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.
However youthful impulsivity is only part of the story. It certainly doesn't explain why 55 year old Kelsey Grammer and his wife Camille are splitting after 13 years. It doesn't explain 49 year old George Lopez and his wife Ann packing it in after 17 years. It doesn't explain Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson divorcing after 24 years.
In fact celebrities' marriages break up for the same reasons that other couples' marriages break up. You wouldn't think so. Most ordinary couples fight over not having enough money. You wouldn't think people enjoying highly successful, well-paid careers would have that problem. But when you're a celebrity it takes a lot more money to be enough and nobody ever seems to be that successful.
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.
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?
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 things that seem to contribute to the breakdown of marriage are available to celebrity couples in super size portions. The stress of a demanding job and long hours makes a variety of drugs seem appealing. Opportunities to be tempted by attractive other men and other women abound. Long periods of time separated from spouse and family make temptations more tempting and leaves spouse more discontent. Inhibition-lowering drugs impair judgment. Marital problems that are bubbling beneath the surface boil over when a spouse in fit of rage drives his car into a lamp post for all the world to see. It's a recipe for a celebrity divorce.