Celebrity divorce seems to be in the news every day, whether it’s a real divorce or just a rumored one! So when news of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce broke this week, it was hard to tell if it was just the rumor mill or truth. Turns out, the super couple commonly referred to as “Brangelina” is actually getting a divorce.
BRANGELINA DIVORCE IS NOT A RUMOR
According to the court documents, Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from husband Brad Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple separated after two years and one month of marriage. The couple married in August 2014 and listed September 15 as their date of separation.
Jolie is seeking physical custody of their six children but has asked the court to grant legal custody to Pitt, meaning he will be able to make decisions for the children as well as have visitation rights. Jolie is also asking to keep “miscellaneous jewelry and other personal effects” as well as any earnings following the date of their separation. Other separate assets are to be determined later.
Following the announcement Pitt released this statement: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
An attorney for Jolie, Robert Offer, spoke for Jolie, saying “This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”
But do celebrities really get divorced more often? Or do we just hear about it more because they’re in the limelight?
THE “HOLLYWOOD MARRIAGE”
“Hollywood marriage” in Hollywood’s golden era meant high society marriage between celebrities in the movie industry. Glitz and glamour were the theme of these marriages, but today the term also carries the negative connotation of a short duration marriage ending in either separation or divorce. This negative viewpoint of “Hollywood Marriage” started to get sour by the 1930’s, and hasn’t sweetened up much since then.
MEDIA INFLUENCE AND CELEBRITY DIVORCE
People and the media are often quick to point their fingers as these failed celebrity marriages, giving the skewed impression that “Hollywood Marriages” are less successful than non-celebrity marriages. In 1972 Bob Thomas of the Associated Press stated that celebrity marriages that last are usually ignored by the media. For example, Bob and Dolores Hope were married 69 years and Rosalind Russell and Frederick Brisson were married 35 years.
IS THE FAULTS WITH THE CELEBRITIES
Even if the media isn’t to blame, some believe the fault it part of Hollywood’s culture, or perhaps the personal faults of the celebrities themselves. Some think weddings are just used as publicity stunts, whose egotism and celebrity immaturity fuel the culture. With so many opportunities to stray as celebrities work on different projects, high levels of infidelity and promiscuity also fuel the high divorce rates. Bee Wilson of The Daily Telegraph wrote “Hollywood marriages” often are based on unrealistic dreams and called celebrities “permanent children.” However, she also indicated that on the counterpoint of his view, classic Hollywood couples such as Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were definitely the exception.
OPINIONS OF CELEBRITIES ON DIVORCE
Like everybody else, actors and entertainer also have differing opinions when it comes to the Hollywood divorce rate. Anne Baxter has stated Hollywood is “the most difficult place in America for marriage” due to the “terrible extremes of success and failure” the spouses face with their careers. Others feel it’s because of the magnifying glass aspect the Hollywood marriages deal with. Mitzi Gaynor said in a 1964 interview, “Everything we do is magnified.” He also concluded that “you have to be a little off-center to get into this business in the first place.” This is one reason why celebrities such as Harrison Ford try so hard to keep their private lives private. But in spite of this, he’s on his third marriage.
DIVORCE RATE STATISTICS
With so many people on scripted television, talk shows, reality shows, etc., the question many people have is who exactly can be considered a “celebrity.” A Radford University study found “dancers and choreographers,” perhaps ones like the professional dancers on “Dancing With the Stars,” currently have the highest divorce rate percentage. “Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers, all other” come in at above average at tenth. “Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides” are ninth and “Baggage porters and concierges” rake eleventh. A Forbes article concurred with this report, indicating that “professional athletes and entertainers” combined have a high rate of divorce. One athlete that comes to mind is Tiger Woods and his messy divorce.
POTENTIAL CELEBRITY DIVORCE REASONS
There are many factors involved in a Hollywood divorce, which is why it may seem so commonplace. Some factors include busy schedules that keep the spouses apart for months at a time. As in all marriages, things usually get real, really fast. Instead of a flawless leading man, or picture perfect woman, they suddenly realize they both have flaws, bad breath in the morning, and a few scars here and there, not to mention bad habits like never closing a drawer, leaving the toilet seat up, or picking up after themselves. As a celebrity, temptations are also higher. As an actor, a job requirement is to kiss your other actor in scenes. While they’re only stage kisses, the pretend passion frequently become real passion. After a couple of seasons on The Americans, Keri Russell and Matthews Rhys decided to move in together in real life, after she divorced his husband. In addition to on-screen romances turning into off-screen romances, fan is short for “fanatic” and fans fanatically throw themselves at the object of their affection. The bane of the biggest stars. Elvis had to deal with it and today celebrities like Justin Bieber. With so many people telling you you’re wonderful and they love you, its difficult for some to keep their feet on the ground. Why stay with somebody who makes you take the garbage out or do the dishes when you can have somebody who will do it for you instead. Because you’re just so incredibly awesome!
GENERAL DIVORCE RATES
The divorce rate also depends on if it’s the first, second, or third marriage, according to the following statistics:
- First marriage divorce rate = 41% – 50%;
- Second marriage divorce rate = 60% – 67%;
- Third marriage divorce rate = 73% – 74%.
According to research, couple who have children have a somewhat lower breakup rate compared to couples who don’t have children. Another interesting statistic is that children whose parents were divorced were four times more likely to have their own marriage end in divorce compared to children whose parents remained married.
DROP IN CURRENT DIVORCE RATE
Compared to what was previously thought, over the last few decades divorce rates have been dropping. Marriages are lasting longer in the 21st century versus the marriage success rate in the 1990s. As more people decide to follow the newest relationship trend of living together as partners rather than marrying, the divorce rate is expected to continue declining.
“I DON’T” AFTER “I DO” – CONSIDERING DIVORCE
When people decide to say “I do,” they never think it may end in “I don’t” and divorce. Even once the decision is made, it’s hard, and sometimes traumatic, to think about hiring a divorce attorney. Marriage is always difficult, whether you’re a normal Joe, or Hollywood A-lister Joe. These are valid reasons for divorce, such as infidelity, but sometimes it just because the couple have just grown apart. While some couples manage to get through the rough and tough spots, others decide the only answer is divorce. Even when you decide divorce is the only answer, you may still have doubts and questions as to whether it’s the right solution and if you should take that next step.
SOME QUESTIONS TO HELP WITH DIVORCE
If you are considering getting a divorce, hise are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do I really want a divorce or just want a better relationship with my spouse?
- Have we tried to seek help?
- Have we really tried when we got help?
- Is the strain on our marriage because of severe relationship stressors such as unemployment, miscarriage, infidelity, infertility, etc.?
- Have I tried to see what I might contribute in order to make the situation better?
- Was this marriage a mistake from the beginning?
- Do we just have a big challenge we haven’t figure out how to get through yet?
- Are my expectations and standard too high and unrealistic, eithis for your marriage or your spouse?
- Is there somebody else you’d rather be with?
- Do I still love the person I married?
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