Fans may not have bet money on Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley’s relationship, but the former Real Housewives of Orange County stars are certainly beating the reality TV odds.
Gretchen surprised fans during season 5 of RHOC by starting a relationship with Slade, who was previously linked to their costars Jo De La Rosa and Lauri Peterson.
The Gretchen Christine handbag designer, for her part, was engaged to Jeff Beitzel until he lost his battle to cancer in 2008. Gretchen often defended her relationship with Jeff to her castmates before his untimely death because he was wealthy — and 24 years older than her.
Less than a year later, Gretchen started seeing Slade. While the twosome got engaged in 2013, they have yet to tie the knot.
“We’re really content. We’re really happy,” Gretchen told Us Weekly in February 2018. “I think that one day we definitely get married, but right now we just really are focused on starting a family so we just don’t really want to put the money and the resources into a wedding because the truth is Slade and I do everything really big.”
While the twosome are in a good place, Gretchen did admit at the time that she thought about ending their relationship.
“There’s definitely been a lot of days that I’ve struggled with my emotions and I struggled with, ‘Is being with Slade the right thing?’” she explained. “When you love somebody that much, even if that means letting them go or letting them go down a different path to have what it is that they think will ultimately think will make them happy, that’s what true love is … However, going through that and experiencing those emotions was probably one of best things that could have happened to us because it made us realize that whether or not we have children together or whether or not we did have biological children together, that ultimately us being together meant more.”
After a long IVF journey, Gretchen and Slade confirmed in late 2018 that they are expecting a daughter in July 2019.
Scroll through to relive their relationship timeline:
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