Heather and Dr. Terry Dubrow have escaped the reality TV curse that has befallen so many other on-camera couples.
In an exclusive joint interview with Page Six, the Dubrows reveal that maintaining a strong marriage in the spotlight hasn’t always been easy.
The stars of a number of unscripted projects — including their new “7 Year Stitch” passion project for E! — share how they overcame adversity by putting their love and family first.
Heather, who recently returned to “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after a five-year absence, says, “We had one really awful, a bad year when the program was impacting us.”
“I believe that was the first year Terry was on ‘Botched,’ and we didn’t spend much time together since I was working on ‘Housewives.'” My season was going badly. She says, “He was on ‘Botched,’ and he was having a wonderful season.”
“We weren’t communicating either.” There was just so much going on that we had to sit down and have a real come-to-Jesus experience.”
Heather, 53, says that during a car talk, the former soap actress and the renowned plastic surgeon assured each other that they would not “get divorced over being on TV.” “That is not an acceptable situation.”
The couple, who married in 1999 and have four children: twins Max and Nicholas, 18, Kat, 15, and Collette, 11, eventually healed by identifying and resolving their major concerns.
“We have been through every obstacle in our 25-year relationship.” Financial issues, we’ve lost many million dollars, and intimacy struggles when I felt horrible about myself. Terry, 63, says, “We’ve experienced different kinds of troubles with our family.”
“We’ve figured out how to get through all of the big-ticket stuff.” At this point in our relationship, we have a lot of resources.”
The Dubrows’ “resources” include the best professionals in the country, from top-rated therapists and life coaches to celebrity fitness instructors and nutritionists.
Heather and Terry have enlisted the services of their favorite professionals for “7 Year Stitch,” a seven-week program that helped real-life couple Kathleen and Chris decide whether or not their young marriage was worth salvaging after seven years together.
“We’re isolating them for seven weeks and giving them a thorough internal and external makeover — body, mind, soul — in the hopes of making them each the best version of themselves and reuniting the pair,” Heather explains.
“However, when you make someone their most confident self, they may look at the other person and say, ‘You know what? ‘I’m fine; I don’t require your assistance.’
Heather and Terry tell Page Six that they are grateful for realizing years ago that they do, in fact, need each other — even if they still fight over “silly” things today.
“You should learn to fight.” Realizing that it’s common to have disputes and large fights is a vital aspect of maintaining a strong relationship; it’s just how you negotiate those fights that matter. When it comes to how he and his wife handle conflict, the doctor says, “You have to learn how to preserve that level of respect [and] how to not say it.”
“And we have a great deal of regard for one another.”
“7 Year Stitch” premieres on E! on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET, immediately after the season finale of “Botched” at 9 p.m. ET.