"Divorce is not an option, it has never been an option for me. I love my family and I will do whatever it takes to keep my family together."
When Shannon Beador said those words on the Real Housewives of Orange County's season 10 premiere, plenty of viewers had their doubts.
There's the Real Housewives divorce curse that can't be ignored. There's also the reality that having cameras in your home as you work on a fragile marriage isn't exactly the first choice recommended by professions.
But more than two and a half years since Shannon learned that her husband David Beador had an affair, the Bravo couple is about to embark on a huge (and romantic) milestone. Beginning tonight on Real Housewives of Orange County, David will surprise his wife with a birthday party and vow renewal ceremony.
"We've come a long way," Shannon told E! News' Melanie Bromley earlier this month. "You'll see as the season continues, there are some really touching moments between he and I and our entire family. I'm very excited that it was caught on camera too. It's really touching."
In the past three seasons, the couple has never shied away from revealing the good, bad and down-right difficult parts of their marriage. Whether watching couple's counseling or tearful confessionals, some viewers were shocked by the amount of information they received about the affair that lasted eight months.
"It was a long time and a lot of lies," Shannon once shared. "I became friends with [the mistress] when it was going on, which I think is demented and sick. It's such a big form of betrayal. It's so f--ked up."
But through it all, Shannon has made it clear that there was a reason behind sharing so much. She hoped it would remind couples that it is possible to work through relationship hurdles and get to the other side stronger than ever before.
"The decision was not an easy one. But after much counseling and discussions with our children, we thought that we would tell our story with the hope that other couples who have faced similar heartbreak can repair and restore their marriage like David and I are doing," she once wrote in her Bravo blog. "When watching David reveal the highs and lows in his life, I felt like I was punched in the stomach. I saw that he listed the affair as both a ‘high' and a ‘low.' I heard him say that the affair gave him 'new life.'...He has not only made himself accountable to me, but to everyone who watches the show, and for that, I am grateful beyond words."
Unfortunately, some of her co-stars haven't been as supportive. This season on the show, cast member Kelly Dodd was quick to call out Shannon on her husband's past infidelity during a drama-filled ‘70s party. Did it tick Shannon off? Of course! Did it cause more problems in her marriage? Of course not!
"David and I are in an amazing place," she shared with E! News. "It's all good and we just talked about how mean and cruel that it was but we're okay and it's not like it took me back to dark place or anything but it just isn't nice."
And while no marriage is perfect—the season trailer shows Shannon getting upset at David at a party yet to air—credit must be given to a pair who was able to defy the odds and put family first.
"Our marriage today is better than it was when we got married because we worked through so many things and have realized that we need to make each other a priority and that we need to communicate and feel safe and comfortable enough to communicate. We do that," Shannon shared with E! News. "We go to church every week. He's in a men's group and we go on date night at least once a week and we're spending a lot more time together than we ever did before."
Real Housewives of Orange County air Monday nights at 9 p.m. only on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are part of the NBCUniversal family)