Real Housewives of Orange County star Emily Simpson has seen an improvement in her and Shane Simpson’s marriage since she joined the main cast of the Bravo series in 2018.

“Going into the show five years ago, Shane was not a fan of being on the show at all. And he made that very clear to me,” Emily, 47, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, July 25, while promoting the current season of RHOC. “He was like, ‘I don’t wanna film, I don’t wanna be on a show. I don’t want you to be on a show.’ But he ultimately said, ‘But it’s up to you.’”

The Bravolebrity continued: “Here we are five years later, and I feel like our relationship has done nothing but get better. And, so, I think he’s embraced that and realized that you can just have fun with it and be yourself.”

Emily explained that Shane — whom she wed in 2009 — initially had concerns that the reality series would be “detrimental” to their marriage and their three children: daughter Annabelle, 10, and twin sons Luke and Keller, 7. (Shane also has two daughters, Shelby and Chanel, from his first marriage.)

Although appearing on RHOC didn’t strain their relationship as Shane feared, Emily admitted that viewers were critical of her husband’s persona on the show at first.

Emily Simpson Says Marriage to Shane Simpson Improved After 'Real Housewives of Orange County'

Shane Simpson and Emily Simpson
Courtesy of Emily Simpson/Instagram

“He was very careful about what he said, even though he came across as a big d—k,” she said. “I think he just wasn’t comfortable. … I think people are more open to understanding our relationship and our marriage [now], when before, people were very judgmental. They didn’t know him, they didn’t know me. So, they were like, ‘You should get divorced. He’s horrible.’ And now they’re like, ‘Shane’s so funny.’”

Shane showed off his sense of humor during the Wednesday, July 26, episode of RHOC when the couple went to a joint waxing appointment. After the waxer asked if they needed anything else, Shane replied, “[Emily’s] butt.” Emily then explained to the waxer that her husband is “very into butts,” prompting Shane to clarify, “No, I’m not very into butts. I’m just not into hairy butts.”

Emily told Us that Shane has since watched the latest episode twice. She admitted that she “totally forgot” about the waxing scene until Shane reminded her. “When I watched it, it actually made me laugh. Like, I was laughing out loud,” she said.

The pair had another memorable moment in the episode when Emily told her friend Kristina, Gina Kirschenheiter’s friend Tatiana Beebe and Heather Dubrow that she and Shane like to make NSFW movies together. Emily told Us that she “did not remember” making the steamy confession.

“I must have drank way too much because I don’t even remember saying that,” she revealed, adding that Shane “just rolls with it now” when he sees such moments on screen. “He’s just like, ‘Emily, really?’” she said with a laugh.

Emily added that “the first thing [she] thought of” when she realized she’d mentioned sex tapes on the show is that Shane’s parents watch RHOC. “I’m hoping [my mother-in-law] just, like, doesn’t see that part,” she said.

Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi