Every day the news media informs the eager public of yet another celebrity divorce. Sometimes it seems like the young stars of our favorite TV shows and movies are playing a giant game of Musical Marriage Beds. Fans wonder, a bit enviously perhaps, where they find the energy for all that marrying and divorcing.
But the stars of the real life divorce soap operas are not all young and hyper hormonal. Youthful impulsivity does not explain the divorce of Kelsey Grammer who passed the half century mark some years ago. Nor does it explain that of George Lopez who is fast approaching fifty himself. It doesn't even explain why Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson are divorcing after twenty-four years together.
Celebrities find themselves in the divorce courts for pretty much the same reasons ordinary couples do. It seems like couples with large incomes would have a better chance of working out their difference than people do who never have enough money. But celebrities discover that no matter how much money they make it's never enough.
People who live their lives in public find that all of their problems are magnified. A minor disappointment or even a major betrayal might be worked out if a couple is left on their own. But under the magnifying glass of public opinion a small issue can grow out of control.
People new to fame are often shocked at the toll it takes on their marriages. One of the thirty-three miners recently rescued from a mine cave-in is already getting a bitter taste of the downside of celebrity. How he and the others will cope in the days ahead remains to be seen.
The miners were thrust into the spotlight as the world gathered to joyously watch their rescue.
For one miner's wife the joy of impending reunion was marred by the discovery that her husband had another woman waiting for him. The pain she felt could only have been intensified by her situation being played out on television in front of the entire world.
Public humiliation is probably the hardest thing in the world to forgive. It compounds any other hurt or slight or betrayal. As long as the rest of the world is reminding you that you have been hurt how can you forgive and forget?
The divorce rate among celebrities is nothing new. Even the silent movie stars like Mary Pickford and Pearl White and Charlie Chaplin had serial marriages. Fans recall that Lauren Bacall faithfully stayed married to Humphrey Bogart until he died. But she was his fourth wife and their marriage which lasted twelve years didn't set any endurance records.
A lot of ingredients can go into a marriage on the rocks. Celebrities have access to unlimited supplies of all the ingredients. They get more and better temptations to to be unfaithful than most people do. They have jobs that can be very stressful for long hours. They have access to whatever they think they need to help them unwind. They might be required to spend long periods of time away from their families. Problems can brew beneath the surface for months or even years until someone runs a car into a lamp post. When that happens it isn't a simple DUI. It's a trial in the court of public opinion on the way to a celebrity divorce.