Braunwyn Windham-Burke Sets the Record Straight on Her Marriage Amid Split Speculation (Exclusive)
By Zach Seemayer
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Braunwyn Windham-Burke is enjoying life and living alone -- but she says her marriage is as good as it's been in years. The Real Housewives of Orange County star recently gave ET a tour of her home, and along the way explained how she and her husband, Sean Burke, are "redefining what marriage means."
Braunwyn toured ET's Lauren Zima around her workout room, private nightclub room --complete with stripper pole -- her personal theater and her bedroom. When it came to her spacious closet, Braunwyn joked, "No one's allowed in here. Just me!"
The star then revealed that Sean is "not living here right now." Addressing speculation and rumors that the pair have called it quits, Braunwyn says the truth is actually quite the opposite.
"I love him dearly, we haven’t gotten along this well in a long time," she shared. "We’re redefining what marriage means to us. Not following the old, antiquated rules anymore."
The couple -- who share seven kids and have been married for nearly 20 years -- have come under scrutiny in recent months as Braunwyn has posted several messages to social media that reference divorce and co-parenting, and she's been open about personal struggles the family has been dealing with.
However, according to the RHOC star, the pair have decided to think outside the box with regards to their union.
"We're finding a new normal. We're renegotiating the terms of the contract when it comes to our marriage, for sure," she shared during her conversation with ET. "We are [and] we will be married forever. We have one hundred percent faith we are going to raise our kids and grandkids together."
"That being said, do we have to fall into the social norms that everyone else does? No," she added. "We're doing it our own way. Like I said, [it's a] modern marriage."
Braunwyn flat-out rejected the rumors and tabloid reports that she and Sean are planning on divorce, and explained that they've got an open marriage and are making things work in their own way. However, that doesn't mean they haven't had struggles recently.
Reflecting on the qualities that have made it possible to maintain their love, Braunwyn said it's all about "honesty and communication."
"We had to have some really hard talks, don't get me wrong. This has not been easy," Braunwyn shared. "We've definitely had hard times. So for us sometimes [we] can blow everything up to patch it back together."
During this new and unique time in her marriage, Braunwyn has also been working hard to stay sober after a long struggle with alcoholism. The reality star explained that she's been sober since January and reflected on the challenging journey.
"One day at a time, 256 one days at a time. I have a lot of gratitude," she continued. "I have a lot of amazing people in my life that have supported me and I'm so thankful that I was finally able to realize that I can't drink anymore. I've tried every way to drink and none of them work and so having that weight lifted off me, that it's not a choice anymore ... it's just, like I said, one day at a time because I don't want to get ahead of myself. But for today, I don't want to drink and I feel so good. I feel great."
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. Hear more in the video below.