Ashley Darby Opens Up About Separation From Husband Michael

Ashley Darby surprised some fans when she revealed during part two of the Real Housewives of Potomac reunion that she and husband Michael Darby have separated.

The couple married in May 2014 and dated for two years prior. Viewers saw that they have certainly had their share of tough times on the show… mainly surrounding running of their restaurant. With fights so explosive that Ashley threatened divorce.

They have not decided whether or not to dissolve their marriage, but Ashley is opening up about the difficult situation in a new interview.

“He’s my person,” she tells PEOPLE. “We’re taking the time to evaluate exactly what we expect from our relationship and if both of us can give each other what we need. We still really care about each other, so the foundation is there. It’s just a matter of repairing some of the faults in the foundation.”

The couple hasn’t lived together since February, although they are still working together at the restaurant.

“We are 50-50 partners,” she explains, adding that the business is a dream (and a big financial investment) she wouldn’t just walk away from. “We both share in everything that goes on there and that’s not going away, like a child. You can’t just get rid of your child. We’re co-parenting!”

They also spend time together socially. “It is a very small town, so we have common friends and we go to the same events. The only difference now is we just retreat back to our separate quarters,” she says. “It took me this long to talk about it because I wanted to deal with it in private, since it was something that I wasn’t really comfortable with or sure how to explain at first.”

So, why did the couple split? “She’s in her 20s,” Michael, 57, said on the reunion. “She’s feeling out who she is going into her evolving life and future. And I’m at my age, coming through the end of my career, looking to all kinds of things that are very different from some of the things I am looking for.”

But the restaurant has been the main issue, even halting their plans to have kids. “It was definitely an emotional roller coaster,” she tells the site. “All the trials and tribulations one goes through with opening a new business? It was challenging. It took a toll on me personally and on our marriage. Being in business with your spouse is certainly not for the faint of heart.”

“Businesses, they come and go,” she says. “They’re not permanent. So, like, maybe in five years if it’s doing better or we decide to not have it anymore, then we’d be sitting back thinking like, “Oh my gosh, we let something so temporary affect the connection that we have with each other.’ That’s the reason that I didn’t put the gas pedal on getting the divorce immediately.”

“It’s really not good to keep it a trend just going downward. You have to stop at some point and think, ‘Can we go upward?’ And that’s when we decided to separate,” she says. “We just had to stop being in each other’s faces and constantly talk about the restaurant and get back to being our fun-loving selves individually.”

“Relationships take a lot of work, especially when you have tribulation. And if you feel there’s an inkling of possibility, it’s worth investing your time to see if you can make it work,” she continues. “I would much rather take the time to see if its possible for us both to be happy. I can’t just throw it away because I’m connected to [Michael] in a way I can’t explain or put into words or even fully understand myself.”

But Ashley admits time apart from Michael has been difficult. “It’s very hard for me,” she admits. “I’m not used to this. I’m not used to not being with him and waking up and making him coffee in the morning. It’s been an adjustment. There’s a little bit of a void because this is the person that I thought I was going to share the rest of my life with. For that to be unraveled feels very foreign.”

“I do love him and I care about him so much,” she adds. “But having love and admiration for someone — you realize that that’s really not all it takes in a relationship.”

Photo Credit: Bravo

AllThingsRH

AllThingsRH

My name is Nicki. I am 32 years-old and married to my best friend. I was previously in business for over 12 years, but I’ve always had a great passion for web and graphic design. Another one of my passions, of course, is to escape into the world of TV, which is where this journey began. My goal in starting AllThingsRH.com was to give fans, like myself, a place to catch up on all the latest news and gossip about The Real Housewives. I wanted to create a place where viewers could interact with each other, share their opinions, and get straight-forward and unbiased information about what’s going on. I am proud of the diversity this site has to offer.

  • Bon Vivant

    From episode one of this season Ashley struck me as infantile and business silly, with little to no clue about the business side of running that restaurant. Granted, Micheal was was being absolutely bullheaded in his steadfast refusal to alter the food menu in order to appeal to a mainstream American palate, but outside of that everything about the way Ashley handled herself from Admin to communication irked my very soul every time she was onscreen. She is not dumb, but she is immature, with terrible communication skills and has questionable ability to prioritize what’s important. Instead of inserting her nose into and trying to align herself with all the other crumbling marriages on the show she should have been taking a proper business course and going through couples counseling with her husband – her REAL priorities. I understand she that as a millennial she knows very well how important it is to be involved in the dramatic storylines on the show, but not at the expense of your marriage and financial investments. If I were Michael, I would consider cutting my losses and finding someone more accomplished and settled who is not thirsting for the spotlight and prone to temper tantrums during disagreements. On the reunion, he already sounded like he was nearly there; he has worked hard to achieve his success and was looking forward to having a partner to enjoy his life with, not a Boss Baby who threatens abandonment at ever disagreement.

  • Lady of London

    I hope Michael has a prenup…..

  • noladiva2013

    It’s always so easy to blame the women when relationships have problems. In spite of her age, i think Ashley communicates well and stands up for herself. Lessons women like Robyn could learn from. Michael is older true, and from the glimpses of him on the show he is the one who acts more immature in terms of actually respecting his wife’s opinions. He has to realize that she is his wife—not his daughter, not his subordinate and not his employee. It’s disingenuous for him to comment on her youth—he knew she was younger when he married her so if that was a concern he should not have married her. Older guys tend to get caught up in their feelings when they marry a younger woman and believe she will ‘listen’ and he can ‘mold’ or control her. Who knows the whole story? But it’s not right to place all this blame on Ashley. I think she’s the most authentic person on that show.

  • starr

    When the going gets a trifle rough, people walk away. No gritting of teeth & recalling vows–break those, no problem.
    Sorry to hear this. Hope they both can work out their problems. Ashley still has much maturing to do, still so young & Michael is set in his ways. Hope they find a happy medium.

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