That reality show life ain’t easy. Real Housewives of Dallas star Stephanie Hollman got real with Life & Style exclusively about what being on the Bravo TV series has done for her marriage — and it turns out, it hasn’t been the easiest road to navigate. In fact, the 37-year-old revealed the show has been “hard” on her relationship with husband Travis Hollman, but couples therapy has helped them wade through the waters.
“We had gone a little bit in the past if something would come up — we would go there just to work out any differences we would have. But season 1, we went because you do hear about being a part of a franchise like this where people do get divorced and it is hard on a marriage, I’m not gonna lie,” the blonde beauty explained while promoting the Bravo show, which airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. “So we started doing it just for that because I didn’t want to lose sight of what was important and I didn’t want him to resent me or me to resent him, so it’s kind of a way to check in with each other and you have somebody there that keeps you in line, which I think is important.”
Possibly the most important part of these therapy sessions? They take place exclusively off-camera, which is way more comfortable for the couple of 10 years. “I’ve always been nervous about filming something that [personal] because I just feel like some things like marriage and relationships, I don’t know if I’m ready to have a whole group of people judge my marriage like any more than they already do,” she revealed. “It’s a lot and a lot of our issues are so petty, I would be so embarrassed for people to know like me leaving my shoes on the table, you know — I mean our therapist is like ‘you guys are ridiculous,’ but there are things that bother us about each other, I guess.”
As far as why the show has put such a strain on the RHOD star’s marriage, well, there are a few different reasons. “It takes a lot of time away from your family whenever you’re filming, so I think that’s part of it. You have to really prioritize and make sure you’re there for the important things, and then sometimes, in my interviews or on the show,” Stephanie said. “I will say something that hurts Travis’ feelings or vice versa, and also emotionally it’s draining on me, so I think a lot of the times whenever you’re an emotional basket case, it can put a strain on a relationship.”
You may recall a little something known as the reality TV curse — which refers to the fact that a lot of married couples break things off after spending some of their time, and marriage, in the public eye. But Steph and her hubby are actively working to combat the potential jinx, using therapy and other methods.
“We go on walks in the evenings. I mean, for me, it’s just making it a priority. He’s going to come [to be with me on Watch What Happens Live] and I also felt like it would be a way for us to bond. We can go out after the show and have a drink, and we don’t do that enough and that’s another thing we have therapy about — for me, date nights,” she described their methods. “I have a hard time getting out of my head because people will come up to you and then I’m like ‘I can’t get drunk and have fun and get loose because I’m being watched,’ and you feel a little judged, but I want to get out of that because I feel like that’s not any way to live your life, right? It’s insane.”
Despite the toll the show has taken on her marriage, the one time she actually thought about quitting wasn’t surrounding her relationship with her husband but the one with her best friend and costar, Brandi Redmond.
“When Brandi and I weren’t talking [during] season 2, I had a hard time going back that season. That was probably the hardest because I didn’t want to break something that was so fragile. I felt like I didn’t know if it was a repairable friendship and I was nervous that if I went on, it would never get back to normal,” she dished. “So that was probably the one time I didn’t know if that was the right thing. When they gave us the contract for season 2, I wasn’t talking to my best friend and our relationship was horrible, and I feel like for me, there was just so much to lose. So it was a hard decision.”
Reporting by Diana Cooper.