RHOP’s Ashley Darby and Estranged Husband Michael Are ‘Parallel Parenting’: It’s ‘Very Challenging’

The Real Housewives of Potomac star Ashley Darby gave Us an update on where she stands with her estranged husband, Michael Darby — and it sounds like things have definitely been better.

“We are currently doing something called parallel parenting,” Ashley, 35, exclusively told Us Weekly at BravoCon on Friday, November 3. “I learned that terminology from TikTok, and yes, it very much applies.”

According to Ashley, parallel parenting involves less personal interaction with the ex-spouse than traditional coparenting does. “We’re just really only communicating for the children, which I think is the best until we get to a better place personally,” she explained.

Ashley confirmed her split from Michael, 64, in April 2022 after eight years of marriage. “We have decided to separate. We are aware that there will be many speculative views as to why we have made this decision,” she told Bravo’s The Daily Dish at the time. “People will be quick to assume that the causes were too much intrusion by reality TV into the most personal parts of our lives, age gap issues, cultural problems, or child-rearing differences. Pieces of all these may have affected our pure love for each other, but no one reason is the root cause of our mutual decision to go our separate ways.”

RHOP Ashley Darby and Estranged Husband Michael Are Parallel Parenting
Ashley DarbyGabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

The estranged duo had been coparenting sons Dean, 4, and Dylan, 2, but Ashley told Us on Friday that her rapport with Michael has since deteriorated.

“I don’t actually know the turning point for him,” she said. “I don’t know where we became negative toward each other. But something changed. Something changed, and maybe as I watch [this season] back, maybe I’ll learn too, but something happened.”

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RHOP’s Ashley Darby Says There Are ‘Moments of Missing’ Ex Michael Darby

Related: Ashley Darby and Michael Darby’s Relationship Timeline

It’s safe to say Ashley Darby and Michael Darby’s relationship made waves on Bravo since the debut of The Real Housewives of Potomac. The Maryland-based franchise premiered in 2016, less than two years into Ashley’s marriage to Michael. Her costars were quick to question their union as Ashley is 29 years younger than her spouse. […]

Ashley went on to confess that she’s disappointed in the way things are between her and Michael despite their split. “I was so in love with this man,” she told Us. “To be in love with somebody for 11 years and then not to be, on these terms, is very challenging. But that’s just life.”

RHOP Ashley Darby and Estranged Husband Michael Are Parallel Parenting 2
Michael Darby and Ashley Boalch DarbyBrian Stukes/Getty Images

As for when she’ll officially divorce Michael, Ashley said she’s still “wading through the water” of the process. “I’m going to get there,” she added. “I don’t know when, but one step at a time.”

The reality star also plans to take her time when it comes to dating again. “I’ve learned that maybe I should just slow down a little bit, because when I like somebody, I just nose dive,” Ashley said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, do you want me to do your laundry, cook for you? Do you want me to buy you this?’ And I can’t do that.”

RHOP Ashley Darby and Estranged Husband Michael Are Parallel Parenting 3Courtesy of Ashley Darby/Instagram

Ashley was last publicly linked to Summer House star Luke Gulbranson, but the duo split in January after several months of dating. Despite their breakup, Ashley has no regrets.

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“Luke’s a great guy,” she told Us. “I wasn’t in a place to be in a relationship, but it all happened the way it was meant to. I learned some things from him — and he’s very easy on the eyes, so I enjoyed that.”

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Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Potomac premieres on Bravo Sunday, November 5, at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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RHOP's Ashley Is Struggling to Coparent With Ex Michael: 'It's a Disaster'

Ashley Darby

The Real Housewives of Potomac

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