Why Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert Was ‘So Scared’ of Marrying Rob Lowe

Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert was engaged to Rob Lowe in the ’80s. And although she was madly in love with him, a part of her was terrified to marry her fiance.

In her memoir titled Prairie Tales, she admits that the prospect of spending the rest of her life with him made her overwhelmingly anxious. Gilbert couldn’t help but wonder whether she was doing the right thing by tying the knot with the Brat Pack heartthrob. 

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

Melissa Gilbert was madly in love with Rob Lowe

According to the Little House on the Prairie actor, she was crazy about her long-term boyfriend. The pair dated from 1980-1986, and they had plans of spending the rest of their lives together.

Rob Lowe and actress Melissa Gilbert
Rob Lowe and actress Melissa Gilbert attend the “Ghostbusters” Premiere in 1984 | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

RELATED: Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’s’ Melissa Gilbert Was Filled With ‘Anxiety and Fear’ During Her Relationship With Rob Lowe

Yet regardless of how much she craved her man, she admits that the idea of marrying him was terrifying. At the time, rumors of infidelity were spreading like wildfire throughout the tabloids. Lowe was accused of cheating on his fiance, regardless of their plans to marry and have kids. 

But despite Gilbert’s suspicions regarding Lowe’s unfaithful behavior, she still couldn’t help but long for him. 

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

Melissa Gilbert wondered if getting married to Rob Lowe was one big mistake

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
1987: Actor Rob Lowe Actress Melissa Gilbert | Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the actor’s memoir, she questioned whether she was making the wrong decision by marrying a man with a wandering eye. 

“I was anxious about everything from the wedding details to the commitment I was about to make to Rob,” she writes in her memoir. “I was a kid living a big life and growing up fast. Those years I spent in the ‘Brat Pack,’ running with Rob, Emilio, and Tom, that was my equivalent to college. I didn’t have the confidence of a bride-to-be.”  

And while she was on the way to meeting a wedding planner, Gilbert lost her cool. “Nervous and near tears, I was a babbling river of anxiety and fear,” she writes. 

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

According to her book, her mother responded by saying, “Sweetheart, don’t worry. Rob will make a wonderful first husband.” 

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe broke up for a sad reason

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

Tragically, the Brat Pack actor left Gilbert after she told him she was pregnant with his child. According to the actor, Lowe got cold feet and realized he wasn’t ready to be a father or a husband. This was devastating for Gilbert, who expected to spend the rest of her life with him. 

Not long after he broke up with her, Gilbert suffered a miscarriage.

“I had lost my baby and my relationship with Rob… and it hurt like hell,” she writes.

But luckily, Gilbert can find solace in the idea that everything happens for a reason. She is now happy with the life she leads, married to a man who she is “absolutely crazy about.” 

“Everything, no matter how painful, led me to this place I am right now, which is really an amazing place to be,” she reveals on The Today Show. “I have a really peaceful, happy life. I have these great, confident kids. I’m married to a man I’m absolutely crazy about, who cherishes me. It’s a real gift.”