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NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, TRHOA

Jeff Gentner/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It's clear on tonight's Real Housewives of Atlanta that Cynthia Bailey and NeNe Leakes have a long way to go when it comes to mending their friendship. If they even can.

Cynthia tells E! News that the heated restaurant scene—which marks the first time the pair come face to face this season—was "very emotional. It was extremely emotional. There was a lot of anger, a lot of hurt and a lot of feelings going on."

 So where do things stand now, and is there any hope that they'll become close again? Cynthia is hopeful—but doubtful.

"Once you're actually face to face with someone, it's hard to stay mad at someone you really cared about—at least for me," she admits. "I don't foresee us being BFF's again. But I would love to see Nene and I in a place where we're cordial and we have respect for each other and we can have a good time together. I miss having fun with her. But we're not at that place yet."

It's pretty safe to say their friendship won't ever be the same—especially when it comes to the time commitment, as Cynthia points out that her marriage has improved since Nene and she have been on the outs.

"My friendship with NeNe just took a lot of time and energy," she explains. "We were really friends. We really hung out together outside of the show, we really talked on the phone several times a day. I'm not going to say my marriage is better because she's not in it, my focus has changed. My focus is back on my family and on my husband. So yes, I'm definitely happier, my husband is happier, my whole family is happier. Going forward I won't put that much energy into another friendship again. It was just too much."

 

Coming up on the show, we'll see Phaedra Parks and Nene growing closer—which means Phaedra and Cynthia—won't be, But Cynthia says she's "completely fine with it," adding, "I feel like [Phaedra] gravitated to who she wanted to gravitate to. With her being friends with Nene, it's maybe a conflict of interest for her to be friends with me. She had to pick one or the other and she's riding with NeNe."

Most importantly for Cynthia, she's decided not to be a wallflower on RHOA any more.

"What everyone's seen for a while is the Cynthia who has always taken the high road, always tried to stay classy, always tried to rise above," she tells us. "But that doesn't always work with these ladies--a lot of times they mistake your kindness for weakness I've never felt I had anything to prove anything to these girls. But I'm at my breaking point. It is what it is. The dynamics of the friendships have changed. And I think that's a good thing. I think I'm in a stronger position now.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs tonight on Bravo.

—Reporting by Beth Sobol