Braunwyn Windham-Burke on Her Open Marriage with Husband Sean: It's 'a Day by Day Process'
Braunwyn Windham-Burke and her husband of over 20 years, Sean Burke, are navigating their complicated relationship one day at a time.
The Real Housewives of Orange Country star, 43, appeared on Tuesday's episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast. There, she opened up to host Janine Rubenstein about having an open marriage with Burke — with whom she shares seven children, ranging in age from 2 to 20 — after coming out as a lesbian and entering into a romantic relationship with her girlfriend Kris last year.
"I had a relationship with a girlfriend that was platonic, but I fell in love with her," Windham-Burke said of Kris, from whom she recently split. "And a lot of things were happening in my marriage at the time. Sean had someone else in our home, I had feelings for another woman, a lot of things were occurring off-camera at that time. And it basically kind of blew up."
"Sean and I had a very good, long, honest conversation, and I was like, 'I want to be with a woman. This is what I want,' " the Bravo star continued. "We had known that I was bisexual for a long time, but some things had happened ... I was sober, I was doing inventory, and I had, for the first time in my life, been with a woman, sober. ... And I was like, I'm not straight at all. I know this now."
Windham-Burke, who also revealed she is an alcoholic on the latest season of RHOC, told Rubenstein that her marriage with Burke has "has been a day-by-day process."
"Some days have been great and some days have been really hard," she said. "We are doing our best to navigate something that I've never seen done before. We do want to stay married, we do want to stay parents, we are best friends. And some days that seems very attainable, and some days it doesn't."
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During the RHOC season 15 reunion earlier this year, Burke told Andy Cohen that it was a "relief" for him when Windham-Burke decided to come out as a lesbian.
"It really was," said Burke. "Because the elephant in the room is, this isn't something we can't fix. She's attracted to women."
Burke and Windham-Burke also noted to Cohen, 52, that while they have told their oldest children about their plans to remain married while dating other people, their youngest kids do not yet know.
Speaking to Rubenstein, Windham-Burke said that she's frequently asked about the status of her marriage. The answer? "We don't know. We truly don't know."
"I can tell you how I am today, but yesterday was very different," she said. "Yesterday was a very hard day in our house for us. Today's a little bit better; we went on a trip and that was great. So we are navigating something in real time, and we're not making any big decisions. "
"We are literally just saying, 'Okay, this is our next step,' " Windham-Burke added. "We sort of have a loose plan for the next year that we think will work, but we always know that it can change."
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