Two weeks before Danielle Staub walked down the aisle to marry Marty Caffrey, the signs seemed to be clear that the Real Housewives of New Jersey couple wasn’t exactly headed for a happily ever after.
Staub and Caffrey tied the knot in May in a lavish wedding ceremony held on the Bahamas’ North Bimini Island at the Luna Beach Club. In August, just four months later, he filed for divorce. Both are currently estranged.
But on Wednesday’s episode of the Bravo series, Staub and Caffrey’s romance was still on. The show documented Staub as she celebrated her bachelorette in a fancy Great Gatsby-themed party thrown by bridesmaids Melissa Gorga, Teresa Giudice and Margaret Josephs.
Though she was putting on a smile, when asked at the affair by Gorga about how things were going with Caffrey, Staub, 56, seemed hesitant.
“Just like any other relationship, there’s peaks and valleys,” she said of her romance with the 66-year-old businessman. “And when you come together at our age, there’s going to be a lot of peaks and valleys.”
The comment raised a red flag for Gorga: “I’m no marriage expert, but from what I’m hearing, I don’t think it’s a great sign that Danielle’s looking like she cares more about the party than the state of the relationship,’ she told viewers.
And Staub wasn’t doing herself any favors to curb her cast mates’ concerns.
Earlier in the episode, she grilled them on what they were planning for her bachelorette — stressing, “I want only dairy and gluten free options, the environment needs to be expensive [and] I also want really nice gifts.”
“She’s registering at Hermès and Versace,” Josephs quipped. “Danielle has always had expensive taste but I think it’s ridiculous to demand that your bridal party throw you this expensive bachelorette [and] buy you expensive gifts even though your brand new, beautiful home is filled to the hilt with 25 different sets of dishes. ‘Let’s make sure we get new Versace dishes!’ “
Josephs had a good sense of humor about it, but she wasn’t laughing when Staub criticized her for not giving her enough attention. “I’ve been busting my butt trying to organize this party. I mean, this is ridiculous,” she said. “I was there for you so f—ing much, don’t even go there.”
The Macbeth Collection maven then slammed Staub’s bridal registry, telling her that she shouldn’t have registered for material items.
“You know what you should f—ing do? You should say, ‘No gifts. In lieu of gifts, donate to charity.’ Because you have a f—ing house full of s— and it’s your second wedding. You’re a f—ing bridezilla, and you’re being an a–hole. I don’t give a s—. I don’t think Meghan Markle was this demanding!”
Seeing she was upset, Staub apologized: “I don’t know who to take it out on,” she said, crying. “You know that. I don’t know why.”
Could that have been another reference to Caffrey? It appeared so, but Staub wasn’t specifying.
Back in October, she told PEOPLE exclusively that she and Caffrey had been bickering over a variety of things in their relationship before saying their “I dos.” Tense dynamics between their blended families — Caffrey has three adult children from a previous relationship — even came into play.
“He doesn’t like me and he doesn’t like my children,” Staub claimed. “My kids have never been anything but respectful and lovely towards him even though he hasn’t been the same towards their mom. They don’t have to like him, but they respected him. … I wish that I would have received the same from his children. They have a perception of me from being on TV and I never got a chance to break them of that. It was always, ‘I’ll handle it my way, I know how to handle it.’ But everything gets swept under the rug so much that the table can no longer sit on the floor.”
Eventually, it got to the point where Staub knew there was no turning back.
“I own my part in it,” she admitted. “I know I’m not perfect — I’m not hiding from anything that I’ve done. It takes two people for any relationship. He and I both did our damage. But I own everything I do in the moment, when I do it. … If I hurt somebody, I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry’ immediately. … And he was never sincere.”
“I think he just likes the attention of people fighting over him — for him, with him,” she said. “People think that I love to fight and I don’t know how to live like that. I really don’t. I’m very good at my job. But when I go home, I don’t want people say, ‘What are we working now?’ I don’t want people giving me rules. I’m 56 years old. If I want to pick up my phone, I want to pick up my phone. I don’t want anybody thinking that I can be controlled. I wanted somebody who fell in love with me and doesn’t’ want to change me after that. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re supposed to fall in love with who I am.”
Caffrey, in a statement to PEOPLE, said, “This is not my world nor do I have any further interest in it. These are manufactured celebrities in manufactured lives who manufacture their own truths. I look forward to getting back to my reality among real people. My loving family and vast amount of friends.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.