‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Was Told That Rob Lowe Would Make a Great ‘First’ Husband

Back in the ’80s, Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert were engaged. The Little House on the Prairie star was madly in love with her fiance, yet she couldn’t help but have her doubts about their courtship. Rumors were spreading throughout the tabloids that Lowe was unfaithful to her. This caused her to question her relationship with the Parks and Recreation actor, and she began to wonder if she was making a “huge mistake.” 

When she asked her mother for advice, all she could say was, “Rob will make a wonderful first husband.” 

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe
Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert fell madly in love with Rob Lowe

Gilbert and Lowe seemed like the perfect couple at one point. The actors started to date in their teenage years, and they stayed together for a surprisingly long time.

“I fell instantly, hopelessly and stupidly in love,” Gilbert reveals in her memoir, Prairie Tales. “We went from first date to instant couple. I felt like I was starving for Rob.”

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Yet regardless of how happy they appeared in all the photos, it wasn’t long before there was trouble in paradise. In fact, in Lowe’s memoir, he admits to having an affair with a woman while still with Gilbert. This marked the moment when he knew it was over between the long term couple.

“Clearly (the affair) also meant the end of my already hot-and-cold long-distance romance with Melissa,” Lowe writes, According to National Enquire. “And although we would be in each other’s lives off and on for some time, it would never be the same.”

Melissa Gilbert began to doubt her relationship with Rob Lowe before planning their wedding

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Reality started to kick in for Gilbert while she was on the way to meet with her wedding planner. She was with her mom in the car when she broke down into a state of panic. 

“Nervous and near tears, I was a babbling river of anxiety and fear,” Gilbert writes.

“I’m so scared about this,” she told her mom. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Am I doing the right thing? Am I making a huge mistake? Can this work?”

Her mother’s response was, “Sweetheart, don’t worry. Rob will make a wonderful first husband.” 

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert attend the 'Ghostbusters' Premiere in 1984
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert attend the ‘Ghostbusters’ Premiere in 1984 | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Said That Laura and Mary’s On-Screen Rivalry Reflected Her Off-Screen Feud With Melissa Sue Anderson

Sadly, Lowe didn’t even become her “first” husband because they never went through with the wedding. According to Gilbert, she explains in her memoir how Lowe left her after getting cold feet. Once she found out she was pregnant with his child, he chickened out and realized he wasn’t ready to be a father or a husband. So he left.

Tragically, Gilbert suffered a miscarriage not long after Lowe left her. “I had lost my baby and my relationship with Rob… and it hurt like hell,” she admits in her memoir. 

Rob Lowe has changed his ways and is now in a long-term monogamous marriage

Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff
Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

A lot of time has passed since Lowe’s irresponsible days in the 1980s. After making a series of mistakes, the actor decided to change his life for the better and remain faithful. He also made the choice to get sober. 

“I had met my now wife, Sheryl, and was attempting my first try at monogamy, which was not really in my nature at the time. And I wasn’t able to do it,” he tells Haute Living. “It made me examine how I was living my life. That led me to getting sober, which led me to changing my life—giving me everything I now have.”

He adds, “You have to want to change. I wanted it; I was ready.”