Another one bites the dust? Another Housewife may have fallen victim to the reality-tv divorce curse.
Over the last few weeks, rumors have been swirling that former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Carlton Gebbia’s 18-year marriage is on the rocks.
Now Carlton is speaking out to PEOPLE about why she and her husband David Gebbia have decided to separate.
Carlton says she has “experienced every conceivable emotion similar to the grieving process” over the past 12 months and that she and David are “finally on the same page.”
“It was never a verbal decision between him and I. It just sort of happened naturally. It was a gradual breakup of our relationship over a period of time. This man was my soulmate for 20 years and never would I have imagined this. He was my everything, but we’ve been together a long time. …[It] is wonderful now to know that we can still continue to be partners because we had always worked so well together in the past,” Carlton reveals.
While many would blame the Housewives curse for end of Carlton’s marriage, Carlton says her time on RHOBH actually strengthened her marriage.
“I have to add because I have heard about the Housewives curse, my experience with Bravo and the show actually made my relationship with David stronger. He has always had my back, but this was like a different animal. We had a partnership and worked really well together.”
Despite being separated Carlton still cites David as her best friend and says the couple has intentionally decided to continue to live together for the the emotional well-being of their family.
“We’ve always been very close and loving as a loving family. David and I both knew that if we decided to live in separate homes, which would end up in divorce, it would literally destroy and devastate our children. We’ve been together way too long, been the best of friends and business partners. We really have been amazing parents proudly raising the most beautiful and well-adjusted children,” Gebbia says of her three children.
Adding, “But we were not prepared to screw it up now just because we fell out of love. We didn’t want to split up the family dynamic. What we do know is, for our family, that it works right now. And it may not be for everyone, but for us it’s positive, and it’s actually healing for us.”
Going on to say that she and David have no timeline or plan explaining,“It’s truly a work in progress. I know that the love and stability we give to our children is paramount to anything else. Our priority is to be the best parents we’ve always been together.”
Carlton does admit that being honest with her kids and fully explaining the split to them was a huge priority.
“We just put our conflicts aside and knew that we owed them answers. Otherwise they would start imagining the worst and, God forbid, start blaming themselves. What we did decide together was we told them that we weren’t going to get divorced; we would continue to live as a family under the same roof; and although that we weren’t in love anymore, it didn’t mean that we didn’t love one another. I think it was one of the most heartbreaking things that when we did tell them this that I just remember seeing the relief in their faces – like a weight was lifted – and the happiness in their eyes. It was really very painful to watch because it’s the realization that this was the right thing for us.”
Looking ahead, Carlton is uncertain about the couples future and what’s to come but credits her time on RHOBH for teaching her another life lesson.
“The one thing that I learned ironically from Housewives – which I said I would never ever do reality is never to say ‘never.’ Ultimately, there’s no end game here. We’re just working together as a team, I guess, in the most positive way we know how. I mean, he will always be one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known, and I will always consider him my soulmate. When I met him, I called him ‘my destiny’ and I said if we ever had a little girl, that’s what her name would be. I think I’m just dealing in the moment.”
In the end, Carlton has a “sense of relief” that her separation is public, saying “It felt like I was sort of hiding a lie and a secret and it just didn’t feel good.”
“It is still very, very raw. I still go through the emotions and waves. After being together 20 years, it’s just not something that is buried immediately. But as long as our children are happy and we keep running together positively, that is all that I can ask for. I don’t want our children affected by this in a negative way,“ Carlton explains.