RHOC's Alexis Bellino Says Divorce from Jim Was ‘Tumultuous’ but 'We've Worked Out a Friendship'
In an exclusive chat with PEOPLE TV's Reality Check, Alexis Bellino looks back at the end of her 14-year marriage to husband Jim Bellino
Alexis Bellino is opening up about where her relationship with ex-husband Jim Bellino stands now.
The Real Housewives of Orange County alumna who was married to Jim for 14 years before their divorce in August 2018, sat down with PEOPLE TV’s Reality Check on Wednesday for a conversation about her split, her new romance and her latest reality show.
The night before, Alexis returned to RHOC for the first time since she left the series in season 8. During Tuesday’s episode, she revealed there that she and Jim were “really in a broken marriage for a lot of years.”
So how are the former couple doing today? According to Alexis, they’re “coming full circle.”
“We’ve been through it all,” Alexis said on Reality Check. “It’s been a year and a half now. We’ve worked out a good friendship.”
“I think we’ll always be friends until the day we die because we have three beautiful children today that we have to bring though this world,” she added of son James, 13, and twin daughters Melania and Mackenna, who turn 12 in November. “And the best way to do it is to be friends, right? You have to put all the animosity behind you, which we’re both doing, and move on.”
Putting the animosity behind them wasn’t easy.
“I’m not going to say it’s always been picture perfect,” Alexis admitted.
“It was definitely rocky, tumultuous, [and] hard — so many emotions,” she added. “Anyone going through a divorce knows everything I’m talking about. You’re crying over the loss of your family, you’re crying over sharing your kids. And I was full-time mom mode. He’d never changed a diaper or fed a kid. He didn’t know bath time, he didn’t know any of that stuff. So it was really hard for me to give up those reins for my family.”
As hard as it was, Alexis said she knew divorce was the right decision for both her and Jim.
“I thought Jim was going to be my forever. When I took my vows, I honestly didn’t think divorce was going to be an option. But when it starts getting toxic enough in the relationship between two people and it bleeds into the family or it’s just too much, you have to take a step back,” Alexis said. “I had to pray for a long time about it. But some things happened that just brought it to a head.”
“We got a divorce for a reason,” she explained. “Obviously we’re better off as friends now because we’re not under the same roof.”
Fans got to see Alexis and Jim’s relationship dynamic during her four seasons on RHOC.
The Bravo cameras caught the ups and the downs of Alexis and Jim’s marriage — including a recurring conflict they had over Alexis’ desire to spend time with her castmates.
“Wives stay home,” he told her during one particularly tense scene, replayed on Tuesday’s episode. “There’s only so much time in a day to raise my children. You’ve got to say no to some things.”
Asked on Reality Check if she believed the show contributed to her breakup, Alexis said that “Jim and I have two different opinions about that.”
“For me, the show didn’t tear us apart more because it actually gave me something that was my own and it gave me a career and I wasn’t just a wife, a maid, a nurse, a mom, a taxi driver — I actually had something that was for me again,” she said. “But I know he feels that the show probably brought the marriage to an end.”
RELATED: Alexis Bellino Opens Up About New Romance — and Whether She’d Get Married Again: ‘I’ve Never Experienced Anything Like This in a Relationship’
Since her split from Jim, Alexis has moved on to a new romance, going Instagram Official back in February with boyfriend Andy “Drew” Bohn.
The two haven’t been shy about their love for one another on social media, frequently posting pictures together.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in a relationship,” she said on Reality Check. “He’s my best friend before anything else. I don’t know, we just click in a way I never expected. I honestly thought this was only what fairytales were about. I didn’t know you actually could find someone who was your soulmate.”
Her new beau also has two kids, meaning Alexis has been juggling a blended family.
“It’s been what you would expect from a Brady Bunch-like family coming together,” she said. “There’s chaos, there’s fun, there’s laughter, there’s tears. It’s all of the above.”
Alexis is so happy with Bohn, she said, that she’d “definitely” walk down the aisle again.
“Until I met Drew, I told any guys I dated that I’d never get married again. But then I met Drew and it changed my world.”
Although things with Alexis and her new boyfriend are going well, the same can’t be said about Alexis and her mother, Penelope.
The two are appearing on the upcoming season of WeTV’s Marriage Boot Camp: Family Edition, which premieres on Friday (at 10 p.m. ET).
“It’s going to be really hard to watch,” Alexis said of the show. “Those therapists really do take you and break you down to get to the true core problem and build you back up.”
“There were so many tears in that mansion when I was there. And mind you, I had just moved out of my house and bought my own home when we started taping that. So I was in a really delicate state then,” she continued. “I probably shouldn’t have filmed Marriage Boot Camp them but I wanted the help because if my marriage suffered and fail, then let’s fix the relationship with my mom. Let’s do something positive. So yeah, it was hard. It was rough.
RELATED: Alexis Bellino Shed ‘So Many Tears’ During Marriage Bootcamp While Reconciling with Her Mom
Fans will have to wait and see how Alexis and Penelope patch things up, but Alexis did promise Reality Check, “We are a lot stronger now. ”
Reality Check airs Mondays through Thursdays (4:30 p.m.) on People TV.
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