Until now, the reality star has said very little about the shocking split, which came amid her husband's ongoing legal woes. But on Wednesday's new episode, the divorce and her reasoning behind it finally took center stage.
As she arrived to Sutton Stracke's home for a group lunch, she first apologized for forgetting a gift for the hostess, saying it's "been a little rough this week." The party was held just a few days after she had filed and, following some awkward small talk, Erika finally addressed the "elephant in the room."
"Um. Yeah so my life drastically changed this week. I let go of my Lamborghini, I let go of my 16,000 square foot home, I let go of my marriage, I let go of everything," she told the women. "I literally made a decision that I had to."
She explained to the women that she didn't tell any of them what was going on because she didn't want them to have to hold onto that information. "It also doesn't serve me to talk a lot about what is happening legally or what will happen legally, because I am married to somebody who is very good in that area," she added.
"I thought about this and tried and tried and tried to talk and tried to work it out and I was met with such resistance, such resistance," she continued. "I can't do this by myself. I cannot convince someone that, you know, of anything, so I said okay, well I have to take this step on my own."
In a number of confessionals sprinkled throughout the lunch footage, Erika filled in a few more blanks, claiming Tom pushed her "further and further" away. "The conversations that I used to have were now reduced down to a sentence or two," she said, adding that the marriage "was headed down a really s----y path" and she "couldn't live that way anymore."
Erika claimed she "struggled for a long time" knowing she had to leave and spent "a good 30 days closing out certain parts" of her life, crying every day.
She also admitted their marriage "was never conventional" and one where she couldn't always voice her true feelings. "If I wanted to open up and say, 'You, Tom, have hurt my feelings,' there was none of that," she claimed, "It was always dismissed."
At one point, she also recalled a time she joined Tom and a group of his male friends for dinner. After showing up a little late, one of them told her, "If you were married to a better man, traffic would be no problem." She added, "And Tom straight looked at him across the table and said, 'If you think you can afford her, you can have her.' It flew right out of his mouth."
"I didn't tell anybody because he supported me when there was nothing. There's always that underlying pressure of wanting to please someone that's provided for you," she added. "I felt always that I should shut up and be grateful, to an extent. Is it great to be able to wear this jacket? Is it great to be able to live in a big house? Is is great to be able to have a Lambo? Is it great to be able to do all this s---? Yes, but at what human cost at some point?"
As for why she filed on Election Day, she thought it would get buried in the political news cycle. "Not happening," she joked, as all the headlines flashed on screen.
Later in the hour, we got a look at her new rental home, with the show going out of its way to point out the vast differences between what she moved into and the sprawling estate in Pasadena where she used to live. Their former home was a 16,000 square feet mansion with four bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The new one, meanwhile, measured in at 2,015 square feet, with three bedrooms and two baths. That being said, it was still a gorgeous property -- with Erika turning two of the bedrooms into closets for her clothes, shoes and accessories.
"After finding a place to go to, I dropped Tom off at work and I went home and moved out," she explained in a confessional. "I was out within the day."
"It's frightening, you know, when you think about it. It's the uncertainty and the instability of being really out on your own, so to all of a sudden live somewhere else and know that you're never going home, for now this is home," she continued. "Just getting up the courage to leave is a big deal, this was my home for 21 years."
She added that she didn't take much from her old place, aside from a sofa and two chairs.
Erika was later seen meeting up with Lisa Rinna for dinner, where she said she "really tried and talked and attempted" to make it work with Tom, "but he left me no room." She added, "That's the only way I can say it right now."
"I almost floated the idea of trial separation, but I knew it wouldn't work. That's that old school generation, which is get your s--- and go. You're in or you're out and when you're out, you're dead," she added.
"I didn't leave a note," she went on. "I drove him to work and I told him I loved him and he said, 'Thanks, hun,' like I was an employee. I went home and started putting everything in the moving van. I drove off, went to my new place, spent the night there and he was served the next morning."
In a teary-eyed confessional, she said dropping him at the office was the last time she saw Tom in person. "I think he's probably like, 'F--- it, she's on her own then. She left me, f--- her. You wanna be big time, you wanna go out on your own, f---ing go,'" she added, guessing Girardi's reaction to her decision.
When it comes to the divorce, she told Rinna, "We're not playing games over here and he's not going to be playing games with me." She also said that she expects "nothing but the worst" going forward and added, "I'm hoping for the best and he's got some real challenges ahead of him."
The episode ended with one final gathering at Crystal Kung Minkoff's home, where Erika was in a much better mood. "I am lit," she exclaimed, explaining that she had gotten some sensual THC oil from Kyle Richards and "put it all over [her] c--- and all over my vajayjay."
While she was feeling good, she wasn't feeling costar Garcelle Beauvais floating out the idea of Erika meeting up with her dating coach. "I'm not going it," she said, before adding in a confessional that she was "probably just gonna have to have a lot of anonymous sex" for the time being.
The episode ended with a cryptic voiceover from Erika adding, "I just have so many challenges in front of me and there's so much that these women don't know."
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" airs Wednesdays on Bravo.