Bethenny Frankel and Dennis Shields had a bit of an on-again, off-again relationship ever since they began dating in 2016. But things had gotten more serious — and official — for the couple than anyone knew prior to Dennis' passing on August 10, 2018.
While speaking about relationships with Dorinda Medley in Wednesday night's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City (which you can view, above), Bethenny revealed that she and Dennis had actually gotten engaged last spring. "It was not even close to a perfect relationship. Part of me died inside. It was really bad. But I couldn't get out though, either," Bethenny opened up about Dennis' passing. "I loved him so much and we were family and my daughter was so close to him and I knew him for so many years. He proposed on April 25."
Dorinda was surprised to hear this, and Bethenny told her that she "didn't tell anybody" about their engagement. "Yeah, so I kept it to myself because I didn't want another circus of my life. So I didn't want to start telling people," she explained. "We had our own private engagement and our own private like, oh my god, we're gonna do this. And it was intense."
When Dorinda asked if Bethenny's daughter Bryn knew about the engagement, she said, "He bought Bryn a ring, too."
Bethenny also shared how she had been coping with Dennis' passing. "And I say every day, like I truly do, 'What would he want me to do?' Like, I went to North Carolina yesterday and I was thinking of how I would have discussed it with him and the logistics and the money. He would have been like, 'What do we do? What do we do?'" she said. "But I think all these storms are meaningful because I feel like it's a storm that I have to go through."
Earlier in the episode, we saw Bethenny travel to North Carolina to provide relief for those impacted by Hurricane Florence last fall. "I feel like it's somehow, it's some change, and all this relief work somehow is connected to it for me. Like, now when I go see these people, they have such worse pain than I do," she explained. "And the analogy of the storm, you have to go through it to get to the other side. I avoid everything in that way."
Bethenny recently shared on Twitter that she's still in the process of grieving Dennis' death. "Mourning is tricky business," she tweeted on March 18. "It’s like the weather. There can be weeks [and] weeks of sunshine then one day you get whacked with a storm."
The RHONY mogul went public with her new relationship in December, and she hasn't been afraid to share how special her new man makes her feel on social media, such as showing off the flowers he sent her after she signed a multi-year contract with MGM Television and Mark Burnett earlier this week.
Bethenny opens up more about Dennis, below.