This was done by having Gayle wonder if she too should turn her back on the love in Connie's great big heart and become the same sort of defiant, darkness-loving monster child the panicky idiot women turn her into. The irritating thing about this is that yet again, Lynn dropped a potential source of conflict because it was easier on her nerves to watch Elly complain about her weight than to expose herself to hateful fungus people who thought that Connie was making the same mistake she always did in her relationships: coming into things with unrealistic expectations and turning into a shrieking ifreet when reality insisted on ensuing.
My guess is that when Molly went off to university, Gayle had originally intended to stay in Milborough because she'd started to build something of a life there only to run into a problem: a fatuous idiot step-mother with an overweening tendency to impose her ill-informed vision of propriety on those around her. The same woman who still doesn't want to admit that she threw her son under the bus because his being a straight gay got in the way of her hopes and dreams isn't going to admit that as soon as one obstacle to her being able to prove her love to Greg vanished, she was forced to police the other for her own good. Oh, sure, to an outsider, it looked as if a judgmental twit who didn't know what she was talking about brainlessly poisoned the well and drove yet another person away with her endless idiot demands but that would be a bad thing to think about a blameless Connie....not.