is Dexter's girlfriend, and later wife. In Season 1, Rita is portrayed as a mother of two who is slowly recovering from being abused by her (eventual) ex-husband, Paul. Dexter was originally introduced to her by Debra, who responded to the domestic violence call and saved her life. Dexter originally stayed with her to maintain his cover while being a serial killer (in his own words, Dexter stated he "chose Rita because she's as damaged as I am", and so briefly feared that if she got better, he'd lose her).
Nevertheless, Rita tentatively started a real relationship with Dexter, while remaining unaware of how he spends all of his free time. Her past abuse made her temporarily uninterested in sex, which worked well for Dexter, as every time he has previously had sex, the woman left him. Eventually their relationship was consummated. Rita stood up to Paul by demanding he sign the divorce papers he refused in prison and she offers supervised weekly visits. He at first tries to intimidate her, but signs them when she doesn't back down. Paul comes into the house drunk one night, and Rita reluctantly lets him in. He wrestles her on her bed and she successfully knocks him out with a baseball bat. He then sues her for custody of the kids. Dexter takes it into his own hands by knocking him out and making it appear Paul had taken illegal drugs again, and he is sent back to prison. Paul pleads with her in prison not to let Dexter near their children, claiming that Dexter had framed him, but she brushes him off. She later finds Paul's shoe outside of her house — just where he said it ended up after Dexter knocked him out.
In season two, Rita's relationship with Dexter becomes troubled. After finding out what Dexter did to Paul, she suspects that Dexter owns the drugs Paul was injected with. Dexter allows her to think he is an addict, as it is better than saying he is a serial killer. She pushes him into Narcotics Anonymous and threatens to leave him when he expresses reluctance. After Dexter has an affair with his sponsor, Rita breaks up with him, although her children still try to maintain a relationship with him. After Dexter lies to Lila about working late (he had gone to kill Jimenez), Lila breaks into Rita's house, afraid that they had rekindled their relationship. Angered, Dexter breaks up with her. The next day, Dexter apologized to Rita for his infidelity, saying that Lila is one of his big mistakes. Later, she calls him and states she wants him back, due to her "feelings for him". His breakup with Lila, his love for Rita and her children, and his sincere regret over what he had done convinces Rita to start dating him again. By the last episode of Season 2, their relationship is back on solid ground.
In Season 3, Rita is enjoying her relationship with Dexter once again, and then suddenly discovers, unexpectedly, that she's pregnant with Dexter's baby (later revealed to be a boy). Knowing that being a single parent was one of her few achievements; Rita decided to keep the baby, and left Dexter's role in the child's life entirely up to him. After much deliberation, Dexter decided (with the help of Debra and an ensuing punch) that he'll be there for the child and Rita eventually accepts his marriage proposal. Rita lost her job when she was rude to a customer, but got back on her feet by being hired by Sylvia Prado, her friend, as her assistant. We have not seen her actually go to work in her new position however, so it is possible that she has now let Dexter financially take care of her and the three children. In the Season 3 finale, Dexter discovered that Rita was briefly married when she was sixteen, something she never told him. She also lied outright when he subtly asked her about it. After some reflection, he decided to let Rita keep her secrets as he would be keeping his own. After the baby (named Harrison after Dexter's father) is born, Rita and Dexter move in together to a house in the suburbs, and Rita begins to notice a pattern of lies by Dexter, including lying about the concussion he suffered in the car accident, how serious the accident was, and the fact that he kept his old apartment. Rita and Dexter then go to a marriage counselor, who sorts out their problems and puts peace between them. However, Elliot, the neighbor begins to fall for Rita, kissing her and pointing out that Dexter is never home. Though she initially kisses him back, she quickly ends it. She eventually admits this to Dexter, and is disappointed by how he does not seem to care. However, she later sees him punching Elliot over it. Dexter is initially worried by the fact that she saw this, but she tells him that she is glad that he cared that much.
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