March 16, 2011 — -- The current king and queen of reality TV don't have a fairy tale story after all.
One day after Brad Womack proposed to Emily Maynard on the season finale of ABC's "The Bachelor," the couple revealed that they've got a long journey ahead before they say "I do."
"Though we are madly in love, it has been a bumpy couple of months for us and our priority right now is to focus on our relationship," Womack and Maynard said in a Tuesday statement to People magazine.
In an interview with featured in the magazine's latest issue, they said their relationship is plagued with problems. Womack, 38, and Maynard, 25, have broken up multiple times.
"It hasn't been a fairy tale," Womack said. "We were facing a lot of adversity."
"There have been numerous times where either she or I have said, 'To hell with it. It's just too difficult,' " he continued. "We've thrown in the towel, broken up. But at end of every day I'd call and say, 'I know you might not like me today, but I love you.'"
"We'd break up at night and then in the morning we'd forget about it," Maynard added.
Watching "The Bachelor" and seeing Womack woo other women made Maynard jealous.
"He had a tendency to say the same thing to a couple girls," she said. "So I felt less and less special. I get that it's a show. But it's still hard. You're not sure what's real and what's reality TV."
Online rumors purporting that Womack spent Thanksgiving with "Bachelor" runner-up Chantal O'Brien didn't help matters. Womack said the stories were pure fabrication.
"She called me in tears and said, 'Please tell me [our relationship] isn't some hoax,'" Womack said. "I said, 'Babe, you can't believe everything you read.'"
In an effort to soothe Maynard's nerves and win her heart while the season played out on TV, Womack mailed her thousands of dollars worth of gifts. (He told "People" he "went broke sending flowers and shoes.") On "The Bachelor," he fought hard to win her heart in ways viewers didn't see.
"No one knows, but I flew her father to South Africa, to the proposal site, from West Virginia," Womack said. "I made it very clear I would not ask her to marry me without his consent. It was off-camera. I looked him in the eye and told him, 'I'm very much in love with your daughter. This isn't for show.'"
The couple says things have gotten better since the show ended. Now, Womack, the man who earned the status of "most hated man in America" after he ditched both contenders during "The Bachelor's" 2007 finale, and Maynard, a single mom who lost her fiance in a 2004 plane crash, are ready to embark on a new life together.
"The hardest part is behind us," Maynard said. "I feel pretty confident if we can make it through [the past three months], we can make it through."