During her time in college, as a freshman at Wellesley College she began dating Rob Porter who was attending Harvard University.  Porter was the leader of the Harvard Republican Club and Harvard Students for Bush. 
The two would marry after Paulson graduated from college. They wed two weeks after graduation after three years of dating. 
According to her testimony to the news, the married couple's relationship began to dwindle just after they had gotten married. The first episode in which Porter abused her was during their honeymoon in the Canary Islands. They stood facing each other in an argument when Porter lost control of of himself and kicked her. 
He would later continue to abuse her as he did in 2005, when during a trip to Florence, Italy, Holderness threw on a bed and forced himself on top of her, locking her elbows. He then threw a punch that left her eye bruised up. 
Porter would eventually escalate the violent episode of being on top of Holderness, and proceed by choking her. He would not choke her hard enough that she would pass out. 
During her separation with Paulson, she moved back to Boise, Idaho where she worked in the Governor's officer.  When she interned at a federal agency, she met a counselor who would encourage her to take action agains the abuse that she suffered at the hands of Rob Porter. 
For two years, she worked for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy as a policy associate. She then became the senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. 
She is currently the senior analyst a for the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she has worked since 2014.