The Real Reasons Shannon And David Beador Are Divorcing

Shannon and David Beador opened up their lives to television viewers as cast members of Bravo TV's long-running series The Real Housewives of Orange County. Since Season 9, the couple allowed cameras inside their sprawling mansion to capture lovey-dovey moments and disagreements a plenty as this mom and dad did their best to raise three beautiful daughters — Sophie, and twins Stella and Adeline.

Audiences watched as Shannon tried to navigate the murky waters of her fickle OC friendships — most notably her strained relationship with frenemy Vicki Gunvalson — while desperately trying to resuscitate a 17-year marriage that appeared to unravel right in front of our eyes. Despite Shannon and David's best efforts, she filed for divorce in December 2017.

Though the split may not have been too surprising for dedicated fans of the reality series, you may be shocked to learn that their marital issues ran much deeper than many suspected. Here are the real reasons Shannon and David Beador are calling it quits.

She 'felt alone'

When news hit that Shannon was at her wit's end and filing for divorce, she immediately released a statement: "It's heartbreaking for me and my daughters that this is the road that had to be taken but it's the only way," she told People. "I felt alone in my marriage. You can do what you can to keep your family together, but you have to have willing parties."

Feeling "alone" was probably an understatement by that point. Their marriage had the natural ebbs and flows of any relationship, but toward the end of Season 12, it was apparent David had essentially shunned his spouse. "The truth about the state of my marriage is that it's not good," Shannon says during an episode of RHOC (via People). "There's no doubt, my husband is checked out. If you're done with me, then say it and go."

Not only did David "say it and go," he also allegedly ran straight into the arms of a woman named Leslye Cook before the ink was even dry on those divorce papers. 

He was too savage about his workouts

There's absolutely nothing wrong with living a healthy lifestyle and trying to stay in shape. However, it appeared that David's metamorphoses into a gym rat took a serious toll on his relationship with his wife and daughters.

On an episode of RHOC (via People), Shannon claims, "Because his exercise schedule is so rigorous now, both the kids and I don't see him. He works out before work, comes home and eats with us, and then goes and works out until he goes to bed." Hmm...sounds like someone was using the gym as a way to avoid his relationships.

The issue was only exacerbated by Shannon's own insecurities with her 40-pound weight gain and her reluctance to join him on his fitness journey. Even after he invited her to Arizona for a 5-mile Spartan race, along with their RHOC co-stars Tamra and Eddie Judge and Lydia and Doug McLaughlin, Shannon was ticked off by the notion that their vacation would double as a way for him to continue his workout obsession. "The exercise is David's number one priority now," she says on the show. 

After receiving backlash from viewers who wanted Shannon to suck it up and support her husband during the race, Shannon took to her official Bravo blog to state her case: "When David suggested a romantic weekend away that was also a Spartan Race, I respectfully declined. We haven't been away alone together for a while and If we do, I want to know that it's because he wants to spend the time with me, not to kill two birds with one stone."

He questioned her parenting style

Those who hoped the former couple would be able to part ways sans mudslinging were wrong. Three months after Shannon put the kibosh on their marriage — seeking primary and physical custody of their kids — David clapped back with a request of his own.

The Blast dug up court documents revealing that David was gunning for joint custody of their children. He reportedly also lobbed some major allegations against Shannon, saying she wasn't "fostering or encouraging a healthy father-child relationship" between him and their daughters. He also sounded off about her parenting skills, saying her gig on the reality TV show "encourages excess drinking and extended travel." 

We're assuming David was glued to his flat screen during the episode (via People) where the Housewives embark on a boozy adventure to Ireland, and Shannon gets called out by castmate Kelly Dodd for being "a drunk." 

Producers of reality shows know that getting the cast to guzzle liquid courage makes for good TV, and taking the wifies out of their element by flying them to various locations equates to massive amounts of drama, likely due to the double whammy of chronic jet lag and alcohol consumption. So, maybe David has a point? 

He's facing vicious rumors about physical abuse

David found himself at the center of some horrific allegations in Season 11 (via People), when the OC's HBIC, Vicki Gunvalson, claimed David "beat the s**t" out of Shannon. Mrs. Beador reportedly told Gunvalson about the alleged abuse in confidence at a time when the ladies were still good friends. 

David reportedly confronted Gunvalson about her accusations against him. "When David went face to face with me, they said 'Were you afraid of him hurting me?' And I said 'Yes, I was afraid of David hitting me just like he hit his wife,'" she says on an episode of the show.

Let's take a step back here: One can't just make an allegation like that without some cold hard evidence, right? Well, Gunvalson said she had the evidence in the form of "text messages and pictures" that supported her claim. 

Shannon reportedly tried to explain away that so-called evidence, claiming suspect bruises happened when she attempted to break open a door while she and David were engaged in a verbal altercation, insisting physical violence between the two of them never occurred. "David does a lot of things but he doesn't beat me," she says on an episode of the show.

Was he fame hungry?

There was a time when it appeared that David was very eager to stay committed to Shannon, but was it all a bunch of malarkey? The answer is yes — if you believe a report published by Radar Online.

An insider told the gossip rag: "If they were to get a divorce, he would be off the show. Not only is he loving being famous, but he also loves the extra income it gives him."

As the owner of Beador Construction, David's company was reportedly pulling in $13 million a year in revenue. It's unclear exactly how much Shannon makes on the RHOC, but her co-star, Kelly Dodd, reportedly earns $150,000 per season. If Shannon's salary is comparable to Dodd's, it would be a drop in the bucket compared to David's income. In other words, we're not entirely sold on the idea that he was with his wife for the extra income. 

As far as loving the cameras and the perks that came along with being a reality star, well, anything's possible.

He fell in love with his mistress

At one point, David's supposed disinterest in his marriage just so happened to correlate with an affair he had with a woman named Nicole McMackin. Shannon had reportedly forgiven her then-husband for his infidelity, but it still hit her like a ton of bricks when Andy Cohen, the host of Watch What Happens Live, asked David if he was in love with his mistress. 

David answers, "I thought I was in love with her, yes."

McMackin allegedly went to great lengths to seduce David. Shannon even accused her of attempting to befriend her in order to get closer to her him. "What made it so difficult for me was that his mistress infiltrated my life, befriended me, and vocally displayed an interest in my marriage," Shannon claimed in her blog. "That is the ultimate violation of the title of this [RHOC] episode "Girl Code." I thought I was gaining a friend, but she was basically acting, only interested in gathering information for the benefit of her affair with my husband."

Let's now refer to her as Double Agent McMackin.

Love has left the building

A few months prior to Shannon filing for divorce, the couple separated and was living apart, according to People"It's heartbreaking for me and my daughters that this is the road that had to be taken but it's the only way," Shannon told the publication.

An insider told E! News, "This has been a miserable marriage for Shannon for a very long time. David wanted out. Shannon couldn't take it any longer and has decided that this is best for the kids and her health." However, it wasn't easy for this housewife to move on. "Shannon is very distraught and is trying to every possible way to keep it together for the sake of her kids," the insider added.

A separation doesn't always lead to a divorce, but for Shannon and David, it seemed the writing was on the wall.

They only had 'a couple good months'

We shall refer to David as the dumper in this situation because he supposedly initiated the separation. As the dumper, we would have expected him to at least attempt to let Shannon down easily. You know, considering she's the mother of his three children and all. But when it came time to break the news that he really, truly wanted out, the guy supposedly unleashed pure verbal venom.

During a Bravo TV special (via Us Weekly), a teary-eyed Shannon says, "We went on a trip to Hawaii, which I kind of hoped would bring everything together, but he left the trip early. And when I came home, he said, 'We're done.'

"I said to David, when he told me it was over, 'What happened? We had a couple of amazing years,'" she recalls on the show. "And he goes, 'We had a couple good months.'" 

Wow. Talk about brutal.

Things hit the skids after their vow renewal

When they announced they would renew their vows during Season 11 of RHOC, the housewife took to her blog to detail how involved her hubby was in planning the ceremony. "David spent months carefully planning our night and put such thought into every aspect from the date (when we got engaged), the surprise birthday, the venue where we got married, having our children there, and the perfect guest list," she wrote.

A second honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico soon followed, and the couple was able to reconnect and share some goofy moments together. "David dared me to run towards him like Bo Derek in the movie 10 (if I only looked like her!) and he decided to go into our private pool naked! We laughed the entire time and that's what life is about!" she wrote. Of course, this makes us wonder if Shannon was also rocking a head full of beaded braids. But, we digress...

Vow renewal ceremonies are cool and all, but when you're on a reality show, these romantic moments are usually the kiss of death, particularly if you're on a Housewives' reality show. Let's see, there was Vicki Gunvalson and her ex-husband, Donn, who renewed their vows in front of the cameras, only to file for divorce the following year. And then there was The Real Housewives of New York's Ramona and Mario Singer who said "I do" redux in 2010, only for Ramona to file for divorce in 2014. The point is, based on Housewives history, Shannon and David's renewal ceremony signaled the beginning of the end of their rocky union. 

Setting a better example

One good thing about watching your life play out on cable TV is the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Playbacks of RHOC reportedly allowed Shannon to take a deeper look at her marriage and how her choices could affect her children. 

"As a mother, I want to be a good role model for my daughters," she told People. "Three years ago I was proud of what I showed them, because I fought for keeping my family together after infidelity. As the last year went by, it's been extremely difficult and painful to watch the show, because clearly I was in denial about what was going on in my marriage."

It's true, Shannon's behavior was more problematic than in previous seasons, and it was clear she was lashing out at some of her co-stars (e.g. Gunvalson and Dodd) because of issues she was facing at home. In the end, she no longer wanted to come from such a negative place and negatively impact the people she loved the most.

"As a mother you keep thinking about your daughters and you have to say, 'This is an unhealthy environment.' Not only is it unhealthy for me, but it's unhealthy for my girls, too," she said. "They deserve a happy and joyful home, and I am providing that for them now."

Bravo, Shannon. We wish your family the best.