By: Fahad Samar
It seems impossible to open the newspapers these days and not read about some celebrity couple that has separated or gotten divorced.
Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her musician husband Chris Martin recently announced their decision to “consciously uncouple” after 11 years of marriage and six days after closing a deal on a 14 million dollar mansion.
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What makes the split even more surprising is that this golden duo projected themselves as the poster couple for a stable celebrity marriage. The UK-born comedian Russell Brand and his pop star wife Katy Perry got married amid much tamasha in Rajasthan but were soon divorced.
The controversial Kim Kardashian did not disappoint her detractors and ended her highly publicised marriage to basketballer Kris Humphries in just 72 days.
Troubled pop princess Britney Spears had a notoriously short-lived union that lasted all of 55 hours. Long-term relationships between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar, and more recently Shane Warne, also haven’t survived the test of time.
Closer home, the announcement that Suzanne and Hrithik Roshan had decided to split sent social media into a tizzy speculating about what had caused the rift. The names of another star couple were bandied about until categorical denials had to be issued from both sides.
A couple of years ago, the internet was abuzz with gossip about two cousins, both scions of an extremely wealthy and conservative industrial family separating from their respective wives and moving in with younger male companions.
Several public personalities such as Aamir Khan, Omar Abdullah, Sheetal Mafatlal and Queenie Singh also decided to end their marriages and begin life afresh.
More often than not, the decision to divorce by a public figure is accompanied by loads of speculation and loose talk. No one really knows what transpires behind closed doors and in the private lives of a couple whose relationship is in personal turmoil.
But we love to conjecture and pass judgment on people whose marriages have fallen apart, feeling smug and superior that our own relationships are relatively secure.
Masses of tabloid space are devoted to the reasons behind why a celebrity marriage has failed. The most common cause seems to be infidelity. When one partner learns that the other is cheating, particularly with another celebrity, it sends the relationship into a tailspin that it never quite recovers from.
Given that power, wealth and fame are all heady aphrodisiacs, it is hardly surprising that celebrities are surrounded by temptation and often succumb to it. This does make for undeniably juicy reading but cheating spouses are not the only reason why celebrity marriages fall apart.
Sometimes the couple, often both strong-willed individuals, seems to realise that they are no longer compatible and decide it is wiser to separate, citing irreconcilable differences, rather than prolong the misery of being married to
Domestic abuse, sexual incompatibility, money issues, professional frustrations — there are innumerable reasons why marriages end acrimoniously.
Tempting as it is to gossip about failed marriages it is also vital to respect the fact that these couples and their children are going through a particularly tough phase in their lives.
The fact that they are famous doesn’t make them any less susceptible to suffering the trauma of divorce. Perhaps all of us, particularly the media, need to take it a little easier when it comes to bashing celebrities when they are down.
It’s way more satisfying to deflate pompous egos and topple self-important giants rather than vicariously gloat about the demise of some famous person’s marriage.