Celebrity Divorce : What Can Be Learned?


When show-biz types announce that they’re getting a divorce, it’s a little bit different from when family or friends say they are splitting up. For one thing, people can watch a celebrity break-up played out, nightly, on television and weekly in the gossip rags for sale at almost every checkout line in the country. With social media, we can have the sordid, juicy, salacious details of “he-said-she-said” pumped into our tablets and phones 24/7. People don’t have to grieve and mediate when the split-up is between the Gwyneth Paltrows and Chris Martins of the world like has to be done when it is your friend. Precisely, though, because individuals involvement in celebrity marriages crashing is indirect, a person’s reactions to the break up speaks volumes about ideas surrounding marriage.

Be honest. When a female celebrity’s marriage crumbles, she’s not in the same situation as the average wife and mother. Female celebrities tend to be more financially independent which gives them more money to spend on child-care. They also could afford to spend a few dollars on all the accessories than can help keep a marriage spicy.

The crowd in Hollywood live in their own brand of reality. Many people don’t understand why marriage advice would be sought from a celebrity. They work in an industry that values accomplishments over substance.

So, if the folks in “tinsel-town,” who seem to have it all, what is the average person to do and expect? There are some types of Hollywood divorces which contain some lessons for mere mortals.

The “Buy My Way to Happiness” Divorce

Remember Kim Kardashian’s pre Kanye west days when she was married to Kris Humphries? She met the NBA star and seven months later, got engaged. Once married, the nuptials lasted shorter than the honeymoon – 72 hours. While no one but the two of them really know what the year-long relationship was like, the evidence points to Kardashian on a shopping trip for a husband whose ego, fame and success matched her own. In other words, she wasn’t looking for someone to complete her, she was looking for someone to complete her lifestyle. Never works.

It’s easy to look at someone like Kardashian and say she made a bad decision, or that she was willing to put in the time and patience that a more sensible woman would have, but regardless, marriage takes a commitment and a willingness to invest in the relationship.

The “She Was so Smug About Everything” Divorce

Paltrow founded her online newsletter, Goop, in 2008. Part of the site’s success has come from Paltrow telling other women how to live glamorous, successful and complete lives. Now that her own marriage has broken up, people may be skeptical about the certainty she displayed as she instructed women on everything from $425 cleanse to 425 ways to please your man.

If your (married) life isn’t feeling as complete or glamorous as Paltrow’s, or your neighbors, remember, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe your neighbor is looking at your marriage with envy and thinking that you are the one that has it all.

The “If She Can’t Make a Relationship Work, Who Can” Divorce

When we see good Hollywood marriages fail, a person’s thinking about what makes a good relationship gets challenged. When Amy Poehler and Will Arnett got divorced, fans were surprised. Here was a couple that seemed like the type people you’d like to have over for a cookout. They appeared to have balance in their lives and they had a life instead of just a lifestyle. Still, they ended up divorcing. If they can’t have a great marriage, who can?

Every marriage is different. Every relationship is different. To compare the state of matrimony in which one finds themselves in is not fair to either party in the relationship. Instead of worrying about what others, including celebrities, may or may not have going for them, learn to work on the relationship as it is now.

One marriage therapist said it best, “People need to stop comparing their insides to everyone else’s outside.” It’s good advice. When a celebrity divorces, it is too easy for people to look over the good in their own relationships and wonder what the future holds.

By Jerry Nelson

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