Real Housewives Of Orange County’s Jen Armstrong Reflects On That Tense Discussion With Husband Ryne Holliday

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(Image credit: Bravo)

After a controversial and criticized 15th season, Bravo decided to remix the line-up of The Real Housewives of Orange County cast for Season 16. Kelly Dodd and Braunwyn Windham-Burke were ultimately fired, with newbies Jen Armstrong and Noella Bergener coming in to take their places. They’re getting the full Real Housewives treatment as a result, which includes getting into co-star drama and having their marriages put through the ringer. Lately, Armstrong has reflected on that tense discussion with husband Ryne Holliday that made it to air.

The title of the episode, “Runaway Husband,” was a nod to him and the awkward situation between the husband and wife. Jen Armstrong tried to communicate that she needed more validation about what she was doing well in their life. Ryne Holliday responded by largely refusing to talk about it, before walking out on the film crew. Their problems evidently continued after the fact. The Real Housewives of Orange County freshman told Entertainment Tonight:

I mean, verbatim -- we obviously talked about [him walking away from me] afterwards -- and he said, 'You and I have a hard time talking about stressful situations...' He has a hard time supporting me in a way that I accept it, and he felt very uncomfortable. He's like, 'On camera, they would just watch us fail.' I'm like, 'Well, walking out is like even more of a failure...'

To be fair, more than one husband within the franchise has folded on-camera under scrutiny. Orange County alum Shannon Beador – who took offense to Heather Dubrow’s supposed “threat” this season – saw the final legs of her own marriage give out in 2017 when her then-husband refused to delve into their issues that were once again springing up. (New Jersey's Teresa Giudice would likewise argue that it’s hard to get prospective partners on TV as well.) Armstrong added to the outlet, though, that her hubby would be more supportive toward her later but that his quick dash out the door still stung. She said:

But he told me that he didn't want to fail in supporting me on camera, which is kind of ironic, because the whole season he's failing to support me on camera. He was just like, 'I'm not going to be able to help you in this situation...' and he just ran. It was very emotional for me. I was embarrassed. It was a betrayal. I actually did need him.

Supposedly, their relationship dynamics get worse in Season 16. The RHOC newcomer even said in a recent episode that she was “tired” of their marriage. She added to ET that she felt like she was on a “hamster wheel,” having made no progress for a long while. The two apparently even tried a month-long separation that failed. The doctor said that Ryan Holliday came back with “open arms” to work on things, which she shared was not “typical” of him. She’s actually grateful now for the show’s presence in their marriage, saying:

I think it's very cathartic to be on the show. It's almost like it puts this magnifying glass on things in your life ... and it's an opportunity to fix it and address it. So it got worse with Ryne before it got better, but in the end it did actually help. It was more healing.

Her co-star, Emily Simpson, recently said something similar about her marriage to husband Shane. Nothing like a little fire and Real Housewives brimstone to have effects on marriages – whether positively or negatively. To see more of Jen Armstrong, Simpson and their co-stars tune into the remainder of the Orange County season on Bravo on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST!

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.