Bethenny Frankel split from Jason Hoppy, her husband of nearly three years, last December and filed for divorce in January
"I kind of sway between being frayed and stressed and on the brink in some ways; wracked with nerves," Frankel says. "And then feeling OK and certain. This is my life now."
Bethenny and Jason were married for nearly three years at the time of their split, but the former Real Housewives of New York City star says she knew from the very first moment things weren't going to work out between the two.
"Maybe that’s the first lesson I learned, to go with my gut," she admits. "Because I waited a long time to see if I even wanted to be in this relationship. I didn’t go with my first instinct."
"Because of Bryn, I can never say, 'I wish this had never happened,'" she says. "I have a beautiful child who I love so much, who is a part of both of us.
Jason and Bethenny are embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their 3-year-old daughter, Bryn
"In my marriage, I made a mistake. It is what it is. I made the wrong choice. But I do have my daughter, who is so beautiful and amazing in every way."
In addition to a bitter custody battle over Bryn, the former couple is also at loggerheads over ownership of their marital home, a stunning loft in Tribeca, New York City—which they are both currently sharing still.
"My living situation is very, very stressful," Bethenny says. "I don’t think it’s very healthy for anyone involved. It’s very upsetting. You just have to endure it."
A reflective Frankel, who has been open in the past about her fractured relationship with both her mother and her father, admits her dysfunctional childhood may have played a part in her poor relationship choices as an adult.
"I felt like there was an expectation to be someone that I wasn’t," she shares. "All the things that I’ve tried to resolve in therapy and get past from my childhood reared their ugly head in my marriage.
In addition to their custody battle, Bethenny and Jason are also at war over ownership of their marital home, a stunning Tribeca loft
"My marriage made me feel like I was a bad person, like I was damaged, I was dysfunctional, I was never going to be happy. But I don’t believe that to be true. Yet there I was – in a relationship that made me feel that way.
"I have never beaten myself up the way I did during my marriage. I’d say, 'I need to be more like this, I need to be more like that, I’m not normal, I came from a screwed-up background.'"
"Growing up at a race track, going to 13 different schools, going from eating off a card table at night to suddenly having a room full of toys – divorce is the least of what caused a problem for me," she continues. "It was the people who were my parents, and the choices they made.
"Someone said to me, 'You’re lucky if you get 90 years on this planet – why would you spend so many of them being miserable?' That was a defining moment. I had been trying to weigh how much unhappiness was still enough to live with every day.
"You ask yourself: 'If this is as good as it’s going to get, is that good enough?' I knew it wasn’t going to get any better."
Not surprisingly, the mega-sucessful, and self-made multi millionaire, business woman says adapting to the single life has not been hard.
"It seemed like it would be difficult to do things on my own, but it’s not," she admits. "Everyone knows that Bryn is my first priority, she’s the first thing on my schedule and everything gets booked around her.
In happier times: Bethenny and Jason met in late 2008, they became engaged 11 months later
"And when I’m with Bryn, it’s just me and her…. it is such dedicated, devoted time. It’s so rewarding, and I just feel so fortunate to have that with her."
Meanwhile, when it comes to dating again, Bethenny shoots down rumors she's already jumped back in the saddle, claiming she plans on taking her time when it comes to finding love again.
"After you have food poisoning, you don’t exactly run out to a buffet, you know?’’ she quips. "This [divorce] is not going to make me softer.
"Bryn made me softer, but this is making me tougher; it’s hardening some edges, so I worry about that. And I sometimes think, 'How am I going to be able to trust anyone after this?'"
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