Even though Bethenny Frankel is a reality TV veteran, she had become increasingly private about her personal life in recent years. She had an long term on-again-off-again relationship with Dennis Shields that was barely featured on Real Housewives of New York. But Dennis died in August 2018, just before filming on this season started, and she is rightfully still in mourning. This week, Bethenny revealed that Dennis had proposed to her, making his death all the more heartbreaking, as if watching her grieve wasn't sad enough for fans.
During the March 20 episode, Bethenny and Dorinda Medley had a very emotional conversation about Dennis passing away. Bethenny began, "I don't want to say that it was even close to a perfect relationship. Part of me died inside. It was really bad, but I couldn't get out though either. I loved him so much and we were family. My daughter was so close with him and I knew him for so many years." And then, she dropped a major revelation: "He proposed on April 25." He passed away just a few months later in August 2018.
Dorinda was stunned. During her on-camera interview, she admitted, "Wow. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know that Bethenny and Dennis were still dating. That's sad. It's very sad."
Bethenny recalled, "So, I kept it to myself because I didn't want another circus in my life. I didn't want to start telling people. But, we had our own private engagement and our own private 'Like, oh my god. We're going to do this.'"
Wondering just how private they kept the engagement, Dorinda asked Bethenny if her daughter Bryn Hoppy knew about it. Not only did she know, but Bryn got proposed to as well. Bethenny revealed, "He bought Bryn a ring too." That is such a thoughtful and inclusive gesture.
Even though Bethenny and Dennis preferred to keep their relationship to themselves, she has been sharing more recently, especially about Bryn and Dennis's relationship. During the Season 11 premiere episode, Bethenny shared that Bryn still sent texts to Dennis from herself and her dogs as she mourns him. It's really just so sweet and so sad, all at the same time.
And even though these early season episodes were filmed months ago, Bethenny is still reeling from Dennis's death. In a March 18 tweet, Bethenny admitted about how "tricky" mourning has been for her.
It's unclear how much else Bethenny will share about her relationship with Dennis on this season of RHONY. However, she has opened up to her followers on Twitter. In October, Bethenny tweeted about accidentally texting Dennis herself.
And that wasn't he first time, Bethenny shared her grieving process with her Twitter followers. Back in August 2018, Bethenny thanked her followers for their support with a heartfelt tweet.
A few days before that tweet, Bethenny shared a photo with just the words "Thank You" written across it on her Instagram page. This brief statement was more than enough to get her point across.
Bethenny and Dennis were always very private about their relationship, to the point that some people, like Dorinda, didn't even they were still together when he died. Nevertheless, Bethenny made it very clear that he played — and continues to play — a major role in her and Bryn's lives. It must be so tough for Bethenny to share details from such a major loss in general, let alone on an extremely popular reality TV show or on social media to her millions of followers.