Really, if the phrase "you complete me" is ever to be used with utmost gravity, it should be with regard to Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.
Or Spencer and Heidi Pratt. The Pratts. The expectant parents.
That's right, the couple of what feels like forever (actually, their eighth wedding anniversary is coming up on April 25) announced today that Heidi is pregnant with their first child together. Which means that the days of suspecting that their ongoing partnership is a long-running bird flip at all the haters are...
Probably close to being over!
We kid. The pregnancy announcement is of course lovely news, the kind of life-affirming news this bizarro world needs more of—but while it's just nature finding its way, it is still a resounding slap in the face of those who figured Speidi were doomed from the start and just hanging on for kicks at this point.
But if you'd been paying attention, you never would have thought that. Sure, they were proud publicity whores, a couple who held a faux wedding ceremony to make for a flashier season finale, but they've always been two halves of a whole, the yin to the other's yang.
"I can't not live my life worrying about everyone else all the time. It's not something we planned. It was spur of the moment," Heidi pouted back in 2008 at her mom, who was saddened by what she thought at her time was her daughter's decision to run off with Spencer to Mexico and get married. Heidi admitted they still needed to make it legal and when Darlene Montag objected, Spencer stepped in.
"Heidi's my wife and we're gonna be married for the rest of our lives and you need to accept that," he informed his soon-to-be mother-in-law.
Luckily for Mama Montag, the first time was just a practice, and Heidi and Spencer's real big day came on April 25, 2009, in front of family, friends and everyone in between (i.e. the cast of The Hills, including Lauren Conrad—who also happens to be pregnant with her first child now) in a Pasadena, Calif., church.
Their actual honeymoon phase included a trip to Costa Rica to shoot I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here—which they dramatically quit-then-returned-to over the course of filming.
"If you give me a script, I'll do what you want. I'm not a reality star—I'm on The Hills!" Spencer memorably unloaded before he and his "super celebrity" wife stormed off.
"My husband is a very new Christian, so he is working very hard on his temper and stuff," Heidi tried to explain Spencer's antics in the confessional. "But I feel like, with anyone—like with the mama bear, if you mess with the cubs, you're gonna get the wrath of the daddy bears."
They returned and lasted another week, leaving for good when Heidi needed medical attention for stomach issues.
"We gave it our all in the camp, but now it's about health," Spencer said. "Doctors are going to be with her the next three days. At the end of the day, we went back in and proved to ourselves that it wasn't just about us—it was a life-changing experience."
And yet not, in the sense that Heidi and Spencer—especially Spencer—never seemed to tire of being the provocateurs in the crowd. In November 2009, they released a book, How to Be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture, pretty much ensuring that people would love to hate them for the foreseeable future.
But as a romantic couple, it really did seem like only a matter of time before Speidi went the way of the original Bennifer. How could those two sparring personalities, shrouded in Spencer's massive ego, continue to coexist, let alone cohabitate? And if they weren't feeding off of the limelight that came with being stars of The Hills, what did they have?
Even couples who start off in normal circumstances, or at least who start off not antagonizing everyone around them, are only given certain odds at lasting happiness, considering the inevitable challenges husbands and wives face along the way. Add to that the celebrity factor, and the so-so chances of surviving in Hollywood, and the fact that they met on a reality show, and then went on more reality shows...
Sure enough, Heidi filed for a legal separation on June 8, 2010—after The Hills was done filming its final season but before the series finale aired July 13—filling out the paperwork and hand-delivering it herself. According to TMZ, she first went to the Malibu courthouse, only to find out they don't take divorce petitions, and had to revert to Santa Monica.
On July 30, she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences and going straight to Santa Monica. "The couple has agreed they would like their divorce to be finalized in a timely manner in an out of court settlement," her attorney told People. "Both parties are amicable with each other and over the possibility of finalizing their divorce."
Montag asked the court to terminate Pratt's right to spousal support, and listed their date of separation as May 25, 2010.
OK, see, now that made sense. Speidi were totally putting it on for the cameras, fairly obvious—and ingenious. This "relationship" had made them famous. Infamous, even!
After sparring publicly on Twitter, and after Spencer claimed he was shopping a Heidi sex tape...They went to Costa Rica together in August!
In rambling fashion, Pratt told MTV News, from Costa Rica: "We're working things through. Clearly I care for her, but the divorce is a superficial title 'cause I didn't cheat on her. And then she divorces me to clean her image. That doesn't fly with me. As much as I was like, 'Do it,' I never thought it would work. You can't be Speidi and then all of a sudden get a divorce. She's still serious about it because she's trying to divorce what is Spencer Pratt. She still loves me."
"[Heidi] thought I was going to leave, but I'm not," Spencer told People after they were back in L.A. "I didn't want to get divorced I have nothing in Malibu, I'm homeless, I'm nothing without her."
"Everything was calm and going smoothly with the divorce," added Montag. "We were really getting along and it was amazing he was being so thoughtful to help me move. Then things turned." She also assured the mag that there was no sex tape.
"Spencer is trying to drum up press," Heidi said. "This is exactly why I wanted to divorce him in the first place."
Spencer then issued a sweeping apology to his wife, telling People in September 2010, "Divorce can be a trying, draining, and emotionally devastating experience for all involved. Despite these hardships, most individuals manage to conduct themselves with dignity and maturity. I did not—I failed spectacularly.
"I horribly embarrassed the one person that meant the world to me. For my outrageous and infantile behavior, I offer Heidi my most sincere apologies. Over the years, her love, support, and friendship were always given, but never properly cherished. I let her down. She never deserved the pain and anguish I put her through, and although I don't expect it, I hope in time she'll be able to forgive me."
He didn't have to wait long for an answer. On Sept. 29, 2010, Heidi put a stop to the divorce proceedings and told People, "We are back together trying to make things work. Costa Rica really put things in perspective. We do love each other and realized we do want to spend the rest of our lives together."
So far, so good.
And what they did at the time was craftily create a whole off-camera sequel to The Hills, tying up the majority of the post-show headlines with their on-and-off antics.
Heidi may have wanted that divorce at some point, but ultimately she couldn't help that she had met her eternal match in Spencer.
So back to their weird life as Speidi from The Hills, people that Lauren Conrad said she wanted to forget but the rest of the world couldn't get enough of. Or at least that's what Spencer thought.
"I think I regret playing the villain so hard with not saving all of my money," Pratt told E! News' Marc Malkin in December 2013. Earlier that year, Speidi had made their grand return to TV—in the U.K., that is—on Celebrity Big Brother (which they did again this year). "'Cause I would be laughing all the way to the bank being hated, you know, a multimillionaire right now, but I didn't see The Jersey Shore coming out of left field taking reality TV to a whole other level that I wasn't prepared to go to at the time."
The level he took it to, however, did blaze quite a trail for subsequent villains—though none have ever been quite like Spencer Pratt. Thanks, largely, to the fact that he's had Heidi by his side throughout. He was not B.S.-ing us about his love for her.
Not that they haven't had their problems, because of course.
In 2015, they took their talents to Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, an installment of the franchise that also included Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett. "I think that me and Spencer were at a place in our lives where we needed professional intervention," Heidi told Fox News Magazine. "We were kind of at a disagreement."
"I was hoping the Marriage Bootcamp counselors would tell Heidi to chill out," Pratt added. "[The viewers] will see that maybe I was a little wrong."
Most notably, Heidi's biggest reason for taking their impasse public was that she had babies on the brain—and was hoping some public shaming, er, counseling would get Spencer on the same page. ("I wouldn't want to be Spencer Pratt's kid…I don't want to have my kid having to Google his parents and be like: 'Oh my God!'" Pratt himself had said on the 2014 E! docu-special Aftershock: Heidi & Spencer.)
"I'm ready to have children and Spencer's acting like a child," she told the show's hosts, Jim and Elizabeth Carroll. "I'm baby-blocking!" Spencer confirmed.
Their marriage went on to survive the squabbling, crying and outbursts on that show as well. Last year, reportedly after spending five months with the couple, Vice's Broadly. was convinced these two were still in it to win it. At the time they were living rent-free at Spencer's dad's beach house in Carpinteria, Calif., and contemplating their next step.
"I love Heidi because she's the most special angel I have ever come across," Spencer told the site. "Heidi is like the sunset."
"I pretty much told everyone I was going to marry him and that I loved him," Heidi said, recalling the first time she laid eyes on her future husband at 00s-era Hollywood hot spot Privilege. "[Everyone] thought I was crazy."
She admitted that their time on The Hills served as a dress rehearsal for how life turned out, at least for awhile.
"I became the character that I was pretending to be," Heidi said. "I was pretending to be this Hollywood materialistic girl on The Hills that they kept telling me to play out, and I really started becoming more like that. Like you hear with actors, they need to take a break because they start becoming like the movie characters they've played. When you play pretend, you have to be really careful with that."
And in case anyone was thinking that Heidi's pregnancy is just their next act, think again. Even reality-star villains grow up.
Six years after Spencer and Heidi contemplated a Hills spin-off in which the raison d'être was to move to the suburbs and have kids, Spencer may finally be as ready as he'll ever be to actually be a father.
"I am writing a coffee table wife type of book. It's more like a fun project, something I enjoy doing, and then I'm getting ready to be a mom hopefully next year," Heidi told Faithwire last fall. "So that is going to be my main priority and full-time job."
"You know I had to pray to get my husband to even…agree to have a kid," she continued, "and so this whole journey over the last few years…I have had to do."
The prescience continued in February, when Heidi told Faithwire, "It seems like 2017 is the year to get pregnant, so first and foremost, a huge congratulations to my former co-stars, Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port, who are both expecting."
"I think that pregnancy and children are one of the biggest blessings that God gives us in our life...I have been planning my own family and I am very excited for them," Heidi continued. "It stirs up excitement with what's going to be coming up in my life—hopefully soon, too...Obviously, I have been wanting children and I am excited for it, but it hasn't been the right timing for me."
Ready or not, the time is now. And if anything other than true love was going to decide the fate of this marriage, it's this.
"It might never be the perfect time, so we said, 'Let's move forward,'" Heidi added. "We had all these conversations. We're older, we have more life experience. Nothing is holding us back."
And so the journey continues for one of the most enduring couples of our time.