After marrying a man 35 years their senior at the age of 16, Courtney Stodden is taking their time when it comes to walking down the aisle with fiancé Chris Sheng. They tell In Touch exclusively that they have “a lot of trust issues” and are “working through my past stuff.”

Courtney, 26, who uses the pronouns they/them, says that their engagement so far is “good” but, “I feel like I deal with a lot of trust issues, and I know there are so many people who are like waiting for the wedding date. Like, when is this big princess wedding going to happen? But I just, I don’t know.” The couple got engaged in May 2021 after four years of dating.

The former reality star says that they are working through issues stemming from their first marriage to actor Doug Hutchison. Courtney was a teenage bride when they wed then-51-year-old Doug in 2011. The former couple’s divorce was finalized in March 2020 after splitting two years prior.

“I’m taking my time right now and I’m in no rush to walk down the aisle. I’m kind of working through my past stuff right now,” they explain adding, “I’m really grateful that I’m with a person who’s understanding of that,” about Chris.

Courtney Stodden Has Trust Issues Amid Engagement After Dougs Abuse Im Haunted By My Past
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Courtney Stodden.

Courtney says it has been “really, really difficult” to open up and trust somebody again after their previous marriage. “It’s an ongoing thing. I’m in therapy to try to make sense of a lot of the things I went through. It’s been a lot to try to overcome all of that,” they share. “I think it’s one step at a time.”

The Celebrity Big Brother alum says they are still “haunted by” their past and that, “Doug still writes me. He still tries to connect with me, and I’m trying to get past this. I’m so grateful that I had the strength to move on.”

Courtney has been speaking out about how they now feel they were “groomed” by Doug, and eventually needed to get out of the relationship. “It was an ongoing realization because I was coming from a child perspective. We don’t really know what’s happening to us, but we feel things and I could always feel that something wasn’t right,” they continue.

“I would cry myself to sleep with a bottle of wine almost every night at 17 years old. That’s not right,” Courtney continues. They added, “I wish that I could go back and tell myself,  ‘This … this isn’t your fault. What you’re feeling, its abuse. It’s a toxic abuse cycle.’ I’m just grateful to myself now that I’m able to realize it for what it is. It was grooming and emotional abuse.”

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