Shara Grylls Went through Many Difficulties with Her Husband — inside Bear Grylls' Marriage

Shara Cannings Knight opened up about her 20-years marriage to Bear Grylls and the difficulties they had to overcome.

Adventurer and outdoorsman Bear Grylls and his wife Shara Cannings Knight have been married for 20 years and share three children.

But keeping that flame alive hasn't always been easy. Grylls and Knight went through a particularly challenging time at the beginning of their life together that could have ended their marriage.

For the first time in his life, Grylls was faced with a problem he couldn't solve through action

Bear Grylls and wife Shara at the Global Angel Awards in London | Source: Getty Images

Bear Grylls and wife Shara at the Global Angel Awards in London | Source: Getty Images

MEETING BEAR GRYLLS

The "Treasure Island" star and Knight met in Scotland on New Year's Eve 1997 on a beach, where the adventurer had just taken a dip in the icy ocean.

The adventurer, then  23, was running naked along the beach looking for his clothes, which had been swept away by a wave. Grylls, who would leave for his Everest expedition in May,  confessed:

“It was the worst timing in the world to fall in love (...) I was training, staying with a friend and climbing everyday.”

MARRIAGE

The couple married in 2000, and as a wedding present, they asked their married guests for their best advice on how to have a loving and successful marriage. Grylls revealed that their best advice came from a couple who'd been happily married for 50 years, who told them to never stop holding hands.

THE TEST

The first blow to the young couple came a few months after the wedding in late 2000, when Knight's father passed away. Then, 12 weeks later, in February 2001, Grylls' father Sir Michael Grylls succumbed to a heart attack while recovering from an apparently successful intervention to fit him with a pacemaker.

DEVASTATION

Knight and Grylls were both grieving, and the adventurer was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father. He confessed:

"Her father died. Twelve weeks later my father died. (...) I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t talk to Shara because I felt I had to be strong for her."

For the first time in his life, Grylls was faced with a problem he couldn't solve through action. The adventurer and military man felt helpless. He admitted:

"My feelings was, ‘Bear (...) You’ve got no job, your wife is in a bad way, you’re in a bad way, what are you going to do?’"

UNEMPLOYED

Grylls had had a brilliant military career in the British Army until 1997, when a freefall parachuting exercise ended tragically. Grylls parachute failed to open, and although he survived, he broke 3 vertebrae and was considered unfit for further military service. Grylls said:

“I went to see this very good therapist and it really helped. For a young couple a shared crisis can really make or break you. It certainly made us."

And their harrowing experience certainly made them stronger. 20 years after they married the couple shares an unbreakable bond -- and three strapping boys, Jesse, 17, Marmaduke, 14,  and Huckleberry, 11.

The resourceful man who makes it through every physical challenge the wildest places on earth can throw at him shared:

“Whatever you see on TV, no man doesn’t have doubts or fears. No man ever has everything totally sorted.”

TOUGH LADY

But if Grylls is tough, Knight has to be tougher. She has had to raise her three boys while her husband spends a great deal of his time climbing mountains, crossing deserts, and hacking through impenetrable jungles. 

And even though raising two teens and a preteen is a handful, Knight still has time for her philanthropy. She is involved in raising money for organizations dedicated to helping young people at risk.

SHARA KNIGHT - AUTHOR

Knight published a book in 2009, a compilation of all the invaluable advice she and Grylls received on their wedding day titled "Marriage Matters," and her own take on keeping the marriage alive and kicking through all of life's challenges.

Grylls and Knight haven't just survived their first 20 years together, they've thrived and look ready to take on the challenge of the next 20. 

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