Forget standing by her man. After five years of marriage, Phaedra Parks finally decides to call it quits with husband and convicted felon Apollo Nida in the March 22 episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, while Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Claudia Jordan, and Porsha Williams continue to hash out their differences during a group counseling session.
Phaedra cites Apollo’s strange behavior and criminal past as the reasons why she can’t take any more. Before beginning his eight-year sentence for fraud, Apollo acted erratically, creating a huge rift in the couple’s marriage. Because of her problems at home, her friendships with the rest of the housewives fall by the wayside.
Inside Phaedra’s Decision
Instead of confiding in close friend Kandi Burruss or new pal NeNe Leakes, Phaedra talks to friend Sarah Jakes, the daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes, about her marital problems.
“We have a God connection,” Phaedra reveals in her confessional. “I feel like I can be totally transparent because I know she doesn’t have an ulterior motive.”
In a rare display of emotion, Phaedra breaks down in tears. She wanted to be the perfect wife, she tells Sarah, but Apollo would do anything just to be mean and hurtful.
“I said I would support him through the criminal trouble,” Phaedra sobs. “I should have probably left then.”
She describes how Apollo terrorized their home. It was “never a peaceful night’s sleep” because he was “always getting into fights,” Phaedra continues. But for the first time in years, she says she has peace.
“I don’t live in fear of ‘what has Apollo done, what will he do next?’” Phaedra continues in her confessional. “I can go to sleep knowing that he’s not going to hurt himself or hurt anybody around him.”
A few days later, Phaedra meets with her mentor and fellow attorney Ronnie Kaplan to get advice on how she needs to proceed. While the prenuptial agreement is “airtight,” Ronnie is concerned about the well-being of Phaedra and Apollo’s two young boys.
“They need to have as much contact as possible with their dad,” Ronnie reminds a reluctant Phaedra.
While she wants to make sure that her sons still have a strong relationship with Apollo, she’s not too thrilled about traveling to the federal prison in Kentucky for regular visits. She cites her busy work schedule as one reason, and her fear of exposing her sons to “a room full of killers” as another.
Ronnie mentions that there are loads of other men that Phaedra could’ve married, ones that “didn’t spend any time in prison,” and asks Phaedra why she chose Apollo knowing that he was in prison for five years.
“I thought he was a changed man,” Phaedra tells Ronnie. “I married him because I knew that he loved me. Some people do change their lives and make a difference…maybe he was conning me the whole time.”
Ronnie tells Phaedra that it is possible to file the divorce even though Apollo isn’t present, but suggests that she takes things slow.
“We’ll get through it,” Ronnie assures Phaedra. “It’s a sad time. A divorce is a death. A death of a relationship.”
While Phaedra deals with her broken relationship, the rest of the girls attempt to fix theirs. Dr. Jeff couldn’t convince NeNe to return to the group counseling session (even though it was her idea!), but the rest of the group is game to stick around and work things out.
Kenya asserts that her relationship with Porsha was doomed from the beginning — and their huge season 6 finale fight only made things worse. The girls hugged it out and agreed to move on a few weeks prior to the counseling session, but Kenya still feels like she was “attacked” and that Porsha didn’t apologize. Dr. Jeff reminds Kenya that she attacked Porsha, who maintains that she was “provoked,” too.
Porsha confronts Kenya and Claudia for their accusations that Porsha slept with a married man. The verbal blowout — and the gossip — unfolded during their trip to Puerto Rico, but Porsha’s had a hard time letting it go since then.
Claudia feels like Porsha took sides when OG Housewife NeNe attacked her during the same trip (#neverforget NeNe’s infamous jab — “Your clit has left your body!”).
“It is OK for you to sit there and laugh at another woman calling me a whore,” Claudia gripes in her confessional. “But when I bring up what you’re actually, really doing — allegedly — it hurts you.”
Claudia admits that it was wrong to bring up Porsha’s personal affairs in front of the group, and Dr. Jeff asks if she’d apologize for it. She does, and Porsha receives the apology.
Kenya accepts her responsibility for the fight in Puerto Rico and for provoking Porsha, who accepts and is grateful to finally move on.
Though NeNe left, the girls still want to make things right with her as well. Kenya suggests that they send a video to her, proving that the group was willing to stay and work things out and asking NeNe if she’d like to do the same. A reluctant Kandi (“This is why she feels she can do this to people. Because they kiss her ass!” she complains in her confessional) films the sweet message. All’s well that ends well — for now, at least.
Peach of the week: Out of all the apologies passed around, Claudia Jordan‘s seemed the most genuine. She’s tried to get along with Porsha for a while now, and is on the road to being the “neutral” housewife that she desires to be.
Pit of the week: NeNe Leakes, for leaving her own counseling session — and not looking back. Girl, bye!
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