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'Real Housewives of Orange County': Marital bliss?

January 8, 2010 |  8:42 am
Donn_vickiThe holidays are over and the housewives over in Orange County are back!

When we last tuned in, the gals went to Florida for a girls weekend that felt more like a couples retreat, with guest-starring roles from an irritated Vicki and a heavily medicated Lynne. Vicki's decision to abstain from outings with the men left for frequent Vicki-bashing moments by the guys, particularly Simon, who claimed she was jealous of his and Tamra's marriage.

Oh, really? 

Thursday's episode was a lesson on just how deceiving looks can be.  

In the episode, Vicki -- the "unclingy" housewife -- and Donn head to Turks and Caicos for a romantic getaway. And they did it with no other couples. There was no flaunting. No declarations that their marriage is the poster child of perfect ... just perfect for them. If you've followed the show since its inception, it's no surprise that the marriage hasn't always been bliss. Last season, Vicki even questioned whether a divorce was imminent. But their journey to this episode -- they even renewed their vows (and Donn finally got his wedding band!) -- demonstrated how bumpy and smooth the road of marriage can be.

Meanwhile, Tamra and Simon are at odds again. Simon -- who claims to have an equal marriage and one enviable by others -- continues his rampage on Vicki, one of Tamra's closest friends, saying she's controlling, rude and has "changed" his wife. And he disapproves of Tamra mending her relationship with Gretchen. There doesn't seem to be much room for discussion when Tamra tries to voice her opinion; Simon already has his mind made up.

And that's the problem. As viewers of the show, is that really a surprise? It's easy to see the disconnect. But the facade of marital bliss or, at least trying to portray it, has finally caught up with Tamra. Over lunch with her mom, we see Tamra break down in tears, saying that Simon treats her like property and acts like he hates her. She even predicts that they're on the road to divorce. And if reports are true, she was right. Five months after wrapping the season, it was reported that Simon filed divorce papers contending that Tamra has been "verbally abusive and has committed acts of disloyalty and infidelity."

Tamra is expected to share her story on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Show" hosted by Andy Cohen next week, which will air next Thursday at midnight.

So what did you think of the episode, Show Trackers? 

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Donn and Vicki Gunvalson. Credit: Bravo