Only 14 months after their romantic wedding day, controversial Seven Year Switch couple Brad and Tallena have ended their marriage.
‘I realised I’d been sacrificing my own happiness to make Brad happy, so in the end I had to be selfish and put myself first,’ Tallena says sadly, revealing the split exclusively to New Idea.
‘It was a really hard conversation for us to have, but we both knew it wasn’t working. We weren’t getting what we wanted from one another any more.’
Fans of the hit reality show warned Tallena against 32-year-old builder Brad’s ‘obsessive’ and ‘controlling’ behaviour when their relationship ran into strife on air during the first season in 2016.
But the Queensland couple, who met on dating site Tinder four years ago, insisted their love was never in doubt and tied the knot at Pelican Waters Golf Resort & Spa on April 16 last year, followed by a honeymoon in Bali.
Sadly, however, Tallena continued to struggle with anxiety and the pressure of new-found fame – ‘It was really weird, we were even recognised overseas’ – while ‘communication and compromise’ became flash points in their all-too-brief marriage.
‘In the beginning, it was a mutual decision to separate,’ says flight attendant Tallena, 29, who moved out of their marital home in Brisbane a couple of months ago.
‘We wanted it to be as amicable as possible, but obviously when people’s feelings are involved it’s really hard.
‘Unfortunately, you can’t control how someone else reacts and Brad didn’t handle it very well, which was disappointing. But people behave in different ways when they’re hurting, and I understand that.’
When asked what went wrong, Tallena struggles to answer. ‘I think we went through far more than a relationship of four years should. A month after we started dating, I had a massive operation and told Brad I wouldn’t blame him if he stopped seeing me. But he didn’t.
‘That’s the thing. When it was good, it was really good, but SYS did change our relationship. I thought it would make us stronger as a couple and in some ways it definitely did.
‘It helped Brad because it made him realise how he was treating me and how he spoke to me. As confronting as that was for him, he needed to see that and it worked for a while.'
‘But I didn’t realise how much the show had affected me until we finished filming.
I was in a really dark place. I got really depressed and anxious. I hated the fame.
I didn’t like people recognising me when I left the house, or coming up to me in the street. I mean, I’m a nobody!
‘Plus there was a lot of backlash against Brad, so I felt like I was constantly having to defend him, and that’s difficult. But I don’t think you can ever pinpoint one specific reason for breaking up with somebody. There were a lot of factors.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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