Real Housewife Of Orange County Braunwyn Windham-Burke celebrated one year of sobriety on Saturday.
The 43-year-old battled alcohol addiction for many years before making the decision to get clean, and rang in the milestone with a beach picnic beside husband of over 20 years, Sean Burke, in Laguna Beach.
Despite coming out as a lesbian in recent months and making it known she was ‘never attracted to men,’ she chose to ring in the momentous occasion with Sean and not her girlfriend Kris, as she credited him with making sobriety ‘easier.’
One year sober: Braunwyn Windham-Burke, 43, celebrated one year of sobriety on Saturday with a lavish beach picnic beside her husband of over 20 years Sean Burke and not her girlfriend Kris, despite coming out as a lesbian
A celebration fit for a princess, she was seen strolling on the beach in a nude lace and tulle dress that hugged her toned frame.
She layered up with a white parka and beamed from ear to ear with a tiara on her head and some sparkly earrings.
Posting about the day to Instagram she wrote, ‘No one ever said it would be easy, but thank you @seanwindhamburke for making it easier. Officially #1YearSober…as always, one day at a time.’
Always by her side – admittedly at a codependent level – Sean put on his weekend best as he sported a pair of black slacks and a white button down.
By her side: The pair are currently in an open marriage and both parties are currently dating others at the moment but have no plans to divorce
Celebration: The pair were seen arriving to the sunset picnic dressed to the nines with a Louis Vuitton bag full of picnic supplies
Lots of love: Sparing no expense on the special day the event was fully catered as she rang in the milestone with her number one supporter
He was seen celebrating his wife on the big day, despite admitting that he had enabled her for years with regards to her alcohol dependency, due to the close nature of their relationship.
The pair made their way to a picnic setup on the beach that had a circular arch with balloons and whimsically rustic touches.
Sparing no expense, the event was fully catered and featured a team of waiters who brought over a celebratory cake and trays of food.
She was seen flashing her wedding ring as she tenderly embraced Sean with her hand on his head as they posed for some professional snaps.
Takes a village: Arriving in her princess gown to a full production, Braunwyn didn’t have to lift a finger as she strolled to the picnic
Snap snap: The couple posed for snaps at sunset as a professional photographer documented the occasion
Kicking the habit: ‘When I drank, I drank until I blacked out or got sick. I was drinking around the clock. I was hiding alcohol bottles in my closet,’ she shared on the show
The pair were seen toasting with crystal goblets full of water, despite her admitted predilection for tequila before she got sober.
The most recent season of the Bravo franchise heavily focused on her journey to sobriety after she admitted she had never had a healthy relationship with alcohol after taking her first sip at age 14.
‘When I drank, I drank until I blacked out or got sick. I was drinking around the clock. I was hiding alcohol bottles in my closet; I couldn’t go more than half an hour without a drink because I started shaking,’ she revealed.
She made the tough decision to get sober but things grew tougher when the couple was forced into lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only water!: The pair toasted with crystal goblets full of water after she kicked her love of tequila to the curb last year
At odds: ‘Sean was the only thing that stood between me, and you know, a bottle of alcohol,’ she shared with Andy Cohen when sharing that she had been so determined to drink during the pandemic that she actually hit Sean
Having her cake: On the explosive reunion of RHOC, she shared that she felt no problem being able to have a girlfriend while being married to Sean but was less keen on him the idea of bringing someone home unless they were serious
At one point she was so determined to get a drink that she actually hit Sean in the head when he tried to restrain her from breaking her sobriety.
‘Getting sober [is] really hard. When I did the show this season, I promised I would show the full story and it was ugly. And Sean was the only thing that stood between me, and you know, a bottle of alcohol,’ she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live.
She had previously admitted that her seven pregnancies were at times the only way she could force herself to put down the bottle but ‘never drank when [she] was pregnant or nursing.’
The pair’s relationship is anything but conventional, with Windham-Burke admitting on last Wednesday’s episode of the RHOC reunion that she was fully in a relationship with a 28-year-old woman but never wanted to divorce Sean.
He admitted on the reunion that finding out she liked women ‘was a relief,’ but it was hard for him to acknowledge that she was never attracted to him.
Reason to quit: She has said that her seven pregnancies were at times the only way she could force herself to put down the bottle but ‘never drank when [she] was pregnant or nursing’
‘The elephant in the room is, this isn’t something we can’t fix. She’s attracted to women,’ he said, with both adding that they have a deep ’emotional connection’ that makes it hard to ever split.
‘We’re best friends and we enjoy each other that way.’
Currently both are dating and are in couples therapy as they try and navigate a situation that is optimal for both parties.
She told Us Weekly in mid-January that she compartmentalizes the relationship with her husband and also with her girlfriend Kris – who she met on Tinder.
‘I think, for me, the most important thing is when I’m with Sean, I’m with Sean. When I’m with Kris, I’m with Kris. [I] give them a hundred percent of me when I’m with them.’
Split time: Braunwyn has been dating her 28-year-old girlfriend for a few months and told Us Weekly ‘The most important thing is when I’m with Sean, I’m with Sean. When I’m with Kris, I’m with Kris’; pictured December