What 'Regular' People Can Learn From Celebrity Breakups

They may not seem relatable, but there are actually important lessons we can take away from breakups of the rich and beautiful.

Joe manganiello and Sofia vergara Joe Manganiello via instagram | Sofia Vergara via Instagram | Kyzyl Palmin via Canva | Alex Barnes via Pexels

When you heard that Sophia Vergara and Joe Manganiello are divorcing you might have thought, “OMG! If Sophia can’t keep her marriage going, what chance do I have?”

Perhaps you believed that if you were beautiful, amazingly sexy, world-famous, and uber-wealthy — one of the "Beautiful People" — you would have and keep a fabulous husband. But you'd be wrong. I know this because I've spent years coaching and counseling the "Beautiful People" in Southern California, land of the most beautiful people. I also dated some of the most beautiful people, including some celebrities.


Fame, wealth, and beauty don't guarantee anyone happiness.

Even celebrity marriages have pitfalls, and the most passionate and glamorous couple has to live day-to-day life together. The high stakes of Hollywood and the pressure to perform every time they leave home with swarming paparazzi can take a huge toll. Since female movie stars have a much shorter shelf life in almost every case, that alters the power dynamic for a star couple over time. The same can be true for marriages of other high net-worth couples because a trophy wife needs to be bright and shiny.

RELATED: 7 Brutal Truths Every Happily Divorced Person Knows


Though we can’t relate to all of their struggles, there are some lessons we can learn from the "Beautiful People," when their marriages come undone.

For just one example, we can look at Vergara and Manganiello, as told to People Magazine:

"A source close to Vergara confirmed this to People, calling their relationship a ‘passionate, all-encompassing romance, which kept the flames hot for quite a while.’ Still, that heat couldn't hide their personality differences. 'They have been growing apart for some time now and tried to resolve things, but they are focused on different areas of their lives,' the Vergara source said. 'They definitely love and respect each other, but once that initial passion dies down and other areas get in the way, then little differences get bigger.'"

‘Sofía is a smart and hardworking girl who thinks of everything that could go wrong before it actually does,’ that source continued. ‘Joe is pretty low key and for years this suited both of them. This has been chipping away for a while.’"


Six lessons we should keep in mind when people who "have it all" break up.

1. Anxiety and its cousin, jealousy are guaranteed fire extinguishers.

In the People article, Vergara is described as a worrier, whereas Manganiello is “an easygoing guy," which is a dynamic that can create huge disconnections in so many marriages and lead to jealousy and anxiety.

Anyone who suffers from moodiness needs to get it under control, especially if it's affecting your partner and your marriage. When I work with clients suffering from anxiety and depression, I teach seven different tools and skills that work to balance emotional states. Many of them find me after their anxiety has sunk their love affair. Luckily, if the motivation to learn is high, I can help many reconcile and rekindle lifelong monogamy and oneness.

2. Hollywood marriages among the world’s most beautiful and sexy have a much higher risk of divorce.

This is because people throw themselves at the stars. We won’t know the absolute truth behind Sophia and Joe’s divorce, maybe ever, but there is a high likelihood their celeb status directly impacted the longevity of their marriage. A study by the Marriage Foundation found that divorce among celebrity marriages is "52%, compared to 31% for the UK population as a whole."

I’ve coached “Hollywood Wives," and celebrities for two decades, dated movie stars, and turned down other high-profile actors myself, so I have personal experience to speak from. My advice is if you love beautiful men as much as I do, consider what happens after you’re a couple because it is not easy; just as sitting on a bucking bronco is not an easy ride.


Since so many Hollywood stars are "Multiple Marry-ers," and since Hollywood is the center of “The Divorce Zone," a great Hollywood marriage rarely brings lifelong happiness.

RELATED: What To Do When You're All Done Fighting & Divorce Feels Inevitable

3. Dating “the professionally beautiful” can be incredibly complicated.

If we try to compete with any form of perfection, we get trapped into comparing ourselves, which is painful. Instead, I appreciated the beauty of the “professionally beautiful” actors and models I dated as works of art, knowing that it didn’t limit or define them. My guess is, once my interest waned, that is how we have remained friends for decades.

Imagine walking down the street with a breathtakingly gorgeous man when every woman stares and yearns for him!


Here are two of my own experiences with drop-dead gorgeous beaus that I think you will enjoy. Consider if these scenarios would freak you out or if you could take them in stride:

My professional model boyfriend, John:

John and I were driving to Pennsylvania for a summer vacation with friends. He was putting gas in his black Citroen, and he was wearing a black zip jumpsuit that was a perfect fit and hid nothing. His perfect face and black hair were breathtakingly beautiful. Some friends and I were walking into the store to buy snacks when we heard a crash.

A woman had seen him from the road next to the gas station, had literally become mesmerized, and drove her car into the driver’s side door of his car. She was completely unaware of what she was doing because, as she said, “I have never, ever seen someone so beautiful.” If you go deeper than the surface to appreciate someone’s attributes, you can connect without suffering, but it isn’t easy and may require you to learn to control your mind and stop self-criticism.


My statue-perfect actor boyfriend, "David":

When I was 17, I first met an actor who looked just like the statue of David by Michelangelo. Walking around New York with him or having him put me on his handlebars as he rode through Central Park was a lesson in controlling any self-criticism that sought to torture me. I went to see him star in a play and the woman seated next to me was aflutter because she had driven hundreds of miles to see him perform.

I offered to introduce her to him, and she became terrified and refused even though she told me she had seen him in “everything." She had convinced herself that he was on a pedestal, and she was limited to worshiping him from afar. By contrast, I was a close friend for 24 years until I suggested, "Give someone else a chance" and we both laughed.

At the post-theater dinner, the waitress was coming towards our table with a tray full of glasses, plates, and flatware. She took one look at his 6’4” perfection, and there was a loud crash! The waitress dropped the tray and all the glasses and plates fell to the ground and shattered. What was most interesting is that the actor took it in stride, and that’s another thing that separates “them” from “us." For the breathtakingly beautiful, this is a part of life and, even if they hate it, if it stops, they know that their career is in peril.


4. Similar lifestyles and similar worldviews are essential for an easy life together.

Describing Sophia and Joe, the article in People stated, "they had differences in how their lives should go forward, and it caused stress." I explain to clients that if they are “opposites attracting," then one of them will probably possess a few of the necessary skills for a safe life. But, inside their home, there will be differences in spending, politics, child-raising, career choices, religion, nutrition, etc. If the marriage is between two very similar individuals, they may agree on most things inside the home.

Similarly, when they need to tackle the world outside their home, it’s common that neither possesses enough of one or more of these: ambition, safe career and residential choices, planning skills to build a financial future, health awareness, and child-rearing abilities. As a certified Herrmann Brain Dominance® Trainer and an expert in Nonviolent Communication®, I can tell you that the key is understanding your own needs and having clarity about the needs of your partner. It's also critical to ensure each of you shares the commitment to one another's needs being met, not only by each of you, but also by the choices that you make as a couple each day.

RELATED: 8 Harsh Things About Getting Divorced (That Few Will Tell You)

5. Celebrities aren't the only potential partners at higher risk for divorce.

While we don't know what happened in their relationship — and we certainly do not want to judge them in any way— one could speculate that for Sophia’s husband, Joe, who has now experienced years of bliss with a beautiful, fun, delightful partner, divorce could mean that he will try to replace her with an equally newsworthy A-List star so that his career benefits from the required PR, but is that wise?


Even if Sophia and Joe were always faithful to their vows, so many actors are not. Even crew members are risky choices because traveling on location leads to romances. This extends beyond Hollywood, of course. The next most prevalent category to cheat after actors is politicians. Think of all of President Trump’s alleged affairs, and President Clinton’s, too.

6. Divorces are contagious.

There are a lot of divorces among actors and the "beautiful people."

“You’re much, much more likely to get a divorce if your friends have had one," according to a study conducted at Brown University. The researchers note that “[the] divorce of a friend or close relative dramatically increases the chances that you too will divorce," and also share their finding that “clusters of divorces extend to two degrees of separation in the network.”

To be specific, you’re 75% more likely to divorce your partner if your friend has divorced theirs, and you could even be 33% more ‘separation-happy’ if your friend of a friend has split from their beau. Will close friends of Sofia and Joe be the next to split? It's not unlikely.


Since marriages are also contagious among friends, as is motherhood, make sure you’re following the herd to the goal you desire, not just being pushed along.

RELATED: The 5 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced (& 5 Unusually Specific Ones)

Ultimately, no matter how you look or how famous you are, you need to do the work.

Before you even commit to a marriage, be sure you're invested in the work it will take, and don't look at it like a milestone to check off of your list. I like to say, don't look at marriage like a "starter house. The #1 mistake that a spouse can make is expecting or demanding that the other spouse changes and does the work on the marriage, but not participating in that work, as well. If you want your marriage to last, you must learn what to do, and then you must do it every day.


The most common quandary of those in challenging marriages is the question of “Should I go, or should I stay?” The truth is that you do not need to decide which outcome you prefer right now. If you are caught up in the question, you aren't doing your best to transform your marriage, are you?

Instead, you need the skills and tools to magnetize your partner into the love, passion, and oneness that you both felt when you first connected. The connection of unconditional love and respect, even if not in marriage, can last forever, which is what most women tell me would be magical for them!

RELATED: Why You Should Get Divorced At Least Once

Susan Allan is a certified mediator and coach and the founder of the Marriage Forum, Inc., creator of ‘The 6 Part Conversation’ and ‘The 7 Stages of Marriage and Divorce’ training, as well as Marital Mediation©, all tools and resources to help people understand their own needs and the needs of their partner.