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Ryan and Trista Sutter have been married 20 years since she was the first ‘Bachelorette’ and it’s been ‘challenging’

<i>John Parra/Getty Images</i><br/>Trista Sutter and Ryan Sutter in 2022.
John Parra/Getty Images
Trista Sutter and Ryan Sutter in 2022.

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Debut “Bachelorette” Trista Sutter and husband Ryan Sutter are marking 20 years of marraige.

The couple, who got engaged on the series and later wed in a televised special, are among the few marriage success stories in the franchise.

Ryan Sutter marked their anniversary on Instagram, writing, “They never said it would be easy but this year was easily one of the craziest, most challenging, most unpredictable years of the 20 we’ve now spent together.”

“Big change and heartbreaking loss tested our resolve. We left a community and friends and a lifestyle – a safe harbor – for a new adventure and to make a new home. We struggled and we cried,” he wrote. “We laughed and we loved. We did it all and we did it together, like we always have.”

In August, Trista Sutter shared on social media that the family was relocating from their beloved Vail, Colorado to relocate to Denver. Over the years, they’ve dealt with some health issues and also mourned the recent loss of their family dog.

In his tribute to his wife for their anniversary Sutter wrote, “You and me, hand in hand, heart to heart.”

“It started in front of millions but today it’s just us. No wedding special, no fanfare, no red carpet,” he wrote. “Just Love. That’s all we’ve ever needed. I love you @tristasutter Now and forever. Happy Anniversary!!!”

The physical therapist gave the firefighter her final rose on “The Bachelorette,” which debuted in January 2003.

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