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Why Do We Care So Much About Celebrity Divorces?

We learned in early August that yet another celebrity marriage is on the rocks when Chris Pratt and Anna Farris announced via their social media channels that they were separating.

Celebrity Divorces

Although many of us are abuzz with this news that, frankly, isn’t any of our business, there are reasons why we care, there are lessons to be learned for our own relationships, and there may be some points we can take away from the manner in which these splits are announced so publicly.

The Psychology Behind Our Interest

It’s clear that we are interested in celebrities’ love lives, or else there would be no tabloids or entertainment magazines and TV shows.

“We like to build a glass house for someone else’s marriage or life,” explained Canadian media outlet Global News after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their separation in September 2016.

It’s all about projection: unconsciously detecting in others what we fail to make contact with in ourselves, according to Global News. Many of us believe that what is “out there” for others is better than what we have.

“When we see a famous pair that appears authentic and in love, we root for them,” licensed clinical psychologist Erika Martinez told Yahoo Health after the Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck split. “We’re all hard-wired for love, to recognize it and seek it.”

We also can chalk up a portion of our celebrity relationship interest to our brains. A large part of our brain power is dedicated to relationships, according to the Yahoo Health article. Following celebrity relationships leaves us feeling invested in them.

We Can Learn from Celebrity Splits

If we’re going to be nosy, we may as well learn from our observations, right? Celebrity breakups should teach you the following:

  • Information posted to the Internet never truly goes away, so be careful what you share on your social media channels.
  • Parting ways peacefully should be the ultimate goal, particularly when children are involved. Celebrity separation and divorce announcements frequently mention their desire to keep their children’s happiness as a priority. To do that, you must be civil to one another. You may be divorced, but you won’t be out of each other’s lives if you have kids.
  • Sometimes celebrities have whirlwind romances and get married after knowing each other only for a short time. Then we hear that the marriage is ending. Learn the lesson those celebrities didn’t: Take time to get to know each other and learn whether you’re compatible before you tie the knot.
  • Consider a pre-nuptial agreement. You should plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Having an agreement in place before you marry can eliminate many of the biggest sources of disagreement during a divorce.

Making Your Divorce Public

Unlike celebrities, you may not have the luxury of hiring a publicist to announce your divorce. Still, you can take a page from those very public celebrity separation and divorce announcements and act as your own publicist, like this mom of two did. She opted for the Facebook announcement when she viewed it as an effective way to tell everyone at once and avoid having to retell the sad, painful news individually over the course of time.

Laura Robinson felt braver after sharing the news of her separation on Facebook, she wrote on Huffington Post. Sharing the news gave others insight into her “random moodiness” and paved the way to her allowing others help her through a difficult time.

If you and your spouse are amicably parting ways, some people suggest preparing a joint announcement.

Ultimately, just like with celebrity marriages, it’s no one’s business whether you’re divorcing or separating. Still, your friends and family members may eventually sense that something is up and start asking questions. Announcing your divorce on your terms can give your loved ones enough information to understand the situation and perhaps remove some of their urges to ask more questions than you feel comfortable answering.

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Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

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Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

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Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

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