Hitting rock bottom in recent years after a string of setbacks, Grant Denyer has revealed he and wife Chezzi have managed to put the va-voom back into their marriage.
Speaking candidly while on-air for his new gig on 2DayFM’s Breakfast With Em, Grant & Ed the dad-of-two revealed that disconnecting from the world has played a key part in reconnecting with his wife of almost eight years.
Explaining to his co-hosts that they had only just connected the internet to their Bathurst farm after three years, 40-year-old Grant couldn’t stop raving about the benefits of their internet-free existence.
‘You sleep better, 100 per cent better, because you are not scrolling like a poker machine at 11pm at night on your phone in bed,’ he said. ‘All of a sudden, you are so much more present in your house with your kids, being in the moment.’
Then, when asked by co-host Ed Kavalee if the lack of wi-fi had led to an increase in ‘marital relations’, Grant spilled: ‘Well hello... well yeah, it totally has.’
Indeed, swapping their hectic city lifestyle and Grant’s gruelling Sunrise weatherman job for a simpler life on a farm just outside Bathurst in New South Wales has proved to be just the tree change the couple needed.
‘Living on a little farm has been the key to ensuring there’s plenty [of energy] in the tank. I get to go home and completely switch off, which I’ve never done before. That’s been a great lesson,’ Grant told TV Week.
‘I just pushed too hard, too long. I did that at the toll of myself and my family. It was a juggernaut that I couldn’t stop.’
It has been a long road for the couple to finally be at a place of peace in their marriage, after a spate of shocking incidents in recent years no doubt took a toll.
Forced to deny allegations they sought treatment for meth addiction at a Thai rehab facility, the couple revealed Grant was getting help for ‘chronic fatigue brought on by exhaustion’, while Chezzi was suffering from ‘PTSD and anxiety issues resulting from Grant’s condition’.
With Grant then going on to be involved in a near-fatal car racing incident in 2017, the turmoil only continued for the couple.
‘Grant was only home six weeks out of the whole year – with all his motor racing and TV commitments – so it wasn’t long,’ Chezzi told New Idea following the crash.
‘I wasn’t expecting that call, it was a big shock.’
Labelling the crash that left him hospitalised with a broken coccyx as the ‘wake-up call I needed’, Grant became determined to get his life, and ultimately his marriage and family, back on track.
‘I was underperforming as a partner and a father,’ he reveals. ‘Making amends for that has been really important. I’ve been locking myself down on our little family farm at Bathurst to ensure that all aspects of my life are healthy before I dive back into [bigger] workloads.
‘With my wife, you can see the pressure come off her shoulders, because she’d been living like a single parent for so long.’
Now, with a renewed sense of purpose and intention, Grant has been careful in choosing the projects he takes on, making sure Chezzi and their daughters – Sailor, six, and Scout, two – always come first.
‘I was never very good at slowing down, but that’s the one thing the farm has taught me – how to relax and leave work behind when it finishes. And that’s the problem I have had my whole life,’ he says.
‘I’ve come full circle and I’m 100 per cent now. I’ve found a real work/life balance and I’m much kinder to my body with what I eat and how I exercise.’
With Grant also now back behind the race car wheel, anyone would think it is Chezzi who is the backbone of their family. But for her part, the TV producer credits her husband for their seemingly unbreakable bond.
‘My beautiful and loving husband is my tower of strength and I’ve been depending on him so much lately,’ she says. ‘I love him to absolute pieces.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!