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When Andy Cohen asked Ashley Darby about the status of her relationship with her husband at The Real Housewives of Potomac reunion Part 2, she dropped a huge bomb: "Michael and I have decided to part ways and live separately." Much to the surprise of her fellow Housewives, the 29-year-old revealed she had moved out from her home with husband Michael Darby for three months.
We saw the two love birds clash several times throughout the season, but what made Ashley pack up and leave her husband? Ashley explained, "Just to trial and see if maybe some time apart would bring us back together." She continued, "I don't really believe in being a situation where both people are unhappy without trying to rectify it." But several factors may have affected this once happy marriage turning sour.
Some may cite their restaurant OZ as the culprit for their split, but Michael denied this as the cause. "No, we got into a situation where we didn't feel like we were communicating. Whether it was a trust issue or just a communication issue, we didn't feel like we were communicating in a way that two people should at this stage in our relationship," the Aussie said. Ashley weighed in stating, "I just didn't feel valuable, I didn't feel like what I was doing was a positive contribution. When in actuality, I think I was really insecure about having a business at 28-years-old and I took that out on Michael quite a bit." Ashley mentioned that family pressures - specifically taking care of her mother weighed on the relationship as well. "My family does bring a lot into this relationship, with my mom, and helping her financially," Ashley revealed.
However, Michael does think the other Housewives on the couch should take some of the blame. At the reunion, Michael claimed that Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon, and Charrisse Jackson Jordan "did not help matters...with your stuff about the restaurant - all three of you." In fact, we learned that the couple's biggest blow up of the season happened because Ashley had invited the Housewives to the OZ tasting. When all three ladies denied their part in the separation, he continued, "There are platforms in life that you have the advantage to use...That platform is such that you can say things that other people can't defend...It's never okay to go after someone's business."
Michael also pointed out that age difference could be a big factor in the couples' issues. "She's in her twenties, she's feeling out who she is, going into her evolving life and future. And I'm at my age, coming through the end of my career, looking to all kinds of things that are very different than what she's looking for." And while he sees where they might bridge this age gap in the future, he's just not sure when that is. Ashley added, "Or if you wanna stick around for it, is what it sounds like." Not exactly the solid relationship we saw Season 1...
So is it really over for these two? Despite the couple's decision to part ways, they have been in counseling and are trying for reconciliation. Ashley said that just recently she came to a very important conclusion, "It was really almost two weeks ago that I had the epiphany that I don't want a divorce...I want to get back together but I'm only 50 percent, Michael has to be on the same page as me." And while Michael confirmed he's willing to try as well saying, "I would like to solve this problem, I actually really like being with you a lot," the other women remained skeptical about his commitment. Gizelle even chimed in with, "It sounds like you want to set her free." Despite it all, Ashley concluded the conversation confirming her feelings, "I love him, he's my person."
Perhaps the only thing that's clear is that these two have a lot of work ahead...