it felt like everyone was trying to break us up, or they thought we were together to be famous. But here we are, 10 years later. The [best] thing we ever did is be together.”
The Hills: New Beginnings premieres Monday at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.