The Truth About Jennifer Aydin's Marriage

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" is now in Season 12 and, despite being on the air for over a decade, the show has yet to run out of drama. While Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga may be two of the series' biggest names, producers sure know how to find cast members with a penchant for making headlines — for better or for worse. Case in point: One of the most controversial housewives to join the franchise is also one of the most recent.

Jennifer Aydin made her "RHONJ" debut during Season 9 in November 2018, and viewers have been talking about her ever since. Whether it's a feud with her mom, her gigantic house, her nose job (which left fans divided), or the fact that her plastic surgeon husband refuses to operate on her, Jennifer has become a tabloid fixture. But the story that has garnered her the most attention has been the sad truth about her husband's affair. Yes, Billy Aydin may appear to be loving and doting on-air, but behind the scenes, he's caused his wife real pain. It's something that she tried to keep under wraps for a long time, but now, the truth about their marriage has finally come to light. Here's everything we know about the Aydins' union.

Bill Aydin never actually proposed

Bill and Jennifer Aydin met at the Los Angeles wedding of Bill's brother, James Aydin. As the reality TV star recalled on Instagram, they shared an instant connection and Bill didn't waste time professing his love. It was on their "second date (after talking on the phone for 6 weeks)" that he told her, "'You know you're going to be my wife, right?'" Jennifer was "so smitten" that she "immediately said yes." Bill then referred to her as his fiancée, even though he didn't technically pop the question. As Jennifer told fans, "My husband never proposed to me!" Instead of a ring, he gifted her "a cross to signify the engagement" and they had a "promise of engagement party" in February 2002. She wrote, whenever people would ask why she didn't have a ring, Bill would explain, "My dad's a jewelry [sic], her dad's a jeweler, it's not the most important thing, we are!"

Jennifer got her ring "just a few months before my wedding day," which took place on the one-year anniversary of their first meeting. Soon after, they grew their family with the arrival of Justin in ​​September 2004, per Us Weekly, followed by Gabby in June 2007, Jacob in February 2009, Christian in February 2011, and Olivia in January 2013. Jump to their 18th wedding anniversary and Bill finally proposed by getting down on one knee and presenting his wife with a stunning 9-carat yellow diamond. Better late than never!

Did Jennifer Aydin marry for money?

The "Real Housewives" franchise is built on feuds and Jennifer Aydin and Margaret Josephs' animosity is one of the most (in)famous. One of their most explosive exchanges came during Season 10, when Margaret accused Jennifer of "marrying rich" and shaded her for "not having a job outside the home," per Us Weekly. Jennifer told the outlet she wasn't in the least bit bothered by the comments because she could "handle" her nemesis, but she did set the record straight. Saying she found it "funny" when "people think they know so much," she explained, "My husband didn't have money when I married him. I mean, his parents supported him and he was a resident when I met him." Underscoring the fact that she "didn't marry him for his money," Jennifer called her husband "tall, dark, handsome, educated, elegant, classy" and quipped, "I married him to get in his pants, not his wallet, people, OK?"

The "RHONJ" villain also proudly insisted that she and her hubby built their fortune "together." In fact, she said she was the one who helped guide Bill to his successful career. "When he was doing his residency, he asked me what field to go into," she recalled. "I said, 'Plastics,' because I felt that plastics would be less stressful" — and he listened. Despite these explanations, though, Margaret wasn't dissuaded from calling Jennifer a "concubine" during Season 11 nor from revealing Bill's infidelity in Season 12.

Jennifer Aydin shot down cheating rumors

Before Margaret Josephs officially ripped the veil off of Bill Aydin's infidelity during Season 12 of "RHONJ" in 2022, she first accused Jennifer Aydin's husband of cheating back in 2019. During a heated exchange, Margaret claimed Bill "sleeps in the f****** pool house," per The U.S. Sun. To that, Jennifer quickly fired back, "My husband doesn't sleep in the pool house, honey. I'm secure in my marriage so it doesn't bother me where the f*** he sleeps." But Margaret wouldn't let the subject go and clapped back, "Whether it's in his girlfriend's bed or not."

Infidelity rumors plagued Bill and Jennifer again in 2021, when it was reported that the plastic surgeon may have gone on holiday to St. Barts with "his mistress." Once again, Jennifer wasn't having it. Taking to TikTok, she shut down all speculation by posting a video in which she flipped through her husband's passport to show the customs stamps inside. "I am the keeper of all the passports for my family," she shared, explaining, "When Bill wants his passport, he asks me for it because I keep them all." She then read out the various destinations he'd been to, noting that his most recent trip had been to the Dominican Republic that January. "Where else has Bill traveled?" she asked. Flipping through, she pronounced, "It looks like nowhere. Sorry to burst your bubble, folks," she concluded.

She was forced to confirm her husband's infidelity

Fans of "RHONJ" were in for a real shocker during the show's Season 12 premiere, when Margaret Josephs and Jennifer Aydin's feud boiled over as they went head-to-head over Bill Aydin's alleged infidelity. The drama began with Margaret telling her nemesis, "I think that you are unhappy," per People. Jennifer fought back, saying she's "blessed" to have Bill in her life because he "allowed me to make things happen that never could've happened for me without a man having to nag me about the bill." Emphasizing that "it's not about the money," she told Margaret their union was strong thanks to her husband "trying to do everything he can to let me be the perfect mother to my kids."

Not backing down, Margaret spilled major tea, per The U.S. Sun, proclaiming that Bill wasn't "the best" because "he had an affair. Everybody knows and that's why he left his old job." Noting Jennifer's "marriage isn't as perfect as she says it is," she added, "Bill had the affair with the office manager for two years." Rather than deny the allegations again, Jennifer told viewers what really happened. She yelled back, "She's not an office manager! She was the f****** pharmaceutical rep, you f****** idiot. If you'd get the facts straight!" After the episode aired, Jennifer told Access she was forced to share the truth because "there was really only one way I could handle it: Just letting it all hang out."

Jennifer Aydin learned of Bill Aydin's cheating when she was 9 months pregnant

After years of speculation, Jennifer Aydin finally opened up about her husband's infidelity, though the truth was more salacious than fans could have imagined. After confirming Bill Aydin's affair, Jennifer revealed on the show (via Us Weekly) that it occurred when she was pregnant, they had "just moved to Jersey" and "he was not around." She recalled how "he was working a lot, and he was really feeling himself. You know, he was making a lot of money." He was also spending a lot, just not on her. In fact, it was a credit card bill that aroused Jennifer's suspicions and a text on Bill's phone that confirmed them.

Once she discovered the incriminating evidence, Jennifer said she "confronted" Bill and "he admitted it." That's when she "got angry" and "threw things." Making things more painful was the fact that she was "literally ten days" away from giving birth to Christian. "I'm nine months pregnant, a stay-at-home mom, no income of my own," she recalled. As she told Us Weekly, she was "going through the process of letting it sink in while having to have a baby and wanting my baby to have all of the blessings that a normal child would." Choosing to "put on a brave face for my children," she eventually decided to stay in the marriage for the kids. Now, it's water under the bridge. "This happened 10 years ago. I'm over it."

She struggled but chose forgiveness

Jennifer Aydin is now speaking candidly about Bill Aydin's infidelity. Sitting down with E! News, she revealed how she initially "pretended it didn't happen." Rather than facing the truth, she told Page Six she "put it in the vault and threw away the key." She wanted their relationship to work and their kids to be happy so, as she told People, she "just went through the motions and put on a brave face and did everything I thought a good wife and mother was supposed to do while being crushed inside ultimately." That means she has "never brought it up once in an argument" because, as she explained, "When I decided to forgive him, I forgave him and I forgot about it."

That approach made the on-air reveal "extremely difficult," as Jennifer was finally forced to face the truth — while in public. "It's almost like reliving it," she told Access. Explaining why she chose to forgive Bill, she added, "I don't believe, 'Once a cheater, always a cheater' [...] I believe people live and learn." In the end, she's confident her strategy paid off. Telling Us Weekly that when you "pretend things are a certain way" you can "manifest" them. "Because I wasn't nasty towards him and we were playing the role of this happy family life," that's what they became. "After a while I was just like, 'You know what? Let's just pretend this never happened.' And that's what I did," she shared.

Jennifer Aydin swore no one would know the truth

Jennifer Aydin never wanted anyone to know about her husband's infidelity. As she told E! News, she didn't share her pain with any of her family or friends because "to the grave is where I was going to take the secret." Her hope was that "nobody would ever find out" and so, she kept it all inside, which proved to be "very hard." However, she knew she had to do it "for the greater good of my family."

Despite her vow of secrecy, though, she never wanted to outright lie. "I did tell Bill when we joined the show that if anything ever did come out about it, that I was not going to shy away from it," she told Us Weekly. Indeed, she admitted to Access that she always knew being on "RHONJ" meant there was a real possibility her biggest secret "may come out." But her desire to be on TV was greater than her desire to keep the secret. "I wasn't going to forgo something that I wanted based on the mistake that [Bill] made," she reasoned. Noting that they "discussed" what would happen if the truth was revealed, Jennifer shared that Bill "was under the impression that I would deny it." Priding herself on being "very forthright," Jennifer said she knew she'd have to tell the truth because if she denied it, she was convinced Margaret would "whip out proof that's gonna prove I'm a liar."

Jennifer and Bill Aydin's kids discovered the truth on TikTok

Now that the world knows about Bill Aydin's cheating, Jennifer Aydin has some regrets about confirming the affair. As she told Andy Cohen, that's because "there's other people involved," including her kids who were "very upset" after the truth came out.

Not to mention it forced them to have some difficult conversations. Speaking with Page Six, Jennifer admitted that her 9-year-old daughter, Olivia, learned the news on TikTok — and tried to deny it. Responding to a video posted after the explosive "RHONJ" reveal, she wrote, "This is my mommy and daddy and this is not true!" She then showed her mom the comment and proudly told her, "I'm defending you from all of these lies." That's when Jennifer knew she had to get real with her kids. After asking Olivia to delete the comment, she "put on a brave face and said, 'Listen, Daddy did a bad thing, but that doesn't mean that he's a bad person. And when we love people, we forgive them when they make mistakes.'" Noting that her daughter "wasn't upset because I wasn't upset," the reality star and Bill then told the others. Justin was "irritated" and didn't want to talk about it while Gabriella was "crushed" and "felt very betrayed." As for their youngest sons, "they're neither here or there." She concluded, "Children will learn by example. As long as I'm cool and not breaking down, I think they'll be OK."

She's 'glad' she stayed

Despite how difficult it was for Jennifer Aydin to come to terms with her husband's infidelity on her own, she has no regrets about choosing to work through the betrayal. Taking to Instagram shortly after the cheating rumors were confirmed on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," she posted a family snap and wrote, "I'm glad I stayed ... and forgave." It's a sentiment she shared in another family photo a few days earlier when she wrote, "It's best when we're all together." As she told People, "Time heals all wounds" and she's a firm believer that "just because you did a bad thing, doesn't mean you're a bad person." It's a lesson she's now trying to teach her kids who were, understandably, also hurt. "This is what I've been trying to reiterate to my kids: That when you love someone, people make mistakes, you forgive them if they're truly remorseful. Life is all about learning the lessons and what you do with it," she declared.

As for how she and Bill Aydin are doing these days, Jennifer told E! News they're "fantastic" and are working to "filter out the noise and not let anybody ruin our happiness." She added, "I know nothing is perfect but it works for us and we do whatever it takes to make it work." That's because they're "committed to the family" and are willing to "move hell and high water in order to keep it intact and happy."