Hallmark Stars Whose Relationships Sadly Failed

There may be a shady side to the Hallmark Channel, but despite the numerous scandals it has faced, fans just can't seem to get enough of the network's movies. The channel's popularity has actually helped save the careers of numerous actors while catapulting others into the spotlight and helping them earn a fortune. Yes, the romantic storylines may be cheesy, but they're also charming and they've stolen the hearts of millions. The love-filled flicks have even resulted in some Hallmark Channel stars getting married in real life, but sadly, not everyone has been fortunate enough to find a long-lasting love of their own. In fact, some of the network's biggest names have struggled in their personal lives off-screen and experienced real heartbreak.

As Candace Cameron Bure (who's been married to Valeri Bure since 1996) told Us Weekly in 2021, marriage requires serious work, even if you've been together for ages. Turns out, her union was on the brink of failure during the pandemic, but they figured out how to iron things out before it all came crashing down for good. "We just pushed through some of the things that were eating away at both of us," she said. But while they were able to move past their own relationship obstacle, these Hallmark stars sadly couldn't.

Was Jesse Metcalfe unfaithful to Cara Santana?

Jesse Metcalfe and Cara Santana got engaged in 2016 after a decade of dating. However, red flags shot up in March 2019 when Santana told Us Weekly that wedding planning was pretty much nonexistent. And then, in January 2020, the Daily Mail reported that the Hallmark Channel star was spotted getting close to a number of ladies, first holding hands with model Livia Pillman, then hugging and kissing a second woman — all in the same day. A source told the outlet that Santana was "completely blindsided" by Metcalfe's apparent infidelity. Meanwhile, another insider was adamant that, after 13 years together, the pair had actually called off their engagement and broken up several weeks earlier. The source told Us Weekly that Metcalfe had already moved out and emphasized, "He did not cheat on her."

So what was the truth? Santana's BFF, Olivia Culpo, took to Instagram Stories to seemingly imply that Metcalfe had been unfaithful. Culpo first posted a "Mean Girls" meme which read "Don't cheat... Nobody likes a cheater" followed by a screenshot from "Home Alone" showing Macaulay Culkin holding a BB gun and warning, "When someone upsets my best friend." A source appeared to corroborate her story, telling People that Santana never stopped wearing her wedding ring. "She had no idea things weren't fine until she saw the photos online today," they claimed. "I promise they never broke up until today."

Inside Danica McKellar's short-lived marriage

Danica McKellar was living her own Hallmark-worthy fairytale for years with composer Mike Verta. The pair started dating in 2001, married in 2009, and welcomed their first child, son Draco, in September 2010. Despite going through 36 hours of labor with no epidural, McKellar told People it was easily one of the happiest days in her life, as well as Verta's. "There was so much joy in the room and so much relief," she enthused. "It was an amazing, amazing evening." Speaking about the special bond father and son instantly shared, she revealed, "Draco loves to listen to [his dad] play the piano."

Sadly, after just three years of marriage, the couple called it quits in 2012. TMZ confirmed that McKellar had filed for divorce and that she wanted to share custody of Draco with Verta. "We are committed to raising our son together and we are focused on remaining the best parents we can be," she told the outlet. Taking to her personal blog (via Daily Mail), she also opened up about how difficult the split was. Writing she was grateful for the friendly relationship she had with her ex, she mused, "I've heard that the pain is second only to an actual death in the family, and that sounds about right." However, she knew it had to be done. "We are both totally in love with our little boy, and believe this is the best thing for him," she told fans. The divorce was finalized in February 2013.

Bethany Joy Lenz came clean after changing her name

When Hallmark Channel star Bethany Joy Lenz married musician Michael Galeotti in 2005, she shed her last name and became Bethany Joy Galeotti. In 2011, they welcomed their first child together, but by the following year, there was trouble in paradise. Per E! News, she took to her blog that March to make a sad announcement about their relationship. "I'm sorry to say that Michael and I have decided to divorce," she wrote. Noting that she's normally super secretive about her personal life, Lenz explained that she felt the need to announce the news so publicly because of her career. "The only reason I'm saying anything about this at all is because you'll all be wondering soon why everyone is calling me 'Bethany Joy Lenz' again," she revealed.

And while she didn't offer any insight into what prompted the split, she did underscore the fact that she and her ex were on good terms and putting on a united front for Maria Rose. "We remain friendly and dedicated to raising our beautiful girl in love and we appreciate your prayers and support during this difficult time," she wrote. Indeed, Maria Rose is the apple of Lenz's eye. In January 2020, she posted a snap of them together to Instagram and gushed, "This little girl is the best thing that ever happened to me."

Chad Michael Murray and the Paris Hilton rumors

Sparks flew when Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray first met on the 2003 set of "One Tree Hill" and a whirlwind romance ensued. They quickly got engaged the following year. The Hallmark Channel star told MTV in 2004 that he decided to pop the question after he realized he couldn't see a future without her. They tied the knot in 2005, but just five months later, they called it quits. Rumors soon swirled that Murray had cheated on Bush with Paris Hilton, with whom he worked on "House of Wax."

While neither Bush nor Murray ever addressed the infidelity openly, they both appeared to comment on it with subtle hints during subsequent interviews. Murray told E! News, "I was a kid and I guess I just didn't see things as clear as I wish I did." As for Bush, she told Chicago Sun-Times' Splash magazine, "I think every woman on Earth has dated the wrong guy at some point." What's more, on a 2014 episode of "Watch What Happens Live," she said being forced to work with Murray post-divorce actually helped her move on, but she didn't mince words about her feelings, saying she and her ex hated each other after they split. The infidelity rumors also seemed to be confirmed as fact by Nick Carter. Per TMZ, the boy bander told Ryan Seacrest in 2006 that he was confident Hilton cheated on him with Murray. Carter also said Murray was with Bush at the time. 

Patti Murin wrote an entire blog post about her divorce

Prior to Patti Murin's sweet love story with her "Chicago Med" co-star Colin Donnell, the Hallmark Channel actor fell for and married fellow Broadway performer Curtis Holbrook after they appeared in 2007's "Xanadu." As she tweeted on their three-year wedding anniversary in October 2012, she was smitten when they were together. "@CurtisHolbrook is the best husband, friend and partner I could ever ask for," she enthused. Unfortunately, they decided to part ways shortly after.

While processing her grief, Murin decided to pen an entire blog post titled "My Silver Linings Playbook" in which she got candid about her experience with divorce and shared the valuable lessons she learned. In the post, which went up in April 2015, the actor wrote about tying the knot at age 29 only to split from her former husband after three and a half years. "It was the most devastating thing I have been through in my life thus far, and I do not wish or plan to repeat it again," she revealed. "Finding silver linings was imperative, or I would have curled up in a ball at the bottom of the shower and never gotten up again." Among those linings was the ability to redecorate to her taste — "Basic rule: If your ex's skin touched it, replace it" — focus on work and self-growth, find out who her real friends were, and throw a big "re-housewarming party." What's more, she quipped, "You get a whole new stable of 'Sex and the City'-style dating stories to horrify your friends with!"

Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies attended divorce therapy for their kids

Hallmark Channel actor Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies seemed to have it all. They got married in 2004, welcomed daughter Charlotte in 2013, had son Theodore in 2015, and enjoyed a wonderful union for 15 years before splitting in 2019. In a joint Instagram statement published that June, the exes confirmed, "With deep gratitude for every year we have spent together and the thousands of beautiful memories shared, we have mutually decided to separate as a couple." They vowed to continue respecting each other and to always be united for their kids, adding, "[We] look forward to maintaining the best parts of our relationship for many years to come." Gillies officially filed for divorce in 2020.

Their split was finalized in 2021, but Cook and Gillies have remained incredibly close, as promised. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight in 2019, Cook showed just how special their bond is, gushing, "I still love him to death, and he's gone and I miss him, but we're just going to forge a new path forward." That path involved attending divorce therapy and embracing a new mantra. As she told Us Weekly, the most important piece of advice they received, which they still abide by, was simple: "The past literally has zero relevance to every single day forward."

Autumn Reeser called it quits with her university sweetheart

It was 2009 when Hallmark Channel's Autumn Reeser married writer-director Jesse Warren in her dream ceremony, which took place underneath a 200-year-old oak tree at California's Ojai Valley Inn. Reminiscing about her special day with People, the actor gushed, "It was an incredible day, filled with so much love and joy. It surpassed all my expectations." While we don't know a whole lot about the couple's meet-cute, E! News reported that they first met in 2000 while they were both attending UCLA. It was a mutual friend who is said to have introduced them, but it took Warren two whole years to ask said friend for Reeser's number. When he finally did, it was presented in an engagement ring box — a not so subtle nod to what their future held.

Jump to 2011 and the pair welcomed their first child, son Finneus James. Little brother Dashiell Ford followed in 2013 and Reeser told People her heart was full. "Pregnancy is such an incredible time and I feel so lucky to have experienced it not just once, but now twice," she gushed. But by 2014, things had changed and Reeser filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Her rep confirmed the news to Us Weekly, saying, "It is completely amicable and they remain committed to raising their two sons together." Meanwhile, TMZ learned that the actor was asking for joint custody and didn't want any spousal support from Warren, but she also didn't want to pay him any.

Jack Wagner's on-again, off-again marriage with Kristina Wagner

Devout "General Hospital" fans will remember 1980s newlyweds Frisco Jones and Felicia Cummings. Played by Hallmark Channel's Jack Wagner and Kristina Wagner (née Malandro), the on-screen honeymooners soon became an off-screen couple. "Being thrown together on set in a romantic way, I think it was inevitable," Wagner later told Oprah. "I don't know how you could avoid it." The pair welcomed son Peter in 1990, tied the knot in 1993, then had son Harrison in 1994. Seven years later, in 2001, they decided to divorce, but it seems they weren't quite ready to part ways. The Wagners actually reconciled and withdrew their paperwork in 2004, only to call it quits for good in 2006. It was a tough choice, but as Kristina told Oprah, it was the right one. "The divorce was the best thing that could have happened to me and for my children, as well, because I don't think I was being a very good mother at the time," she shared.

Rather than holding grudges, the exes successfully worked through their differences for their kids. "We get along great," Jack assured Us Weekly in 2015. "We still love each other very much." That same year, he also told Parade, "I love her to death and I think she feels the same way." Asked about their secret to a healthy post-breakup relationship, he shared, "We love each other, respect each other and have gotten past what didn't work and now really just appreciate each other for who we are."

A look at Jodie Sweetin's rocky relationship history

Hallmark Channel favorite Jodie Sweetin has not had an easy go at love. In July 2022, she said "I do" to Mescal Wasilewski, but it wasn't her first time down the aisle. The "Full House" alum has actually been engaged four other times and divorced thrice. Her first marriage was to police officer Shaun Holguin in 2002. According to The Sun, Candace Cameron Bure was the matron of honor and her daughter, Natasha, was a flower girl. Sadly, the couple divorced in 2006, but Sweetin found love again the following year. In 2007, friends introduced her to driver and film transportation coordinator Cody Herpin and they married after just two months of dating. They welcomed daughter Zoie Laurel May in 2008, but Sweetin filed for legal separation that November. Court documents obtained by People revealed that Sweetin was accusing Herpin of quitting his job and not providing for his family. "Our house is in foreclosure, our water has been shut off twice," she alleged. Her ex argued he was a stay-at-home dad and rebutted, "None of this makes sense."

Their contentious divorce was finalized in April 2010, the same month Sweetin revealed she was expecting a baby with DJ Morty Coyle. Their daughter, Beatrix, arrived that August and they married in 2012, but Sweetin filed for legal separation in 2013. The divorce was finalized in 2016 at which point she was already engaged to Justin Hodak. Alas, Sweetin and Hodak called off the engagement in March 2017.