Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg have been married for just over 5 years and have been together for 6. When they met, McCarthy knew that Wahlberg was someone special. She had been worried about finding someone who could be a part of her life and the life of her autistic son, Evan.
"Especially being a single mom, in the past it was one of my biggest fears and I didn't know if it was going to be out there for me," she shared with E!
That wasn't an issue with Wahlberg, though. Having kids of his own, the New Kids On The Block member knew how to be a good dad, and he and Evan got along well. In fact. when Wahlberg asked McCarthy to marry him, he actually enlisted the help of Evan.
"I was sitting with Donnie and he went into the other room and out came Evan with a card that said 'Will.' And he ran away and came back with a card that said 'You,' and I knew what was happening and I just started crying," McCarthy relayed the story on The View. "And then he came out with a card that said 'Marry,' but it was spelled 'Mary,' and the last time Donnie came out with Evan and Evan's shirt said 'Me?' and he was holding the ring. He asked, 'Will you marry me?' I of course said yes. And in that moment, Evan yelled, 'I have another dad! I have another dad.' And it was just—it made all of us cry. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. He's so wonderful."
Since they've met, Wahlberg and Evan have been building a bond together, one that's different than what he shares with his own sons, Xavier and Elijah, from a previous marriage. In an interview with Us Weekly, Wahlberg opened up about his relationship with Evan and what he's thankful for as Thanksgiving rolls around.
“Besides the fact that she’s cooked the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner, which I can’t wait to enjoy this year, she’s just been such a great wife and stepmom to my son,” Wahlberg said. “One of the interesting things about us as parents is my son is super intellectual and very reserved. So he’s not the, ‘Hey, dad. Let’s go out and play,’ or, ‘I love you, dad.’ He’s not that type. But he can carry on a great conversation. Where Jenny’s son is super affectionate, will tell you exactly how he feels. He’s not reserved, but he’s not the intellectual type. So we’ve come into each other’s lives and our kids sort of, we connect with our kids in ways that we haven’t connected with our own. So with Evan, Jenny’s son, I get all this amazing ways to connect with him that I don’t get with my son and Jenny now can sit down with my son and talk about …”
McCarthy interjected, “Intellectual conversations.”
“Yeah. Really unique conversations,” Wahlberg added. “Besides being the best wife that I could have ever imagined having, she’s also the best step mom and mother. She’s a great partner and to simplify it, having someone to build traditions with my children and it being Jenny is probably the thing I’m most grateful for. Now our kids are seeing through both rusty and single parents and the struggles we had early on and past relationships now to see us building this traditions and building this family together. Now our kids can see what that looks like and pass it onto their kids. So it’s something to truly be grateful.”
McCarthy echoed Wahlberg's thanks, and praised him for being an amazing step-dad.
“There’s no words that actually even come close to the meaning that I feel. I’m most thankful for his unconditional love,” she told Us. “And not only for me though, to my son. Any single mom that knows our story can understand that because I think that’s one of our biggest concerns. Who’s going to love me with me and my child or children. Is there anyone out there, especially with special needs and the fact that this Romeo came along and not only swooped me off my feet, but my son and our combined families love each other. It’s I guess truly family and unconditional love that I’m just so grateful for.”
Finding someone who can connect with your kids is something every single parent hopes for when searching for a partner, and that person isn't always easy to find. I'm glad that McCarthy and Wahlberg have found each other, and are so eager to be a part of their kids' lives.