June 13, 2020
Rhea Durham turned Mark Wahlberg's life upside down and made the disillusioned actor believe in true love again.
Mark Wahlberg, star of so many hit movies like "Boogie Nights," "The Perfect Storm, and "Planet of the Apes", had stopped believing in love at a very young age when his first love turned his back on him when he became embroiled in an unsavory incident.
Disillusioned, he's been dating and breaking hearts all over Hollywood when he met the woman who'd turn his life upside down: Rhea Durham.
The young Wahlberg had had over 20 brushes with the law and served 45 days out of a two-year jail sentence
MEETING RHEA DURHAM
"I asked her if she wanted to come to church with me the next morning, and she said yes."
And so Wahlberg and Durham's first date wasn't dinner at a New York hot-spot restaurant, it was mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
A TROUBLED PAST
"I knew shortly after that she was the one, but I still had to make sure that I was able to be the man I needed to be.”
A LIFE CHANGE
The young Wahlberg had had over 20 brushes with the law and served 45 days out of a two-year jail sentence before he took the straight and narrow path that led to success, first as a singer in the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, then as an actor. And yet, his personal life was lacking. He trusted no-one until he met Durham. He admitted:
“I knew that she loved me for who I am and that she was someone I could trust. Until I met her, I wasn’t ready to have a family.”
Durham had a dream. She was a successful model, but what she truly yearned for was motherhood. Wahlberg was the youngest of nine children, so the idea of a big family also appealed to him. In 2003, two years after they met, Durham and Wahlberg welcomed their first child, Ella Rae.
Then in 2006, they welcomed son Michael, and in 2008 son Brendan Joseph was born. It was definitely time to make things official, and Wahlberg and Durham tied the knot in 2009 in an intimate ceremony at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, near their home.
FINALLY THE WEDDING
The sweet, romantic wedding was attended by a mere dozen close friends and family, and their 3 children, Ella, Michael and Brandon, who were 5, 3, and one-year-old respectively at the time. Wahlberg admitted:
“I owe a lot to my wife. She has helped me become the man that I am and created a beautiful life for me and our children.”
THE MOVIE STAR HANDYMAN
Wahlberg confessed that his lovely wife keeps him constantly busy doing maintenance and repair work around the house. He said:
“She just wants me fixing things. I wear a wife beater around the house and walk around with a hammer or a screwdriver. Like, I’m gonna fix the door or something."
DEALING WITH THE LOVE SCENES
There is one little issue Wahlberg has to deal with. Durham hates seeing him on-screen kissing or making love to his leading ladies, so as far as it is possible, the actor tries to avoid love scenes. He confessed:
“If it has anything to do with me kissing somebody my wife’s not gonna like it so I’ll fight to get it cut out. (...)I usually try to choose my battles wisely.”
KEEPING THAT FLAME ALIVE
Wahlberg and Durham welcomed their fourth child, daughter Grace in 2010, and celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in July 2019, but they are as in love as ever after a total of 19 years together. Wahlberg revealed the secret of their enduring romance:
“Every Thursday. We’ll leave the house in the late afternoon and go to an early movie or just hang out somewhere. Then we’ll go to dinner and catch up."
But there is a lot more to the solidity of the union between Durham and Wahlberg than romantic love and passion. The actor stated:
“We share the same values. Obviously, the physical attraction was there, but that’s not what keeps a couple together.”
AN EXEMPLARY MARRIAGE
Whatever they've got, is something many couples crave: love, trust, and intimacy. The family is close-knit, and Wahlberg and Durham are devoted hands-on parents to their brood.
Wahlberg confided that he has tried to pass on the lesson he learned from his beautiful wife to his sons - utmost respect for women.