Dr. Simone first shared the news with PEOPLE in an interview on Thursday. She said that things really fell apart about a month after they dropped their son Miles, 19, off at college. “Cecil and I had a disagreement,” she explained. “We were trying to talk through it — with sometimes tense, sometimes normal negotiations in process — and he woke up on Saturday morning, we had a blow-up. I knew that day that my marriage was over.”
The Married to Medicine OGBYN said that she filed for divorce in October 2017, and she plans to have the paperwork finalized when she returns home to Atlanta. “There is no if here, there are no games. I am not pretending, I am done,” Dr. Simone shared. “I have reached a place where I am in a marriage where I do not feel loved and no sacrifices are being made for me to make me feel loved. I must move on.”
Dr. Simone teased her big announcement, as well as some "tension" with Cecil, to The Daily Dish prior to the filming of the Married to Medicine Season 5 reunion Thursday (clip above). "What I think is one chapter will end and a new one will begin, for me, anyway," she said. "I can't speak for any of the other ladies, but I know for sure that will be my story."
Dr. Simone has been open about her marital struggles with Cecil since Season 1 of Married to Medicine. However, their marriage seemed to be tested like never before this season. Fans have watched Dr. Simone and Cecil seek guidance from a marriage counselor, as well as among their own group of friends. This challenging year came just after fans witnessed one of the most romantic moments shared between Dr. Simone and Cecil ever in Season 4 when they renewed their vows while celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary during the couples' trip to Hawaii.
Though Dr. Simone and Cecil’s relationship seemed to be improving in the most recent episodes of Married to Medicine, she told PEOPLE that they “let life take over” after filming with their busy schedules as parents to sons Miles and Michael, 15. "The problem is we should have continued counseling, and we did not,” Dr. Simone said.
If Dr. Simone and Cecil’s divorce becomes final, they will be the first couple on Married to Medicine to officially end their marriage. (Dr. Jackie Walters filed for divorce from husband Curtis Berry three days after she found out he cheated on her, but they are still legally married.) “I know Cecil and I look like a fun couple to everyone on the outside, but it takes more to make a marriage work,” Dr. Simone shared. “One of the things I was most proud about on our show was the realistic portrayal of black love, with all of the married couples showing America the real ups and downs of raising families. And sadly … divorce is 50 percent in this country."
Still, Dr. Simone is staying strong as she focuses on the future. “As a successful woman who truly loves herself, I will continue to make sure that I am empowering myself,” she said. “Divorce is nothing that anyone should be feeling sorry for me, because I am looking forward to a new chapter, a new life, a new beginning. Life has so much to offer me. I have always been a go-getter and I am going to continue to be a go-getter and to strive for the very best that life has to offer.”
— Additional reporting by Rachael Roberts
Look back on Dr. Simone and Cecil's relationship through the years, below.