Shannon Beador had to make a decision. Should she tell the world that her husband David had cheated on her? Or should she back out of her hit television show and deal with it on her own?
It is a problem faced by many who get their fame and fortune on reality TV: Do they tell everything? What happens when the probe gets too deep into territory they really wish would stay hidden?
Shannon Beador opened the season of The Real Housewives of Orange County by telling fans of the show about the infidelity. She had discovered the affair when she found hotel receipts that told the tale.
“At the time when it should’ve been the best year of my life, he started an affair,” Beador recalled. “I caught him whispering to this person on the phone and I suspected something was wrong.”
But Beador kept pressing on, looking for the truth.
"I knew. I just knew something was different. And I was told I was crazy or I was told I was stupid, and it's upsetting to me because I knew. It was April 1st -- April Fools Day, Shannon -- and he was taking the kids to school and I grabbed his briefcase and I saw all the hotel receipts. When he came home, I said, 'I'm going to ask you one last time: Are you having an affair?' and he said, 'Yes, I am.'"
David moved out for two weeks, but they are still together.
How did Beador make it through that rough time?
“After I found out about the infidelity, we had some bumps back and forth and we finally ended up at a place called Couples Retreat,” Beador told Us Magazine. “They have a 90 percent success rate with repairing marriages and we went through the process and it was eye-opening for the both of us and we received some tools that would help us repair our marriage.”
Repairing a marriage torn by infidelity is not easy for any couple, especially not one that lives its life in the spotlight. Shannon Beador and David had their work cut out for them.
“Every Saturday night after church we go out to dinner just the two of us and it’s nice,” Beador's husband David said. “It’s nice to have the alone time. Shannon calls it our ‘reconnection time’…It’s really helped our relationship because previously we never did that.”
Most people probably would have walked away from the show rather than live that agony out in front of cameras. But Shannon Beador soldiered on.
“It was a difficult decision coming back to the show because it’s a reality show and we are both honest so we knew we had to address the infidelity as part of what was going on in our lives.”
"Learn from the past, prepare for the future, and perform in the moment." Mike Van Hoozer
— Shannon Beador (@ShannonBeador) June 12, 2015
But Shannon found a way to take the experience and make it worthwhile. She decided to help other people.
“What’s important to both of us, as corny as it might sound, is we want to give other couples hope that even if there is infidelity, or something devastating in a relationship, if you both work and make the effort and love each other, you can get out,” Shannon Beador said. “You can get through it and get through in a better position than you started out in.”