Ashley Darby knows marriage ain't easy.
The Real Housewives of Potomac star and husband Michael Darby have weathered rumors, accusations and lots of drama in their relationship in past seasons of the hit Bravo series, and season 5, which premieres this Sunday at 9 p.m., will test their marriage once again.
The shocking RHOP trailer shows co-star Candiace Dillard reading from her phone, "He was in the room with several strippers," as a photo of Michael flashes across the screen.
"He was asking who he could take to a hotel nearby," Ashley reads from a text message on a phone later.
The preview culminates with Michael tearing up and telling Ashley, "We ended up going back to a hotel."
"My relationship went through, it was a difficult time after having Dean," Ashley, who gave birth to her and Michael's first son last year just before shooting season 5, tells E! News exclusively. "The way that our relationship looked changed and we had a major speed bump. And what Michael and I committed to do is to work through issues in our marriage and even though that's not something that either of us is looking forward to reliving and seeing again, it was the reality of our relationship at the time. So it's going to be rough but it's true."
Ashley says she and Michael are doing "better" today.
"Marriage is always a work in progress as I know you know. You're always compromising and working through things and as your lives change, which they inevitably do, so does the look of your marriage. So we are steadily working and have worked every day to find out and work to make it look and be healthy for us and for our child. So yes, we are in a better place," she tells E!.
Despite hitting a "speed bump," Ashley says it's been amazing to see what a great father Michael has been to their baby boy Dean, who just turned 1 earlier this month.
"Talk about melting my heart," she gushed. "I didn't really know what to expect because you know, I don't know my own dad, so I didn't really know what to expect in watching a man interact with his child first-hand and it has been the most rewarding [experience] to see how involved he is with the help, how happy he is being with Dean. I'm not the favorite parent, contrary to what I thought would be the case. Michael is A1 in Dean's book."
The Real Housewives of Potomac airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Bravo!
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family)