Bethenny Frankel

Did Bethenny Frankel fake her happy marriage? (And does it matter?)

May 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM ET

Did Bethenny Frankel Fake Her Happy Marriage? (And Does It Matter?)
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Did Bethenny Frankel Fake Her Happy Marriage? (And Does It Matter?)

For the past three years, Bethenny Frankel has been dishing advice about love, based on her own marriage to Jason Hoppy. Now that she's going through a divorce, the chat show host says her marriage was "miserable." Did the "queen of too much information" neglect to tell us a few things?

"In my marriage, I made a mistake. It is what it is," the former Real Housewives of New York City star told People. “I made the wrong choice. But I do have my daughter, who is so beautiful and amazing in every way."

That "wrong choice" was Hoppy, whom Frankel says she now regrets marrying (except for the saving grace of Bryn, 3). That's a big turnaround for someone who once wrote the book on having it all. But if Bethenny is an open book, as she often claims, then why did she claim to be so happy for so long?

In fairness to Frankel, she has never pretended that her marriage was perfect. She was candid about her struggle to make time for her husband, and allowed Bravo to air plenty of marital spats. But she still allowed her relationship to serve as a model for other women, and presented herself as an authority on finding work-life balance. So the question is, does Bethenny's revelation about her "miserable" marriage means that she was lying this whole time?

We're inclined to say that it doesn't.

First of all, it's possible that Bethenny didn't entirely mean what she said; she is, after all, in the middle of a divorce. Maybe her good memories are just being obscured by the bitter custody negotiations.

Moreover, when something is wrong with our relationships, don't we all fake it to some degree? Everyone's marriage goes through rough patches, and there's no point in declaring "my marriage is miserable!" when you're still committed to working on it.

Instead of putting on a united front for their kids or friends, Jason and Bethenny had to do it for the whole world. Sure, Bethenny could have been more candid, but it probably would have put further stress on her relationship. Let's just take this as a reminder that nobody's perfect, no matter how ideal their life seems to be.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.