What Happened to Trista Sutter? Timeline of Her Absence and Return

Trista Sutter says it “felt good to be missed” but that “life is good” following time away from her husband, Ryan Sutter, and their two kids.

On the June 5 episode of the “Almost Famous OGs” podcast, the former bachelorette addressed the headlines surrounding her absence and why her husband wrote emotional posts about her.

“It felt good to be missed and to be cared for,” she replied to co-host Bob Guinney about people wondering where she was. “But at the same time, people, gosh, make a lot of assumptions from one little thing.”

She said that 99% of times, her followers are “positive” and supportive, however the other 1% of people were like, “Ryan’s doing this for attention.”

“Clearly you don’t know my husband,” she said, saying that people would comment, “‘Why can’t you just be private about it? Why can’t you just text you?’ And I’m like, ‘OK, have you ever heard of the term shout it from the rooftops?’”

“So he was shouting it from the rooftops. That’s something that he’s able to do on his own freaking page,” she added. “He just wanted to put it out there in a very public way — or not given in a very public way, because usually people don’t care about what we post. If they do, it’s a very minimal amount of people.”

Trista Sutter said that all Ryan Sutter was doing was “posting like he always does and shouting it from the rooftops that, you know, he loves me.”

The first bachelorette’s whereabouts, relationship status and health were first questioned after her firefighter husband posted a message about missing her and not being able to contact her.

In a lengthy post on May 25, the former reality star explained her absence, writing that “an opportunity for perspective and personal growth presented itself” and she took it.However, she did not further clarify what happened and where she went.

Trista Sutter and Ryan Sutter.
Trista Sutter and Ryan Sutter on November 29, 2022 in Willemstad, Curacao.John Parra/Sandals Resorts / Getty Images

In the June 5 podcast episode, Trista Sutter did not share where she was or what she did when she was away from her family.

“I will share as soon as I possibly can,” she told Guinney. “But yeah, life is crazy right now. And it’s summertime with two teenagers who need to get jobs and yeah, yeah we need to get ready for their junior and sophomore years.”

She concluded her life update by saying, “Moral of the story: life is good. Ryan and I are very happy.”

The couple met and got engaged during the first season of “The Bachelorette,” the spinoff “Bachelor” series, in 2003. They are parents to son Maxwell, 16, and daughter Blakesley, 15.

Read on for more on what happened to Trista Sutter and what Ryan Sutter posted about his wife.

What happened to Trista Sutter?

Trista Sutter and her husband Ryan Sutter both said she took some time away from her family. It’s unclear where she went, what she did or for how long she was gone.

In a May 17 post, Ryan Sutter wrote, “Trista is at a place in life where she is searching a bit.”

He explained that “an opportunity presented itself that may help her on that quest. With her family’s support, she has taken it. Part of that process means that she is temporarily inaccessible to us.”

Additionally, the former dancer also shared similar sentiments when she broke her silence, writing in part, “An opportunity for perspective and personal growth presented itself and with the unconditional support of my family and friends, I chose myself and betterment, knowing that my stay-at-home-mom job and my kids end-of-the-school-year needs were in the best, most capable hands.”

She said she would share “the rest of the story” in due time.

What did Ryan Sutter post about Trista Sutter?

In mid-May, Ryan Sutter began sharing seemingly cryptic posts on Instagram about how much he missed his wife, Trista Sutter, and how he wished that he could talk to her.

At the time, he didn’t share her whereabouts or if something had happened to her.

May 11: Ryan shares first post about missing Trista

On May 11, 2024, Ryan Sutter posted a black-and-white photo of the former physical therapist looking out at the ocean.

“They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I can think of only a handful of days I have not, at minimum, spoken to this incredible woman. She is the love of my life and my best friend,” he wrote. “I cannot imagine loving her any more or any more fondly.”

He concluded the post, “But I guess we’re gonna find out…. I miss her already.”

May 12: Ryan says he wishes Trista was with them for Mother’s Day

Ryan Sutter continued to post about his wife’s absence in a Mother’s Day post on May 12. In it, he wrote, “I know you wish you were here for Mother’s Day. We wish you were too. But sometimes being a mom means letting go of their hands, granting independence and stimulating their courageous spirit.”

He added in part, “Sometimes you have to go away so they know you’ll come back, that your love is not limited by distance or difficulty or time. Sometimes you have to do what you sometimes have to do.”

At this point, he started to get comments asking if Trista Sutter was OK, while others praised his way with words.

“What is going on here? Concerned…” one person commented, while another added, “Ryan, you have such a beautiful way with words. I love how you love and support your wife, while also allowing for the growth of your children while she’s away. Such a great husband and father. Cheers to you and Trista.”

May 17: Ryan says he wishes he could talk to Trista

By May 17, the father of two shared a selfie of him and Trista Sutter, along with a message dedicated to her.

“I really wish I could talk to you. Ask you how you’re doing? How was your day. I’d really like to hear your voice — just for a minute. So many times I’ve called without much to say, not realizing how lucky I was or how much I’d miss the opportunity if it were gone,” he began.

“I want to know how you’re doing. I want to support and encourage and cheer you on. I want to be there for you. But I can’t. And that’s OK cause I know you need this time — time to discover yourself again,” he added.

Ryan Sutter continued, writing how he would be there for her when she returns, “I’ll be here to listen to you, to smile with you, maybe cry with you — I’ll be here to love you… I’ll be here… forever.”

May 17: Ryan says ‘Trista is fine’

As the fireman kept posting and receiving comments asking about his wife, he shared the first update about her.

Ryan Sutter began by noting that he likes to write what is on his mind, with no intention of deceiving or misleading anyone.

“Trista is fine. We are fine. We’re great. Trista is at a place in life where she is searching a bit,” he then shared. “An opportunity presented itself that may help her on that quest. With her family’s support, she has taken it. Part of that process means that she is temporarily inaccessible to us.”

He concluded, “I miss her. We miss her.”

May 21: Ryan explains his messages about Trista

After the posts began to get media attention, Ryan Sutter attempted to explain why he was posting messages for Trista Sutter in a May 21 caption.

He said he “chose to post a message” for his wife “for a time when she could eventually read it.”

“She understood the context and so did I. No one else did however, and that’s where things went sideways,” he continued.

He brought up rumors that she had died, that their marriage was “in trouble” or that she was experiencing a midlife crisis, “among many other creative ideas.”

He discredited “intentionally misleading people in order to somehow benefit from it,” but decided to speak out after friends and the media started speculating about their lives.

“All because I missed my wife and chose to share how that felt,” he said.

Sutter, who works as a firefighter and says he drives “a pickup to a blue collar job,” feels “pretty normal” and wasn’t expecting his posts to get pickup. But he acknowledged that 21 years ago, he was “pretty famous,” and this attention was a reminder of “how crazy life was” back then.

“To be honest, it also felt good to know people still cared, and worried and wondered. It felt good to be noticed and inspired me to do better at paying attention to others — when they do good or when they need help,” he said, ending with the hashtag #life.

He reassured people that everything was OK.

What did Trista Sutter say about her absence?

May 25: Trista Sutter breaks her silence

Weeks after Ryan Sutter’s first post directed at her, the former Bachelorette shared an update and explained her absence.

In a lengthy Instagram post, she joked, “Geez people. Can’t a girl have a nervous breakdown/trial separation/midlife crisis/death/divorce in peace around here?!”

She then added, “In all seriousness, for those concerned, I’m safe and sound, happy and healthy, in love and grateful. For those who’d rather focus on being critical and searching way too hard for darkness, good luck with that.”

At this time, the former reality star echoed her husband’s words about “an opportunity for perspective and personal growth” presenting itself and she took it.

She explained that her reserved husband decided to share his love for her in messages that she would read during her travels.

“We look at Instagram like a digital diary. Most of the time, the world doesn’t pay too much attention. This time, he couldn’t say anything right and just about every news outlet picked up his ‘cryptic/confusing/attention-seeking/dramatic’ pictures and captions,” she wrote. “To me, they gave me exactly what my Words of Affirmation love language needed to get me through some serious self doubt and fear…and that’s all that matters.”

Noting that they don’t owe anyone an explanation, Trista Sutter did add, “If you want to know the rest of the story, I will share in due time.”

For now, she would be vacationing in Mexico with her family, concluding, “After all, nervous breakdowns and separations require much needed rest and relaxation!”

Ryan Sutter would go on to share a family selfie on the beach on May 26.

“They say absence makes the heart grow fonder…. We found out it’s true. It also makes the heart more grateful, more sympathetic, more appreciative for what someone does for you, with you, alongside of you. It brings questions and wonder and worry and then answers and peace and celebration. It brought time for reflection, for projects, prayer and independence but mostly it brought joy at its conclusion. Real joy. And that’s really what it’s all about…” he wrote.

May 19: Trista and Ryan say ‘we do our best’

Ryan Sutter first shared a post about how they do “our best” next to a photo of him and Trista Sutter with their backs to the camera and sitting on the beach.

“To do and to be good, to live and to treat others well. We make decisions not knowing the outcome but hoping we’re on the right path — hoping the questions will be answered in time,” he wrote in part, adding, “We try to be a positive example, to care, to trust the process and to believe others will trust our intent is not malicious or misguided or mean.”

He added that sometimes people land in “just the right spot” and get a glimpse of “just how beautiful life can be — how beautiful it is when we take time to appreciate the places and the people in them. To appreciate what and who we love most.”

Trista Sutter shared the same message on her Instagram, noting that she “couldn’t have said it any better so, with permission, I’m sharing his beautiful words.”

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