Love is in the air this week. If you’re ignoring all the schmoopy-ing and just waiting for candy to go on sale February 15th then this might be the ranking for you. I can’t think of too many spouses in the Real Housewives sphere who genuinely keep any love tanks full. I can think of plethora awful ones, though. Let’s quash that romantic spirit, shall we?
Before I dive into the ranking I feel like it needs to be addressed that the most obvious baddy Russell Armstrong is not ranked on this list. It seems a bit déclassé to rank ill of the dead but he’s probably always going to be the honorary worst househusband. Someone else will need to top being a domestic abuser fraudster who commits suicide saddling their poor big-lipped wife with millions in debt to earn that distinction. This ranking also excludes househusbands whose awfulness has primarily played out off screen (e.g., Jason Hoppy, Michael Wainstein). There simply are too many baddies for me to include everyone without some limitations. And now for those lucky souls who made the cut…
9. Bryan Redmond (Dallas)
If you skipped over the less universally beloved first season of Dallas or repressed the charity world out of your mind, you won’t remember what a fucking dick Bryan was. He spent a lot of time traveling for work but every scene of him with Brandi was painfully strained, especially the time he stormed out of a restaurant when she tried to bring up their relationship problems. He also showed up drunk hours late to a family event notable for being the first time Brandi’s formerly estranged grandfather was meeting the family.
8. David Foster (Beverly Hills)
David couldn’t hack being married to an (allegedly) chronically ill woman. He clearly resented being her caretaker since that was supposed to be Yolanda’s job. She reveled in being that perfect wife who cooked dinner twice and gushing over “my love” constantly. David had an ego that needed massaging and she was always there to provide. The role reversal her illness played in their relationship led to the demise of their marriage but that’s not even why I really hate David. He’s a pompous jackass who throws awful self-important dinner parties. Can you imagine being forced to silently admire his piano playing and million glittering Grammys atop the piano (“Oh Yolanda insists on displaying them” Sure, Jan.). His ego is enormous, he loves trotting out famous friends to wow all the peasants. He told Yolanda his breasts are bigger than hers just after she had her ruptured implants removed. Dude is a slimy douchebag.
7. Kordell Stewart (Atlanta)
Somehow Porsha has managed to eke out five seasons of Atlanta (including her “friend of” demotion) but the only genuine storyline she had was in her first season with her jerk husband Kordell. He had her brainwashed (not that it’s too hard with Porsha) into being his perfect wife character who would bear his children. He was a controlling asshole who constantly talked down to Porsha and wouldn’t let her do fun things like hit the strip club with the girls. To add an extra twist, he’s also (allegedly) (obviously) fruity or gay. Every moment on screen with him is painful and he ends up blindsiding Porsha with a divorce leaving her with nothing and having movers pack up her shit and sending it to her mom’s house. Ouch.
6. Simon Barney (Orange County)
Tamra is a firecracker and her marriage to wet blanket Simon never made sense. Simon was obsessed with propriety, manners, and keeping up appearances. He wanted his perfect blonde OC housewife with the giant fake tits and no brain. Women are to be seen and not heard. He probably was enchanted with her joie de vivre back in the day but now that she’s his wife and the mother of his children he feels the need to control and stifle her personality. I’ll never forget that the impetus for the Naked Wasted dinner was so that Tamra could show off everything she learned in the etiquette classes he made her take. Which fork is appropriate to use to stab your jackass husband? We’ll never know but I guess we technically have him to thank for knowing that red wine works best for tossing.
5. Matt Keough (Orange County)
Matt Keough had honestly faded out of my memory before I started this ranking but as Gerard works his way through RHOC I was reminded of his awfulness. Matt got beaned in the head good with a baseball 30 years ago or whatever and he’s never been the same since supposedly. I personally believe he was probably a huge dick before the head injury and he just stopped holding back with his brain all banged up. Jeana is a wife who I dislike immensely and think poorly of as a person, yet her spouse humanizes her just slightly. Matt spends most of his time puttering around their house drinking and berating Jeana or the kids. He fucked up every last member of that household and when Shane starts denigrating Jeana in front of Vicki at that post-baseball game dinner you just know he learned to talk to his mother that way from his father. His abusive “yell and degrade” method of communication and Jeana’s silent complicity is the reason every kid turned out as badly as they did.
4. David Oldfield (Sydney)
Lisa Oldfield is one of my least favourite housewives of all time. I think she’s a terrible person with a genuinely ugly soul (which I honestly don’t believe of many housewives). And yet, somehow David Oldfield had me feeling sorry for her at times. This is a marriage of two incredibly bitter and abrasive humans that couldn’t deserve each other more. David constantly makes jabs about Lisa’s drinking or how she spends too much time working while he’s sitting around the home alone with the kids. He enjoys breaking her down and taking low-blows at every opportunity. Lisa gives it back good but gun to my head, I’d still say David is the worse out of the two. They managed to produce couples therapy scenes that most made me want to extricate my own eyeballs from my skull. Though I’ve mainly kept this ranking true to the televised canon, it’s hard to divorce his publicly bigoted history when you watch him on the Real Housewives.
3. Joe Giudice (New Jersey)
Oh Juicy Joe. Openly homophobic. Openly misogynistic. Openly fraudulent. Joe is a disgusting pig of a human to behold. While there are few househusbands I’d consider “hot,” Joe definitely falls near the bottom of the pack in looks. He’s a paunchy roided out guido type with the typical Jersey regressive views on society and gender roles. Plus he totally committed millions of dollars in fraud (admittedly with Teresa’s involvement to some degree) and destroyed their family all the whilst cheating and treating Tre like shit. Not to mention the wedge he drove between the Gorgas and Teresa simply out of his jealousy of Joe and her’s close relationship. He’s dead lucky that Tre truly believes marriage is for life because anyone else would have dropped his ass years ago.
2. Josh Taekman (New York)
Josh is your typical bro’d out businessman. He’s launching this new fitness energy powder drink or something and is working like a madman. He puts his job ahead of Kristen and their children which isn’t unique with househusbands but he manages to be the most patronizing, dismissive asshole in the process. They have a child with developmental issues and he won’t show up for the specialist appointments. He won’t slow down for the Spartan race even though he promised Kristen they would do it together. He complains that dinner isn’t ready when he comes home so why would he rush back? I think he was into Kristen a lot when she was his beautiful model spouse but now that he’s faced with her aging and the responsibilities of a family he’s completely checked out. The picture above is from one of the most painful couples therapy scenes ever where Kristen was pouring her heart out and he denied anything was wrong or needed to change. Let’s not forget him getting caught in the Ashley Madison leak to top things off. Maybe he doesn’t sound as bad on paper as some of the abusive crooks on this list but watching him gaslight Kristen into feeling guilty about wanting him to spend time with his family is truly excruciating viewing.
1. Peter Thomas (Atlanta)
Real talk: no, Peter is probably not empirically the worst house husband. He isn’t as flagrantly abusive or controlling as many on this list. This is 100% my bias showing. Peter Thomas is the wooooooooorst and he has spent so much time on our screens. In general Atlanta has so much spouse overkill but somebody (who???) even likes him enough to net him a spinoff. It took me months and months to get through my marathon of Atlanta simply because he’s such an enjoyment suck and given so much airtime. Some of the legitimate reasons Peter sucks are: he spends Cynthia’s money without discussion to open up (doomed to fail) bars/cafes/restaurants, he berates her for not fucking him enough when she’s suffering through fibroids, talks down and over meek Cynthia all the time, and gets caught cheating when he’s off running his bar in another state. I’m not sure what mind control he possesses but he even managed to gaslight Cynthia into thinking that their divorce had nothing to do with his philandering but actually that she was not wife material. How different would things have been had Mallorie not given back that marriage certificate? Well, I could have saved myself seven seasons of Peter Thomas for starters.