It's hard to keep up with all of the imploding celebrity marriages. Evey day it seems the news informs us of at least one more celebrity divorce. It's easy to imagine that all of the divorces are just a result of crazy young stars and starlets leapfrogging from bed to bed.
But a youthful judgment deficit and an excess of hormones doesn't explain it all. It doesn't explain the recent announcement that Kelsey Grammer in his fifth decade and his wife of thirteen years are heading for divorce court. George Lopez at almost fifty and his wife Ann can hardly attribute their failing marriage to youth and inexperience. The same can be said for Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson after nearly a quarter of a century.
The reasons the marriages of famous people break up aren't that different from the reasons ordinary marriages break up. You would think people with the huge incomes many celebrities make would never have to fight about not having enough money. But many celebrities discover there is never enough no matter how much they have.
In an ordinary family people disappoint and fail and betray each other on a pretty regular basis. Things that could lead to divorce often don't because the partners decide to work it out. But an incident that can be managed privately becomes uncontrollable when exposed to the magnifying glass of public scrutiny.
People new to fame can be shocked by what can happen to a marriage when exposed to television cameras. Recently thirty-three miners in Chile found the media spotlight focused on them as they were rescued from a a mine cave-in after two months under ground. The effect this new notoriety will have on the men and their families could be problematic.
One of the thirty-three miners saw his life begin to change before he even reached the surface.
When his wife discovered that her husband had another woman and that she was also there waiting for him she was not happy. The fact that she made this discovery on life television in front of the entire world probably made the situation many times worse for her.
Few injuries are more difficult to forgive and get over than public humiliation. Any unkindness, hurt, infidelity or betrayal is going to be compounded when it is committed in front of an audience.
Many people attribute the divorce rate among Hollywood stars to recent declines in morality or religion or increases in tolerance. But the Hollywood marriage-go-round is nothing new. One has only to look at the personal lives of Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Liz Taylor to see serial marriages. Even silent stars like Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin put in time in the divorce courts.
All the ingredients that contribute to ordinary divorces are available to celebrity couples in abundance. The stress of always having to look and act perfect while working long hours makes a chemical vacation look very desirable. A career in show biz offers attractive people opportunities to be tempted by other attractive people. Domestic difficulties that could ordinarily be managed explode when an unhappy spouse becomes a drunk driver. It a recipe for public humiliation and celebrity divorce.