Tanner Tolbert Addresses Controversial Comments About Bonding with Baby and Sex with Wife Jade

Tanner and Jade Roper Tolbert are clearing the air regarding their relationship with their kids — and each other.

The Bachelor in Paradise couple spoke out Friday on Jade’s podcast Mommies Tell All, which she co-hosts with fellow BIP alum Carly Waddell, about comments Tanner, 32, previously made concerning how their lives have changed since the arrival of their now-7-week-old son Brooks Easton.

“I tried to just be as honest as I could on Nick [Viall]‘s podcast about numerous topics and I tried to be real. I caught some heat from that,” says the new dad of two.

On the Aug. 28 episode of The Viall Files, Tanner said in part, “My connection with [now 2-year-old daughter Emerson “Emmy” Avery], probably initially, was the most strong,” following up with, “but maybe it just takes time. I will love them equally, for different reasons, but I feel it right now more with Emmy and I don’t know why.”

“I was hesitant to even say that because I knew I was opening a can of worms publicly, but it is the truth and I should be able to talk about my truth,” he told his wife on her podcast about the comments that were covered by multiple outlets, including PEOPLE. “And I think it’s okay to talk about.”

“I’ve gotten tons of messages from men and women saying their husbands or themselves have felt the same way and thank you, but I also got a lot of heat and shame from it as well,” Tanner adds. “It’s one of those deals — do you talk about it? Do you not talk about it?”

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Jade, 32, alleges that her “publicly shamed” husband’s comments were “pulled out of context,” with Tanner adding of his relationship with his new baby boy, “I’m bonding at my own pace.”

“We’re hormonally designed to bond with our babies, but it doesn’t always happen,” says Jade. “[Brooks’ birth] was traumatic enough for me to where I didn’t bond [right away] … and then it’s been a slow roll for me feeling the way I guess I just felt immediately with Emerson. Women definitely experience that too, but I definitely do think it’s different for dads.”

“I feel like it’s slower. Maybe not in all cases, but at least in mine,” Tanner adds, explaining elsewhere in the episode that he doesn’t “feel equipped on how to help [Brooks] when he is crying or fussy” whereas “if I give him to Mom, he’s probably going to stop crying a lot quicker.”

“Brooks is really fussy and gassy and we’re working through that, and so that’s one of the struggles too — he’s not an easy baby. But neither was Emerson,” Jade says, addressing her husband, “But you were just at work so you never dealt with her colic really, and then I would just let you sleep through the night so if she would wake up, I would go down in the basement and so it was stuff you didn’t really experience.”

Tanner Tolbert and son Brooks

The married couple also chatted about comments Tanner made on Viall’s podcast regarding their sex life after having kids, which included, “I feel like I’ve begged for it. And I don’t want to feel selfish — I hate asking, I hate trying, ’cause I don’t want it to be pity sex.”

On Friday, Tanner told his wife that one story published in particular “made it seem like I was shaming you for sex weeks after the baby, which isn’t the case at all. We’ve waited six-plus weeks.”

“It was the sixth week. Brooks is 6 weeks and so Tanner and I had sex,” Jade says before her husband adds, “Once.”

“It got twisted into where supposedly you had said that you were pressuring me to have sex postpartum … all these articles came out saying, like, ‘Tanner Tolbert is shaming [his] wife for not having sex with him right after having a baby.’ And then all these people started writing comments and shaming you, being like, ‘What a dog, she’s just healing, leave her alone,’ and it was nothing like that,” Jade continues.

Jade Roper Tolbert and son Brooks

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“If you listened to Nick’s podcast, you would know what I said was no way disrespectful,” Tanner says. “I was talking about our sex life when it was just Emmy, life after one child, how it had been the last couple years and also saying now we’re four weeks postpartum, internally knowing that we’re waiting six-plus weeks like our doctor’s orders.”

He also reveals that he “got so much hate mail,” primarily from “women and moms just completely saying the most rude things to me, acting like I should just worship my wife [on my] hands and knees for pushing out a baby and I should never need sex again.”

“You can still worship me,” Jade tells him, to which Tanner replies that he does “for other reasons, but I also do have needs and it’s okay to talk about that.”

“Maybe not all guys need certain things, but I want to have a healthy sex life — I think that’s an important part of a marriage and it’s something I want to work on and make sure we don’t fall into a rut,” he notes. “I shouldn’t be shamed for communicating that.”

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