Addicted To Marriage's Monette Dishes On The TLC Show & Her 11 Marriages - Exclusive Interview

If you're searching for your newest television show addiction, look no further than TLC's reality series "Addicted to Marriage." Throughout each episode, four women open up about finding love — while also having to explain to their partners that they've been married multiple times before. 

Monette happens to be one of these women who loves love. As a professional wedding planner, she's surrounded by it each and every day. Now, she's hoping to finally tie the knot with her boyfriend John. That is, after she explains to him that she has 11 ex-husbands.

Before the series is available for the world to watch on November 16, we got the chance to sit down with Monette and get the inside scoop on her starring role in "Addicted to Marriage." In an exclusive interview with The List, Monette told us the surprising way she got involved with the show, how she feels about her past marriages, and the lesson the series taught her about love.

Here's how Monette ended up on Addicted to Marriage

How did you get involved with TLC and "Addicted to Marriage"?

Actually, somebody from the production company contacted me. They sent me a message, and I didn't see it, and so then they contacted my daughter, and she goes, "Mom, somebody's trying to get ahold of you." [Laughs]

What did you think when you received a call from them?

I had been approached by different people before, and I just have not wanted to do that, because I'm like, who wants to let everybody know their dirty laundry? You know? It's like, no, I don't want to do that. And then when I spoke to Justin — that was the person that talked to me the first time — he's one of the most fabulous people in the whole world, and we just hit it off, and I was just laughing and talking with him, and I just trusted him. And I was like, okay, I'm doing this.

What made you want to be a part of this show and share your story?

You know, I've been asked that quite a few times the last few days. And last night I was sitting there, and I thought about it more, you know, because I think the biggest thing for me is, and I share an experience of what women will say to me when they've been married a lot — or men that have been married a lot — and how they feel so bad about themselves, and they don't even want to go put themselves out there at all. I think — no I don't think. I know my biggest reason for this is: your past doesn't matter. It's what you do now. And I just want people to have that hope, because if you don't have hope, you have nothing, you know?

And if I gave up right now and said, "Nope, I'm never going to find him. Look at this." I mean, if anybody is a failure at finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Right, it's me. [Laughs] And so, if I give up that hope, you know — I don't know. I think that that's important, and I want people to have that.

Was your boyfriend, John — and I know your daughter appears on the show, too — were they on board with doing it at first? What was that conversation like?

John is really funny because I never thought that he would be on it. Because he's just so — he is a loner. He likes to be by himself. He doesn't like big crowds. And when I was talking to him about it, at first, he was a little apprehensive. Then he goes, "What am I talking about? Anywhere we go, everybody ignores me, and they just talk to you." [Laughs] He goes, "So go ahead. Do it. I don't care." He's just kind of like, "Whatever."

Monette explains what it's like having cameras constantly around

Had you ever been on TV before this or had you wanted to be on television?

I had been on one TV show at the time of my last marriage, which was 10 years ago exactly now that I was on the show. It just wasn't the greatest experience, and I just — I was never going to do it again.

Was that a similar reality show situation?

It's a talk show.

Now, you have cameras around you all the time at home. Was it strange at first to get used to all of that?

Well, I had no idea that they were going to have cameras running 24/7. So that freaked me out a bit, because, like, I don't know how — they probably don't touch upon it that much, but in the last two years right before we started filming that, I had had 22 surgeries in two years. I'd been very, very ill, and I was just barely pulling out of that as we were filming this. And so I was having milestones as far as my health went, and so I didn't feel good all the time. And I was like, "I don't want people to see me. I just want to lay down, and be in sweats, and look ugly." [Laughs] That was different. And I still did that. I mean, I'm sure they have many ugly shots of me. [Laughs]

Was there anything that you made off-limits to cameras that you said you didn't want them to be around for?

My life is pretty much an open book. Everyone that knows me knows everything about me, you know? I said on the show, "All my skeletons are in my front yard," so people — it's easy to judge me. It's easy to make fun of me, like I'm a brunt of a lot of jokes when it comes to relationships, obviously, and I don't care anymore. I'm okay, like, I'm okay with me, and what other people say about me, or whatever anybody thinks, I've been the only one that's been here all 53 years. [Laughs] I'm the only one that gets to have a say.

Why shooting Addicted to Marriage was so hard for Monette

Out of your entire experience, what was the most difficult part for you about shooting "Addicted to Marriage"?

It did take a toll, like, as far as with John, it was very stressful for him because he doesn't like to be watched, you know? And so it did cause more — and I don't know that it's necessarily the show, but when you're focusing on your relationship, I think I was kind of just not looking at things, you know, because it was just easier. It was dealing with my health issues and everything like that. So I really wouldn't look at things, but then when you've got a camera there, and he's saying something and it's not right, I'm like, "No, that's not true. What you're saying right now is not right." And so I would argue back in a situation where normally I would've just let him just say whatever and just go on with his day. Does that make sense?

Absolutely! You're hit with all those issues head-on. It almost sounds like good therapy for a relationship to be able to talk those things out, though.

Right, because then right after, then they ask you questions about it. And so then it makes you think even more and you're like — and it really was. Then when I thought about it, I'm like, "No, I don't like that. And no, that isn't right," or "I do like this and, and this is good." So it was like being forced right after you lived the scene, you just had a normal day experience with each other, and then somebody pulls you aside and asks you your feelings about it. It makes you dig deeper. Do you know what I'm saying?

For sure!

Monette shares what she loves about getting married

Why is marriage more important to you than simply being in a serious relationship instead?

I think at this point in my life — earlier in my life, because of my religious beliefs, to be able to be intimate with somebody, you had to be married. And that's a lot of marriages, because we got married really quick, because we couldn't have sex before we got married.

But now, at this point for me, it's that when I do find the person that is my everything, my best friend, my lover, everything in my life, I want to put them at least at the same level that I had somebody from my past. And that may be just a dumb ritualistic thing or whatever, however you want to say it. But to me, to do that, have it on paper, it's legal, you know, all of that. It means that — I haven't done it for 10 years. And so when I do do it, it's going to be, this is it. This is it, or it's never happening for me.

For your previous marriages, did you plan out weddings for all of those? Do you enjoy the wedding planning process, too?

I'm actually a wedding planner, and I do weddings.

No way!

Yes, and I love weddings. I love ... I love everything about it. I mean, I help people with proposals and everything, because all my friends come to me when they're like, "What should I say to him? What should I do?" And so I'm constantly helping people, and I have, like, probably five people that have been married for 20-plus years that I've gotten together. I wish I could do the same thing for myself. [Laughs] I guess when you don't do, they say, you teach. That's me. I can teach relationships; I just don't do them. [Laughs]

Monette explains her past with 11 ex-husbands

Do you keep in touch with any of your 11 ex-husbands today?

Obviously, like, I see my children's father at events and stuff like that all the time. And I get along fine with him and his wife, and it's just an amicable relationship ... anything like that. I mean, it's been 20-some-odd years, and they've been together, and we haven't. She's just as much grandma as I am to my grandkids, because they know her from the beginning, and so it's kind of like extended family.

But, like, with the others, it's kind of like, in my life, I'm — and I don't want to sound like I'm being conceited or anything, but — all my friends all say, "You're my funnest friend. You can make me laugh." There's friends that won't go to Vegas unless I go with them. They're like, "You haven't been to Vegas until you go with Monette. You have to go with her." [Laughs] So they all want to be around me.

And I don't ask a lot of friends. I always do things for people. I'm always the one that does everything for everybody else, and so I'm an easy friend. I'm a really easy friend, but the men that were in my life, that, for whatever reason, they didn't want to step up to deal with whatever my issues were, or, you know ... they didn't like about me enough to be in that committed of a relationship once we promised each other. I've kind of felt like I'm a good friend, and I'm an easy friend, and you didn't deserve that right with me. Does that make sense?

Yeah, it totally makes sense.

If you, you know, can't take the ugly parts of me, you don't get the pretty parts of me.

Is there anything you've learned about yourself since shooting the show?

I think since shooting the show, I do reflect more now. A lot, like after. I don't have a producer asking me questions after anymore. [Laughs] But if I have a situation of a serious conversation, or if, you know — whatever it is — I rethink it afterwards and go, "Did that go the way I would want it to go?" or "Was I fair in that situation? Was I fair to the other person?" And so I do look at myself a lot more that way. I reflect a lot more.

Will Monette be tuning in to watch the series premiere?

Are you planning to watch the premiere with John or with your daughter?

I have numerous friends and family that are — a bunch of people that are — doing, like, watch parties. And I've been invited to a bunch of them, but I haven't decided where I'm going to go, because I don't know yet if I want to just watch it by myself. [Laughs] Or if I want a bunch of people around, and it probably will be that I'll be with the group, because they're already — from the premiere, they're already teasing me about stuff.

They're excited about it, too!

I truly — I say this all the time: Truly in my life, I am so overly blessed with great family, with great friends, and my children are amazing. Every single one of them are now married, and they're all successful in their lives. And I just look at it, and I was like, okay, I might have not done the marriage thing right, but I got that thing right. I have to give myself those kind of credits, because usually it's, "You've been married how many times?" [Laughs]

But I'm very close with all my children and have a great relationship, and so that's the most important thing to me, and so, yeah, I probably will be with my daughter and her friends or with one of my siblings. It just depends on where I am in the country at the time.

What is something that you want the world to know about you before tuning in to watch for the very first time?

Probably that I make light of the situation — light of the divorces, the marriages, everything like that, because if you don't laugh, what can you do? But in all sincerity ... I don't usually get emotional, so I did a lot, because they would ask me questions. I'm like, "Stop asking me those."

No, but with me, I'm just a real person, and I really do care about people. And I come across as "life is all about me," and, you know, I kind of have had that issue in my past, but I, I always — my marriage has always been [important] to me.

I've always been very naïve about love ... and I trust everybody, and I forgive, like, instantly. If somebody does something wrong, and they say they're sorry, I'm done. And I'm like okay, and it's over. And so that's been a good thing for me and a detrimental thing for me.

And so I would say that I'm sincere. It's not just a game. I'm not out there getting married to see if I can be in the Guinness Book of World Records. [Laughs] I really, really thought every single one was the one. And I thought I was madly in love every single time.

What was your favorite part of shooting "Addicted to Marriage"?

I think the very best part for me was, like, after John's birthday dinner. We were — they were interviewing us after the scene of his birthday dinner. He was so sweet and flirty and fun, and it was just — it was good to see him that way. He just went out of his comfort zone at that time, and that was really good for me to see from him.

"Addicted to Marriage" premieres Tuesday, November 16 at 10 p.m. EST/PST on TLC.