The truth about Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert’s marriage

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert have proven themselves to be an exception to the reality TV relationship curse that prevents Bachelor franchise stars from forming long-lasting relationships — let alone long-lasting marriages.

Roper and Tolbert first met in 2015, while appearing as castmates on Bachelor in Paradise Season 2, and Bachelor Nation fans watched with delight as the two quickly fell in love and left the show as an engaged couple. Less than a year later, Roper and Tolbert married — and these reality television lovebirds wasted no time starting a family of their own. In August 2017, Roper and Tolbert welcomed a daughter into the world, and their son made his debut less than two years later.

Despite having the majority of their relationship play out on the small screen, Roper and Tolbert have seemingly maintained a somewhat normal marriage. However, these reality stars are no stranger to controversy. From Tolbert’s questionable comments about his wife to Roper’s controversial fantasy football win — here’s the untold truth of Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert’s marriage.  

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert got engaged three weeks after they met

Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert first met as contestants on Season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise in 2015, immediately sparking a connection with one another. Over the course of the season, fans watched as Roper and Tolbert got to know each other on the beaches of Paradise, eventually falling in love and leaving as a newly engaged couple. 

As happy and in love as the couple seemed to be, many viewers were skeptical about Roper and Tolbert’s engagement, which came a mere three weeks after their initial meeting. “It does seem crazy, and I thought there was zero chance of this,” Tolbert admitted to People. He continued, saying, “But when you’re there [in Paradise] and you spend so much time together from the get-go, three weeks is like nine months of real dating.”

In January 2016, Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert wed in a glamorous California ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. “It’s crazy how marriage does change everything,” Roper told People. She continued, “We’re a family now. And it feels like everything is complete.”

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert went to marriage boot camp

In September 2016, less than a year after their wedding, Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert announced they’d be joining the cast of WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, as reported by People. Understandably, the announcement sent a shockwave throughout Bachelor Nation, as fans of the couple had just spent the last year watching the couple’s love story unfold on national television. What could possibly be wrong in their relationship?

Tolbert was quick to shut down any rumors of serious relationship issues, explaining to People, “We never got to do premarital counseling, because everything moved so quick with us.” He continued, saying, “So we kind of viewed it as an opportunity to lay a good foundation.”

Roper chimed in, admitting, “You’ll see us have some fights — but that’s normal.” The reality star continued, telling People, “I think people kind of have this idea that you go on The Bachelor and you have this perfect relationship, but we’re normal, just like everyone else, and we have our issues.”

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert have had to defend their daughter from online trolls

While they’re not quite household names, Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert are famous enough to garner harsh criticism online. And, since welcoming their first child — daughter Emerson Avery — in August 2017, Roper and Tolbert have had to fight back against social media users who seem to consider the couple incapable of properly raising their daughter on their own. 

In July 2019, Roper put an Instagram user on blast after they sent her a message claiming Emerson was showing signs of autism, as reported by People. “If you all mean well, it’s still not ok to say she has Autism or needs speech therapy or to comment any sort of thing like that to anyone about their child,” Roper wrote. She continued, “We are her parents, we have a great pediatrician, and we know her development.”

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Tolbert said, “If you won’t say something face-to-face to somebody, don’t say it online.”

After Bachelor in Paradise, Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert suffered a major tragedy

Considering Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert fell in love and got married on national television, some fans might assume they know all there is to know about the reality stars’ love story. However, while fans were watching them fall in love on TV, Roper and Tolbert were experiencing a tragic real-life loss offscreen. 

In February 2019, Roper and Tolbert revealed in a heartbreaking YouTube video that they had gotten pregnant during Season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise. However, soon after confirming the unexpected pregnancy, Roper suffered a miscarriage. “We didn’t have any concrete plans of when we were going to be, like, living together or what our next steps were,” Tolbert recalled. He continued, “Now all of a sudden we had a very real-life thing happen.”

Crying, Roper revealed, “At the time, I didn’t really grieve because I just didn’t know … how to process it.” She continued, saying, “It wasn’t until I had [daughter] Emerson that I realized how much I love my child and how amazing of a miracle it is, and I think I really grieved that child much later.”

Bachelor in Paradise star Tanner Tolbert opened up about his and Jade Roper's intimacy issues

Tanner Tolbert revealed incredibly private details about his sex life with Jade Roper during an August 2019 episode of Nick Viall’s podcast, The Viall Files

In the podcast episode, the Bachelor in Paradise star opened up to Viall about his sex life with Roper and how having two children had negatively impacted the couple’s private time. When asked about romance, Tolbert quickly retorted, “What romance?” Revealing that Roper didn’t want to be intimate as much as she did before giving birth to their kids, Tolbert told Viall, “It is tough. I feel like I’ve begged for [sex].” He continued, saying, “And I don’t want to feel selfish. I hate asking. I hate trying, ’cause, like, I don’t want it to be, like, pity sex.”

Revealing he often is the one to initiate intimate time with Roper, Tolbert said, “It’s better when the wife initiates. Even if you don’t want to, I think throw the guy a bone a little bit and make him feel wanted.”

The birth of Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert's first child was a terrifying experience for them

While daughter Emerson Avery Tolbert is healthy and happy now, Jade Roper revealed that giving birth to her first child with Tanner Tolbert was quite a terrifying experience.

In an emotional October 2017 vlog, Roper recounted Emerson’s birth story, which started when the expectant mother’s water broke four weeks early, as reported by People. Tolbert and Roper rushed to a nearby hospital that allowed Roper to labor in a tub of water, which is something she’d long envisioned doing. Describing the feeling of Emerson’s head coming into the birth canal, Roper revealed, “It is the most intense pressure but it’s the coolest feeling.” She continued, “I was someone who definitely had a lot of pain. … I probably was scaring the people down the hallway when I was pushing because I was screaming.”

As Roper and Tolbert later learned, Emerson’s early arrival was a blessing in disguise. According to Roper’s midwife, her umbilical cord was knotted — something that could have “cut off all nutrients” and resulted in Emerson’s passing had she not made an early arrival. 

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert are "complete opposites"

Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert definitely seem like a match made in paradise — or, rather, a match made in Bachelor in Paradise. After witnessing their whirlwind three-week relationship turn into a happy, successful marriage, it’s only natural to wonder how these two have managed to maintain a long-lasting, relatively normal relationship in spite of reality TV stardom. 

Shedding some light on the secret to their happy marriage, Tolbert told Nick Viall on the podcast The Viall Files, “We are each other’s best friends and we balance each other out.” He continued, revealing, “I think we’re complete opposites, which every once in a while can cause a fight, but I think mostly we balance each other out.” He also added that both he and his wife are deeply “committed” to each other and their relationship.

On Jan. 24, 2020, Roper posted a sweet message to Instagram in honor of her four-year anniversary with Tolbert. “Life gets crazy sometimes … but I wouldn’t want to go through this hand-in-hand with anyone but you,” Roper wrote. She continued, “Thanks for being my best friend and here’s to growing old together!”

Bachelor in Paradise star Tanner Tolbert helped Jade Roper deliver their son in a closet

In July 2019, Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert welcomed their second child, son Brooks Easton. However, Brooks’ arrival to the world proved to be one of the most dramatic entrances the Bachelor franchise has ever seen. 

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Roper and Tolbert recounted Brooks’ birth, telling ET host Lauren Zima that Roper first started to feel contractions while she and Tolbert were at home watching Hannah Brown’s Bachelorette season finale. After her water broke, Roper and Tolbert began preparing to leave for the hospital — but baby Brooks couldn’t wait any longer. “The moment I realized that we weren’t going to make it to the hospital, I was, like, screaming,” Roper revealed. She continued, saying, “It took my pain to a whole other level, because it became fear.”

Describing giving birth to Brooks “30 [to] 40 minutes” after her water broke, Roper recalled, “We were all in the closet … I’m, like, hunched over clenching this bench, Tanner’s calling 911, and they got there in six minutes — they got there so fast.” Added Roper, “And then two minutes after they got there, [Brooks] came out.”

Bachelor in Paradise star Tanner Tolbert has been criticized for saying he didn't bond immediately with his and Jade Roper's son

While plenty of Bachelor Nation fans were taken aback by the comments Tanner Tolbert made on Nick Viall’s podcast about his and Jade Roper’s sex life, the Bachelor in Paradise star made even more headlines when he admitted to Viall that he hadn’t yet formed a strong bond with his newborn son.

The Viall Files podcast episode featuring Tolbert was recorded in August 2019, only a month after Tolbert and Roper welcomed their son, Brooks Easton, into the world. Opening up about his newborn son, Tolbert revealed, “Before I had [daughter Emerson Avery Tolbert], before any pregnancy in my life, I always thought I wanted a boy.”

However, according to Tolbert, becoming a father to his new baby boy didn’t quite feel like how he’d always imagined it would. “To be honest, my connection with my daughter, probably initially, was the most strong,” Tolbert admitted. He continued, “I don’t know if it’s because she was a daughter or because she was first … I feel right now more connected to Emmy.”

Bachelor in Paradise star Jade Roper has come to Tanner Tolbert's defense

Following the controversial remarks he made during his The Viall Files appearance, Bachelor in Paradise star Tanner Tolbert appeared as a guest on Mommies Tell All — a podcast hosted by wife Jade Roper and fellow Bachelor in Paradise alum Carly Waddell (via People).

Opening up about his conversation with Nick Viall, Tolbert revealed, “I tried to just be as honest as I could on [Viall’s] podcast about numerous topics and I tried to be real.” Added Tolbert, “I caught some heat from that.”

Fortunately, Roper was ready and willing to stick up for her man — especially from people criticizing the father of two for the comments he made about not immediately forming a strong bond with his and Roper’s son. “We’re hormonally designed to bond with our babies, but it doesn’t always happen,” Roper explained. She continued, “[Brooks’ birth] was traumatic enough for me to where I didn’t bond [immediately] … and then it’s been a slow roll for me feeling the way I guess I just felt immediately with Emerson.” 

Added Roper, “Women definitely experience that too, but I definitely do think it’s different for dads.”

Bachelor in Paradise star Jade Roper has been criticized for putting her and Tanner Tolbert's son in dresses

Unfortunately, Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert just can’t seem to escape criticism from social media users who insist on doling out unwarranted (and unwanted) parenting advice.

In January 2020, Roper posted a picture to her Instagram story featuring a happy baby Brooks in a pink dress with a frilly, tulle skirt, as reported by Us Weekly. “Put Brooks in some of [Emerson’s] old stuff,” Roper captioned the picture. Of course, it didn’t take long for comments from critics to start rolling in. 

“How could you dress your son like a girl?” one Instagram user wrote. That user went on, “I’ve never seen anyone trying to make fun of their own baby. You need help!”

Never one to shy away from clapping back at the haters, Roper responded, “Whoa. This won’t be the last time Brooks will find himself in girly clothing, what’s wrong with dress up!?” The reality star continued, writing, “I wasn’t making fun of him, he looks adorable.”

Bachelor in Paradise star Jade Roper allegedly beat Tanner Tolbert in a major fantasy football contest

On Jan. 5, 2020, Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert made headlines that extended far beyond just Bachelor Nation when it was revealed Roper had placed first in the DraftKings “Millionaire Maker” event, winning $1 million as a reward. 

“I’m pretty sure this girl was on The Bachelor. I only know this because my girlfriend forces me to watch it,” wrote one Twitter user, along with the results from the contest , as reported by People. Roper responded, “Hahaha that’s me! And Tanner told me I shouldn’t play DK Metcalf!” Roper continued expressing her excitement on social media, tweeting, “Doesn’t even feel real over here! Officially speechless. LIKE WHAAAAAAAAT.”

Chris Randone, a Bachelor in Paradise Season 5 alum and fantasy sports writer, took to Twitter to send his congratulations. However, the reality star credited Tolbert instead of Roper. “OMG congrats to my boy [for] winning the f***ing milly maker!!!!” Randone tweeted. Tolbert quickly responded, writing, “Technically Jade’s lineup won … but til death do us part.”

Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert have been accused of cheating to win a million dollars

Soon after Bachelor in Paradise stars Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert began expressing excitement on social media over Roper’s big DraftKings win, some fantasy football fans came forward with accusations of cheating, as reported by People. One Twitter user commented, “Everyone realizes the two of them max entered and split their player exposure, right?” Added the user, “And that is illegal.” 

As clearly noted on DraftKings’ website, group play or “behavior designed to gain an unfair advantage over others” is strictly prohibited. Speaking with People soon after Roper’s win, a DraftKings spokesperson revealed, “We take the integrity and fairness of our contests very seriously and are looking into this matter.”

Weeks later on Jan. 25, 2020, it was reported that Roper’s $1 million prize had been stripped from her following DraftKings’ investigation, according to TMZ. In a statement regarding the fantasy football contest, DraftKings revealed, “All customers affected by the updated standings will be notified directly. It is our general policy not to comment further on such matters.” 

As of this writing, neither Roper nor Tolbert have publicly commented on DraftKings’ decision. 

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