Should Vicki Gunvalson from ‘RHOC’ Stayed Friends with Kelly and Her Ex?

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY — “Rumors” Episode 1306 — Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Dodd, Vicki Gunvalson — (Photo by: Dale Berman/Bravo)

When a couple divorces, financial assets and custody issues are often left to attorneys to duke it out. But what happens when a couple has mutual friends? Obviously, friendships that developed during marriage with other couples can be a sticky situation. Which is on full display between Vicki Gunvalson and Kelly Dodd from The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Gunvalson and Dodd became fast friends when Dodd first appeared on the show. But viewers never saw Gunvalson and Dodd on many double dates. So once Dodd and her husband divorced, Dodd was shocked to discover that Gunvalson remained in touch with her ex. And even set her ex up on a date with a mutual friend.

As the season unfolded, Gunvalson and Dodd’s relationship unraveled. At the RHOC reunion, the women admitted they no longer spoke. And the biggest reason is that Gunvalson broke the “girl code” by remaining friends with Dodd’s ex. Even though Gunvalson says she and Lodge are no longer in touch with Dodd’s ex, should Gunvalson have kept a friendship with Dodd’s ex in the first place?

Most divorced couples divided friends based on gender

In this case, Gunvalson and Dodd were friends first and foremost. So in the typical situation, Gunvalson would have remained close to Dodd and dropped Dodd’s ex. “I know a couple who actually wrote into their ‘parenting plan’ the names of two friends they wanted to claim separately,” Pamela Cytrynbaum, relationship expert wrote in Psychology Today. “I wish I could get the exact wording they used. But I do know he got the boy and she got the girl and it was somehow officially sanctioned in their binding agreement. Luckily the couple they wanted to share later split up so happy ending for everybody.”

But it is more than staying friends

Dodd may have been o.k. if Gunvalson and Lodge casually hung out with her ex. But instead what set Dodd off was that the couple set her ex up with a mutual friend. Samantha Daniels, a dating expert told Bravo’s Personal Space there are certain rules everyone should follow when friends divorce.  “If your friend and her boyfriend or husband break up, there are definitely rules and girl code to follow,” she said. “First and foremost, if this is a good friend of yours, you never want to do anything that will hurt her feelings or make her feel betrayed.”

Plus, because Gunvalson never told Dodd ahead of time of the setup, she broke another rule. “However, if you were legitimate friends with her ex or if your husband is legit friends with him, things can get a little tricky,” Daniels says. “The best way to avoid issues is to have a conversation with your friend and see how she feels about the situation.”

So which side is Gunvalson really on?

Bottom line is Gunvalson blew it by not going to Dodd in the first place. She claims that because Dodd seemed so happy to be divorced, she didn’t think she needed to mention it. But obviously, not telling Dodd was a bad move.

“If your allegiance is to her, let her know that upfront,” Daniels advises. “However, if the situation is more complicated because your kids are friends with hers or because of the husbands being friends, then you still need to have a conversation with her and figure out how and what works. She probably isn’t going to approve of you setting him up…However, if your friend gets into another relationship and she is happy, then she might not mind if you set her ex up, she actually might want you to do it! The key thing is communication so no one’s feelings get hurt.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!