Dolores Catania's relationship with her ex-husband Frank Catania has Real Housewives of New Jersey fans asking why the two haven't reconciled their romance


Dolores Catania‘s relationship with her ex-husband Frank Catania has been the topic of much confusion throughout her two seasons on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, many wondering why the two haven’t reconciled their romance.

Though they’ve been divorced for 18 years, the former couple remains amicable — Frank helping co-parent their two kids, Gabrielle Catania, 22, and Frankie Catania, 19.

This season, Frank even moved back in with Dolores after his 11-year relationship with girlfriend Ellie hit a rough patch. The relocation had Dolores’ rivals like Danielle Staub implying that the two might be having an affair, especially considering Dolores is dating the camera-shy Dr. David Principe.

But on Wednesday’s all-new episode, viewers got to see a whole new side of Dolores and Frank’s relationship that shed light on why friendship remains their top priority.

Frankie Catania, Gabrielle Catania, Dolores Catania and Frank Catania
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

“Not everyone gets our relationship, but it’s very simple,” Dolores, 47, shared with audiences. “Frank and [his girlfriend] are still on a break. My ex-husband lives back home. He needs me right now. And having Frank back in the home is very nice. He fixes everything. Helps me with the dogs. He’s good company. It’s kind of nice.”

Having known each other for three decades, the former couple has established a close confidence between one another. Dolores even turned to Frank for advice about struggles she was having with Principe.

“David delivers women with high-risk pregnancies. So he’s always on call 24/7 and it’s causing some tension in our relationship,” she told audiences.

“I would like for him to try to make some more time, but I don’t think that he can,” she confessed to Frank, explaining that she doesn’t talk to Principe about it because she doesn’t know how to approach him. “I don’t think he can do much more than he’s doing. If something bothers me, I put my feelings aside and I never address it.”

Frank saw Dolores’ side, but stressed that she communicate more with her boyfriend. “He’s got to understand how you feel,” he told her.

He then asked if Principe appreciated Dolores, admitting that was an error he had made when they were married.

“I made the mistake of not appreciating you and I regret it,” Frank said. “These are things that I think about. Now that I’m back home, I get these flashbacks. I do, honestly. I feel bad about some things.”

Dolores wasn’t having it. “Don’t feel bad, you made up for a lot, Frank,” she told him.

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That may be true, but Frank still had questions. “Do you think if we did things different that things would have ended up different between me and you?” he wondered.

It was a something Dolores had clearly thought about it before. “I think the timing with us was off,” she said quickly. “You know, you were not ready to settle down.”

“I say to Frank that our divorce saved our marriage,” she added in confession. “Frank wasn’t the guy who was going to come home and be excited about a crying, colloquy infant. Frank needed to grow on his own and he’s a different man now. A man that loves his family and enjoys his children.”

While Dolores and Frank didn’t work, she made it clear she wouldn’t be making the same mistakes with David. “This is the second half of my life, I gotta figure out what I want to do with it,” she said. “And who I want to spend it with.”

She will never be spending it by herself, that’s for sure. “You’ll never be alone,” Frank told her. “You’ll always have me.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.