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Braunwyn Windham- Burke says husband Sean is an enabler, getting sober has been hard on RHOC star’s marriage

Braunwyn Windham-Burke
Braunwyn is opening up about her marriage after admitting she’s an alcoholic. Pic credit: Bravo

Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed that she is an alcoholic last week on Real Housewives of Orange County.

And now, the Bravo star is starting to open up a bit about her drinking issues and how quitting has affected her relationship with husband Sean Burke.

When speaking to US Weekly recently, Braunwyn revealed that sobriety has taken a toll on her marriage to Sean. In fact, she’s claiming that his enabling of her addiction was making her drinking even worse.

Braunwyn said, “He’s known that I’ve had a problem, but part of the dynamic of our relationship is he’s an enabler and we have a very codependent relationship.”

She added, “When I’m drinking, I’m very needy. I want him to come with me. I want him to pick me up.  He would get me out of situations before I got ugly…I needed him…when I got sober, I didn’t need him anymore…he felt left behind…it’s very hard on our marriage.”

The couple has been married for 20 years and they have seven children together.  Throughout their marriage, Braunwyn explained she has either been pregnant, nursing, or drinking.

She said, “This is a family disease and it affects everyone, especially dynamics between couples so we’re working on that…I stayed drunk so long because Sean did take care of me.  We are both in a program with a lot of work to do.”

RHOC divorce rumors

Braunwyn Windham-Burke admitted to costar, Emily Simpson, that she was an alcoholic during the RHOC Season 15 premiere.  Amidst her confession, rumors began circulating  that Braunwyn and Sean were headed for a divorce, with many speculating her alcoholism was to blame.

A recent picture on the housewife’s Instagram showed Braunwyn and Sean sitting and smiling at one another with the caption “Always evolving” and the hashtag #makeourownrules.

Braunwyn’s mother, Deborah “Dr. Deb” Windham supported her daughter’s post, saying, “Conventional life is uninspiring…you are realizing there’s more to life than staying in the lines or experiencing life through rules set down by other people centuries ago.”

In her recent interview, Braunwyn confirmed that Sean no longer lives in their family home. She’s also admitted that she’s seeing someone else.  She said “We are very honest in our communication.  There are just some things that I have discovered about myself that I wanna explore a little more and he’s very supportive.”

Will her sobriety journey play out on RHOC?

The Season 15 premiere episode of RHOC opened with Braunwyn’s alcoholism confession, leaving fans to wonder how much of her sobriety journey would be shared on the show.

Braunwyn explained, “We did a lot of this on film…The raw honesty you’re going to see is not sugar-coated.  You’re in it with me, you’ll see the change.”

She went on to explain that she wanted fans who may be struggling with the same issues to see they aren’t alone.

Braunwyn added, “I feel so good right now, I haven’t craved a sip of alcohol in 5 months.  I still go out with my friends.  I’m having so much fun without alcohol, I wonder why I ever drank it at all.”

Braunwyn’s upbeat personality and love for parties is prevalent on RHOC.  It will be interesting to see another side of the star, as she continues her journey to sobriety.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.

Maggie is a freelance writer. The self-proclaimed "reality TV junkie" started her addiction at 14 years old and has been hooked ever since. Her favorite... read more
Maggie Michaels


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