“Marriage isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be so hard. 🙏,” the registered nurse, 35, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, September 1, alongside a video that featured “suggestions from our therapist.”
Among the recommendations were “have fun together, be vulnerable, say I love you, say I’m sorry [and] be intentional.” As the clip continued, Otis teased, “Challenge accepted.”
In her caption, the Bachelor alum reflected on how her mother’s relationship with her stepdad, who she claims was abusive, influenced her perspective on divorce.
“Mom said she never wanted to divorce him bc she thought people would think poorly of her if her children didn’t have a father,” Otis wrote. “She thought we ‘deserved’ to have a father in our lives. So she took the beatings to avoid the stigma that’s associated with divorce 🤷🏼♀️.”
The New York native, however, believes “there shouldn’t be a stigma” about leaving a relationship that’s going downhill. “Divorce isn’t failure (even if it happens without abuse, obviously),” she added.
Otis met her husband, 37, during the first season of Married at First Sight and the duo exchanged vows in March 2014. They share daughter Henley, 4, and son Hendrix, 15 months, and have been open about the pressures parenting has put on their marriage.
“When the #marriedatfirstsight experts asked me what I wanted in a husband I told them I wanted someone with a big, loving, welcoming family and someone I could feel SAFE with,” the reality star continued in her Instagram message. “I’m beyond thankful & blessed they arranged me to be married to @doughehner 7.5 years ago 🙏😭❤️ Not only did I get everything I asked for, but he doesn’t give up easily, he’s willing to listen AND he began couples therapy w me.🙏🥰 #ihitthejackpot.”
Earlier this year, Otis revealed that she and Hehner were working through a “rough patch” in their marriage. Despite their ups and downs, she told fans in August that she wasn’t willing to give up on the relationship.
“I’ll never say that I don’t believe in divorce or that I’d never get one bc both @doughehner & I have always kept divorce on the table as an option for us if we need it.💯 We have zero shame in that,” the Wifey 101 author explained on Wednesday. “BUT we are CHOOSING each other. We are choosing to stay married….and not just for the kids. For us.🙏❤️. Our therapist recommended chatting 30 min a day with each other WITHOUT mentioning work or kids … & of course to keep dating each other.”
Last month, Hehner opened up about the couple’s next steps, telling E! News that he can’t picture his life without Otis in it.
“We’ve made a commitment to each other and to really our fans that have been with us from day one to show the good, the bad, the ugly and everything,” he explained. “More importantly though, I think it’s inspiring to not just show issues or problems or challenges, but very rarely do you get to see the progress of the work that’s being made and the solution to it.”