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Lauren Bushnell: I came out of 'The Bachelor' feeling very alone, Ben Higgins and JoJo Fletcher relationship was "hurtful"

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/06/2016 

The Bachelor fans are getting some insight as to why there might be a question mark at the end of Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell's new Freeform reality show Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?.

After getting engaged on The Bachelor's Season 20 finale that aired in March, Higgins and his new fiancee had to deal with real life, including unflattering press and harsh criticism, far away from the world of roses and luxurious Fantasy Suite dates.

"I came out of The Bachelor feeling very alone... No one can really understand what you're going through," Bushnell, 26, told reporters in a Wednesday conference call, according to Us.

Higgins told his runner-up, JoJo Fletcher, he was also madly in love with her during filming. Once reality set in, Bushnell had to deal with the fact Higgins loved two women -- almost equally, considering his final decision was excruciating -- when he popped the question to her in Jamaica.

It was a "hurtful and confusing situation," according to Bushnell.

The former flight attendant didn't understand how Higgins could love another woman at the same time or why he chose to express those feelings to two bachelorettes.

"I don't think any of us can really put ourselves in Ben's shoes, and it took me a long time to learn that because I wanted an answer so bad," Bushnell revealed. "I'm learning to break down those walls -- that I didn't even realize I put up -- through honesty, conversation, communication and then just time."

Bushnell has been living with Higgins in Denver, CO, since April, and as of recently, the pair has been working out their issues by going to counseling sessions at their church. She also sought advice from The Bachelor couple Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici as well as former Bachelorette Trista Rehn.

And she's made progress! Bushnell insisted that while Higgins and Fletcher spending time together would have made her uncomfortable in the past, she's now confident and trusting enough in her relationship with to let it happen.

(As previously reported, Bushnell and Higgins will go on a double date with Fletcher and her new fiance from The Bachelorette, Jordan Rodgers, on the upcoming Freeform series.)

As for whether inviting cameras into their home will help or hurt their relationship, Bushnell told reporters the show presents a "unique set of challenges." Higgins, 28, is also apparently much more comfortable in that setting.

Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? premieres October 11 at 8PM ET/PT on Freeform.

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