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At the beginning of the two-part episode, James, 30, and Raquel, 27, revealed to the group that they had called off their engagement the night before the reunion was filmed.
"It's been something that I've been thinking about for a while and I think that James has noticed that my heart hasn't been fully in it," said Raquel. "I didn't want to give up on him because he really has shown me how dedicated he is to me and the things that he's willing to do to better himself, but I feel like it's something deep within."
"I've been having nightmares about our wedding day," she continued. "I think that that's like, a tell-tell sign that something is wrong."
Asked whether she initiated the breakup, Raquel said they "both came to the conclusion" that the relationship was no longer working. James then praised Raquel for having the courage to "put it out all on the table."
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty (2)
"As heartbreaking as it is for me, she's not f------ wrong," he said as Raquel added that their need to go their separate ways was "a gradual realization" for her.
In acknowledging the ways they tried to make it work, James said he thought quitting drinking would "fix" their problems but it "didn't quite fix it all."
"We had a conversation a couple of months ago and I asked her if I'm your soulmate," James said through tears. "She said like, 'Do you think I'm your soulmate?' It was almost like, the first time I felt like we weren't destined in the galaxy. It wasn't a clear answer. It wasn't like, 'Absolutely, you're my soulmate.' That's how it should be, I feel like, right? At least that's what I want."
The DJ added, "We'd rather just end it and pull the bandaid off before we get married and have a baby and get a divorce because that's literally the last thing I'd want."
Raquel added through tears that "the hardest part" about their split was making the final decision to call off the engagement. "The happiest moments of my life has been with James and he's just so fun to be around," she said.
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During Tuesday's reunion, Lisa Vanderpump asked "what changed" between the pair to cause the split. James cited the COVID-19 quarantine period, but Raquel revealed: "We haven't been having sex for a while."
"It's been since those rage texts that James sent me," Raquel said, referencing the 2019 moment when she received several angry texts from James after a night out with her girlfriends.
Later asked whether James' rage issues pushed the pair further apart, Raquel said: "Yeah, of course."
Raquel admitted she also needed to work on herself and "shift gears" to begin seriously focusing on her aspirations of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist.
At one point, host Andy Cohen noticed that Raquel was still wearing her engagement ring. Raquel then shared her intention of returning it to James before asking him directly: "Do you want it now?"
Upon James agreeing, Raquel took the ring off her finger and handed it back to him.
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss in 2019
"I envisioned a life with James and it was something that I fantasized about a lot," said Raquel. "So it's kind of like, closing that book and just redirecting my energy somewhere else."
Eventually, the conversation shifted to James and Scheana Shay's fiancé Brock Davies engaging in a heated exchange. James chose to walk off after Brock claimed Raquel was "tired" of dealing with him and his issues.
When Tom Sandoval went after James, the U.K. native told his pal it was an "enlightenment" hearing Raquel say they weren't soulmates.
"We loved each other but we're not in love anymore. She's made her decision, bro. Her parents have always hated me. It's never been easy, Tom. It's never been easy," he said. "Even after becoming the man that quit drinking and gave up his whole f------ lifestyle for this relationship, it wasn't enough. And I learned my lesson. I'm never doing this again."
The two-part Vanderpump Rules reunion continues Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.