Shara Grylls opened up about her 20-year marriage to Bear Grylls and the struggles they had to overcome.
Adventurer and outdoor enthusiast Bear Grylls and his wife Shara Cannings Knight have been married for 20 years and share three children.
But keeping that flame alive hasn’t always been easy. Bear and Shara went through a particularly difficult time early in their life together that could have ended their marriage.
Bear Grylls and wife Shara at the Global Angel Awards in London | Source: Getty Images
For the first time in his life, Bear was faced with a problem he couldn’t solve with action.
The couple married in 2000, and as a wedding present, they asked their wedding guests for their best advice on how to have a loving and successful marriage. Shara’s husband has revealed his best advice comes from a couple who have been married for 50 years, who told them to never stop holding hands.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHARA GRYLLS
But if Bear is tough, Shara Grylls needs to be tougher. She’s had to raise her three boys while her husband spends much of his time climbing mountains, traversing deserts, and hacking through impenetrable jungles.
And while raising two teens and a tween is a handful, Shara still has time for her philanthropy. She participates in fundraising for organizations dedicated to helping at-risk youth.
Shara wrote a book in 2009 called “Marriage Matters”, a compilation of quotes she and her husband received after they got married. The book has been described as a “sparkling collection of wise and witty sayings about marriage”.
In an interview, Shara Grylls revealed that it’s hard to have a spouse who broke their back in a skydiving accident, fought to recover, and then entered the Guinness Book of World Records. as the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest two years later. She also said her husband was the only person she would ever be with on the loose.
HOW SHARA AND BEAR GRYLLS MET?
The ‘Treasure Island’ star and Shara met in Scotland on New Year’s Eve 1997 on a beach, where the adventurer had just taken a dip in the freezing ocean.
The then 23-year-old adventurer was running naked along the beach in search of his clothes being swept away by a wave.
After their first unconventional encounter, the 48-year-old said he met Shara a few months before climbing Mount Everest. So at the time, he was busy training while living with a friend and climbing almost every day.
Bear shared some other interesting tidbits about the couple. He said Shara enrolled in a marriage course in 2000 before she got married.
However, he insisted that his wife taking the course did not mean that anything was wrong with their relationship. According to him, they only did it to make sure they would prevent anything that might happen that might break up their marriage.
HARD TIMES FOR COUPLE
The first blow to the young couple came a few months after the wedding in late 2000 when Shara’s father died. Then, 12 weeks later, in February 2001, Bear’s father, Sir Michael Grylls, died of a heart attack while recovering from an apparently successful procedure to fit him with a pacemaker.
Both Shara and Bear were grieving, and the adventurer was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father. He confessed :
“Her father died. Twelve weeks later my father died. (…) I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t talk to Shara because I felt I had to be strong for her.”
For the first time in his life, he was faced with a problem that he could not solve by action. The adventurer and soldier felt helpless. He admitted:
“My feelings were: ‘Bear (…) You don’t have a job, your wife is bad, you are bad, what are you going to do?’
Bear had had a distinguished military career in the British Army until 1997 when a free-fall parachute exercise ended tragically. His parachute failed to open and, although he survived, he broke three vertebrae and was deemed unfit for further military service. He said:
“I went to see this very good therapist and it really helped. For a young couple, a shared crisis can really make or break you. It definitely made us.”
And their harrowing experience certainly made them stronger. Twenty years after their marriage, the couple share an unbreakable bond.
The resourceful man who overcomes any physical challenge the wildest places on earth can throw at him shared:
“Whatever you see on television, no man has doubts or fears. No man has ever completely sorted everything.
Shara and Bear’s relationship hasn’t always been rosy; both experienced various difficulties. The adventurer once told The Times that he hadn’t had a job at one point.
Their living conditions were not terrible either. They lived on a rusty barge on the Thames and had a broken boiler. Shara’s husband said he felt overwhelmed and needed to be strong for his wife, so he didn’t tell her he was struggling too.
During their relationship, Shara and her husband welcomed three children. They have three sons they named Jesse, who is 19, Marmaduke, 16, and their youngest, Huckleberry, is 13.
Shara and his wife raised their three sons on a houseboat on the Thames. Their boat had a hammock, an outdoor bath and a canoe.
In 2015, Shara’s husband revealed he had bought a luxury flat for his family in London. The property is located where penthouses cost over $36 million. Speaking about their new property, Bear said:
“As a family we didn’t just want an ordinary townhouse or riverside development; we were drawn to Battersea Power Station because it was a chance to own as much history as we could. passed on through the family.
The survival expert further shared that they had moored their houseboat in Battersea for years and were proud to continue. He also said they felt buying a home on this landmark was a special opportunity and that the house would “make a very unique home.”
The family spends their summer vacation on the private island of adventurer St. Tudwal’s West. The father-of-three also shared that the couple were able to have a long and happy marriage because he always puts his wife’s needs first. He told GQ magazine:
“We must prioritize our partners above all else: even our children.”
The father said that most couples make the mistake of prioritizing their children over their partners. He said if the relationship is nurtured and protected, children can be loved properly.
In an interview with Hello magazine in 2021, Bear opened up about his family and the lockdown. Regarding how the family coped with the lockdown, he said it had been difficult; however, the positive thing about it was being able to spend more time with his family.
He also explained how difficult home schooling was and the restrictions were tricky. However, he remembered the sacrifices of health workers working during those difficult times and called them “life’s real heroes”.
The 48-year-old was also asked what his sons think of his job and if they take after him. The father-of-three said his sons were different and often changed their minds like other typical teenagers.
However, he said the boys love the outdoors and the Scouts have helped foster friendships and “respect for nature”. Maybe one of them will be an adventurer like his father.
Bear and Shara didn’t just survive their first 20 years together; they have thrived and look ready to take on the challenge of the next 20.