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Bravotv.com: Tell us about sharing your plans with Michael in bed that morning a few days before the event – did you worry you should have told him earlier based on his reaction?
Ashley Darby: Michael wears many hats including father, husband, real estate developer and now restaurateur. I respect his time so, as we agreed in the beginning, I make categorical decisions for some of Oz's operations. Planning an event to showcase our new menu was an attempt to showcase the progress we had made, as my team takes great pride in what we do here at Oz. I assumed Michael would agree and we would have a killer event that would prove all of the naysayers wrong. In hindsight, I could have taken a different approach and discussed my rationale for planning the dinner with Michael further in advance. It was the beginning of a miscommunication that snowballed.
Bravotv.com: What were you thinking during this fight in the restaurant before the event, tell us about that day.
AH: Being transported back to that day is so hard for me. The air between Michael and me was already sour because we had been going back and forth on the logistics of the evening for a couple of days. In addition to the anxiety of hosting influential food bloggers, I was arguing with my right-hand man, putting my anxiety at a higher level than I've ever experienced. The reality is I hate arguing with my husband - life is hard enough game without battling your teammate. Because both of us care about Oz so much, it was hard to go into the night without our usual solid foundation.
By game time that evening, our tension was at an all-time high. There had been many words exchanged via text messages and phone calls, and the added pressure of executing the dinner caused us to erupt. Michael and I both have egos that get in the way of our relationship too often, and on that night my bruised ego caused me to say horrible things to the man that I love. I winced when I heard myself talk about massaging his feet and rubbing his back - those are the two things I miss doing the most since we shifted our focus and energy to the restaurant.
As the night went on, I think our shared love for our first 'baby' brought our relationship back into focus. It pains me to see that we ever got to that point, but our neither of us is perfect, and neither is our relationship. What it boils down to is finding our unity even through this storm, and we are a constant work in progress.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about opening up to the ladies about your marriage issues and apologizing to the group?
AH: As I have stated before, I believe in transparency. I realize that I am existing in this world along with seven billion other people. While I am beginning my journey of marriage and adulthood, there will be hiccups and bumps along the way. My goal is to learn from my mistakes. I am genuinely sorry toCharrisse Jackson Jordan because in my anxiety I misdirected my anger toward her when I needed to concentrate on what was actually bothering me - the frustration of finding balance and peace in my personal life.
Part of the experience of being a Real Housewife is being able to see yourself for who you truly are because we share the intimate details of our lives with the world. These ladies are on the journey with me, so I want aim to help them understand me as best I possibly can. I give them my true self - they can take it how they please.
Bravotv.com: Do you stand by your ultimatum about potentially leaving Michael if this continues at the end of the episode?
AH: That ultimatum came out of a paramount amount of frustration. Michael and I had gone through ebbs and flows with the restaurant up to that point, so I was not in a good space. Even though I was upset, it was not prudent for me to say something as drastic as threatening to end my marriage because of a business. One of the things I am working on (with the help of a professional) is saying what I actually feel versus what I think will get the most reaction. My true feelings are far more important than leaving a mark.
Bravotv.com: What is the current status of your marriage, and is watching the show and this episode affecting your relationship at all?
AH: Oz is doing much better now that we have found our groove, but we are still working through the toll it took on our relationship. I would be lying to you if I said we were back to the crazy, doting couple we used to be. We still love each other and the connection that Michael and I share is very powerful. I am optimistic that we can overcome these hurdles and be stronger in the end, but even if we can't recover and decide to part ways, I will always cherish him.