Sextuplet Dad Bryan Masche: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Bryan Masche, father of Arizona’s Masche sextuplets and former star of the WETV reality show “Raising Sextuplets.” Bryan had recently read Samantha@IW interview with Jenny Masche and there were some things he wanted to get off his chest. We appreciate Bryan opening up to IW. During our time together it was clear that his number one focus is his children whom he adores and is doing everything he can to be the best single parent he can be. We hope you will enjoy the interview. Please remember our IW motto and keep your comments respectful and kind. – Anya@IW
Anya: Can you give us an update on your life and where things are now? You tweeted back in September that you had a new position with a medical device company?
Bryan: I got hired by a company called Arthrex selling orthopedic medical implants — replacement knees, hips, shoulders. I go into the operating room and actually teach the surgeons the technique as well as advise them on the implant itself and answer any questions they have. It’s pretty technical. It’s a jump to the big leagues; it’s sort of like pharmaceutical sales is the JV team and this is the Varsity level. There’s a lot of studying involved; I’m constantly studying medical techniques and watching videos. It’s keeping me busy. But it’s really exciting and it pays really well. One of Jenny’s biggest complaints over the years was that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Isn’t it funny – I now have a position where I’ll be making as much as Jenny and I were making as a married couple — all by myself. So, you run off, blow up a family, blow up another person’s family, and all the things you want end up coming to your spouse.
Anya: I’m very happy for you – that sounds like an excellent opportunity. Is it a Monday through Friday thing?
Bryan: Yeah, it’s a Monday through Friday gig – and it’s kind of my own small business in a way; it’s great because I don’t have to punch a clock. I can set my own hours. Obviously when there are surgeries going on I have to be available for the surgeries. But it’s really great because it affords me a lot of flexibility with the kids.
Anya: What’s it like witnessing surgery? That’s not something that you’re squeamish about?
Bryan: It’s gross, definitely. When I’m in there I just listen to the cash register in my head and that helps dealing with the blood and guts aspect (laughs).
Anya: Have you and Jenny established a set custody schedule?
Bryan: Yeah, we have 50/50 custody legal-wise. I’m supposed to have the kids 16 days a month but Jenny’s not being very cooperative at all, just fighting about things. So basically, I’m getting them Thursday to Monday, every other week. I was supposed to initially have them 16 days a month; that’s what she signed in the parenting plan. I’m kind of disappointed about that. We’re going to have to go back to court.
Anya: So Jenny doesn’t like the current schedule?
Bryan: Yeah, she acts like it’s a big deal, like “oh, it’s so hard; the kids have to go away to their father’s every other weekend.”
Anya: You have been quite vocal that adultery broke up your marriage. Do you want to discuss that?
Bryan: Jenny brought me to Christ eight years ago. Brought me to church and I became a born-again Christian through her. Now she has committed bold-faced adultery with no repentance whatsoever. And then for her to lie and say things like “We were never supposed to get married in the first place; I knew it was wrong from the start.” Really, Jenny?! We were married for three and half years before we had kids. You had a lot of time to get out before then.
Anya: Let me ask you this, on your show, in your second season, they showed you trying to work through issues. It seemed very genuine, and it looked like some progress was being made. Was that how you felt? Or was it different behind the scenes?
Bryan: The funny thing is, that counselor that we saw on the television show – we saw that counselor twice, for 45 minutes each time. That was all done up for the show — the idea that we were going to counseling on a regular basis. There was never, in the seven and a half years of our marriage, ever been any ongoing counseling, per se. I went to a counselor here in Lake Havasu myself, just trying to motivate her, like, “are you kidding me, what are you doing? We have six four-year-olds. We’ve been married for seven years, like, seven-year-itch. How could you possibly not want to work on this?
Anya: So what was Jenny’s reason for not wanting to go to counseling?
Bryan: She just didn’t care. She just didn’t want to do it. Most normal people don’t just give up on marriage out of the blue. Heaven forbid you have kids in the picture.
Anya: It seems like at one point you wanted to try and reconcile and work things through?
Bryan: I would say for probably the first four or five months I was willing to do whatever it took for my family. Anything. I read every marriage book that I could. I lost a lot of weight and got in better shape. My friends said, “Bryan what are doing? You didn’t do this. Yeah, you got arrested, but you never touched anyone.” This was a verbal argument. She had been having an affair for a month and a half. She had no guilt. I was totally willing to forgive her. She has never said she was sorry. I don’t understand how people (bloggers, viewers) can think to themselves: “she’s this great Godly woman.” What!? She tore her house down with her own hands. People who know us in Lake Havasu are disgusted with her.
Anya: You mentioned you were writing a book. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
Bryan: It’s called: “Still Standing, True Confessions of a Sextuplet Father.” I’m about a third of the way through writing it now. It talks about the break-up and the infidelity, obviously. But for the most part it is really a positive book that talks about how Jenny I met, how we fell in love, how we were blessed as a couple and a family. Our good times together. Our struggle with infertility. It starts with me in jail crying my eyeballs out. So it begins in the end, goes back to the beginning and finishes up in the present with me being a single dad.
Anya: How are your kids coping?
Bryan: The kids ask questions now, and the other night Molli was crying her eyes out. I kept asking “what’s wrong?” and she didn’t answer me. Savannah answered and said “Molli’s upset because daddy doesn’t live with mommy in the new house.” I don’t know, man – I don’t know how people do this. I’ve made mistakes and I’m not perfect. There was a time when I was a party boy, but during the seven years of our marriage, I didn’t drink, do drugs, I always worked really hard at two jobs, took care of the kids, took care of her. I never went hunting or fishing, I didn’t have things that I did for myself. Went to college, went to graduate school. I don’t know how that couldn’t be enough for another person, unless that person was already broken to begin with, before I ever met them. I feel bad for her, because I don’t think she’s ever truly going to be happy. She thinks she and Levi (Jenny’s boyfriend) will live happily forever; they’re not going to. All relationships are wonderful for the first two years. It takes two years to really get to know a person, get to find out who they are inside. They have a lot harder row to hoe than I would should I meet somebody in the future. A relationship based in lies and adultery and the destruction of these families. The maintenance of such a family would be harder. When she interviewed with Samantha@IW and said, “I didn’t know it was going to happen” – that was a total lie. She knew exactly what she was doing. The relationship started while we were still in Florida. It started eight weeks before I ever got arrested. I was catching her every night at 3:00 a.m. in the back yard or the front yard on the phone and ask her what was going on. It was in August when she fessed up and told me the truth. We didn’t come home until the 10th or 11th (of September); it had already been going on for a month before I knew, and then once I knew it was going on it was another month before we came home and I got arrested.
Anya: So what about the move to Florida; how do you look back on that? Was it a mistake?
Bryan: I loved it there; I thought it was awesome. I had a blast. I thought it was good and bad. It was really hard at the beginning. Then we kind of worked it out and were really good at relying on each other. There was a 2 ½ month window that was really good. It was the first time since the kids were born that I felt relaxed, I felt like we were home and that this was where we were supposed be, this was where we were supposed to raise the kids and it felt like the right spot. Then Jenny started that multi-level marketing company and we were running around trying to get more involved with the company, and that was why she contacted Levi again. She wanted to recruit him for the company because she thought he was a good businessman. He was in Phoenix and we figured, we were in Florida and he could talk to people in Arizona about it. Well, they started talking a little more and a little more and before you know it, he started talking about his marriage what was going on with his family and his wife and then Jenny started talking about what was going on with us. They have a history together, and before you know it we have two people who are talking and bad-mouthing each other’s spouses and just like that our Florida dream ended.
Anya: Have you had the support of your family during this time? On the show you were close to your parents but you sometimes butted heads with your dad.
Bryan: I think a lot of dads and sons butt heads on different issues; throughout this entire ordeal through the last year, my family has stepped up to the plate so amazingly. They’ve been wonderful about trying to help me and support me. It’s amazing that they haven’t done anything nasty to Jenny. They haven’t said anything nasty to her…her family has totally ripped me up and down. They blame me for everything; I drove her to this. They have been really vicious and nasty to me, even though she’s the one who’s breaking the family up. My family has done nothing of the sort to her; they’ve been there for me and the kids and have helped me get life going again and get things back on track. So this ordeal has made my relationship with them even stronger.
Anya: You talked a little bit about not having time to yourself when the kids were younger, you were working really hard. Is there anything that you’re doing now besides getting your career going? Any hobbies?
Bryan: Right now I think I’m just really engrossed in getting this career going; I haven’t had a lot of time to spend on myself. I have reconnected with a lot of friends from college since all this happened. It’s been good to reconnect. I’ve been exercising a lot. I’ve been on a few dates. I haven’t had that connection with anyone yet. I’m just trying to see what it’s like as a single parent dating. I don’t know what the future holds – we’ll see what happens.
Anya: I want to make sure that we touch a little bit on the show. How do you feel about the show and how you were edited?
Bryan: There will be absolutely no more television, whatsoever. We actually put it into the parenting plan that there would be no more television, no more media, any of that and then Jenny went behind my back and contacted a producer about doing another reality show about a blended family. That was unbelievable.
Anya: You just feel strongly that the kids don’t need that, that it’s not good for them?
Bryan: No everything that they’ve gone through is traumatic enough. Besides the fact of us getting divorced, of the affair, there’s the fact that they are sextuplets. That alone is going to lead to enough questions and concerns about being different. Put a divorce and a television program on top of that and it’s too much. Jenny has Jenny’s best interests at heart. She doesn’t have the best interests of the children at heart. People can look at the show and go she’s so sweet, but it’s all about Jenny. They are her six little prizes.
Anya: They call them the “moneymakers” — that’s what they call the Gosselins.
Bryan: It’s funny – Jenny despised Kate. She hated Kate.
Anya: They’re very different.
Bryan: Not only does she become like Kate, she becomes worse than Kate. Kate wasn’t even a cheater. By the way, I didn’t say anything, I kept my mouth shut for four months before I went on Inside Edition (note: to discuss the break-up of the marriage). I was trying to fix it, to do whatever it takes to rebuild this family and the last thing that I wanted to do was say, this is what’s really going on. I had an agent at the time that said that if we had gone public in the very beginning after my arrest with what was going on we could have fetched $100,000. I had In Touch, US Weekly, People, wanting to know what was really going on, and I was like, I’m not going to say anything, because if I do it’ll make it harder for us to get back together again. Stupid me, trying to be the good guy, thinking that was the right thing to do, when in actuality, she never even cared.
Anya: When you look back over those two seasons, how do you feel about the impact on your family? Do you see it overall a positive or a negative thing?
Bryan: I think that there were some positive things about being on television. We got to do some really cool things that other families don’t get to do and we got to have some really neat experiences. But overall I think there was more harm than there was good. Even though it’s reality TV there’s still a fictional aspect to it, where they develop a plotline, they develop characters, they try to plot people against each other. Look at all the couples that have been split up through reality television: Nick and Jessica, Jon and Kate, the Blink 182 guy, it’s almost like reality TV has some sort of a curse to it. It’s like they want drama going on, because more drama leads to better ratings. I don’t know…though there were good points, I think the bad far outweighed the good. I resent doing it. I think that if we weren’t on television that we would still be married today. Absolutely.
Anya: I wanted to touch a little bit on your faith; you’ve been very vocal about that. How has it helped you through these difficult times?
Bryan: I go to a good church now; it’s kind of too hard to go to the same church that we used to go to as a family. Going through this has shown me that God doesn’t forget about you and you know why He allows certain things to happen and other things not happen…I don’t know. I don’t have the answers to that. Maybe I’m not meant to have the answers now. Maybe I’ll meet somebody a couple of years down the road that will be everything to me that Jenny wasn’t. Not that God likes this or that God likes divorce; obviously, scripturally he’s against divorce and against adultery and infidelity. But maybe He allows things to happen in our lives because He knows that what’s in store for us is so much better than what we have now. Why He allows you to have children in the picture, I don’t know. They are the innocent victims of divorce. Building this business it’s like I have this freedom in my schedule. I really think maybe the job I had before really had a lot to do with the frustrations we had in our marriage; I really didn’t have the flexibility that I think Jenny wanted me to have. Getting this new job is amazing because like I said, one of her biggest complaints was about wanting to be a stay-at-home mom, and with this job, I am making more than the two of us were making together, on my own. To me it’s like, God kind of made it up to me double, in that respect. People say that all things happen for a reason. You go through something like this and you understand….(Bryan is interrupted by a sextuplet and replies, “ok, just give me another second, honey”). Then you go through something this traumatic and you begin to question and waver, and then you tell yourself, there’s got to be some sort of a reason, God has to have a master plan somehow. Because if something like this happens just because there’s two selfish people involved, then it’s terrible; then there is no hope. At least believing that God – not that He orchestrates things, but that He allows things to happen, because there’s something better for you, gives me hope. There’s a bigger picture that we can’t quite see yet.
Anya: I hear you have some little ones there, so we can try to wrap this up. Do you want to talk about your interest in politics?
Bryan: Yeah, I’ve always had an interest in that; that was my undergraduate degree at ASU. I almost ran for city council about a year and a half before we moved to Florida, but Jenny didn’t want me to do it. She said that she didn’t want to be in the spotlight, and that in politics we’d be in the spotlight and under scrutiny, I looked at her like are you crazy? We’re on a television show. We’re under scrutiny already. How are we not under the spotlight already? It’s another perfect example of, as long as I did what Jenny wanted, our marriage was fine. The minute that I wanted to anything for me, or when I disagreed with her, bad things would happen. So I’d like to definitely like to run at some point. There are a lot of things happening in this country that concern me and that I’d like to speak the truth about.
Anya: Do you have a candidate for president that you like yet?
Bryan: Yeah, I do actually. I’m a big Ron Paul supporter actually. I was a registered Republican before but I’m now a registered Libertarian; my idea is that you can do what you want to do over there, and I can do what I want, and as long as I’m not bothering you and you’re not bothering me, then we’re good. To each his own. We should each be left alone to do our own thing. So that’s my guy.
Anya: Lastly, this interview wouldn’t be complete without this question – what is your greatest imperfection?
Bryan: I think that my greatest imperfection is that I can just be too passionate, and just care too much. In our marriage, there are certain things that if I had just learned or not cared so much, or paid attention to myself…(another sextuplet interruption). I think just caring too much; I was definitely too passionate about things – passion can be misconstrued as anger or frustration or whatever.
Thank you, Bryan for opening up to Imperfectwomen.com and sharing your thoughts. We wish you the very best and hope to stay in touch.
About the Author:
Anya@IW has written for ImperfectWomen.com since 2009. She dutifully follow current events and pop culture and loves having a platform to share her imperfect opinions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.