When Real Housewives of New York star Ramona Singer announced her divorce after a two-decade + marriage, it got me to thinking that reality shows are intrinsically bad for marriages. This is true not just for Real Housewives but for all participants in reality shows. There are so many examples of this: pop stars like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears; reality stars Bettenny Fränkel, Kim Kardashian and Ramona Singer. Indeed, it seems that the Real Housewives franchise is particularly deadly to marriage with an incredibly high divorce rate among its stars. More than 65 percent of MARRIAGES have been laid to waste in the past 5 years. What gives? Do they get paid more if they divorce? Is it in the fine print of the contract?
Kelly Ripa once famously retorted when asked if she and husband Mark would ever appear on a reality show: “No! We like our marriage!” She may have hit on something there; some explanation of why reality cshows often are a death knell for relationships and marriages. It really is a function of liking or respecting your relationship enough to not want to expose it in this manner, to peel it back and show all the raw for all to see. This is much too shocking to the nervous system of a marriage; the marriage cannot survive this type of shock. Also, there is the question of fundamental privacy. There is a reason why the right to privacy includes the right to marry; and the right to marry is a fundamental right. There also is this notion in our legal culture of the “sanctity of marriage.” All of this gook is related somehow to the high failure rate of marriages like the Real Housewives.’ It is a question of liking your marriage, respecting your marriage, keeping it private and understanding it was meant to be a sacred thing between two people. It is cliché but true and people who continue to expose their marriages on reality shows should not be surprised when these marriages implode.
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