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The Real Housewives of Orange County's Portrait of a Marriage (Kelly Dodd's, to Be Ex…

In what was otherwise a snoozy episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County (Are we in Ireland yet?!), newbie Housewife Kelly Dodd‘s unique living situation and strained marriage were put under the microscope—and what we saw wasn’t pretty.

We’ve known since she joined the series at the start of season 11 that Kelly once filed for divorce from husband Michael, spent two years separated from him, got engaged to another man in that time, and then somehow found herself living back under the same roof as her narcissistic personality disorder-diagnosed estranged husband, along with their daughter Jolie and her mother and brother. But we didn’t really have any idea how ugly things were between the couple.

When delivering Michael a beer while he was painting the garage turned into Kelly hectoring her husband over doing everything around the house “half-a–ed,” we learned that Kelly filed for a divorce the first time around because Michael had gotten so controlling that he’d begun looking through her phone records and would get mad if she made new friends. “I felt like I was being suffocated,” she said. As they argued, she made reference to a pretty sizable settlement her lawyer won for her that Michael allegedly refused to pay because he was “being a jerk.” Yikes.

Later, while discussing her situation with her mom, we learned that Kelly’s biggest fear surrounding separating Michael for a second time is possibly losing custody of Jolie. Why? Because that’s what Michael threatened her with the first time around to make her stay married. “That’s my biggest fear,” Kelly said, crying. “My daughter not talking to me or maybe her being influence by Michael and her not wanting to talk to me.” Double yikes.

Kelly Dodd, Real Housewives of Orange County

Joe Scarnici/Bravo

So what will Kelly do? That remains to be seen. But as Tamra Judge, someone uniquely qualified to advise just this type of thing after her own contentious divorce with its distressing custody arrangement, told her at the spa after Kelly broke down and revealed that Michael didn’t even acknowledge their 10 year anniversary, “It will get really bad before it gets better. Can I tell you something? I don’t mean to scare you, but life with them sucks and life without them sucks even f–king worse.”

Spare Parts:

– Vicki Gunvalson is starting a charity called Kill All Cancer, where she’ll also be selling insurance plans to people specifically to protect them if they get cancer in the future. A noble undertaking, no doubt, but she’s really overestimating the power of the action. “Working with a cancer charity will prove the naysayers out there that said I was in on something or that I lied that I’ve got nothing to hide. Period,” she said. Not quite, but good try.

– Meghan King Edmonds got the chance to relive her days as marketing manager at Anthropologie by opening her a store with Jimmy called K. Hall Designs. Of course Meghan worked at Anthropologie. Of course.

– Apparently, David Beador brought his mistress around to family dinners with his mother and sisters so much throughout the year that his affair was going on that his mom hoped he’d leave Shannon for her and his sisters became her friend, making it even ickier every time he attempts to diminish it by simply calling it his “mistake.”

– “Building this home was an absolute labor of love. There is no formaldehyde. Everything is hard wood. We have no WiFi in our house. It’s all hard-wired so there’s no electromagnetic radiation.” So sad to see Shannon have to walk away from her hospital-grade air and settle for a skylight. How will she survive? She didn’t even get to run her electromagnetic radiation meter in the new place!

– “I’m not saying I’ve ever had a happy ending with a massage, but if the gift is there, you obviously accept it.” Do you, Vicki? Do you??

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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