Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when the couple splitting up has children. Gina Kirschenheiter shared her struggle with keeping her family together during this difficult time on Monday night's episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Gina even sought advice from Kelly Dodd, who recently comforted her own daughter, Jolie, during her divorce from husband Michael Dodd, on how to explain her split from husband Matt Kirschenheiter to her children, Nicholas, 6, Sienna, 4, and Luca, 3. But even Kelly didn't really have an answer for how to handle this challenging situation.
So what did Gina end up doing? As a matter of fact, Gina hasn't exactly broken the news of the divorce to her children just yet. "So basically, we haven't told them," Gina shared with The Daily Dish during an interview in late October. "But that's not good, either. We have to tell them. It's hard. Even though I think we're doing as good as possible, you don't want to go to your kids and say, 'Mommy and Daddy are breaking up,' so it's a really hard thing to say. And I think I struggle with that."
What has been working for the Kirschenheiters so far is making separate bedrooms for Gina and Matt in their Coto de Caza home. When Gina is home, Matt stays in his apartment in Los Angeles, and Gina stays in her casita when Matt is home with the kids. "What I'm finding is kids are really resilient and they go with the flow. And so as of now, we just basically transitioned things the way we wanted them," Gina explained. "Mommy has a room in the house, and Daddy has a bedroom, and that's how they refer to things. 'It's Mommy's bedroom. It's Daddy's bedroom.' So the kids don't actually know anything that's going on."
Gina admitted that she's "just trying to buy time" before she has to have the discussion with her children. "Luca and Sienna are really little. They don't really know," she said. "With Nicholas, he's more aware of what's going on, but he's happy and healthy and thriving, so I don't want to mess with that right now. And I'm just kind of trying to buy time to get him as mature mentally as possible and as old as possible before we have that conversation because I don't want him to internalize anything, not be able to understand it and then think it has something to do with him. So I'm really worried about that part of it."
Gina and Matt put their home on the market for $975,000 in August. The couple later decided to take it off the market and try to sell it at a later date. "I decided to take my house off the market because nobody wanted to buy it. It was just kind of sitting. I think I missed that window — where we are it’s super suburban and people need to be in their houses where they’re gonna be to time it with kids going to school, and I really should have put it up in the spring, and I put it up in the summer and I think it was just too late," she told Home & Design last month. "We really weren’t getting any traction and we thought rather than just let it idle we’ll just take it down, and then we are gonna put it back up this spring. I want to sell it, I want a fresh start."
Gina opens up more about her divorce and ex, below.