‘The Bachelorette’ alum Ryan Sutter: My cryptic posts about Trista Rehn “backfired” big time


The Bachelorette alum Ryan Sutter has admitted his cryptic posts about Trista Rehn’s recent absence were totally blown out of proportion and magnified to an extreme.

Ryan was criticized last month for making fans worry about his relationship with The Bachelorette’s Season 1 star as well as Trista’s overall well-being.


Ryan had said he missed Trista and wished he could talk to her while she was “out of reach,” without providing any further explanation. Some fans therefore questioned if the pair had split, while others wondered if Trista had died.

“It just blew up in my face and backfired,” Ryan, 49, said of his social-media activity around Mother’s Day during the Monday, June 17 episode of Chris Harrison’s “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever.”

Ryan explained that he simply hoped his wife would see his posts once she had an opportunity to check social media — but he never anticipated his heartfelt messages would stir up such concern amongst fans.

“The intent of it was Trista wasn’t going to be able to have access to social media until she got finished with this experience she was on,” Ryan explained.

“So I was going to post these things knowing, like, the second she had access to it, she would look at it, and she could see, like, ‘Here’s what happened while you were gone. Here’s how much we missed you, and here’s how important you are to us.'”

Ryan insisted the intent was certainly not to make people “wonder if my wife is alive,” adding, “That’s not what I’m going after here!”

In fact, Ryan told Chris that, for the most part, his personal life stays pretty personal.

“First of all, if there was something really, really bad happening in my life, I wouldn’t be telling anyone,” Ryan clarified.

“I’ll mostly only use Instagram because I love pictures, and I love looking back on my life and reflecting on my kids when they were younger.”

And Ryan — who shares son Maxwell, 16, and daughter Blakesley, 14, with Trista — said “the writing portion” of his Instagram posts almost serves as a diary for him.


“[What I wrote] reminds me of the emotional state I was in during those particular times. Almost all good art comes from… something that hits you emotionally,” Ryan shared.

While the first-ever The Bachelorette winner appreciates his privacy, he noted that he also feels a responsibility to share parts of his life with fans and the fact he “deals with loneliness” and “health issues” among other things.

“I’ll go months without a post and then suddenly, I’ll get in a mood and I’ll send something,” Ryan said.

“This was a particular thing that Trista was doing, and it was the end of the school year, so it’s been kind of a long year for us — moving and lots of things going on.”

“The culmination of all of that happened,” the firefighter continued, “and I was in that sort of space, so I sent that out.”


Ryan didn’t elaborate on where Trista was staying or what she was doing when she was “out of reach,” but The Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti believes Trista was away filming the Fox reality show Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.

Fox has yet to announce the Season 3 cast of Special Forces.

Trista, 51, opened up about Ryan’s Instagram posts making headlines during the June 5 episode of “The Ben & Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast.”

“Next thing you know, it’s a slow news day!” Trista quipped. “And it gets picked up by every freaking news outlet on the planet! I was like, ‘What happened?! Holy cow.'”

Trista acknowledged “it felt good to be missed and to be cared for,” but at the same time, “people make a lot of assumptions from one little thing!”

“As with everything, I feel like when it comes to social media or fans or followers, 99 percent of it is positive,” the Season 1 The Bachelorette star continued.

“I love all the people out there who were like, ‘We’re with you, we support you, we love you guys — and whatever is going on, that’s great, and you do you.'”

But then Trista noted how “of course” there were people who criticized Ryan for making fans worry about her.

“There’s of course the one percent who is like, ‘Oh, Ryan is doing this for attention.’ Clearly you don’t know my husband! That’s the last thing [he wants]!” Trista insisted.

“[People were like], ‘Why can’t you be private about it? Why can’t he just text you?’ And it’s like, have you ever heard of the term ‘shout it from the rooftop?’ He was shouting it from the rooftops! That’s something he is able to do on his own freaking page.”

Trista said Ryan just wanted to express himself “in a public way,” adding, “Usually, people don’t care about what we post. If they do, it’s a very minimal amount of people.”

“So he was posting like he always does, and he was shouting it from the rooftops that he loves me, essentially,” she explained.

“Gosh, the people who came out of the woodwork and were like, ‘You just want attention,’ I’m like, ‘You literally [are so wrong].'”

Trista declined to reveal her whereabouts at the time, but she teased, “I will share it as soon as I possibly can but, yeah, life is crazy right now.”

But she promised that “life is good” and she and Ryan are “very happy” together.


And in late May, Trista took to Instagram to assure fans that she was fine and her relationship with Ryan was still thriving.

“Geez people. Can’t a girl have a nervous breakdown/trial separation/midlife crisis/death/divorce in peace around here?!” Trista joked in the caption of a happy family photo.

“In all seriousness, for those concerned, I’m safe and sound, happy and healthy, in love and grateful. For those who’d rather focus on being critical and searching way too hard for darkness, good luck with that.”

Trista continued, “An opportunity for perspective and personal growth presented itself and with the unconditional support of my family and friends, I chose myself and betterment, knowing that my stay-at-home-mom job and my kids end-of-the-school-year needs were in the best, most capable hands.”

Over the weekend of May 18, Ryan had uploaded a cryptic post on Instagram suggesting there was something wrong with Trista and that he was missing her.

After fans complained about how Ryan’s post was misleading and in poor taste, Ryan took to Instagram again to assure his followers that while Trista was, in fact, “inaccessible,” she was doing just “fine” and their relationship was “great.”

Ryan — who hasn’t starred on reality TV since The Bachelorette’s first season aired in 2003 — then admitted on May 22 that his family making headlines again “felt good” because it showed him that people wonder about them.

In Trista’s May 25 post, she defended her husband for choosing to share his feelings with fans about her soul-searching opportunity on social media.

“My stoic husband who usually chooses privacy over posting, decided to share his love for me in messages that would find me in my travels. We look at Instagram like a digital diary,” Trista explained.

“Most of the time, the world doesn’t pay too much attention. This time, he couldn’t say anything right and just about every news outlet picked up his ‘cryptic/confusing/attention-seeking/dramatic’ pictures and captions.”

Trista insisted, however, that Ryan’s sweet words to her on Instagram helped her through a difficult time.

“To me, they gave me exactly what my Words of Affirmation love language needed to get me through some serious self doubt and fear… and that’s all that matters,” Trista noted in her post.

“He doesn’t owe anyone any explanation or require permission to post what he wants to post and share what he wants to share. If you want to know the rest of the story, I will share in due time.”

In Ryan’s initial post, his first of three regarding Trista’s condition, Ryan had written, “I really wish I could talk to you. Ask you how you’re doing? How was your day. I’d really like to hear your voice — just for a minute.”

“So many times I’ve called without much to say, not realizing how lucky I was or how much I’d miss the opportunity if it were gone,” he elaborated.

“I want to support and encourage and cheer you on. I want to be there for you. But I can’t. And that’s ok cause I know you need this time — time to discover yourself again. So I’ll be here for you instead. I’ll be here when you get back… I’ll be here to love you.”

In addition to guesses Ryan and Trista had separated or Trista had died, one fan wondered if Trista had entered a treatment or rehab environment.

In a follow-up Instagram post, Ryan insisted he never meant to “deceive or mislead anyone.” He noted that Trista was “fine” and they were doing “great” as a couple.

“Trista is at a place in life where she is searching a bit,” Ryan explained.

“An opportunity presented itself that may help her on that quest. With her family’s support, she has taken it. Part of that process means that she is temporarily inaccessible to us. I miss her.”

Ryan wrote on May 22, “It felt weird to wear the clothes of past fame once again, even if only briefly. It reminded me of how crazy life was and of how grateful I am for the life I have. But, to be honest, it also felt good to know people still cared, and worried and wondered.”

Trista — who found fame when she competed on Alex Michel’s season of The Bachelor in 2002 — chose Ryan at the final Rose Ceremony of her The Bachelorette season over runner-up Charlie Maher.

Ryan proposed marriage to Trista on The Bachelorette’s first-season finale, which aired on ABC in February 2003 and drew over 30 million viewers.

Trista, a former Dancing with the Stars and Fear Factor contestant, changed her last name from Rehn to Sutter when she married Ryan in December 2003.

Trista & Ryan’s Wedding’s two-hour finale — which featured the couple’s wedding ceremony and reception at the Lodge in Rancho Mirage resort in Palm Springs, CA — drew over 17 million viewers when it aired on ABC on December 10, 2003.

Trista and Ryan welcomed Maxwell in July 2007 followed by Blakesley in April 2009.


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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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