Braunwyn Windham-Burke Says Her 'Heart Is Broken' After Split from Girlfriend Victoria Brito

"It's hard," Real Housewives of Orange County alum Braunwyn Windham-Burke said, noting that her relationship with ex Victoria Brito was her "first long-term female relationship" since coming out

Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Victoria Brito
Photo: Jennifer Graylock/Getty

Braunwyn Windham-Burke and girlfriend Victoria Brito have called it quits.

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 44, and the model, 30, have broken up after nearly nine months of dating, PEOPLE can confirm.

"It just wasn't working," a source close says of the pair, who lived in separate coasts: Windham-Burke in Newport Beach, California, and Brito in New York City. "They had great chemistry, but ultimately it wasn't enough to sustain them and the long distance became too hard to maintain."

Though because the decision was mutual, that doesn't mean it was easy.

"Braunwyn is heartbroken," the insider says. "She fell hard, she fell fast, and she loved Vic with her whole heart. The relationship ending, it's devastating for her."

"Part of being a late in life lesbian is that Braunwyn's experiencing all these things for the first time," the source adds. "This was really her first serious relationship with a woman since coming out [in 2020]. So while most people have their first heartbreak in their late teens, she's having it at 44. And she's dealing with it as best she can."

Victoria Brito and Braunwyn Windham-Burke
Cindy Ord/WireImage

Windham-Burke said as much on her instagram Story on Friday.

"My heart is just broken," she explained. "The breakup with me and Vic, it's hard. It's hard. ... This was like my first longterm female relationship that just threw me for a loop. It's normal."

A day earlier, the mother of seven — who shares Bella, 21, Rowan, 20, Jacob, 16, twins Caden and Curran, 9, Koa, 7, and Hazel, 4, with husband Sean Burke — revealed on her Story that she was having a "hard time"

"When I got sober, I thought, 'Okay, now I'm not gonna drink and everything is gonna be easy.' I did not realize the s--- that was coming my way," she said.

"Every time I think it can't get worse, it does," Windham-Burke added. "When does this end? I do have these moments like, 'I didn't get sober for this to be so hard.' "

A source tells PEOPLE that Windham-Burke is staying focused on her children and her sobriety.

"Her priorities are in the right place" the insider says. "She's not allowing the stress of the breakup to affect her sobriety at all. She's remaining present in her sobriety and being the best mom she can be for her children."

PEOPLE reported news of Windham-Burke and Brito's pairing late last year, a source saying that the two had "instant chemistry" after they met in New York in October.

"Sparks were flying," the source said at the time. "Braunwyn is smitten. There's something special about Victoria and she knows it."

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Brito, who is signed to Muse Model Management, was equally as smitten with the former reality star. "Victoria digs her," the insider said. "She's always been a bright, energetic person but Braunwyn brings an inner glow out of Victoria. She hasn't stopped smiling since."

TMZ was first to report news of their breakup.

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