"Everything with Shane is a joke, but this is a serious issue," Emily Simpson said on Tuesday's episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County
Emily Simpson and her husband Shane Simpson had yet another tense talk on Tuesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, as they continued to address the ongoing troubles in their marriage.
The couple, who have been married for 10 years, have been butting heads for much of this season, with Emily, 43, criticizing Shane for his sarcastic jokes made at her expense.
Those wisecracks continued on Tuesday’s episode. During the pair’s dinner date night out, Shane teased Emily about her diet, tempting her with a bread basket despite her insistence that she was trying to avoid eating carbohydrates after a recent weight gain.
“Here’s the bread bowl,” Shane said, telling the waiter to put the food right in front of Emily. “We’ll tempt her all night long.”
He then fanned the smell of the bread in Emily’s face before offering her a piece. “You’ve earned a piece of bread, you’ve earned it,” he said, laughing. “How ’bout we share a piece?”
Emily stayed firm the entire time. “I’m not eating it,” she said. “I’m not eating any bread. I’m not eating any bread, so stop trying to get me to eat bread.”
“Everything with Shane is a joke, but this is a serious issue,” she confessed to the camera. “I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’ve literally put on 20 lbs. in, like, an eight-month period. I want to be healthy for my kids. I want to play with them and take them to the park and not feel like crap. I just need, not jokes. I need support.”
She also told viewers that her marriage to Shane had “fundamental issues” that required active work on both of their parts to fix it.
One of those issues? The fact that the Emily and Shane — who share daughter Annabelle, 6, and twin sons Luke and Keller, 4, as well as two daughters from Shane’s previous marriage — don’t spend enough time together as a family.
“There’s a lot of separation,” Emily said. We need to take more time with you and I and the kids.”
Another issue revolved around their arguments around the children.
“We have to fight less in front of the kids,” Emily said. “We fight a lot.”
Shane agreed with both of his wife’s points, but he disagreed with how she suggested they work to change things.
Shane refused her request to return to couple’s counseling, saying it was actually Emily who abandoned attending the joint sessions during a previous attempt to repair their rift.
“You didn’t want to go anymore. I was going by myself. So why now?” Shane asked, insisting Emily look into therapy alone. “Show your commitment. If you’re really interested in working on things, then I’ll join you. … You want to go. You haven’t gone in the last, how long? Even though I was going, you would not show up, cancel last minute, do all these things. If you really think it’s worthwhile, then no one’s stopping you from going.”
Emily wasn’t thrilled to hear that.
“Why does it reside 100 percent on me?” she asked. “I understand that I have a lot of anger, I understand that I lash out. But I also feel like a lot of times you say things that push me there. It comes off to me that it’s condescending.”
She also revealed why she had stopped going in the fist place, confessing, “I quit going to couples therapy because there was no self awareness or change on Shane’s part.”
“It’s hard because for 10 years, I’ve always had a problem with the way he talks to me,” Emily said, breaking down in tears. “That’s what I’m dealing with every single day, and I have little kids! This is really hard.”
“I don’t know what to do,” she continued. “What am I supposed to do?”
Though Emily and Shane are going through a rough patch on RHOC, the two appear to be stronger now that filming has stopped.
In October, Emily told PEOPLE TV’s Reality Check that Shane has made adjustments in their marriage after seeing their relationship struggles play out on the hit Bravo show.
“When you have the opportunity to watch yourself, sometimes the self-awareness that you get is just an entirely different perspective,” Emily explained. “[Shane] really saw and heard everything everybody was saying and really took it to heart. He watched with the intent from learning from it, and he learned a lot from it.”
It could be that — or as Emily joked, it might be a result of “maybe just the millions of people tweeting, ‘Shane shouldn’t be such a jerk.’ “
Either way, Emily said “there’s been a change” in Shane since RHOC season 14 began airing in August.
“Shane’s been amazing,” she said. “Things are probably the best they’ve ever been in the years we’ve been married.”
“I think he probably had a moment of self-realization where he thought, ‘Emily is a really good wife and really good mom. I won the wife lottery. I need to step up my game.’ And he really has,” she said. “I have to give him credit for that.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.