Viewers Are Still Rooting for Dolores and Frank Catania to Get Back Together on 'RHONJ'

Shannon Raphael - Author

Apr. 4 2023, Updated 7:41 p.m. ET

Frank and Dolores Catania
Source: Bravo

Devoted fans of The Real Housewives have seen many couples get divorced over the years and, most times, the splits are years in the making. 

When viewers formally met Dolores Catania Season 7 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, they were struck by her close friendship with her ex-husband, Frank Catania.

The exes shared a home, they continued to spend their free time together, and they fiercely supported their kids, Frankie and Gabrielle Catania. 

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Though some may have thought that their friendly dynamic would change once Dolores began dating Dr. David Principe, that ended up being the furthest thing from the truth. Instead, Frank and David became best friends, and they even lived together while Frank recovered from an injury. 

Their evident bond and their steadfast loyalty for one another has often left fans (and the other wives) wondering, why did Dolores and Frank divorce in the first place?

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Why did Dolores and Frank divorce?

Though Frank and Dolores make co-parenting look easy, the two haven't always been as close as they are on RHONJ. As Dolores mentioned on the April 28 episode of the hit Bravo series, she first left Frank when she was nine months pregnant with their son, Frankie. 

The divorced duo has been apart for more than 22 years, and Big Frank's infidelity was a main contributor to the demise of their marriage. 

When Dolores and Frank first divorced, they weren't on good terms. Once Frank ended his relationship with the "other" woman he cheated on Dolores with, the two were able to focus on healing.

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"We had a very difficult time years ago and I had a lot of pain and anger to deal with," Dolores told HuffPost in 2016. "I mean, he cheated (he is not with that woman now, Thank God) and ended up leaving us right before I was supposed to give birth," Dolores said. "It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears but we were able to work it out. It certainly wasn't always easy or anything like it looks now." 

The RHONJ star chose to let certain things go, and to focus on the bigger picture for her kids. 

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"In addition to getting angry and getting all that stuff off my chest, I learned that biting some things back also helped — when I reflect now in retrospect, I'm happy for some of those things I bit back," she added. "I stood on my own two feet, I got out of the marriage but there are certain things that weren't worth fighting about and I'm honestly glad to have exercised the appropriate and necessary restraint because we have the friendship we have today."

During Dolores' first season as a full-time cast member in 2016, Frank Sr. was in a relationship with his longtime girlfriend of more than a decade. The two later split, and viewers hoped for a reconciliation while the former spouses were both single.

However, Dolores soon began dating Dr. David — and he's since become a popular topic on Season 11.  

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Now, Dolores has a new boyrfriend.

Things with David and Dolores, unfortunately, didn't work out. Fans were rather upset, but they'll be intrigued to know that Dolores has officially moved on.

Dolores went public with Paul "Paulie" Connell in February through an Instagram post for Valentine's Day. Before that, she'd only teased fans with the occasional story hinting at the relationship.

“Paul and I, we've been married, we have children, [so] marriage isn’t our end goal,” Dolores told Distractify earlier this month. “If it happens, yeah. But our goal is to have peace in our lives together — [to be] harmonious, make it one.”

So, for now, it seems that there isn't a lot of pressure surrounding the relationship.

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The reality star and her doctor boyfriend have yet to announce an engagement, so it remains to be seen if psychic Gina Marie's prediction on the show will come true. As viewers will remember, the psychic told Dolores that David wasn't her soulmate, and that she would meet the true love of her life once she ended her relationship.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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