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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Dolores' Boyfriend, Paulie, Gets Candid About His Relationship With His Ex-Wife

He also revealed whether his ex approves of his relationship with Dolores. 

By Shannon Raphael

Tensions are rising on The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 13 reunion, and now it's time for the husbands to take a turn in the hot seat. 

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

In a preview for Part 3 of the reunion, which is set to air on June 14 at 9/8c on Bravo, the RHONJ husbands and Dolores Catania's boyfriend, Paul "Paulie" Connell, take the stage for the first time to share their thoughts on Season 13.

In the video above, Paulie addresses that conversation he had with Dolores and her ex-husband, Frank Catania, about proposing, and he shares an update on his current status with his ex-wife (who he is not legally divorced from yet).

Where Paulie Stands with His Ex-Wife

On Episode 14 of Season 13, Paulie told Dolores, Frank, their kids Frankie and Gabby, and Frank's girlfriend, Brittany Mattessich, that he "already has" picked out an engagement ring for Dolores. However, on the subsequent episode of the RHONJ After Show, Dolores' good pal, Margaret Josephs, revealed that Paulie was "not divorced."

"I mean, I guess it’s hard to get married if you’re not divorced," Margaret said on the After Show. "You can give rings, I guess." 

During Part 3 of the reunion, Paulie does confirm that Margaret's comment is true, and that he is still legally married. However, he says that his divorce is "in the works," and that it's "not causing a problem" with Dolores.

Does Dolores Catania Actually Want to Marry Paulie Connell?

"Well, you can't get married if you're married, Paulie," Dolores responds. Reunion host Andy Cohen then asks Paulie if he has a "good relationship" with his estranged wife, and his answer may surprise you. 

"Yeah, you know, she's still my ex, right?" Paulie says, before adding that his ex-wife does indeed support his relationship with Dolores — and for one very important reason.

"She knows I would never bring someone around my children that I did not respect," he continues. "And Dolores is the first woman that I've ever brought around my kids, and I have been separated for over 14 years."

Dolores Catania and Paul Connell of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Like Frank and Dolores, Paulie also experienced a "gear shift" with his ex-wife when he started dating the Paterson native. He notes that she's now "very understanding" of his relationship with Dolores.  

Paulie's Thoughts on Marrying Dolores

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen back in February 2023, Dolores revealed that marriage "isn’t the biggest goal" in her relationship with Paulie. The Irishman reiterated that sentiment at the reunion.

"She doesn't want to get married, that's true," Paulie says. "She said she wants to take her time, and it's not a rush for her and it's not a rush for me."

Find out if Paulie addresses his comment about already having an engagement ring for Dolores and see what else happens when the other husbands join the RHONJ cast by tuning in to Part 3 of the reunion.

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