Bethenny Frankel had to say goodbye to her on-again/off-again partner Dennis Shields when he died suddenly in August 2018, and then cameras started rolling for The Real Housewives of New York City season 11. Her grief on screen has been palpable and she takes things to a new level in the Wednesday, April 3 episode in a filmed therapy session.
"I mean, it's really brutal. He was really someone that I went to for everything. Him being gone is just a massive void and I really can't believe he's gone," Bethenny says in a confessional.
During her session, Bethenny said he was such a powerful force in her life, tangled up with her daughter's affection for him, but the Saturday before his death she made the decision to "exit this dynamic."
"I never told anybody this before," she admits. "So, then there was a lot in my mind about him dying right after that. I could not get off the ride…I feel guilty that the only way I got off the ride is that he's dead."
But her therapist points out she tried to "get off the ride" before his death.
"I did, but I hope that I didn't have anything to do with him dying," she says in tears.
In a confessional, an emotional Bethenny reveals Dennis told her he'd be alone for the rest of his life if she wasn't with him. "It was a tremendous pressure and it kept me in," she reveals. "I don't know what happened that night. I will always have to live with that, for whatever that means."
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)