How Hallmark's Carlos And Alexa PenaVega Overcame Their Biggest Marriage Struggles

Carlos and Alexa PenaVega grew up in the industry; she was most notably the kick-butt female lead in "Spy Kids," while his breakout role was as Carlos Garcia in "Big Time Rush," on Nickelodeon. But just because they were both child actors didn't mean they were moving in the same circles. In fact, the celebrity couple's meet-cute happened in a completely non-Hollywood way — at a Los Angeles bible study. The duo started as friends, and things eventually evolved into a romantic relationship, culminating with them tying the knot in 2013. 

Although Alexa admittedly never got her dream proposal from Carlos, they seemed to be happier than ever, even taking their real-life romance to the Hallmark Channel, where they both star in feel-good films. With their similar interests, backgrounds, and religious beliefs, it seems Carlos and Alexa are a match made in heaven. However, things aren't always as picture-perfect as their Hallmark flicks. "There was a time in our marriage where if we were not married, we would have broken up," Alexa confessed to Us Weekly in 2023. 

Fortunately, it didn't come to that and they took some creative steps to get them through. Alexa detailed how their faith helped enormously during their marital struggles. But prayer isn't the only stalwart; the couple also prioritizes clear communication and time to themselves away from their kiddos. Reminiscent of their Hallmark film, "Love At Sea," Alexa shared with OK! magazine how cruising is part of how they "make sure we put our marriage at the forefront." 

The PenaVegas prioritize prayer

On the podcast "Jesus Calling," the happy couple reiterated that religion, especially prayer, is the foundation of their marriage. "We really try and take moments to pray together, even if it's for two minutes before I go on stage," Carlos PenaVega divulged. Alexa PenaVega conveyed a similar sentiment to Fox News, stating that, from the beginning, "Our entire relationship was based on bible studies, church, and our faith."

Even so, the day-to-day struggles of marriage can take a toll on the Hallmark duo just like anyone else. Alexa said differing communication styles have tested their bond. She noted how, aside from talking to God, they also had to work on sitting down and conversing with one another. "Taking that moment to just sit down and really kind of communicate. I know that sounds so cliche, but it's true," the "Spy Kids" star told Us Weekly.

The "Dancing With The Stars" couple seemed to face some of their greatest hurdles when their children were young, and they didn't really have time for themselves or each other. Instead of letting their marriage fall by the wayside, they prioritized one another, as the PenaVegas informed Ok!. During their favorite way to rekindle the flame, on a cruise, they enjoy "locking ourselves in a room and talking uninterrupted," gushed Alexa.

Alexa initially swiped left on Carlos

When the "Ms. Matched" star initially met Carlos PenaVega, she wasn't too keen on starting a relationship. Alexa PenaVega was previously married to Sean Covel from 2010 to 2012. The divorce devastated the Hallmark star, leaving her feeling like she needed to get her life back on track before trying to find love again. "I wanted a relationship with God. I wanted to attend bible study and just dive into my faith. I wasn't looking for any kind of relationship other than the relationship I had with my faith," Alexa explained to Fox News.

When Carlos showed up to the bible study, he at least had one thing going for him — religion — but that was about it. As the "Spy Kids" star acknowledged, "I didn't want anybody in the entertainment industry. No actors, no singers. [...] He was everything on my no list." Fortunately, as they became friends, Alexa realized all the things she thought she didn't want were exactly what she needed, and Carlos had them in spades.

The PenaVegas departed from bustling Los Angeles in 2017 to settle in Maui so they could focus on their faith, family, and marriage. It sounds like, although they had a few hurdles to contend with from day one, the adorable couple has managed to consistently fight for each other and appears to be living the dream as a result.