Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett are opening up about how they survived their marital crisis
two years ago.
Baskett, 33, was involved in a highly publicized alleged cheating scandal
in 2014, and Wilkinson admits she thought "it was over" between the two of them during the couple's appearance on Steve Harvey,
airing Tuesday. But the former Playboy bunny says they worked it out with two years of intense therapy, and learning to communicate with one another and forgive. Baskett also, at one point, gave his wife the freedom to be mentally "single."
"You know, I believed I was single for a little bit of time there -- I had divorce in my mind -- and there came a point where I actually liked the feeling, and I accepted it," Wilkinson shares. "So then when we started working things out, I was like, 'Oh my God, I love him, but, like, I feel like I want to be single,' so I didn't know what I wanted. So Hank gave me the freedom to explore it, you know, mentally -- not physically, but mentally -- and he wanted to really let me know that this is what I want. And I ended up coming out of it that knowing that this is truly what I want."
The 30-year-old Kendra on Top star says she was completely open about her flirtations with other men, including a "guy from the past" that contacted her.
"I would say, 'You know what, right now, there's this guy from the past that's texting me and I don't know how to feel about it because I actually still kind of have feelings,'" she admits. "So we're very open about those kinds of talks."
"Nothing ever happened physically, or nothing even crossed the line," she stresses. "It was just, like, mental chaos."
When host Steve Harvey insinuates that he couldn't have done the same in Baskett's situation, Baskett explains the decision.
"The thing is I put her through the worst moment of her life," he says. "And I told her, 'Find out who you are -- don't go cross the line -- because if you cross the line, then I know what you want.' It's not like you get the best of both worlds. I was like, you know, 'Go out' -- she was hanging out with people, people would text her -- but I would rather that, than her sneak around and hide things."
"If it wouldn't be for what happened to me that caused this mess-up, if she tried to say this outside of that? Oh no, no, you're gonna be talking to me behind bars," he later clarifies. "But, you know what? I had to learn my lesson, and find out how valuable and important she is in my life, and I realized that."
Baskett says he was always convinced he was the one for Wilkinson.
"'No one will understand you and treat you like I do,'" he recalls telling his wife of six years. "I was like, 'You can go on out -- me and the kids will still be here -- so you can make your decision. I'll be here comfortable, but go play around if you want.'"
Wilkinson and Baskett have two kids, 6-year-old Hank IV and 1-year-old Alijah. Their marriage was rocked in 2014 when YouTube model Ava Sabrina London, who is transgender, claimed that she had a tryst with the former NFL star in an interview with The National Enquirer
, but that the two never had sexual intercourse. Last July, Baskett gave his side of the story
, telling People
that he never "engaged in anything." However, he did admit that an unidentified transgender woman fondled him through his basketball shorts, when he claimed he showed up at an address to buy marijuana.
"I messed up," Baskett said. "I put myself in a bad situation. And everything through me brought pain upon this family."
"I don't say the word 'cheat,'" Wilkinson commented at the time about her husband's reported transgressions. "I can say he was not loyal to me. I don't care about the act. I care about how he reacted to it and how I was told by the media what happened. That scarred me."