As Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony pack up their metaphoric and literal luggage to begin their recently announced separation, several thoughts come to our collective consciousness including: “big surprise”, “wonder why they broke up” and “is EVERY celebrity marriage doomed to break up eventually?”
Let’s start with the first. Big Surprise. I mean, seriously, big surprise. Or, as we used to say in the 80’s, “no duh”. Because, really, don’t most celebrities seem to break up? This year the casualties are mounting: Ashlee Simpson/Pete Wentz, Eva Longoria/Tony Parker, Maria Shriver/Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Heffner/Crystal Harris (not sure if that one counts for so many reasons), Scarlett Johansen/Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock/Jesse James and many others. So it’s literally no surprise. It’s, in fact, a trend. It is not shocking, not frowned upon, not really considered more than a good headline for a day or two. Maybe a week if you are Arnold and Maria...
But, these days, it’s just no big deal. Does that blasé dynamic contribute to the actual quantity of divorces? There’s no shame attached, no negative consequence to the career, in fact, some decent PR may come from it. Is this part of why so many celebrity divorces happen? Because it’s so easy?
It’s certainly one hypothesis. There is a general attitude that marriage, in the context of celebrity, is just not something that is taken that seriously. It is almost effortless to marry and equally effortless to divorce. Both processes require money and coordinated logistics. Celebrities have access to both. Access to money is a given and that very money provides them access to pay people who handle the logistics of planning a wedding and the details of coordinating a divorce. Nannies and housekeepers and assistants also make both states of being (marriage and divorce) a bit easier. So maybe entering into it and bailing on it just don’t feel like significant events. Perhaps this line of thought represents one argument for the notion that celebrities divorce more often than the layperson.
The second collective thought that tends to emerge in the wake of yet another break up announcement centers around curiosity about the split. “Why did they break up?” Well, why DID they break up? Of course, we don’t REALLY know, because we are not there. We can only speculate based on “insider reports”. Or deduce based upon observed circumstances and behaviors. But it seems like there may be some common themes worth understanding and exploring: