Mark Wahlberg had some troubled years back when he was a teenager and ended up behind bars several times for unwelcome behavior. However, he eventually cleaned up his life and got his act together. He started as a musician in the group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch but later transitioned to acting. His fast major films were Planet of the Apes and The Italian Job. Today, Mark is currently famous for starring in the chain of Transformers blockbuster films. He is also a businessperson, songwriter, and producer.
Mark's wife is 40-year-old Rhea Durham, a model former model. She has been fortunate enough to grace the covers of well-known magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle. Rhea has also had the opportunity of strutting down the coveted Victoria's Secret runway, once in 2000 then again in 2001. The model has also had the chance of appearing as a guest star in the 2001 sitcom Spin City.
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Rhea and Mark met in 2001 and almost immediately began their long-term relationship. Together they have four children, three of whom were born before the pair decided to walk down the aisle in August of 2009. It has taken hard work and commitment to keep their marriage and love alive for those many years especially in Hollywood, where most marriages end up in divorce after a couple of years.
Here is what we know about the couple’s marriage life.
20 The Couple's First Date Was In Church
Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg and his wife, model Rhea Durham, started dating in 2001. According to an interview conducted by people.com, Mark revealed that he first met his long-time wife in New York City when he was doing a press junket.
He asked her if she wanted to go out with him and she said yes, he then asked her if she wanted to go to church with him the next morning to which she said yes. The couple went on their first date at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Thereafter, Mark had no doubt that Rhea was the one for him.
19 Rhea Thinks Her Husband Is Boring
Fans were surprised to hear that Mark’s wife Rhea finds him boring because the Hollywood star who is always playing over-the-top roles is hardly boring on screen. His wife thinks this way only because he follows the same schedule every day.
As revealed by thesun.com, Mark wakes up at 3am to work out, makes a snack, and by 6am, he is out playing golf with his friends. Together with his friends, they usually run from one post to the next for exercise. By 7 pm, Mark is usually tired and back to bed for the night. His wife teases him that he has become old and boring.
18 The Two Got Married After Having Three Kids
Mark and Rhea started dating in 2001 and they have stayed devoted to each other since then. However, they had their first daughter Ella, then their sons Michael and Brendan before walking down the aisle. The last born, Grace was born after the two tied the knot in a private ceremony at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in August 2009.
Mark once revealed to people.com that the two were never in a hurry to get married; they wanted to make sure that they shared the same values before making a lifelong commitment to each other. By the time they got married, they were getting close to eight years together. That's when the lovebirds realized they were already living like a married couple so they decided to make things formal.
17 The Couple Homeschools Their Kids
Surprise! Mark and Rhea homeschool their kids. Initially, they were all in public school but when Mark had to be away for months working, the kids would miss their dad a lot. It was also a huge challenge for Rhea to manage the kids alone when Mark was away.
This was when and why the couple decided to homeschool their kids, as stated by familyantourage.com. Nowadays, the kids get to travel with their father from one major film project to another. Their learning is not just limited to a classroom; they also learn on the road. Mom and dad also get to parent the kids together.
16 They Both Value Family Time
Mark and Rhea are committed to family time. The couple has four kids, daughters Ella Rae and Grace Margaret, and sons Brendan Joseph and Michael Wahlberg. Once the couple gets home, they normally leave their work at the door so that they can spend quality time with their children. The Transformers star has always said that nothing is more important to him than faith and family.
The family is always seen attending sports games, vacationing together, enjoying activity-packed day outs, swimming, and other times they are just out and about spending some good quality time together. Mark admitted to heightline.com that the hidden key to a happy marriage is to find time to spend with family always, no matter how busy one is.
15 She Likes Him As A Handy Man
Mark and Rhea are not a dull duo. While on an interview at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mark revealed that he and his wife have kept their romance alive by role-playing. During the day when he is at home, Rhea likes it when Mark dresses up as a handyman and starts fixing things around the house.
She especially loves when he wears his wife beater around the house, with a hammer or a screwdriver in his hand and pretends to be fixing things. Such things are what have kept their almost 10-year marriage alive. Mark later showed off his muscles at the end of the show by doing a pull-ups challenge to raise money for cancer research.
14 The Pair Enjoy Their Date Nights
Unlike many other famous couples in Hollywood whose relationships problems are always in the headlines, Mark and Rhea have an amazing drama-free marriage. The couple revealed that their marriage works because they still go for date nights. With four kids, they still manage to find time for each other.
According to fame10.com, they usually leave the house every Thursday to go for a movie or just to hang out together; they can have dinner and use the time to catch up on each other’s week. However, even on date nights, they are the ones who put their children to bed. The duo has managed to keep things spicy by going on vacations alone without the kids and spending time just the two of them.
13 Rhea Made Mark Believe In Love Again
The former rapper Marky Mark had a rough time during his teen years; he has almost 25 incident reports with Boston police. At 16 years of age, he spent 45 days behind bars for a crime. During that time, Mark was in a relationship with a girl he thought he was in love with.
When authorities got to him and he was put behind bars, his girlfriend left him and did not want anything to do with him. This really tore him down and from that day, he vowed never to give his heart to a girl again, until he met his wife, Rhea, as stated by fame10.com. Rhea made him believe in love again and restored his respect for women.
12 Rhea Does Not Like Mark Having Any Explicit Scenes In His Movies
We have always wondered whether married Hollywood couples were okay with their better halves shooting bedroom scenes with other people on screen. As revealed by fame10.com, Rhea is not comfortable with Mark doing explicit scenes with other women in films.
Mark also tries his best to cut deals with directors so as not to have any explicit scenes in the movies he is taking part in. In the film, Broken City, Mark opted to go sans clothing in exchange for an explicit scene. He says he tries his best to choose his battles wisely in an effort to make his wife happy. Talk of the few good Hollywood husbands!
11 Fitness Is An Element In Keeping Their Marriage Strong
According to Mark and Rhea, fitness is important to their family, they believe they would be nothing without their good health. The parents of four credit the strength of their marriage to working out and living well. As stated by usmagazine.com, Mark wakes up at 3am to get his daily workout in.
Rhea, who is also equally as committed, works out with a trainer and is always keen on hydrating. The two believe that they cannot be happy if they do not feel good about themselves. According to Rhea, parenting also gets easier to deal with when one is in the right place of mind and body.
10 The Couple Are Both Devoted Roman Catholics
When Mark went to jail at the age of 16, he resolved to change his ways. He got in touch with his parish priest so that he could help him figure things out. Although he has stumbled along the way, Mark has remained a prayerful man and devoted husband. He goes to mass daily and believes that he would not be where he is today if it were not for his faith.
Rhea converted to Catholicism before marrying Mark and the two have brought up their children in the faith. They all attend mass together every Sunday. According to thesun.com, the family also sets aside 15 minutes each morning during the week for prayer time.
9 Mark Turned His Life Around When He Met Rhea
Mark was already developing vices at age 13 and despite attaining stardom, he was still not a happy man. His life only took a turn at the time he met Rhea. Mark had just been featured in his first big budget movie Planet of The Apes when he met Rhea.
He was not even ready to settle down and have a family until he met Rhea and for sure two years later they began dating, the two welcomed their first daughter. Mark owes a lot to his wife, she has helped him become the man he is today and has helped create a beautiful life for him and his kids. As stated by thesun.com, Mark knows Rhea loves him for who he is.
8 Mark And His Wife Do Not Want Their Kids To Repeat Their Mistakes
Mark and his wife are determined to stop their kids from making the same mistakes their father did. When Mark dropped out of high school, he got into bad behavior and encountered a lot of trouble with the law.
He recently made the decision to finish school. According to people.com, Mark says there is no way he could tell his kids to go to school and get an education if he himself did not. Therefore, at 42, he enrolled online, completed his high school diploma and graduated. The couple's mission in life is to raise their children right and be good role models.
7 Mark Is Open About Having More Kids
Mark and Rhea have four children and according to Mark, his wife has always wanted four children, two boys and two girls, and that is what she coincidentally got. As stated by fame10.com, Rhea is done having kids but Mark hopes that she will have a change of heart and have one more because he loves being a dad and Rhea is a good mom.
Mark is quite open about having more children, considering he is the youngest of nine siblings and has grown up in a large family. However, he also said that the decision to have kids is entirely up to Rhea. He will have however many kids Rhea wants to have.
6 Mark Got His Tattoos Removed To Be A Good Role Model To His Kids
Mark and Rhea have always emphasized that they want to be the best role models for their kids. This is why Mark who has had a collection of body ink tattoos got them removed. He had a tattoo of Bob Marley with his name on his left arm, his initials MW on his left arm, a cartoon character on his ankle and a rosary with a crucifix on his neck, as pointed out by therichest.com.
As much as the tattoos were important to him when he got them, he removed them all to set a good example to his kids. He does not want his kids getting tattoos and making any semi-permanent mistakes as he did. He even tagged his kids along to one of his removal procedures so that they could witness the pain.
5 The Duo Is Big On Giving
Although the 47-year-old actor has many regrets about his previous life, one thing he and his family have done right is giving back to the community. The Wahlbergs established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth enrichment programs.
According to people.com, he started this charity because there was not one like it when he was growing up to deviate him from his bad ways. Fortunately, he was able to turn his life around. Mark also supports other charities like The Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
4 They Don't Want Their Kids In The Entertainment Industry
Mark and Rhea are well aware of the peaks and pits of being in the entertainment industry. Even though Mark has found fame and fortune in Hollywood, the couple does not want any of their kids to be in the entertainment business. Therefore, they have tried their best to build a few separate business ventures.
According to usmagazine.com, Mark co-owns Wahlburgers, a casual dining restaurant with his brothers Donnie and Paul. The couple also encourages their sons to pursue sports. They would love them to be athletes; however, if they decide to pursue acting, the parents will have no choice but to support them.
3 Mark And Rhea’s Way Of Parenting
Mark and Rhea have their own way of parenting their kids. They try to be involved in everything in their kids’ lives by maintaining a very close relationship with them. At the same time, they also do not spoil them or let them do whatever they want.
Mark especially is happy that he gets to give his children the childhood he never had. However, he would also like them to understand that they need to work hard. The parents work to be good role models and try to give the kids the right tools to be great people who do not have a sense of entitlement, as dailymail.com reveals.
2 Mark Gave Up Life In The Fast Lane For Marriage
When Mark first met Rhea, he was not ready for marriage, neither was he ready to give up life in the fast lane. Eight years and three kids later, he was more than willing to leave his old life behind and commit to his relationship with Rhea and building a strong family foundation with her.
Therefore, he decided to end the party nightlife and settle down. Today, Mark has enough time to sort out things during the day as well as get a good night sleep. According to people.com, giving up the fast lane has been crucial to finding his way as a husband and father.
1 The Kids Are Not Moved By Their Dad's Fame
The couple’s four kids are well aware that their dad is a famous Hollywood actor and they have even watched him in action but according to usmagazine.com, his fame does not move them. For the most part, they just see him as their dad, which Mark and Rhea seem to be okay with.
However, there are times when they use their dad’s fame to get what they want. Mark confessed to late show host Seth Meyers that they only pull the ‘dad is famous’ card when they want to get into concerts or meet other famous celebrities. This is when they remember they have a famous dad.
Sources: people.com, heightline.com, fame10.com, thesun.co.uk, wtop.com, therichest.com, familyentourage.com, dailymail.co.uk