Friday, July 07, 2006

Can they not spell "commitment"?

It seems the entertainment headlines are always full of celebrity relationships coming to an end. The recent breakup of the three-year marriage between Friends star Matt LeBlanc and Melissa McKnight got me thinking. Here is a couple with a two-year-old daughter. Like most children, this little girl would undoubtedly prefer to grow up with a mother and a father. So what does Matt do? According to he decided to get busy on the side with his Joey co-star Andrea Anders. This, it would seem, is more important to him than sticking around and being a full-time father.

Matt is not the first to give in to on-set temptations -- Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are other notable examples -- and of course I know nothing of his relationship with Melissa. This pattern is common enough with celebrities, though, that one has to wonder whether there are some relationship lessons to be learned:
  • High profile stars often have all the money and adulation they can handle. If they see something they want, they can pretty much have it. Now put them in a marriage. There are still plenty of other desirable people out there and star status means those other people tend to be available . . . but the star is expected to look but not touch. In other words, expectations of fidelity in marriage are exactly opposite to the star's normal experience. One has to wonder whether this is sometimes a factor.
  • On the other hand, many celebrities live with constant travel and big-budget production pressures that translate into all-consuming work schedules. This can result in lengthy separations from spouses, which can stress any relationship. Perhaps we mere mortals should not be too quick to judge, at least until we've taken a walk in their diamond-studded shoes.
  • Another theory is simply that divorce is unfortunately all too common across our society, and happens for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the only difference with a celebrity breakup is the intense amount of attention focused on it.

Do you have an opinion on high-profile relationships? Have you been involved in one? Be sure to share your insights by sending an email.

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