Why Cheryl Burke Says Being a "Breadwinner" Put Strain on Matthew Lawrence Marriage

DWTS alum Cheryl Burke reflected on how finances affected her marriage to ex Matthew Lawrence, saying that being the "breadwinner" of the house "didn't necessarily make the relationship good.”

By Gabrielle Chung Apr 18, 2024 8:17 PMTags
Watch: Cheryl Burke Says Being a “Breadwinner” Put Strain on Matthew Lawrence Marriage

Cheryl Burke is putting in her two cents.

Three years after the Dancing With the Stars alum filed for divorce from Matthew Lawrence, she's sharing how their varying financial situations put a strain on the relationship.

"I learned that you can't buy love," she said on the April 17 episode of iHeartRadio's Amy & T.J. podcast. "Obviously, I didn't buy my ex-husband, but I definitely would say I was the breadwinner. I supported us."

Noting that the issue isn't so "black and white," Cheryl—who was one of the DWTS' longest-serving pro dancers when she married Boy Meets World actor in 2019—added contributing to their household finances "made me feel good, but then it didn't necessarily make the relationship good."

It was a sentiment shared by Amy Robach, who was married to Andrew Shue before finding love with her cohost T.J. Holmes. "I had a false sense of security," the former GMA3 anchor told Cheryl. "But it's also emasculating, and so it creates an awful dynamic." 

Most Expensive Celeb Divorces

Although Cheryl agreed with Amy, she was still unsure if she ever wants a spouse who "takes care of me" financially.

"I just don't know if I do," the 39-year-old added. "I gotta let it go. I have to be able to be all the things."



Cheryl finalized her divorce with Matthew, 44, in 2022. In court documents previously obtained by E! News, the Dance Moms coach agreed to uphold her premarital agreement, with neither parties receiving spousal support.

While Matthew has since moved on romantically with TLC singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, Cheryl is taking her time before jumping into a serious relationship. In fact, she has a few dealbreakers for potential suitors.

"I want someone who wants to evolve, that wants to consistently work on himself, be able to take accountability when needed," she said during her appearance on Amy & T.J. "You can blame all day long, but at the end of the day, you're stuck with you for the rest of your freaking life. You better like yourself."

For more candid confessions from Cheryl, keep reading.

A Tough Break

Cheryl Burke admitted that her 2022 exit from Dancing With the Stars was "hands down" harder than her divorce from Matthew Lawrence, who she split with that same year.

"You can't compare," she shared in an April 2024 episode of Amy & T.J. podcast, explaining that the show was her "identity" at one point. "I credit them for giving me a voice in general."

More Money, More Problems

Reflecting on her three-year marriage with the Boy Meets World actor, Cheryl believes her DWTS salary put a strain on their relationship.

"I learned that you can't buy love," she said on Amy & T.J. "Obviously, I didn't buy my ex-husband, but I definitely would say I was the breadwinner. I supported us."

Dance Like You Mean It

The dancer got candid about being the challenges of not being able to choose a DWTS partner as a pro dancer, sharing that "whoever walks in through that door, you don't turn around and walk out."

"This is showbiz," she told Variety in 2023. "I'm an employee. You can't just turn around and walk out and say I'm sorry. That's not part of the contract. It's a fine line."

Too Hot to Foxtrot

Cheryl set the record straight on rumors that she hooked up with her Dancing With the Stars season eight partner Gilles Marini when they were training together in 2009.

"We had that thing without having that thing," she said in an April 2024 episode of the Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans podcast. "Chemistry."

Though Cheryl admitted that the two were "very close," she said, "Nothing has ever happened physically between us."

Open Book

Amid her divorce, Cheryl had a blunt message for critics who thought she was sharing too much about her personal life on social media.

"Don't waste the time to comment because I do know for a fact that I'm helping at least one person," she said in an E! News interview. "At the end of the day, those people I feel might need to take a note a little bit and really just understand that this is somebody's story."

Going Sober

Cheryl has been open about her sobriety journey, sharing that the 2018 death of her dad was what led her to abstain from alcohol.

"My father passed away—and my dad was an alcoholic—so either I was gonna crash and burn and check myself into rehab, or I was gonna just quit cold turkey," she said in a 2020 episode of the LadyGang podcast. "That's just my personality. It's either black or white."

Getting Vulnerable

And the Dance Moms coach isn't afraid of showing her vulnerable side.

"To say that my sobriety has been easy would be a lie," Cheryl said in a June 2021 YouTube video. "When I keep secrets or don't tell my truth to everyone, including my followers, that's when it gets scary for me."

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