Finding a new normal. It’s not easy for Braunwyn Windham-Burke to define where her marriage with Sean Burke is amid her new relationship with girlfriend Kris — but she’s working on it.
Earlier this month, the Real Housewives of Orange County star, 42, revealed that she’d be “heartbroken” if Burke, 47, fell for someone else — a comment that fans slammed as being hypocritical since she’s been dating Kris for four months. However, she has her reasons for that statement.
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“Dating someone and falling in love and starting a new life are two very different things. If Sean dated someone, that’s great. I support that. I think he should be,” the reality star told Us Weekly exclusively. “If Sean fell in love and started a new life, started a new family, yes that would be heartbreaking. We’ve been together 26 years. We’ve been together since we were children. And I think that people kind of forget that it’s not just that we’re married, we’ve been together since we were kids. We are family. We are each other’s people. We are closer to each other than anyone else. Would that hurt? I’m not talking about losing the marriage, I’m talking about losing my best friend, my person that’s been with me since I was 18. So yes, I would be heartbroken. Does that say that I don’t want to be happy? Of course, I do. I think it would be weird if I wasn’t heartbroken if my husband of 26 years fell in love with someone else.”
The pair, who share seven children: Bella, 20, Rowan, 18, Jacob, 15, 7-year-old twins Caden and Curren, Koa, 5, and Hazel, 2, continue to live in the same house, sleeping on separate floors.
While the technology businessman has dated other people since Burke came out as a lesbian in December, “nothing serious” has come up yet.
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“I think anyone in our positions would know that things are going to have to change, but it doesn’t mean it’s not hard,” Windham-Burke said. The Bravo star wouldn’t confirm whether her relationship with her husband is now strictly platonic, noting that she wants to keep certain things to herself.
“This is me trying to balance the feelings and emotion of two people I really care about, and I think trying to keep some things private is a big part of that,” she told Us. Still, the couple have “no plans” to divorce and are working on trying to find a way to stay together.
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“We want to have an open marriage and we want to be able to do it honestly and not have our feelings hurt. I am very open with him. I have big fears of abandonment from when I was a child. So my jealousy, my things, we’re working on them,” the Amplified Voices founder said. “We’re working on them so that we can get to a healthy place. I do think we’re going to get there. I really do, because we have the communication, we have the trust, we have a great therapist and we both have a similar goal for our future, which is sitting there in Hawaii, watching our grandkids play.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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