Originally published at: Fox News
By: Tracy Wright, Guest Contributor
Tom and Gisele have been married for 13 years, and an expert believes 'they are strong enough as a couple to work through this setback.' However, they need to establish 'a new set of expectations.'
Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's marriage has been front-and-center amid reports the couple is at odds over a number of issues, most recently his decision to return to the football field after previously retiring.
Despite a rocky start to their romance, which began more than 15 years ago, Gisele and Tom seemed to be completely aligned in terms of creating a life together and raising a family.
But after Brady announced he would be returning to the league only 40 days after revealing his retirement, it seemed as though a fracture was forming in their usually unbreakable bond, according to reports. Alessandra Conti, Celebrity Matchmaker & Dating Expert at Matchmakers In The City, exclusively told Fox News Digital that Gisele could be "frustrated" with her husband's decision, but the couple needs "open communication" to survive this match.
"Things could go multiple ways for Tom and Gisele," Conti said. "I believe that they are strong enough as a couple to work through this setback, but open communication and a new set of expectations will be essential for them moving forward, or resentment may kick in for Gisele."
The couple has been married for 13 years, but in 2015, Gisele admitted that her marriage to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback almost didn't even happen. Gisele and Tom had only been dating for two months when she found out his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant with his child.
Tom and Bridget began dating in early 2004, and announced the end of their relationship in December 2006 just before she found out she was pregnant.
"Dating a man who is about to have a child with another woman is complicated to say the least," Conti said. "The fact that Tom and Gisele's relationship has lasted for so long is the exception and not the rule; if this situation happened to a non-Hollywood couple, I would encourage the new couple to take a step back, and really discern if starting a brand-new relationship was the healthiest decision for everyone involved. Rebound relationships statistically have an incredibly low probability of success."
She added, "Clearly, the two made the right decision for themselves, but Gisele did express that it was a challenging time for her."
Tom and Gisele met weeks after his breakup with Bridget and began a romantic relationship, only to find out months later that Brady was going to be a father.
"I believe that they are strong enough as a couple to work through this setback." — Alessandra Conti, Celebrity Matchmaker & Dating Expert at Matchmakers In The City
"It was a challenging thing because here I am, you know, thinking, I’m dating this guy, we met, and we started dating and everything is great and then this happens," she said during a 2008 interview with CBS "This Morning."
"So, then I felt like I didn’t know what to do. It was kind of one of those moments of like, ‘Do I just run away?’"
The Brazilian supermodel wrote in her 2018 memoir "Lessons" that hearing about Moynahan's pregnancy was difficult, to say the least.
"The very next day, the news was everywhere and I felt my world had been turned upside down. Needless to say, that wasn’t an easy time. But it was a time that brought about so much growth," Gisele shared at the time. Bridget has also since spoken out about how the public's interest affects her today.
For Gisele, she told Vanity Fair in 2009 that she "knew right way — the first time I saw him" that Brady was the one for her when they met toward the end of 2006.
"We met through a friend," she recalled. "The moment I saw him, he smiled, and I was like, 'That is the most beautiful, charismatic smile I've ever seen!'"
She added: "We sat and talked for three hours. I had to go home for Christmas, but I didn't want to leave. You know that feeling of, like, you can't get enough? From the first day we met, we've never spent one day without speaking to each other."
A source previously told People magazine that the pair "would like to work things out" and there isn't "any formal separation at this point."
Celebrity divorce lawyer Chris Melcher, a partner of Walzer Melcher & Yoda, noted that "while it remains to be seen if will Tom and Gisele will split," it is "common for any couple to grow apart when one focuses on a career and the other on the kids.
"That’s a natural division of responsibilities, but it can lead to the spouses living separate lives," Melcher explained.
"If they forget why they made the arrangement, it can lead to resentment or a feeling that their relationship has been lost," he stated, adding that it sounds like the couple is "attempting to refocus on why they are together" amid a recent report that two have simply "grown apart."
Conti also complimented Tom and Gisele's ability to sustain being a "power couple" while having a "rocky beginning." "A rocky beginning to a relationship typically stunts the longevity of a relationship, but again, Tom and Gisele are the exception and not the rule here," Conti said. "They have sustained ‘power couple’ status, and have two children together. Gisele has also welcomed her stepchild with open arms, and public perception is that they have successfully navigated co-parenting with a modern family."
In addition to Brady's 15-year-old son Jack, the couple has Vivian, 9, and Benjamin, 12.
Brady, who won six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots, announced his retirement from the NFL in February after 22 seasons. Only 40 days later, he revealed he was coming back to the league again.
Gisele was noticeably absent from Brady's game on Sunday, but his children, who were accompanied by his mom and sister, made sure to give him hugs on the field.
"Tom's unretirement appears to be another huge hurdle for the pair. Gisele expressed that while she supported Tom's decision, she would like him to be more present," Conti said. "She also explained that this is a recurring conversation, which shows that she has struggled with his incredibly packed schedule. He even admitted to having missed countless birthdays, weddings, and even funerals, not to mention a whole lot of firsts for his family."
"Balancing career and family life are major challenges for couples even out of the limelight, and they can push a couple to their breaking point."
Tracy Wright is a journalist covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for Fox News Digital. Send story tips to Tracy.Wright@fox.com.
Growing up in Los Angeles only helped fuel her passion for pop culture, and she prides herself on having a deep knowledge of celebrities, music, television, Southern California freeways, and an unwavering interest in show business, baby.
She received one of the first journalism degrees offered by Los Angeles Pierce College in 2014, and then pursued a B.A. in Journalism at California State University, Northridge.
Tracy worked in print media and wore 100 hats as a local reporter, covering everything from city council meetings to ribbon cuttings of animal crossings to crime reports and surfing events. She also served as a public safety commissioner and has created close relationships with multiple agencies.