At the start of this year The Telegraph reported that UK divorce rates are coming down. Statistics from 2008 show that divorce rates at that time were the lowest recorded since 1979. Experts suggested that this was probably because fewer couples are marrying, and those that are do so later in life and are more committed.
Thus it seems that perceptions of marriage are changing and adapting to suit our 21st Century way of life. One of the defining features of this contemporary culture is an obsession with celebrities, which is constantly spurred on by popular tabloid media.
So, in this fast paced age where long term commitment is not an immediate or urgent priority, how do celebrity marriages fare? Jobs in the spotlight come with a host of added pressures such as extensive travel to faraway places for long measures of time, rude invasion of privacy and constant public scrutiny.
If these aren’t enough, there is also a long time precedent of abysmal failure of celebrity marriages, which is perpetually confirmed as famous couples continue to split year after year. 2010 has been no different with recent cases in point being Ronan and Yvonne Keating, Cheryl and Ashley Cole, and Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. The famous marriage/divorce/remarriage merry go round of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is legendary.
Against the odds
In fact, celebrity unions ending in divorce appears to be the rule rather than the exception. It is significantly easier to come up with examples of power couples that have crashed and burned than it is to think of those that have stood the test of time. This has spurned many articles over the years, trying to unravel the psychology behind the ‘celebrity marriage curse’.
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow provide a shining example of a famous couple that has so far defied statistics. The pair has been going strong for about 7 years, a solid standing as far as celebrity marriages go.
Many analysts have noted that the secret to ‘happily ever after in Tinseltown’ lies in staying out of the spotlight as much as possible. The Coldplay singer and Hollywood actress are very rarely photographed together and both are reluctant to discuss their relationship in interviews. The pair also reportedly embarks on month long vacations to their home in the Hamptons, during which they ignore the outside world and focus purely on their family.
The divorce statistics indicate that these days only those who are serious about staying together are getting married. Perhaps the rich and famous will start subscribing to this way of thinking too for a change, wouldn’t it be nice if glossy magazine pages were filled with white picket fences and happy family snaps? But that wouldn’t be news, would it?