Inside Trent And Amber Johnston's Marriage

TLC's "7 Little Johnstons" has endeared its titular family to millions of viewers across America. Far from the typical reality show, it features an otherwise normal family just trying to get by, while also living with dwarfism. As matriarch Amber told Good Housekeeping, normalcy was always the goal because other, similarly-themed shows such as "Little People, Big World" and "The Little Couple" feature a slightly more heightened reality. "Not everybody lives on [a] big farm. Not everybody is a doctor," she explained.

"7 Little Johnstons," then, aims to offer an entirely unfiltered look at ordinary, everyday life, as experienced by a family just like any other who also happen to be dealing with dwarfism. "Being able to show some of our struggles will be relatable to viewers because it's not just that we're struggling because we're 4 feet tall; we're struggling to raise teenagers or in our marriage," Amber explained to Good Housekeeping. "They are things that everybody can relate to, no matter what."

The Johnstons' uniqueness belies their innate normality, which is the pull for the show. However, it's worth noting the love story shared between parents Trent and Amber is anything but ordinary.

Trent and Amber Johnston go way back

As the happy couple explained in an interview with The Mirror, they met through an organization called Little People, which "arranges meet ups for little people and out-size family members, so people can get together, learn about medical things affecting us, and just be around other people with dwarfism," Amber explained. They both are achondroplastic dwarves, which means their dwarfism affects their extremities. 

Amber and Trent spotted each other across the room at the event and were instantly attracted. But distance kept them just close friends, giving them time to get to know each other better. Amber had to finish high school, too; she was only sixteen when the two met and had never had a boyfriend before. After two years, she moved to be closer to him (per The Things). They both knew they wanted to get married — and indeed they did, in November 1998 with more than 300 guests present. Within five months, Amber was pregnant with the couple's first child. 

Trent and Amber Johnston were eager to be parents

Five children followed, two biologically and three by adoption, with Amber admitting in an interview with Southern Living that they're very strict parents. As she explained, their method of parenting means, "You're going to respect each other and you're going to respect your elders. And you're going to respect yourself."

Before getting pregnant with eldest Jonah, as the proud parents told The Mirror, they were eager to have a child with dwarfism too, because as Amber explained, "Trent always wanted a son like him and obviously I wanted a daughter like me." Their decision to adopt was partly due to the riskiness of another pregnancy and partly to give children with dwarfism a good home.

But Amber is realistic about the struggles of being a first time parent. "Just because we're little people and happen to have little people children," she told Good Housekeeping, "doesn't automatically make us folks that know everything about our kids." According to TV Shows Ace, fans on Instagram have been criticizing their parenting skills, especially when it comes to the Johnston children moving out on their own. One Instagram commentator said: "Trent and Amber have good intentions. But they need to get their stuff together. These kids are gonna move out and stay gone." Amber, however, was quick to shut down the negative talk, reminding people that part of parenting is helping their children grow into independent adults.

Trent and Amber Johnston are not getting divorced

Everything isn't perfect for the Johnston family, but they're not afraid to show it on television. In 2019, rumors swirled that Trent and Amber's marriage was on the rocks with "7 Little Johnstons" fans pointing to the growing tension between them on the show. The Cinemaholic reported rumors of the trouble started after Amber's clap back on Instagram.

Amber admits that juggling five kids with wildly different personalities can be tough at times. However, she also acknowledged, "We know that a relationship, parenting, and marriage is a constant work in progress. With both of us feeling that and knowing that we don't give up" (per Good Housekeeping).

The proud mother doesn't regret putting her relationship on show for the cameras, reiterating that "7 Little Johnstons" aims to get down to the nitty-gritty. As for viewers concerned about her relationship with Trent falling apart as their lives become increasingly complicated, Amber reassured them that no matter what happens, "We'll figure it out. We always do."

And it seems the couple has. In 2021, they celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. They shared a photo on their Instagram with the caption: "A whole lotta years + a whole lotta work = a whole lotta love."