We’re often unsurprised when we see magazines plastered with pictures of celebrities announcing their divorces. But why do so many celebrity marriages end in divorce? Well, as a divorce attorney, I have a few guesses.
If you’re married, you ought to be spending a significant amount of quality time together. Unfortunately, the fast-paced lifestyle doesn’t always allow for a large amount of quality time for famous married couples. Though many people idealize the celebrity lifestyle, it can be difficult to manage your relationships when you’re flying around the world, constantly working on films or touring. No matter what people say, marriage is work. It may be enjoyable work. It may be rewarding work. But at the end of the day, marriage is work. Great marriages don’t just happen. They’re a result of two people intentionally working together to maintain emotional intimacy and overcome issues. It can be challenging to do this when one or both parties are traveling all the time.
When you’re famous, you may face more temptations than the average person. Not only do famous people tend to have strained relationships due to the nature of their jobs, but they also tend to be surrounded by temptation in the form of other famous and gorgeous people. Many celebrity marriages are already strained due to the nature of the job. When unmet needs and marital strain meet temptation, the result is often cheating. Even in strong marriages, it may not be a good idea to push the boundaries. People are unfortunately quick to succumb to temptation when it’s available, and they feel as though they can get away with it. Furthermore, divorce often has very harsh consequences for your average person. However, celebrities typically have enough wealth and status to weather a divorce more smoothly than your average person. That’s not to say that divorce isn’t difficult; rather that the consequences don’t typically result in the drastic change that they would in a normal marriage.
What Does a Marriage Need to Flourish?
If you’re in a good marriage, your marriage should be priority zero if you want to succeed. For the average person, there’s no reason you’d need to choose between a marriage and a career. However, when you’re famous, it may be a little bit different. After all, you can’t just ask your supervisor for a shift that will allow you to spend more time with your family. I’d predict that many celebrity divorces are caused by people being unwilling to put their careers on pause for the sake of the marriage. And it’s important that we don’t rush to judge celebrities who struggle with this. A career is a very important thing to a person, and many of these celebrities have worked hard to be where they are. Acting, singing, performing, or playing a sport may be their passion in life. Asking the person to choose between marriage and their dreams is very difficult.
So Much Stress
There’s a lot of stress that comes with being famous. There are rumors, bullying, and tabloids everywhere. Once you get to a certain level of fame, you don’t have a normal life anymore. You can’t go out for a walk around the city, you can’t go to the grocery store down the street, and it may be unlikely that you can eat dinner with your spouse without having people photograph you.
Psychologically, human beings aren’t wired to be evaluated on such a large scale and in such a public manner. Tabloids and op-eds do take a toll on a person, especially when they’re written callously with malicious intentions. All these factors can cause a person to have immense amounts of inner turmoil. Before you’re able to prioritize marriage in your life, you need to be able to take care of yourself. The stress of being famous may make it even harder to work on a marriage.
Working through Issues
Many issues in a marriage need privacy in order for the couple to work through the issues. But how many times have you read, “a source close to (insert famous person here) reveals that…” If you’ve ever picked up a gossip magazine you’ve probably read that. Think about it, how would you like to be working through marital issues that were made public in the magazines at the grocery store? It’d probably be pretty difficult. If there’s anything to be learned from celebrities and their marriages, perhaps it’s the following: intentionally spend quality time together, avoid temptation, prioritize your marriage, take care of yourself, and don’t air dirty laundry.