Brittany Cartwright Says She Feels 'Relief' amid Separation From Jax Taylor: 'There's Only So Much That a Woman Can Take' (Exclusive)

"I'm not sure what the future holds for this. But as of right now, this is just the best-case scenario, but this is not a publicity stunt," Taylor tells PEOPLE

<p>Tommaso Boddi/Getty</p> Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright at the boohoo.com LA Pop-up Store Launch Party with Galore Magazine on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Tommaso Boddi/Getty

Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright at the boohoo.com LA Pop-up Store Launch Party with Galore Magazine on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor both exclusively shared PEOPLE at the premiere of their new Bravo showThe Valley how contentious moments led to their recent separation.

Late last month, the Vanderpump Rules alums announced that they were separating after four years of marriage. At the Thursday premiere, Cartwright, 35, explained to PEOPLE that she is currently living in an Airbnb with their 2-year-old son Cruz.

Cartwright tells PEOPLE that although she's been Taylor's "ride or die for nine years," that "there's only so much that a woman can take."

"Once a woman hits her breaking point, it's like 'Done.' Something like clicked in my head, and I was like 'I need to step away from this situation. This is not not healthy. This is not a good situation. My son deserves better. I deserve better,'" the reality star explained.

Cartwright explained how Cruz is the "most important thing" and "all that matters." As for how she's been spending her time away from Taylor, 45, she shares she's taken time "working on" herself.

"I feel a little bit of relief," says Cartwright. "I needed this space."

Related: Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright's Relationship Timeline

<p>Noam Galai/Bravo via Getty </p> Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright

Noam Galai/Bravo via Getty

Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright

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Cartwright also shared that she did not choose to announce the separation "for [their] show."

"If people actually have watched me over the years and know my personality, they would know this is not something I would do for our show," explained Cartwright. "Like, I'm all about family. I'm all about marriage. I've been about that my entire life."

"So this is something real that I really needed to step back from," she told PEOPLE.

Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright

Related: Jax Taylor's Friends Heard Rumors of Him 'Running Around Town' Months Before Separation from Brittany Cartwright

Taylor revealed to PEOPLE that the couple thought this was "best for [their] family" because they have "been going through some things for a while now."

"We decided to take a little bit of a breather," said Taylor. "I'm not sure what the future holds for this. But as of right now, this is just the best-case scenario, but this is not a publicity stunt."

Taylor explained that the production of the show has been going on for a "very, very long time" and it documents how "there is some kind of something going on" in their relationship.

Taylor revealed that they see each other every day and have been able to continue working on the businesses together, adding, "Nothing has really changed other than, we're not sleeping in the same bed right now."

"We can still be together," continues Taylor. "We're just kind of taking a breather."

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright attend Kyle Chan's 3rd annual #LOVECAMPAIGN Party at SUR Lounge on June 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, California
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright attend Kyle Chan's 3rd annual #LOVECAMPAIGN Party at SUR Lounge on June 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, California

Related: Brittany Cartwright Gets Real About 'Scary' Emotions She's Felt During Rough Patches in Marriage to Jax Taylor

The separated couple first met at a Las Vegas bar in 2015. In 2017, they briefly split, but after filming wrapped for season 6 of Vanderpump Rules, they reconciled. The next season documented their engagement in June 2018.

The following year, in June 2019, they married at the Kentucky Castle. Nearly two years later, the pair welcomed their only son, Cruz Michael Cauchi, in April 2021.

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