Getty Images | instagram.com/markwahlberg
Source: Getty Images | instagram.com/markwahlberg

Mark Wahlberg 'Blamed' for Daughter's Split from Her Ex — He 'Prays' for Her Current Relationship

Daniella Segell
Jul 12, 2022
08:00 A.M.
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Mark Wahlberg decided at a young age that he would never love another woman after getting his heart broken. However, his wife, Rhea Durham, challenged all of these thoughts and managed to steal his heart.


Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham met in 2001 at a press junket. Wahlberg asked Durham if she would like to go out with him after the junket, and she agreed. While on the date, the actor asked her if she would like to go with him to church the following day, and once again, she agreed.

Their church date was at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and the actor knew soon after that Durham was the one for him but waited to propose because he wanted to be sure he was ready.

Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham attend the closing night gala screening of "Patriots Day" in 2016 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham attend the closing night gala screening of "Patriots Day" in 2016 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images


Although it took Wahlberg a while to marry Durham, they wasted no time in starting a family together. They welcomed their daughter, Ella Rae, in 2003. At the time, the actor was 32 years old and ready to settle down, telling Hello! Magazine:

"It was the right time for me. I have 13 nieces and nephews, and all of my friends and family have children."

However, when their daughter was born, the couple still had no plans to wed and said that they wanted to ensure that they could make it before tying the knot. It was six years after their daughter's birth before their pair finally walked down the aisle.


After promising never to give his heart to another woman in his youth, Wahlberg finally realized that opening his heart to love was the right decision when he had his baby girl with Durham. The actor expressed the respect that he developed for women, thanks to his wife and daughter. He realized that having his heart broken happened to him for a reason and that he was finally happy with his family.

Before getting married, the couple welcomed two more children. Their first son, Michael, arrived three years after Ella in 2006. Brendan was born two years later, in 2008. In 2009, the couple finally walked down the aisle. The following year, they welcomed another daughter, Grace.



Wahlberg has made it clear that he takes fatherhood very seriously. The actor has said that he is afraid to fail at fatherhood because if he does, it will feel like he's failed at everything. However, he turns to his faith for the strength to be a good father.

The "Ted" star revealed that while he enjoys fatherhood, he believes that he might be too lenient with his children and that he was trying to be stricter. One instance was when he gave his daughter, Ella, too much cake before bedtime, leading to chaos.


His daughter was not allowed to eat sugar but he relaxed the rules one night. The star explained the less-than-ideal evening by saying:

"I cut the tiniest little sliver of cake. Five minutes later, she’s screaming, she’s got her [2-year-old] brother [Michael] in a headlock … so I said, ‘That’s it! No more [sugar].’"

Although the father has a close bond with all of his children, the star stole fans' hearts through his outings with his daughter. Wahlberg and Ella were seen holding hands as they arrived at the Four Seasons in Beverley Hills, attending a Lakers game together at the Staples Center, and goofing around while leaving the Mondrian Hotel in Beverley Hills.


Ella was once spotted carrying a wrapped present in her arms as they walked together. Wahlberg even used to pick her up from daycare when she was younger.


Like most dads, when his only daughter wanted to start dating, he made it clear that he needed to meet and know everything about the boy before she could pursue a relationship.


However, when he did meet a boy his daughter liked, he was blamed for making him disappear after their interaction. The actor revealed:

“I guess it's just the relationship didn't work out and somehow I got blamed.”

One thing that Wahlberg enjoyed about meeting the boy was that he brought his mom along to meet Wahlberg, which the actor revealed was essential to him. He also revealed that his daughter was flirting with Will Ferrell's son and said:

“If I ever had to have my daughter be involved with somebody, then who better? But still … I would probably still end up killing Will.”




Although Wahlberg is protective of his daughter, he has become fond of Ella's current boyfriend, James. A few years after Ella spoke to Ferrell's son, she met and began dating James, who has become close to the entire family.

Wahlberg has expressed his fondness for his daughter's boyfriend a few times and revealed:

“I used to work out to keep the boys away from my girls, and now I'm working out with the boyfriend.”


The family has accepted James into their world, and Wahlberg has mentioned that he hopes for the couple to stay together as he likes James and thinks he is good for Ella. Wahlberg even revealed that he and James have a lot in common.

He then revealed that while people thought that James ought to be intimidated by Wahlberg, he felt that James was more intimidated by Ella. He said:

"I prayed for him more than I prayed for her in that relationship."

Wahlberg showed his support for his daughter's relationship by wishing the couple a happy first anniversary via his Instagram page at the beginning of the year.

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