Saturday, May 4, 2013

What It's Like to be on a Reality Show

This past weekend, our episode of "I'm Married to A..." was on VH1.

You can watch the full episode here:

I'm Married To A... | Quadriplegic & Dominatrix

As I wrote about before, the crew was here just as we were first moving to Virginia Beach, and as I started my new job.

People have asked me if we were nervous to share our story. The answer? Not really. We share our story all the time here on the blog, and while no, we don't write about our sex life or about trying to have a baby, you had to know by now that both of those scenarios exist in our life.

By the way, there's no great baby update yet. Honestly, we haven't been trying, yet. Our life right now is consumed with my job.

So, that baby - while already incredibly loved, and covered by prayers of people all over the world - is on hold, for now.

You can read more of an update on VH1's blog. They interviewed us after the episode aired this week.

I want to tell you what the last week has been like.
It has been overwhelming, in the best way possible.

We have both received hundreds of social media messages and comments, emails and text messages from people in our lives (some that we haven't heard from in 20+ years) and some heartfelt greetings from complete strangers.

It's been hard to keep up.

But - it's all been so encouraging, and such a blessing.
We did not put our story out there for any kind of recognition. Definitely not for pity.

Knowing that our story, and our openness has given some people hope - that real love exists, that tough circumstances are worth pushing through, and that even a show that features a dominatrix can also show your faith, has been really fun.

We already knew that the love ("Love Like This") that we share is something special. It's interesting for so many other people to see it now, too. We want that for every marriage, every relationship.

Now - obviously, our love is not pure and perfect and devoid of me acting like a you-know-what during "shark week," and Michael sometimes being annoyed and disappointed. We face marriage issues like money and jealousy and selfishness, just like anyone else.

Don't put us up on a pedastal. Please. We'll fall right off.

But thank you for taking the time to encourage us, to lift us up, and to pray for us. It means a lot.

And to the crew, and the team at VH1 and everyone involved with the casting and production of the show, thank you for giving us a chance.

I'll never forget the day I came home from work, and there were lights and cameras all over my house.
I'll never forget wearing a microphone, and trying to come up with enough clothes that actually fit, for the wardrobe changes, that would work with wearing said microphone. And setting camera shots, and being on the other side of the camera - which, by the way - I was surprisingly comfortable with.
I'll never forget these nice people, Evie, Mary, Jenn, MJ, Brian, Orrin, and Andy - who took Brokaw on a million walks so you wouldn't hear a barking or snoring Puggle in the background of every shot.
I'll never forget watching ourselves on our own TV in our living room where everything was taped. It was the strangest thing, ever.

One day, we'll look back at this experience and chuckle, "remember that time we were on a reality show?"

But - I know this for sure, now. We won't ever regret it.
Thanks again to everyone who made this possible for us.

By the way - here are some more clips from the show.

Our love story:

I'm Married To A...

Our morning routine:

I'm Married To A...

Celebrating good news:


I'm Married To A...

And, finally, building a wheelchair ramp - which has to be the nicest we've ever worked together.


5 comments:

Naila Culpepper said...

I caught your episode by chance, and I was moved to tears by the love you have for each other, by the way Michael approaches life..i was paraylzed from the chest down when i was 19 with Guillian Barre, and it makes me have enormous respect for the way Michael chooses to live his life with hope and zeal. God has clearly rewarded that light with a beautiful wife and I am sure a beautiful baby to come..please keep us in the loop.. your child will be a very very lucky little one to have parents so full of love...praying for you both and your new family...xo Naila

Naila Culpepper said...

I caught your episode by chance, and I was moved to tears by the love you have for each other, by the way Michael approaches life..i was paraylzed from the chest down when i was 19 with Guillian Barre, and it makes me have enormous respect for the way Michael chooses to live his life with hope and zeal. God has clearly rewarded that light with a beautiful wife and I am sure a beautiful baby to come..please keep us in the loop.. your child will be a very very lucky little one to have parents so full of love...praying for you both and your new family...xo Naila

Erin Mac said...

I saw you're show tonight (I'm Married to A...) and I don't know if I've ever had so much emotion watching a reality show- I felt compelled to find a way to reach out. You guys seem just amazing and love each other so much. I just got engaged recently and the way I feel about my husband-to-be shows in Dana when she looks at Michael and vice versa. Without a doubt I was praying and keeping my fingers crossed for the doctors appointment and when you got the good news and Michael started to cry I was crying there along with him!! It made me sad that he thought he'd be less of a man if he couldn't have kids, but completely understandable feeling. Just know you're more of a man than soooo many other guys in the world because of the way you treat your wife and family and support and love each other. There's a reason God put you two together and I think you two will be the most amazing parents!!! With an adorable baby may I add (you're both so gorgeous!). Good luck beginning a family and just know your story has touched me, as it most likely has millions of others.

Lots of Love

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Hi Naila, thank you for your sweet comment. I will pass your nice words along to Michael. I agree that he has hope and zeal, I think he is amazing! I will definitely keep everyone on the blog posted, and I eagerly await the day that I have some good news to report!! Thank you for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Hi Erin,
Thanks so much for watching the show! We really do love each other so much, and we feel so blessed that God brought us together, and has give us this love.

I was actually shocked to hear Michael say that about feeling like less of a man. He did his interviews separate from me, and that made me cry, too. I NEVER want him to feel like less of a man, ever. He is always MY MAN and I see the world in those beautiful blue eyes!!

Thank you for your sweet note. :)