Reality Dating Show Seeks Military Widows??


This week a casting agent contacted SpouseBuzz for a new reality dating show on CBS. They are looking for military widows. Adam Sheldon explains, “I understand that the topic of military widows is a very somber and serious issue that I, as well as my company, take into serious consideration. We have the upmost respect and regard for these women, hence our interest in them.”

That did not reassure me. That freaked me out. For one, I don’t trust television to lead anyone to true love. For two, I don’t think of military widows as people who date.  I deleted the request.

Then I woke up thinking of Joanne Steen and Regina Asaro who wrote the definitive Military Widow:  A Survival Guide.  Over lunch one day, Joanne told me that when you are a military widow everyone sends you mixed messages about dating.  On one hand, people remind you that you are young and you will fall in love again.  They want to fix your grief. They want it fixed right now.  And what could fix you better than finding someone new?  On the other hand, the same people will probably be offended if you go out on a date—as if you are supposed to live sacred to the memory of your beloved for the rest of your life.  Even the guys you date get a little nutsy.  In Military Widow, the authors note:

“Your first relationship will likely be tumultuous.  It will include you, the new man in your life, and the memory of your late husband.  It can get a bit crowded.”

And that is part of the problem.  When you are a military widow,  your new love relationship is crowded.  It’s crowded by people who knew and loved your first husband.  It’s crowded by memory.  It’s crowded by a national audience curious about war widows.  I don’t want to be part of that crowd telling military widows how to live. I want to take a big respectful step backwards.  I want to repeat and repeat and repeat the good advice from Joanne and Regina:  The only answers you can live with are the ones you arrive at yourself.

So if you are a military widow and reality TV is an option you want to try, I am not standing in your way.  Here is the link.  You go, girl.

Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan??  The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage available on iTunes, Amazon, and on








About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at
  • Heather

    Very poor taste I think.

    • Army of One

      Actually I think poor taste is not stern enough, I can’t type the words I would use. When is the left wing in CA going to stop. Seriously, anyone sick enough to watch that show, needs an attitude adjustment. For the one’s that came up and are going to produce that show, put on the uniform, go to Afghanistan, and see if for yourself. You will never be able to portray what those men went thru without being there yourself or the loss that the wives felt.

      From an Airborne Ranger.

  • asw

    I think I am speechless here….

  • AMB

    As a military widow I would never look down on anyone who tried this. Everyone has their reasons and motivations behind the choices they make. But I would say 2 things, first and foremost, it WILL happen again for you in time & at the right time. You don’t need to rush it or push it. It didn’t happen that way the first time did it? Second, be very mindful and cautious of that situation. Millions of people will be watching & judging. YEARS after my husband died, when I dated, I endured the whispering, ridicule, and trash talk of those who knew, but didn’t know me. I’m sure if you’ve tried dating you’ve experienced it too. And oh boy(!) when years after that I got married! Imagine that on a National scale. Can you handle it? Just be sure you think on it long and hard.

  • military spouse

    Not to mention the financial aspect of this! If the service member died while on active duty, the surviving spouse stood to receive a substantial amount of money. There are some seedy / greedy folks out there!

  • Sara Flemming

    Although I am not a military widow, I am a military spouse. I know how it feels to say goodbye to your husband as they pull away that day leaving for a war zone. The pit in your stomach because I wondered if that would be the last time I ever saw or touched my husband. This may sound morbid but it is the true reality that a military spouse must face when they say goodbye to their spouse. Although God allowed my husband come home, I have seen friend’s who did not. Even though it is someone’s right to choose to partcipate in such a show but I do believe that it is extremely insentive of the producers to create such a show. Come on they are not obviously doing it because they care about our military widow’s. Money is the purpose here. I challenge the show to prove my theory wrong. People see that they can make money off of a tragic situation, DONATE YOUR PROFITS TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT THE FAMILIES WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND!

  • Mary Villano

    I don’t think this is a good idea. It demeans the widow. Military widows have suffered a tremendous loss, and this loss should be respected with dignity.

  • Lars

    Can we just bring Jerry Springer back at least after watching the promo’s for one of his shows I knew I would have to take a shower.

  • Thanks Jacey, for referring to Military Widow: A Survival Guide for some rock-solid insight on this most interesting request from the folks in Hollywood! Best regards to all, Joanne

  • There is a quote I know from somewhere, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” I am quite certain I understand perfectly why these vultures are circling…. And actually I know exactly where that quote comes from. Some people are without excuse for their integrity.

  • The News

    Oh Woman, Woman, why do you wait?
    There stands no person at your gate.

    Oh Woman, Woman, why is the tear in your eye?
    He promised he’d be home, bye and bye,

    Oh Woman, Woman, why do you turn your ear?
    What soft voice is it that you hear?

    Oh Woman, Woman, why does your heart lurch?
    It is only a man coming from the church.

    Oh Woman, Woman, now I see there are two.
    One in a green uniform with something sad he must do.

    Oh Woman, Woman, now I definitely know,
    How hard will be the way that you must go.

    Oh Woman, Woman, surely you remember,
    That he promised love like yours is forever tender.

    Oh Woman, Woman, the wait is so short.
    He’s only gone before you for heaven’s report.

  • CDS

    Personally, if you truly respect someone, then you should never feel a need to preface a request you make by assuring them of your respect.

  • Filth like this is on the wrong side of this War of Good verses Evil. Leave our Country and our Military will deal with you in yours. God will get his revenge be certain of that. IN GOD WE TRUST!

  • Jen

    I have been a military widow coming up on 10 yrs now…. And it’s just my opinion – but WE have had enough suffering, heartaches and tears….. WE don’t need a show hurting US even more…. It just shows that some people are truly clueless on how their actions hurt others.

  • afella

    As a veteran of Iraq, I would like to say this is disgusting. The fact that military spouses who are widowed would be put into the spot, and influenced to such a degree is deplorable and I am at a loss for words. I have lost 4 friends, all of them in Iraq, and I would not want any network prying in on their widowed wives, and promising them some false sense of companionship on a TV show. Leave that to the jersey people, they deserve that kind of crap.