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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Heather Dubrow Reveals an Off-Camera Phone Call with Dr. Jen Armstrong’s Husband, Ryne

The RHOCcast member’s interaction with the househusband was different from what we saw of him in Season 16.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Daily Dish Rhoc Dr Jen Armstrong Heather Dubrow

Dr. Jen Armstrong shared the ups and downs of her marriage with her husband, Ryne, throughout Season 16 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and Heather Dubrow got to witness the tension between the couple firsthand at that dinner party. However, Heather had a very different interaction with Ryne prior to that night.

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Though Ryne has appeared to be a bit aloof in front of the cameras, Heather recalled during Part 2 of the RHOC Season 16 reunion that she had a positive first impression of Dr. Jen's husband when the two chatted over the phone before meeting in person. "Jen had hooked me up with Ryne before I met him to talk about a vacation rental. So I spoke to him on the phone, and he was so personable and outgoing and great," Heather said during Part 2 of the reunion, which aired on April 27. "And then when I met him, he was a completely different person. He's obviously very shy and introverted anyway, and then to have the cameras around, I just think that was just a lot for him."

Prior to that, Jen explained her husband's discomfort in front of the cameras. "He said, 'I'm not successful when I try to get deep and talk about emotions, and I don't want to be not successful on camera,'" Jen said at the reunion, before adding, "That's actually legitimate."

Heather later came to Ryne's defense again at the sit-down when host Andy Cohen read a question from a fan who wanted to know Heather's reaction to Jen proclaiming it was love at first sight, but Ryne saying he's "still coming around" to his wife at the launch party for Heather's daughter Max's book earlier this season. "Oh my god, that's the joke I make about [my husband] Terry [Dubrow]. I say it was love at first sight for him, and I'm still weighing my options," Heather said. "I totally got it."

Jen admitted she was "a little bit hurt" by Ryne's comment. "But it's actually kind of true," she acknowledged. "I haven't had a super smooth relationship with anyone."

We learned this season that Jen had been engaged seven times before tying the knot with Ryne. And she reaffirmed at the reunion that she fell in love with him instantly. "From the second I saw him, literally, I mean, it's so cliché, love at first sight," she shared. "But at the breakfast buffet, it was love at first sight."

Jen went on to explain how things were "light and breezy" and "freeing" when she and Ryne first met, which was exactly what she needed at the time, following the passing of her father. "But then we have, like, a real life with three kids and two businesses, and that's heavy," Jen said. "How do you handle heavy things when you were light and breezy? It came to a head. Like a pimple, it came to a head."

At the end of the RHOC Season 16 finale, it was revealed that Jen and Ryne had separated for more than a month and they were "looking for a fresh start in a new house" after putting their current home on the market. In Part 1 of the reunion, Jen had a cryptic response about whether Ryne would be moving with her into the new home. "I mean, time will tell," she told Andy. "We'll see."

Jen Armstrong Says "Time Will Tell" on Her Relationship with Husband Ryne

As Jen started to open up more about Ryne in Part 2 of the reunion, sharing that he has a "very successful" company called Hawaii Hideaways in which "he rents to pretty high-end celebrities," she explained how the partners were starting to have economic parity after Jen, an aesthetic MD, had been the main breadwinner "for many years."

"We're becoming more equalized now, trying to work on our relationship and put more balance," Jen said. "We're too far apart. I mean, obviously, you can see that we're, like, in different worlds."

Watching this season of RHOC highlighted the distance that had grown between Jen and Ryne. "It was interesting watching the show, because it was almost therapeutic to be like, s--t, we've got to change this," Jen said. "This is just way too far, and we're both very unhappy."

Ironically, putting some physical space in between Jen and Ryne actually helped their relationship. "He moved out for a little while, and it helped. It kind of reset," Jen said later in the conversation. "There was peace in the house. I was with the kids. It was actually really helpful."

Emily Simpson, who has gone through her own challenges in her marriage to Shane Simpson on the show, said at the reunion she was optimistic that Jen and Ryne could also come out of this on the other side. "I really have a good feeling that the two of them are gonna figure it out," Emily said. "I really do."

Jen said she appreciated "the positive encouragement" from the group. As for what the future holds for her and Ryne? "I feel hopeful," Jen said. "It's actually peace and some laughter where you're like, I want to be in this again."

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