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These Celeb Divorces Remind Us That There's No Such Thing As Relationship 'Failure'
David Livingston/Getty Images

These Celeb Divorces Remind Us That There's No Such Thing As Relationship 'Failure'

The recent celebrity breakups hit different and could be a call to move beyond our idealizing.

Her Voice

If you made it out of this Mercury retrograde barely alive, you are not alone. From what we have been witnessing in recent weeks, it seems like so many celebrity couples have been experiencing relationship challenges now more than ever before. Or at least, that’s the pattern we are seeing on social media.


Now some of you may be familiar with Mercury retrograde, but let me just give you a brief overview before we go any further. The planet Mercury normally moves faster than Earth around the sun and usually three times a year, but this year in particular (four times, to be exact), the planet Mercury begins to slow down.

When Mercury is slowing down, we call that Mercury retrograde, and, energetically for us, that simply means that life gets tenser, there tends to be a lot of miscommunication, relationships are challenged and people from your past may circle back offering reconciliation.

In my opinion, Mercury retrograde gets a really bad rap because it is challenging, but not every challenge is inherently “bad.” During this time period, it may seem like everything is going wrong, but we must shift our mindset in order to embrace the wisdom that Mercury retrograde has to offer.

If we pay attention and actually move with the planet and simply allow ourselves to slow down, Mercury retrograde can be a time when we take a good look at our personal lives and our relationships and reassess why we are in them.

These past few weeks, we’ve been seeing many celebrity couples filing for divorce. Celebrities such as Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict, Miguel and Nazanin, and a few more that have spent years together are splitting up due to “irreconcilable differences."

These various separations come as a shock for many, as people on social media share their thoughts and feelings about these couples splitting up.

@hitt_jay

#greenscreen #tiamowry #tameramowry #coryhardrict #sistersister #twins #twinsisters #popculture #fyp

The Problem With Idealizing Celebrity Relationships

As a society, we tend to put celebrities and their relationships on a pedestal for what a relationship should look like, the practice of which is extremely superficial. Phrases such as “relationship goals'' and even our very own “Black love'' tend to be taken out of context and used to pedestal other people's relationships.

These phrases have now been used as expectations that we set for other people to set the template for what we should strive for in our own lives while knowing nothing about these people and what’s really going on in their relationships. And in the past few weeks, as I have witnessed so many couples separating and filing for divorce, I have realized that so many of us have a very codependent relationship with our idea of what relationships should be.

A celebrity couple can split because of irreconcilable differences and people immediately assume that someone cheated or they just weren’t working hard enough to fight for their marriage, but what if no one cheated? What if their differences were just so polarizing that they could not coexist together peacefully?

According to mensrightsdivorcelaw.com, "irreconcilable differences" means "an individual and their spouse cannot get along with one another enough to keep the marriage alive, and this lack of getting along can cause a whole array of other issues in the marriage."

And the way that I see it, irreconcilable differences, outside of the textbook definition of it is what happens when two people have different values and desires, i.e. whoever they were when they married might no longer be who they are now. So many of us do not want to look at incompatibility in relationships because it’s just too painful to face, but I honestly feel like this relationship challenge isn’t talked about enough (which is also why a lot of people end up staying in a marriage that may not be for them).

We don’t want to look at the side where our needs and values are just so different that we cannot maintain a romantic relationship with someone. The reason we avoid this reality is that it requires us to practice acceptance and loving someone from a distance. Most of us tend to avoid this reality because it’s difficult to face the hard truth of loving a person. But simply being incompatible with someone may also trigger unresolved rejection or abandonment wounds.

But if we are in a relationship with someone and we are creating stories and narratives and internalizing this person's behaviors, actions, or values to mean something negative about us, we are tying our sense of self-worth to their values.

I think we should start celebrating people for leaving relationships that are not for them.

Whenever we see a celebrity couple break up or decide to go their separate ways, I see so many people responding with, “Omg, I’ll never believe in love again," and "If they didn’t work out, no one will work out," and let's not forget, "I don’t believe in marriage anymore."

My question is, why are we putting these people on this imaginary pedestal hoping that their marriage will set the standard for us?

@shygirlsentiments

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? #miguelsinger #nazaninmandi #celebritybreakup #celebdivorce #hollywoodmarriage

Incompatibility and the Release of Relationship 'Failure'

I think because so many of us grew up in households where our caregivers might have been absent or they weren’t able to show us an example of a healthy relationship, we take these celebrities and put them on the pedestal so they can be the representation of what we’re desperately seeking.

Respectfully, we have to come to a point of healing and emotional maturity within ourselves to see beyond what's being presented on the surface. All of the cute pictures and red carpet moments are just the aesthetic, people are going to present their best selves in the presence of other people. But the real magic happens off camera, the real relationship happens when no one is looking.

All in all, we have to stop putting these celebrities so much on a pedestal to where we dethrone our own standards. When we see relationships ending and people separating, we need to stop projecting our own shame onto them.

Rather than looking at relationships from this “success or failure” lens, I think we can move forward as a collective when we empower ourselves to see the beauty in relationships regardless of how they ended. Endings can be a beautiful thing, we just have to reframe our relationships to change.

It’s more empowering to view all relationships as a success because you got a chance to experience someone in a way you might have needed to experience in order to learn more about yourself, even if you haven’t been able to integrate the lesson just yet.

Relationships are not about possession and control. It’s not about owning or tethering yourself to someone who is not for you, that’s codependency and to be completely honest with you all, there’s no one to blame for this frame of thinking because society has conditioned us to be this way.

Society has programmed us into believing that love is all about this constant sacrificing of yourself for another person, that it's this disowning of yourself for another person.

Time and time again people get into relationships completely abandoning themselves just to say they have someone, just to feel needed, wanted, and desired rather than learning that healthy relationships are about keeping who it is that you are and maintaining a healthy relationship dynamic with another person. It’s not one or the other, both go hand in hand

Healthy relationships do not require you to “compromise” your core values. That’s not love, that’s fear.

And so when we can get to the point where we move out of this framework of codependent love, needing someone to be who we need them to be, spending years in a marriage waiting for the other person to step up, waiting for them to change, we will finally start to see that actually is not loving at all. Therefore, we would be on our way to healthier relationships and support people who decide to separate or get a divorce.

Relationships End and That's Okay

We have to get to this point where we’re able to move out of patterns of codependency and move beyond expecting everyone and everything to stay together because it makes us feel good. Love is about honoring a person's journey which also means recognizing when a relationship is approaching the end of its season. Real love is about respecting and honoring that person's journey enough to let them go.

Love and honor them so much that it transcends beyond the physical. Love them so much that you let them journey in this lifetime on their own schedule and go wherever it is they need to go, whether it is with you or not.

We’re not always going to able to go with people because not every person is meant to go with us, not every relationship is meant to last forever so I commend anyone who has the courage to end a relationship that is no longer a good fit for them.

Sometimes our differences with someone are so polarizing that we just can’t coexist in a romantic relationship together and that’s okay. Now, is that to say the whole entire relationship failed? Absolutely not.

If both people have tried and put their best foot forward, it’s a success.

Anything that brings you back to yourself at the end of the day is a blessing, anything that teaches you how to love yourself more, anything that teaches you how to stand firm in your boundaries, anything that teaches you to stop betraying yourself, that's a success.

At the end of the day, you got to share an experience with someone who you loved and learn something about yourself in the process, even if it didn’t last for a lifetime.

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Featured image by David Livingston/Getty Images

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