The Bravo star first opened up about the couple's separation during a recent episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

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Meredith Marks
Credit: Meredith Marks/Instagram

Meredith Marks is opening up about her relationship with husband Seth.

After revealing that the couple, who wed in 1996, were separated but "dating each other again" during a recent episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, the Bravo star tells PEOPLE their marriage had almost hit a point of no return.

"Neither of us thought our marriage was going to make it," she says. "I think we both sort of had this feeling that when the kids left [for college], we'd give it one last shot and that would be that." (The two share three children: Reid, Chloe and Brooks.)

"There were points when we didn't even want to give it one last shot. It was intense and volatile," she continues, adding that the couple had simply begun to grow apart over the years. "We really were headed in a dark space."

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Meredith Marks
| Credit: Bravo

Meredith says it wasn't until she and Seth told their children about the separation and began seeing a marriage counselor that they decided to "try and start over."

"We really starting to work through things with a marriage counselor to see if there was something worth saving," she says. "We agreed that we do need room, we do need to live separately, but there's hope, and let's see if we can make it happen."

meredith marks
Meredith Marks and husband Seth
| Credit: Meredith Marks/Instagram

On RHOSLC, Meredith and Seth went out to dinner and discussed their separation. "Who have you told that we are separated?" Seth asked. "Do all your friends know we are separated?"

Meredith said she hadn't told any of her friends. "It's not like I'm running around talking about this to everyone," she said. "I prefer they don't discuss it."

The following week, Meredith confided in her longtime friend and fellow housewife Lisa Barlow, saying she and Seth had decided to start "dating each other again."

Meredith, who says viewers will see more of the couple's relationship journey unfold on the show, tells PEOPLE that opening up about the previously private separation on camera was "hard" for her.

"That was really intense for me," she says. "But I've realized you have to address everything, you can't just let things go."

Luckily, Meredith says the fan response to her story and her family's situation has been "mostly positive" — even the moments she wasn't prepared for.

"We did receive some negativity after the night Jen [Shah] came over to my house," she says. "I feel like it's very misunderstood."

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During the scene, Jen went to Meredith's house to visit her and her kids. After a night of drinking and Jen showing off some dance moves, Brooks told his mother that he didn't want Jen coming back to the house.

Looking back, Meredith says she understands her son's reaction.

"The night really went on for hours. It wasn't a quick visit," says Meredith, adding that she also found Jen's behavior inappropriate. "My son, the next day, he came in and he was trying to protect his sister, who was very rattled by what went on."

"It was not about him casting judgments on Jen," she adds. "I 100 percent stand behind his actions and his behavior and his agitation with the situation."

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Wednesdays (10 p.m. ET) on Bravo.