Want to make sure you never get divorced? Then avoid reality TV. At all costs.
The following 23 failed relationships highlight the risk that comes when you put your marriage under the microscopic scrutiny of reality TV's prying cameras. It's like they say: Only the strong survive. And these marriages just weren't up to snuff.
Jules' first season on The Real Housewives of New York City, the show's eighth, hadn't even hit its midway point when news broke that husband Michael had filed for divorce after eight years of marriage. In a very suspicious bit of timing, that new episode airing that very evening showed the first hit at marital discord between the Bravo newbies.
When Real Housewives of Atlanta viewers first met Cynthia in season three, she got engaged to, planned a wedding with, and got married to Peter all in one fell swoop. And all against the wishes of her family. (Remember watching her mom and sister hide the marriage license on the day of the freaking wedding?! Savage AF.) The union was always a rocky one, with Peter's financial issues and sketchy behavior continually coming between the two. By season eight, Peter wasn't even living at home anymore and after the season wrapped, the two announced plans to separate.
Arguably the first iconic couple of reality TV, the pop singer and 98 Degrees frontman won viewers' hearts in 2003 with their MTV show that showed off the couple's, especially Jessica's, realness. (Remember her infamous is it chicken or is it fish query?) Alas, after three years of marriage and 41 episodes, the couple split.
When Lynne and Frank joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in season four, they were gleefully spending money like it was going out of style. By season five, Frank's mishandling of their finances blindsided Lynne to the point that she received an eviction notice on camera. The couple called it quits shortly thereafter.
Back in the day, innocent and unkempt Jon and Kate Gosselin were just normal people who bickered like any crazed parents of eight kids under age 8. When the fame of Jon and Kate Plus Eight got ahold of them, Kate ditched her signature business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back hairstyle for long blonde extensions and a fake tan, while Jon started wearing a lot of Ed Hardy and partying with co-eds, and their marriage was over a few ugly months later. The media couldn't figure out who we were rooting for anymore, and the family slowly faded from the spotlight. (Until now...)
This one stings. Yolanda and David Foster were still in their first year of marriage when she joined Bravo's bevy of Beverly Hills beauties and, in the last three seasons, we've watched them in what appeared to be wedded bliss, even as she's openly struggled with a debilitating Lyme disease diagnosis for much of that time. That's what makes the recent news that the pair are planning to divorce after four years of marriage and nine as a couple so painful and baffling. What went wrong here?
Hell to the no! At least the tumultuous couple's shortlived 2005 Bravo reality series gave us that catch phrase? The late icon was hesitant to appear on the series following her husband's career, but later told Oprah she agreed to do it for Bobby. "It was just like, 'OK, I'm your wife. What do you want me to do?'" Ripped apart by critics, the show wasn't renewed for a second season after Whitney wouldn't agree to appear again. After 14 years of marriage, the couple filed for legal separation in September 2006.
When Camille Grammer joined the inaugural season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she brought with her the arguably the franchise's most high-profile spouse: Beloved sitcom star Kelsey Grammer. But things in their marriage seemed strained from the jump, with Kelsey hardly ever on camera or in Los Angeles. That the two were in a bitter divorce by season's end was no surprise. That Kelsey was such a jerk? Well, that was surprising.
Arguably one of the most famous professional wrestlers in pop culture, Hulk Hogan invited viewers into his home for four seasons to meet his quirky family, including animal-loving wife, Linda, wannabe pop star daughter, Brooke, and troublemaking son, Nick. Soon after the series' 2007 cancellation, however, Linda filed for divorce, with the fallout being shown on the spinoff, Brooke Knows Best.
When Tamra joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in season three, she was married to second husband Simon. In the three seasons that ensued before their eventual divorce, viewers watched as the union disintegrated in a truly nasty fashion, leading to Tamra declaring a desire for a divorce on camera in the season five finale. This one was not pretty. Here's hoping third time's the charm for Tamra, who rebounded in season six with Eddie Judge, before tying the knot between seasons eight and nine.
We all rejoiced when our favorite RHONY Housewife finally found love with super sweet normal dude, Jason Hoppy, and success with her spinoff shows, Bethenny Getting Married and Bethenny Ever After. But Bethenny's issues with her own broken family led to insecurities that drove a wedge between the couple, ending in a nasty custody battle for their adorable daughter, Bryn.
And despite the divorce drama and the recent cancellation of her talk show, Bethenny seems to be taking it all in stride. "I'm in a good place," she recently said. "Life is a journey, not a destination. I'm on the road. And the road is paved with good intentions!"
Original OC Housewife and workaholic Vicki's second marriage to the boring and often unemployed Donn wasn't quite filling up Vicki's "love tank" so the couple called it quits.
Holy trainwreck, Batman! Five episodes of the 2005 mini-series produced more than enough evidence to show that Chaotic was a more than fitting title for the UPN series...and the relationship it followed. Featuring home videos shot by the pop icon and her backup dancer husband, Britney opened up a little too much about her sex life and left us cringing, wondering how in the world no one told her that this was a no-good, very-bad idea. After two years of marriage and the birth of their two sons, the couple split, leading to a nasty divorce and the start of Britney's downward spiral.
At least Britney later recognized the error of her Chaotic ways, saying, "That was probably the worst thing I've done in my career." Agreed, y'all!
Ramona and Mario Singer had the relationship that all other NYC Housewife couples were compared to. No, seriously, Ramona often rubbed her happily married life in the face of her divorcing co-stars. After six seasons of that, it would've been easy to revel in the schadenfreude of Mario's affair and their eventual separation if Ramona didn't seem so deeply wounded by the betrayal. In hindsight, his sleaziness does throw the six seasons of in-your-face wedded bliss—including season three's big vow renewal—into the realm of "The lady doth protest too much," if you know what we mean.
More like 'til divorce do us part, right?! The rocker and Baywatch star's super gothic and creepy wedding was documented by MTV in a seven-episode series that aired in 2004. But after less than thee years of marriage, Carmen filed for divorce in 2006.
Talk about airing your dirty laundry! The nasty fallout from the reality star and ex-NFL player's split, which came after two years of marriage, has been well-documented by Bravo's cameras. (Porsha even admitted to finding out about Kordell's filing on Twitter. Yikes.)
Has any Real Housewives star more treasured their status as wife than Luann? When The Real Housewives of New York City premiered, she was happily living life as The Countess, cultivating an entire image based around the class that came along with her title. She may have lost the husband in 2009 after his alleged affair with Ethiopian Princess Kemeria Abajobir Abajifar, but she's never stopped calling herself The Countess.
Many in Hollywood were surprised when it was announced that revered actor and director Clint Eastwood would be appearing on an E! reality show. Of course, his wife, Dina, a band manager, and their daughters, Francesca and Morgan, were the real stars of the short-lived show, with Clint making a rare appearance here or there. Married for 17 years, Dina filed for divorce in October 2013 after filing for legal separation only to withdraw the request earlier that same year.
Yet another MTV-documented couple bit the dust after starring in a reality show for the network. The tumultuous side of the Blink 182 drummer and former Miss USA's on-and-off-again relationship was nowhere to be seen on the two seasons of Meet the Barkers, which also starred their three children. After the show finished in 2006, Travis filed for divorce, but the two continued makin' up and breakin' up (with Shanna infamously throwing a divorce party in 2006) until 2009.
When Phaedra Parks joined the Atlanta ladies in season three, she was pregnant and happily married to ex-con, and former client, Apollo Nida. The way the two met may have raised some eyebrows, but the two seemed genuinely happy together until Kenya Moore arrived on the scene in season five. The bizarre flirting between Apollo and his wife's new enemy was only the beginning of the marriage, however. His conviction of bank fraud in between seasons six and seven proved that Phaedra really wasn't a stand-by-your-man type of gal.
The young couple's rocky romance was well-documented on 16 and Pregnant, before continuing on Teen Mom. Still, despite their tension, Corey and Leah, who have two daughters, said "I do" in front of MTV's cameras in 2011. Alas, Leah filed for divorce after just six months, with rumors circulating that Corey drained their savings account to buy a truck. (Youth, you know?) Both are now remarried.
Married since 2002, the former Real Housewife and the successful plastic surgeon, who appeared on E!'s Dr. 90210, the couple's separation was shown on the Bravo reality hit after Paul filed for divorce in 2012.
One of the rare couples on our list actually to meet on reality TV, The Brady Bunch actor and America's Next Top Model winner fell for each other (after Adrianne, um, aggresively pursued Christopher) when they competed on The Surreal Life in 2005, leading to a spinoff series, My Fair Brady. After Christopher proposed in the season one finale, the second season documented the couple's wedding prep and season three focused on their differing opinions on having children. But after five years of marriage, the couple opened up about their marital problems on Dr. Phil before divorcing in 2011.
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