Reality TV Divorce Curse

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They asked me to be a Real Housewife…

…15 years ago. 

Back when Sky tops and rhinestone-embellished low-waisted jeans were all the rage in Orange County. 


I turned them down and boy am I glad I did. 

To be more accurate, I was asked to have a conversation with a producer who was casting for the show. I had no intention of ever saying yes, but as a huge fan of the show and avid watcher, I was super curious about the process. 

I took the first call (zoom) and was completely upfront that I had no interest in being a cast member. 

Nonetheless, they assured me, should I continue with the interview process and be selected, things would be different for me.  The producer/casting agent assured me I wouldn’t have to create any drama, and that in fact, they could see me as the voice of reason. (Yeah right! Lol)   

It was tempting. It could have been great for our business, and maybe the ego. .

But at what cost? Our kids were still young and we just didn’t see many positives that would come from a spotlight on our personal lives.

(Plus, if you’re a lifer, you know my husband cannot be censored.)

If I had said yes, who knows if Bret & I would still be together.

After almost two decades, we have all seen the volatile relationships that the series has spawned.

Even the relationships we thought would last (Kyle  Richards + Mauircio Umansky’s recent separation after 27 years of marriage) can surprise all of us. 

In the context of wealth, fame, and personal ambition, ego and competition – stress and drama run on overdrive. 


reality tv


How the Reality TV Spotlight Affects Relationships
  • Reality TV stars often face the pressure of maintaining a public image
    • Some stay in relationships to extend their time in the spotlight
    • Others may fake connections just to please fans
  • A lot of reality show relationships fizzle out once the cameras stop rolling
    • Lines between genuine and “for the show” are blurred
    • Relationships struggle to survive in the real world 
    • Egos take a hit when notoriety and public affirmation dry up
  • They’ve got a pretty high breakup rates
    • Outside pressure seriously strain even the best of relationships
    • Millions of strangers are now weighing in on your relationship
    • Few couples have equal interest in the pursuit of fame
  • Reality tv thrives on drama and conflict to keep us entertained
    • Over-the-top relationships make us question their authenticity
    • It’s all about making compelling TV, even if it means stretching the truth


Even Friendships Can Be Volatile

Dynamics: Trust, jealousy, and competition spice things up, causing conflicts and even friendship breakups.

Drama: Intense emotions and confrontations make for gripping TV, but they can really put a strain on those relationships.

Infighting: What once seemed like unbreakable bonds can quickly disintegrate as arguments escalate and relationships fracture.

Reunions: Where cast members come face-to-face to hash out their issues from the season. Reunions can be a chance for apologies, reconciliations, and relationship mending. Whichever direction they go, the Housewives love a reunion. 

Bethany & Jill

  • The two were initially close friends when they both appeared on the first few seasons of The Real Housewives of NYC. 
  • Tensions escalated, leading to a fallout and the breakdown of their relationship.
  • Their dynamic became one of the most memorable and dramatic storylines in the history of the franchise.

Teresa & Melissa

  • Sisters-in-law who have had a tumultuous relationship throughout their time on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
  • Ongoing conflicts included accusations of jealousy, backstabbing, and family drama.
  • Their relationship has gone through ups and downs, with moments of reconciliation and periods of strained interactions.


reality tv

Housewives Romances

Divorce storylines are like the bread and butter of The Real Housewives franchise. 

Infidelity scandals often lead to intense confrontations and conflicts, making relationships even more unpredictable and dramatic.

Confrontations sparked by personal conflicts, jealousy, and clashing egos can strain relationships and make things super unstable.

Financial issues like bankruptcy or dealing with debts are flaunted just as much as others’ fancy lifestyles.

NeNe & Gregg Leakes have faced infidelity and massive communication issues, all in the public eye. We witnessed their wedding, subsequent divorce, and eventual reconciliation & remarriage.

Kim Zolciak & Kroy Biermann recently declared they were divorcing. However, as of the writing of this blog, they have announced “the divorce is off”’.  Whatever the case may be, these two have definitely weathered public challenges: going “no contact” with extended family, accusations of cheating on both sides, lawsuits, rumors & financial struggle put a very public strain on this relationship. For the sake of the kids, I wish them the best. 

Kyle Richards & Mauricio Umansky were the poster couple for success in love, family life, and business ventures. Now, they’re separated and Kyle has found other ways to occupy her time (catch all of my and Bret’s thoughts on episode #1001 of TCS).


reality tv


Can any reality TV relationship go the distance?

Sure. There are plenty of examples; Lisa and Ken Vanderpump, Terry and Heather Dubro, and um…. um…. um… (I’m sure more will come to me) 

The same things that allow any marriage to thrive have to be present and secure for a reality tv couple to thrive. I think that includes…

  • Exceptional communication skills 
  • Understanding you are on the same team. 
  • Never putting fame or career ahead of each other 
  • Agreeing never to behave in a way that disparages your partner
  • Having done the work on yourself before getting on the show 
  • Being in a good place and knowing how to get out of a bad one. 
  • Years of commitment and a solid relationship before you ever consider joining the cast. 


Divorce and separation storylines are like the bread and butter of The Real Housewives franchise. 

They love to create these dramatic narratives that keep us hooked and dying to know what’s going to happen next. 

It’s like a rollercoaster of relationship drama!

If you want to hear what Bret thinks about us joining the madness on The Real Housewives, you’ve gotta hear episode #1001 of The Chalene Show.


Here’s why you want to listen to episode #1001 – Reality TV’s Divorce Curse
  • Bret’s Morgan Wade revelation
  • We have thoughts on Yolanda Hadid & David Foster
  • Which male celebrities Bret was forced to admit he finds attractive
  • Our advice for working through the tough stuff (in marriage)


Check out the following links for more life updates and (filtered) Bret content…

TCS #968 – Mean Girl Drama, Miami Match Maker Murder Plot, Insecure Women, Bret Johnson Shoe Shame

TCS #950 – Dream Smaller | Unconventional Advice From Chalene & Bret

TCS #928 – Erectile Dysfunction, Mismatched Sex Drive, Loss of Libido And How to Spice Things Up | with, Bret & Chalene

TCS #918 – Walk & Talk with Bret & Chalene | Thanksgiving Edition

TCS #908 – Bret’s Addiction | Q&A

TCS #758 – Let’s Talk About Sex, with Chalene and Bret


For Bret totally uncensored, join us on Patreon!


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