23 Celeb Couples Who Survived the 'Reality Curse'

Samantha Sutton | Jan 11, 2019 Celebrities
23 Celeb Couples Who Survived the 'Reality Curse'
Image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag with their son
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV

All too often, we find ourselves getting deeply involved in whatever's happening our our latest reality must-watch. Who is arguing with who, and will they ever find common ground? What's with that one person who lives for all the drama (and why are they suddenly our favorite)? Also, why do we feel the need to talk about this on-screen romance with all of our friends, as if we actually know these people? 

We are well aware that we're not alone in doing this (Um, why else would they keep coming out with unscripted series?!), but it's worth remembering that, despite choosing to air all of their dirty laundry, these people are still real. They deal with legal issues and fertility problems and family struggles just like the rest of us -- and those rough breakups they endure on screen end up making headlines.

Still, not every couple who comes together on TV -- or chooses to showcase their love -- is doomed to failure. While there have been quite a few famous reality breakups (for example, basically every aughts couple who had a show on MTV), a handful of duos have stayed with their significant other through the ups, downs, and additional seasons. Some are considered to be "relationship goals" in terms of how they treat each other. Others have opted to be open and honest with their viewers, revealing that they've struggled while proving that, with a little effort, love really can conquer all. 

So who exactly has managed to beat that famous "curse" that comes to letting it all play out in front of the cameras? We've got a list of 23 couples -- from The Bachelor, the Real Housewives franchise, and even Married at First Sight -- who've managed to make things last.

Plus, for those can't get enough of all this literal PDA, we've ranked our favorite pairs from reality TV as well.

  • Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi & Jionni LaValle

    1

    Snooki indeed fell in love at the Jersey Shore, and it turned out to be the best thing ever! After this self-proclaimed nugget met Jionni during Jersey Shore's third season, the two became a couple, and two kids and an elaborate 2014 wedding later, they're still together -- with another baby on the way!

  • Trista & Ryan Sutter

    2

    Beginner's luck? As the first Bachelorette, Trista ended up choosing firefighter Ryan Sutter. The couple got married in 2013, had two kids -- Blakesley and Maxwell -- and are still together. They still have that final rose to this day.

  • Lisa Vanderpump & Ken Todd

    3

    Does love at first sight exist? For Lisa and Ken, it did! The two met at the wrong time and happened to be complete opposites. "He was a playboy, running around town with his trousers ’round his ankles, and I was dating somebody else," Lisa said on Stassi Schroeder's podcast. But there was "an instant connection." Within three months, they were married, and have since been together for -- wait for it -- 36 years!

    Even the years spent on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules couldn't split them up, and there's a good reason why: the way Ken treats Lisa. "He was 16 years older than me and he met me halfway on everything," she revealed to Stassi. "He never put me down, he never belittled me, he would take me to meetings and ask my opinion."

  • Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt

    4

    For a while, it looked like these two from The Hills were just in it to make magazine headlines. But even after all those surgeries, money issues, and the crazy days of "Speidi," they're still going strong. Spencer and Heidi celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in November 2018, and have one son, Gunner, who was born in 2017.

  • Catherine Giudici & Sean Lowe

    5

    It is possible to really find love on The Bachelor, and these two are all the proof we need. After Sean picked Catherine at the end of season 17, the two said "I do" in 2014, and later, welcomed sons Samuel and Isaiah. Their sweet relationship is often put on display via Instagram, where they get real (and a little sarcastic) about married life and raising two small children.

  • Lisa Rinna & Harry Hamlin

    6

    There's a whole lot of love between the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her actor husband, Harry Hamlin, who were married in 1997. Aside from having another short-lived reality show aptly named Harry Loves Lisa, Harry has made some guest appearances on RHOBH -- and the two seemingly have a perfect relationship. Their secret? "It's just work," Lisa told The Daily Dish in 2015. "It takes work. It takes communication. It takes some luck [laughs], a lot of mutual respect. I think we got really, really lucky."

  • Joanna & Chip Gaines

    7

    Being married is one thing, but working together, too? That could present a whole other set of problems -- but not for Chip and Joanna, who famously costarred on Fixer Upper for five whole seasons and launched a variety of projects together -- including Magnolia Market. They also have five kids, with their newest addition, Crew, being born in 2018. We've seen so many sweet moments from this family.

  • Heather & Terry Dubrow

    8

    Between The Real Housewives of Orange County and Botched, these two have no issues living their lives in front of millions of viewers, and their time on TV hasn't kept them from reaching 22 years of marriage. It's also worth noting that they met on a blind date!

  • Kyle Richards & Mauricio Umansky

    9
    RHOBH has a pretty decent success rate when it comes to marriages, and Kyle and Mauricio are another pair to add to that list. Since the two married in 1996, their relationship has been strong -- even with their lives on full display. They're occasionally spotted enjoying a date night or sharing sweet photos together on Instagram.
  • Kim Zolciak & Kroy Biermann

    10

    We literally watched this couple meet on Real Housewives of Atlanta! After exchanging information at Dancing with the Atlanta Stars, the rest is history. The two went on to have a wedding -- which aired on TV, of course -- and four kids together, with Kroy adopting Kim's daughters, Brielle and Ariana. Kim did admit that Kroy once tried to break up with her early on, after the media got wind of their relationship, but it lasted all of 24 hours.

  • Jessie James Decker & Eric Decker

    11
    Jessie and Erik have had an on-again, off-again relationship with their reality show, Eric & Jessie: Game On, but their marriage has been solid since they said their vows in 2013. They had their first child, Vivienne, featured on the second season's finale, and then took a break before returning for season three. Now that they have three adorable little ones in their pack, they've likely got their hands full, but we're always hoping they'll return to TV.
  • Rachel Reilly & Brendon Villegas

    12
    There have been plenty of people who've fallen in love with the cameras rolling only to call it quits once they're off the show. That wasn't the case for Big Brother contestants Rachel and Brendan -- aka "Brenchel" -- who met during season 12 and participated in season 13 as well. They ultimately got married and had a baby girl. And it turns out their time on TV wasn't done after leaving the house: They also competed on The Amazing Race for two seasons.
  • Teresa & Joe Giudice

    13
    Teresa and Joe have had their fair share of issues, from cheating rumors, accusations of an abusive relationship, and, last but definitely not least, their legal troubles and prison time. Still, they’ve shut down any speculation that they’re headed to divorce, and it's likely Teresa will be moving to Italy with Joe after he gets deported.
  • Melissa & Joe Gorga

    14
    Of course, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star has been involved in her fair share of drama, but her relationship with her husband Joe, whom she married in 2004, remains solid. While Melissa has admitted that the two get into arguments -- especially when it comes to her work commitments -- at the end of the day, they're in it for the long haul. "We're fighting really hard and I think at the end of the day you really have to have the true love for one another because if you don't, you're not gonna get through this,” she told Entertainment Tonight. "[He] and I truly do love one another, and we're gonna fight for [our] love, our kids."
  • Nene & Gregg Leakes

    15

    Another pair that proves love is worth fighting for! Nene and Gregg were first married in 1997, but got divorced in 2010 ... only to get remarried in a reality special in 2013. There was infidelity, and now, sadly, the two are dealing with Gregg's battle with colon cancer. Still, they continue to be a unit.

    "I think a lot of people were surprised when I filed for divorce," Nene has previously said regarding their split. "I filed for divorce because I always felt like you have to teach people how to treat you and I felt like at that time that Gregg wasn't treating me the way I felt I should be treated. It was me teaching Gregg a lesson, and I think he got it."

  • Jamie Otis & Doug Hehner

    16

    Immediately saying "I do" on Married at First Sight isn't ideal for everyone, but for Jamie and Doug, it all worked out! The two wed in 2014, and they turned out to be each other's perfect match. Since then, they've documented their relationship both on TV and YouTube, and even launched a podcast together, called Hot Marriage. Cool Parents. The two have one child, Henley Grace, and have been open about their issues with infertility and miscarriages.

  • Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott

    17

    Have things been easy for these two? Um, we're going to go with a heck no -- especially since Dean's infidelity was a the focus of the show True Tori, and the couple has publicly dealt with debt issues, addiction, and mental illness. Still, despite all of this, they've stayed together. 

    "In our relationship, we've definitely had to, not start over, but rebirth the relationship as something that was new and kind of moving on towards the future," she told ET in 2016. "By doing that, we've had this great, amazing rebirth of our relationship, and it's more exciting each day."

  • Jackie & Doug Christie

    18

    They have the pictures to prove that they've been together since their braces days. Even appearing on three reality shows -- The Christies CommittedBasketball Wives, and Basketball Wives LA -- hasn't kept them from celebrating 23 years of wedded bliss. And by celebrating, we mean that literally: These two renew their vows every year on their anniversary!

  • Amber & Ethan Diamond

    19

    Ethan and Amber have been the only "matched" couple to stay together from MTV's Are You the One? They got engaged on the show's reunion special and were married in 2014. And these days, they are the proud parents of two little girls. On their third wedding anniversary, Amber shared the couple's "secret" via Instagram, writing, "Well here it is: Selflessness. You do things to build each other up, not restrict or tear each other down. I always strive to help Ethan reach his potential - and I don't even hesitate to make sacrifices cause I know he'll do the same for me."

  • Jeff Lewis & Gage Edward

    20

    Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis began dating his business manager over nine years ago. Not only are the two still together, they also have a daughter, Monroe, who they welcomed via surrogate in 2016. When they were hit with a lawsuit from that same surrogate in 2018, Jeff spoke on his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live about how the experience brought them together. "We are tight, we are united," he revealed. "I feel like our relationship this week has been amazing. I never felt more like a team. We’re a solid couple.”

    Recently, Jeff spoke about marrying Gage on Watch What Happens Live. "I mean, I'm not going to propose to him on air, but I'm considering it," Jeff told host and friend Andy Cohen. "I think [Gage is] probably shocked right now."

  • Amber Brkich & Rob Mariano

    21

    "Boston Rob" and Amber got together on Survivor: All-Stars in 2003, and by 2005, they were married (on a two-hour TV special, of course). While Rob went on to appear in more reunion-themed seasons of the show, he and Amber did reunite on TV for two seasons of The Amazing Race. They now live in Florida with their four daughters.

  • Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker

    22

    Without reality TV, this Real Housewives of Atlanta couple never would have met as Todd was a line producer for the show when they started dating in 2011! Things have been good since they officially married in 2014 and welcomed a son, Ace, two years later.

    "I feel like I have the perfect man for me because when I have ideas or whatever, he wants to push me to make it even better," Kandi revealed on the series Housewife to Housewife about her marriage to Todd, adding that her past partners were never as supportive.

  • Rachel Campos & Sean Duffy

    23

    It's kind of crazy to think that Rachel and Sean met on the show Road Rules: All Stars after they both appeared on season of The Real World. The two have been together for over 18 years at this point and -- wait for it -- have eight kids! They haven't stayed away from the public eye, either. Sean went on to have a political career while Rachel works in broadcast media.

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