Gina Kirschenheiter’s life is a self-admitted roller coaster, but she’s along for the ride.
Real Housewives of Orange County fans have watched as the 35-year-old has navigated her separation, and temporary reconciliation, with her never-seen-on-camera husband, Matt, over the course of her two seasons on the Bravo hit. The now-former couple’s relationship has been contentious, with reports of legal action popping up from time to time. But now, Gina tells ET she and Matt are in a good place, for the most part, for the sake of their three kids, Nicholas, 7, Sienna, 5, and Luca, 3.
"I would say it’s still a roller coaster, but it's, like, a child-friendly roller coaster," she jokes at BravoCon, Bravo's first-ever fan convention. "You know, it's not so gnarly anymore. We always co-parent well. I'm proud of us for that, I really am. And we -- at the end of the day, it's, like, Matt and I have problems with each other, but we always -- both of us, him, too -- we always put the kids first, which is really good. We still communicate."
Gina recently started dating a man named Travis Mullen, and she admits she was dreading having him meet her ex. But, to her surprise, it went well.
"I mean, let’s not get it twisted. It wasn't good, it wasn't good at first," she cautions. "It was bad, but then I think ultimately, this is what happens. You want to get upset about things, you want to be angry about things, but then, you look at your children and you say, 'You know what? No, I'm not gonna do that.' I’m so proud of him for doing the right thing, and as soon as he did, he sat down with Travis and they met, and he texted me right after, like, 'Don't worry' -- 'cause he knows I was sitting there like, 'Oh my god!' He texted me, he's like, 'Don't worry. He’s a really nice guy, it's OK.' And even then, like, I came here, Travis stayed -- he's here, but he stayed behind today. He had my kiddos, they did the handoff of the kids, like Travis to Matt. I'm like, this is bizarre. But it’s my new normal, and it feels good to get to that point, at least."
Gina confesses that she and Travis have only been together "a minute," but they've already settled into what seems like a pretty serious relationship and routine.
"We fell really fast," she admits. "Like, I think I knew that Travis was it for me, 'cause I don’t fall fast. I really don’t like anyone, so I knew I liked him before I even met him. It was just like, we had this connection, it was really good. We're, like, we've been through a lot of the same things, we have the same point of view in a lot of just, like, life aspects and value system and stuff like that, and it just really works. He's just a kind, good man."
Gina says she’s "not opposed to" getting married again, but she’s also not putting any pressure on it.
"With Travis, he definitely opens my mind to marriage, but I don't need it," she says. "You know what I mean? Like, I'm not ring thirsty. I feel so good with him and I feel like we already have more of a commitment than I ever had in my own marriage that I'm good. It feels really good."
Gina quickly added that "ring thirsty" was not a dig at her newly engaged co-star, Kelly Dodd, whose boyfriend, Rick Leventhal, popped the question after just a few months of dating last week.
"I'm really happy for Kelly, and you know what? That is important to her, and I'm not here to judge her and say that’s not important," she says. "It’s just not my jam, it’s not my thing."
RHOC viewers will get to hear more from Gina about the state of her life with Matt, Travis and the kids on the season 14 reunion, which the cast filmed just before BravoCon.
"I talk a lot about some of the more recent things that happened with Matt, which, you know, obviously it's an unfortunate, really tough thing to talk about, and I haven't even talked about some of the stuff with my therapist yet, so it all kind of just kind of like, bleh, bleh came out," she confesses. "You know, you just kind of make this decision, I think, it just takes me time with everything, because I’m not an over-sharer."
"When I was first asked to be part of this, they were like, 'Just be yourself,' and part of myself is, I don't share that stuff a lot," she continues. "So, it’s a new thing for me, but what I found this year was, when you do share, you actually do feel a lot better. And I do feel like, you keep these negative things in, it’s like bottling up poison. So, I let it go this year and I let that go at the reunion, and it did actually, ultimately, make me feel good. It’s like, I left it there."