Lauren Bushnell Admits She Struggled With Ben Higgins’s Feelings For JoJo Fletcher
JoJo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell
Credit: Freeform/Greg Zabilski    

Lauren Bushnell

Lauren Bushnell Admits She Struggled With Ben Higgins’s Feelings For JoJo Fletcher

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Seems like Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell’s broken 18-month engagement owes a lot to reality TV.

Though the couple did initially fall in love on Bachelor 2016, ever since the show wrapped, they’ve been struggling to overcome challenges related to the franchise.

One of those struggles? His runner-up, JoJo Fletcher.

We already knew that Lauren didn’t have the greatest experience filming the couple’s Freeform reality show, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?

Ben Higgins Lauren Bushnell
Credit: Freeform video still    

“I remember during filming Happily Ever After, I was so stressed out. We couldn’t even communicate with one another when we were filming,” she said earlier this week.

However, it sounds like those issues were just compounding on something that was already there.

The trouble all started in March 2016, when the newly-engaged gal watched as her fiancé poured his heart out to his other Season 20 finalist, JoJo.

“I don’t think I’ve ever talked about how hurtful that was,” the former flight attendant tells People.

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
Credit: Freeform/Vu Ong    

Even though that was filmed four months prior, she wasn’t able to “move forward from it,” no matter how hard she tried.

“Because I wanted to move forward from it, I don’t think I ever really opened up about how hard that was,” she admits.

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Credit: Freeform/Todd Anderson    

“Just in terms of, like, I wanted to make that decision to get engaged one time in my life and I felt like I wasn’t told everything that had happened.”

The fact that Ben didn’t warn her about this ahead of the finale airing left Lauren feeling “betrayed” — especially when she found out her competition was in on it.

“I know that JoJo was told what had happened,” she reveals. “I almost felt a little bit betrayed.”

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Credit: ABC Television Group © 2016 Disney    

She adds, “That was really hard, but we moved forward from that.”

Still, Lo was left to relive her man telling another woman “I love you” over and over again during the couple’s press tour.

“I was still like, ‘We’re going to move forward from this,’ but then the press, that’s what everybody wanted to talk about,” she recalls.

BEN HIGGINS, LAUREN BUSHNELL
Credit: Freeform/Vu Ong    

“I’ve never shared with anyone, except for Ben, how hurtful that situation was and how hard it is to continually talk about it over and over again when you’re trying to start a life with someone.”

That sounds like enough to cause any relationship to fall apart, but she maintains it’s not as simple as all of that.

She reasons, “Looking back, I wish I could be like, ‘That’s why it didn’t work out,’ but I think it was just a very abnormal situation and one that unfortunately…I mean we tried.

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Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group © 2016 Disney    

“We went to couples counseling. We continued that after the show and I went to personal counseling.”

You’d think that outside of that “abnormal situation,” the couple might have more of a shot, but for now, they’re “completely done.”

Then again, last week, she also hinted she’s not completely opposed to working things out in the future.

“I mean, I feel like I have no idea what’s going to happen in my life moving forward,” she stated.

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Credit: Instagram    

She added, “I’m kind of open to all things, but… yeah.”’