Why Do Celebrity Marriages So Often End In Divorce?

Why is it that Hollywood celebrities seem to have such high rates of divorce? After all, the most common reason given for divorce is ‘money problems’, but most of these celebrities are very wealthy. Why don’t their marriages hold up?? What is it about being rich and famous that makes your marriage(s) fall apart???

Thanks.

More than half of ALL marriages end in divorce. The difference is, when Bruce and Demi, or Brad and Jennifer, land in divorce court, it makes all the papers. When Sadie and Louie Yifnif split up, no one notices.

So the divorce rate among celebrities is ONLY 50%, and everyone is just imagining that it is higher?

How many people do you know that have been married as many times as Elizabeth Taylor or Larry King?

Well, a friend’s brother, for one. How many celebrities are there compared to Liz Taylor and Larry King?

There’s a selection process at work here. We hear more about celebrities because, well, they’re celebrated; they’re always in the news. I imagine that the average person can name more celebrities with a given attribute than non-celebrities, because we have more informatin about celebrities.

On the other hand, it could be that the money and fame that celebrities have is not conducive to a successful marriage.

My WAG is that money has a lot to do with it. People like to think we get married solely for love, etc. but in reality, a marriage is much more than just love. It’s a lifestyle, one that’s fed by money.

Celebrity marriages generally include two people who both have loads of money, and great earning potential. Whether their married or not has little to do with the house they live in, whether or not the kid has a live in nanny, and the car they drive. All of these things can be maintained by either party in case of divorce.

Contrast that with us middle-classers. We get married, have a kid or two, then want a divorce. Chances are, our lifestyles change dramatically. We move to a smaller house. Daycare become expensive. Can we make our care payment this month? What if we want to go on vacation? Hell, can we afford a babysitter so we can go out and find another potential mate?

I’m not saying that middle class divorces don’t happen, because they obviously do, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to split with your spouse when lifestyle and money has nothing to do with it. People have more reason to work on a marriage when they know that divorce potentially could mean large lifestyle changes.

Plus, many celebrities have jobs that require them to be away for long periods of time (touring rock stars, filming, etc.) and time away can be bad for a marriage since the spouse can’t always accompany the other.

Note: Please bear in mind that the following is a WAG, and chock full of generalizations. They’re just some random thoughts that I had.

If Joe and Suzie Blow aren’t 100% suited to each other, they might divorce or they might stay together. If Joseph and Suzanna Bleaux aren’t 100% suited to each other, they might divorce or they might stay together. But there might be several other factors that possibly wouldn’t apply to Joe and Suzie.

First of all, there’s probably the issue of temptation. Many people are tempted to cheat at some point in their marriage, but most people probably don’t have an army of groupies banging their door down. There’s also the whole “but I have to kiss Tom Cruise! It’s part of my job!” issue. And the bouts of separation.

Additionally, there might not be as many repercussions for celebrity divorces. Should they split, Joseph and Suzanna would probably still be well off financially, and have less problems finding another partner. And nowadays, people almost expect celebrity marriages to end.

I agree that celebrity marriages seem to be more frequent because of the coverage. But there may be other issues that Joe and Suzie never have to deal with that put more strain on the celebrity marriage.

Athena- “Celebrity marriages generally include two people who both have loads of money, and great earning potential. Whether their married or not has little to do with the house they live in, whether or not the kid has a live in nanny, and the car they drive. All of these things can be maintained by either party in case of divorce.

Great comments, Athena!

When divorce is simple to do, people usually DO it, because marriage isn’t all that great. When a divorce would cause you to lose your house, you stay together, not because you like being married but because it’s more convenient than the alternative.

Maybe all the attention and idolization they get makes celebrities more selfish than the average married person? Maybe they expect their spouse to think the world of them at all times, which is not realistic.

I don’t see any evidence being presented that celebrities get divorced any more often than the usual shmoe. I don’t believe they do.

There are people who marry several times. That woman in Florida accused of plotting to murder her current husband - I think she’s been married 6 times, with several of the ex-husbands living with her and her current husband. My own aunt has been married 4 times, having had two husbands die and 40 years later remarrying the first husband, whose marriage was annulled.

Alos, besides money (the excess of which might be as stressful as the lack) and long separations, there’s also the fact that attractive young people are willing (and eager) to sleep with them. I wouldn’t be surprised that casual infidelity is endemic. That would be a major stress factor.

StG

Aren’t the divorce rates for policemen and doctors unusually high? No, not I policemen who are married to doctors, you know what I mean . . .

Yeah, I had heard that divorce rates for doctors were more than for most other people. My best guess for that is the obvious extremely time-consuming work schedule that doctors have. Also, the process in getting to actually be a doctor is so long and really totally self-promoting for years and years, that it seems unsurprising that divorce rates would be high for them.

As far as celebrities, I had always thought that specifically actors had greater divorce rates because of what some others here have said, namely (1) they are basically a selfish lot to begin with (want to be center of attention, etc.), and this is obviously not conducive to marriage; (2) they are often separated for long periods of time from their spouses (for on-location shoots or extremely long working days like 14 hours/day for a sit-com, whatever); and (3) they oftentimes have encounters with other celebrities who are attractive (like them) and inevitable flirtations erupt (the Meg Ryan/Russell Crowe scene comes to mind).

Sadie and Louie split up?!
They made SUCH a sweet couple.
Their poor children!

(Uh, d’ya happen to have Sadie’s number?)

OK, lets cut to the serious section.
Thesis: Celebrities are more interested in themselves that most of the people they meet (ok, anyone they meet).

Put two of them together, and the essence of marriage (two becoming one by giving up part of themselves) is missing.

The first (or second, or third) time their will is not pandered to, the withdrawl begins.

imho

You guys have danced around it, but also please do not forget the huge ego it takes to be in the entertainment biz. In my experience most couples, while hopefully having an equal partnership, often have a give and take, pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses within the seperate personalities. When you take two people with huge egos and careers that hinge on said egos (at least in part), I think you bring about some extra problems that John and Jane might not often deal with.

Say you’re Brad Pitt and you marry Jennifer Aniston and you’re both at the top of your game. You both pull in hella bank, you both have off-the-charts face recognition and you’re both pretty. Now suppose that for whatever reason (and there need not be one, being Hollywood) two years later you can’t get a job selling tickets at a movie theatre. What do you do? Now you’re Mr. Jennifer Aniston and you want to scream at every turn, “I used to be a player!” Your money is gone, your job security is a laugh and your wife makes five mil for filing her nails.

Some people can take it, for sure. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward spring to mind as two people that started out on the same playing field career-wise and then watched one take off and one never quite make it. Gods bless Ms. Woodward, she’s carrying around her own Oscar, but she’s no Paul, right? Not only do you have to fight tooth and nail to get what you want, but you have to compete with your mate, too. And if you manage to not feel you have to compete, you’re still going to be perceived as such by the media.

And the damn media. No matter how much you trust your husband, if you read in People magazine once every three months about who he’s been seen with, how long until it starts bothering you. Just a little?

Nym - who as an actress has a long history of dating computer geeks behind her

“Celebrities Thesis: Celebrities are more interested in themselves that most of the people they meet (ok, anyone they meet).”

—Ummm, no. “Jerks” are more interested in themselves that most of the people they meet (ok, anyone they meet). I happen to know a number iof celebrities, and they are very nice people.

and to add to the “celebrity thesis”, noted by eve and brought up by many others, do any of you have any actual evidence to back up your contention - that celebrities are egotistical, narcissistic jerks etc.

or is it just sour grapes? “yeah, they might have attention and money and fancy cars but they can’t really relate to people. stupid celebrities. they’re not so great after all.”

oh yeah. good one.

Regarding high divorce rates, I’ve been told, tho I don’t know where to find an official cite, that members of the submarine service have an extremely high divorce rate - largely due to the long separations and the secretive nature of the job.

Then there’s my non-celebrity uncle who married 5 times.

As for celebrities, I often wondered how difficult it is to differentiate between the fantasy world of fame and the real world of everyday life and family and dogs pooping on the rugs. Seems to me after you revel in applause and adulation, you might not be able to deal with a spouse whose star is dimming. Just wild speculation here - I don’t know any famous people.