What Can We Learn From Celebrity Divorce?

By Aly Walansky

Here are the facts about three celebrities who were blindsided by their spouse with divorce:

—Actress Laura Dern was totally blindsided when her hubby, Grammy winner Ben Harper, filed for a divorce. The two had been married since 2005 and had two kids together. Meanwhile, Harper claimed in the legal documents that they’d been separated since January, but friends of the couple said they’d been traveling together all year and were intimate maybe as recently as last week. How hard is it to have a sit-down before filing divorce papers?
—Usher and his now ex-wife Tameka Foster had allegedly been separated for a year when Usher filed for divorce, but Tameka claimed they’d been intimate within the week and court documents said she had every reason to believe her marriage was intact.
—Tiki Barber was allegedly “floored” that his pregnant wife Ginny filed for divorce, because she was supposed to do it a month later. Ginny was eight months pregnant with twins and the two had agreed they wouldn’t “file divorce papers until after their babies were born.” The two had been separated since talk of Tiki’s alleged affair had begun a few weeks before.

In each of these cases one partner was shocked and surprised by their partner’s move to file divorce.  Clearly there was a communication shortfall but could it have been avoided?  What can we learn from these examples?

Mary Pender Greene, noted psychotherapist and relationship expert has this to say: “Many of us share the unrealistic expectations of celebrities and do and will not put the necessary effort into our marriages.  This can be traced to the pretty pictures presented by movies, television and other entertainment sources–creating false expectations.  This becomes deadly when coupled with the high divorce rate in America.

We learn from the example of our parents and their behavior.

Couples often fall victim to difficult family histories.    It is instructive that in the case of celebrities, too many of them are surrounded by adoring fans and equally adoring friends and associatesmost who care for them based on their fame and fortune.  Is it surprising these “stars” would have difficulty with the sometimes hard truths of marriage?  But no matter what the situation is or who you are, there is no getting around the fact that marriage takes work.  Being “lazy in love”  will almost always spell disaster in a marriage.  It leads to communication difficulties and skewed perceptions.

“In the case of these blindsided men and woman, it is clear that a lack of communication between them was the main culprit in their break-ups,” Pender says.