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Coping with Divorce: What Celebrity Breakups Can Teach Us

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Celebrities lead the types of lives most of us wish for. Fame and fortune, adoring fans — few of us get to experience that in our own lives, which is why following your favorite celebs can be such a fun experience, especially when they tie the knot in at a fairytale wedding destination.

But if there’s one thing that we do have in common with our famous idols, it’s the fact that not every fairytale wedding has a storybook ending.

While lots of celebrity marriages go the distance, plenty of them don’t last — and they end up coping with divorce just like us non-famous people.

The constant pressures of being on the go all the time and having the public watch your every move can pile on enough pressure to break up even the perfect couple.

See also: How compatible are you with your love interest?

How compatible are we?

Coping with breakup and moving on afterwards is never going to be easy for anyone. It’s harder still for celebrities, as they live very public lives. Yet the fact that these celebrities go through the effects of a bad breakup under full public scrutiny means that their heartbreak is our own — and that we can also share their triumphs when they end up back on top.

We can learn a lot from the way celebrities handle coping with a breakup and come back stronger than ever.

Our favourite role models are people too, and if they can rebuild their lives while coping with divorce, so can we.

Here’s what celebrity breakups can teach us about coping with divorce in our own lives, either personally or when it happens to a close friend or family member.

Surviving Divorce through Something Bigger Than Yourself

The dissolution of a relationship can feel like the end of the world. In more than one way, it can be — realizing that your partnership is not working the way it needs to and not being able to repair the damage to the point where things are better is a soul-crushing feeling.

Even if you’ve been living apart from your spouse for some time, when it comes time to sign that official paperwork, the finality of the experience is unavoidable. It’s enough to strip the joy and light from even the brightest of souls, and this makes coping with divorce when you don’t want it a major trauma.

Yet the end of a relationship, as terrible and soul-stripping as it can be, isn’t necessarily the end of your world. The idea that the Universe doesn’t close a door without opening a window means that while this chapter of your past is now quite closed, there are opportunities on the horizon that you can now examine specifically because of your divorce.

This is especially true if both you and your partner are dedicated to something bigger than yourselves. In many cases, this can come from the overriding desire to provide a safe, loving, and happy environment for your children.

Just because you’re no longer romantically involved with one another doesn’t mean that you and your partner aren’t still parents. It’s absolutely possible to cope with divorce and still be there for your children in ways that ensure they remain happy and well-loved.

A prime example of this is how Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, once thought to be Hollywood’s unbreakable couple, filed for divorce in 2018.

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris Source:

Yet despite the breakup — which shocked the entire world, considering how these two genuine, sparkling, light-filled people obviously cared so much for each other and their young son, Jack, they’re left coping with separation and divorce nonetheless.

Still, the pressures of celebrity life can split even the most steadfast couple.

Yet Pratt and Faris knew what was truly important and made sure that they put Jack first in all things.

They both waived their right to spousal support, agreed to live within 5 miles of one another until Jack reaches 6th grade, and show all signs of being the most dedicated co-parents ever, supporting each other as friends even though they are no longer together as a couple.

In fact, Faris was so overwhelmed with joy at Pratt’s recent engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger that she even offered to officiate their wedding ceremony!

When the Writing on the Wall Is in Big, Fat, Black Letters

Sometimes, like in the case of Anna Faris and Chris Pratt, the entire world is shocked at a divorce.

When a couple seems perfect for each other and is obviously committed, a breakup can send ripples of anxiety throughout the entire world because nobody saw it coming.

However, sometimes the writing is on the wall when it comes to an impending breakup — and when that writing is in big, fat letters six inches high written in black magic marker, it’s often more of a surprise if a couple doesn’t split up than if they do.

In times like these, it’s important to remember that if everyone has seen your breakup coming except you, don’t feel like you’ve missed the boat.

The worst place to evaluate your own relationship status is often right there in the middle of it, as you lack the proper perspective to understand what’s going on and how the things you’re experiencing could be signs that your marriage may be in trouble.

The truth is that there is likely one of two things going on: either everyone but you sees it and is trying to warn you, or there are some very negative people in your life that don’t approve of your happiness.

Telling the difference between these two can be hard sometimes, as there are plenty of things that can muddy the water.

Think about how Justin Bieber’s recent marriage to Hailey Baldwin has lit the world on fire!

How many Beliebers out there are ready to plot bloody murder against Baldwin for taking their heartthrob away from them? Instead of coping with divorce, they’re coping with marriage! It’s only natural that there’s going to be a lot of blowback against this celebrity marriage for that reason alone.

justin beiber and Hailey Baldwin walking down the street Source:

At the same time, it’s simply not realistic to gloss over some important facts that could jeopardize this new celebrity marriage.

Since he was just a young teenager, Justin Bieber has been under the kinds of celebrity pressure that can easily destroy a person completely. While most teens were worried about getting a date for the prom and figuring out how to pass algebra, Bieber was headlining world tours.

Unless he’s dedicated to working on himself — and Baldwin is willing to be there for him unconditionally — it’s going to be a rough road for these young newlyweds.

Predictions that this marriage won’t last could be right on the money unless they both dig deep.

Not Even the Longest-Lasting Celebrity Marriage Lasts Forever

Sometimes, with a little luck and a lot of hard work on the part of both you and your partner, you can make a marriage last. Yet even couples that have been together for decades can end up going splitsville — and it’s not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, as difficult as it might be to sever a bond that’s been in the making for double digits, sometimes it’s for the best.

It’s hard to walk away from a life that you’ve built with someone else over the years.

Working together, raising children together, and helping each other succeed in your respective careers builds a lifelong trust. The constant companionship isn’t bad either. But sometimes, somewhere over the years, one (or both) of you can go astray.

Sometimes you can point a finger, like catching them in bed with your best friend; sometimes two people just grow apart instead of growing together.

Celebrities experience this as much as anyone. Just like us, they don’t want to give up on something special unless they don’t have a choice.

That’s why Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman separated in 2012 after more than 30 years of marriage, citing rumours of Devito’s womanizing ways. While the two got back together, it wouldn’t last — in 2018, Rhea threw in the towel once again to the tune of a $140 million divorce settlement.

Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman Credit:

Asking Rhea how to deal with a lying spouse during divorce and she’ll probably tell you that whatever approach you take, it’s going to hurt.

You know that there’s got to be some real love when a couple has been together for three decades or more.

Yet this doesn’t mean that people in love with one another can’t make mistakes, as Rhea obviously thinks Devito did. Even one betrayal is enough to send most marriages into a tailspin but Rhea ultimately gave her husband a second chance — one it looks like he squandered.

The stakes might not be as high for your own marriage, but she did the right thing by cutting ties before she was hurt again, no matter how much it must have been.

When a Divorce Might Be the Best Move You Can Make

Relationships are hard, there’s no doubt about that.

Even two people that are unfailingly dedicated to one another find that, sometimes, love just isn’t enough. When you’ve got to cope with a breakup because the stars seem to have simply aligned against your marriage it can lead to feelings of helplessness and disappointment, especially after you and your partner truly tried your best.

Yet for every pair of star-crossed lovers kept apart by the cruelties of Fate, there are dozens more that truly had no business being together.

In this case, splitting up might be the best move you can make to preserve your mental and emotional health.

In all too many cases, you may also need to seek a separation because you need to preserve your physical health as well.

There are no instances where abuse of any kind is ever acceptable. Having your spirit destroyed through gaslighting and emotional abuse might not leave the same bruises and scars as being physically battered will, but the damage can be even longer-lasting.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of months or even years of any kind of abuse, leaving an abusive partner can be one of the most difficult and harrowing experiences of your life.

That’s why you’ve got to respect Amber Heard for splitting from Johnny Depp in 2016, just 15 months after the two were married.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Source:

It’s obviously hard to believe that a beloved actor like Depp could be capable of such terrible things, yet regardless of whether you think Heard’s accusations of abuse against her ex-husband are true or not, she obviously felt unsafe in the relationship and took steps to end it in order to protect herself.

This is the lesson to be learned here: no matter how hard it might be, you need to protect yourself if you’re in a toxic relationship.

If this means ending the relationship completely and even getting the authorities involved, no price to pay is too high for your own safety.

Tragedy Can Alter Your Life Trajectory as Well

No one likes to think about it, but the world can be a cruel and unfeeling place sometimes.

Nowhere is that more obvious when the bond of a married couple is severed unwillingly by tragedy. Whether it’s due to prolonged illness or sudden accident, the Wheel of Fate sometimes lands on a bad outcome for an otherwise loving and happy couple.

There are too many examples to count when it comes to the tragic end of a strong and loving marriage.

Unfortunately, celebrity marriages end this way as much as any other.

When actor and comedian Patton Oswalt’s wife, acclaimed true crime writer Michelle McNamara, passed in her sleep suddenly in 2016, she left both him and their seven-year-old daughter behind. The entire world mourned with him as he, very publicly, has recounted his struggles coming to grips with the sudden tragedy.

Patton Oswalt and wife Credit:

Yet Patton’s outgoing and brutally honest grief, on display for those who wished to see it, shows the resilience of the man, his dedication to remembering his wife with love and honour, and raising his daughter to do the same. He’s an excellent example of good men coping with divorce and widowing.

Even at his darkest, he never lost hope — and today he’s emerged from what is likely to have been the bleakest period of his life to return to happiness.

Now remarried to Meredith Salenger, both he and Meredith claim that the spirit of Michelle herself helped to orchestrate the meeting and approves of the relationship from the Great Beyond.

What worked for Patton doesn’t necessarily have to work for you.

Sometimes it can take years or even decades to deal with the death of a partner. Sometimes you never truly recover and don’t seek out love or marriage again.

Whatever the answer is for you it’s the right one, no matter what other people might say.

There’s no wrong way when it comes to dealing with grief and healing. The lesson here is the following: take as much time as you need, no matter how much (or how little) time that ends up being.

Sometimes, Love and Marriage Don’t Need to Go Hand in Hand

Marriage is the ultimate symbol of commitment. Pledging your undying love and devotion to just one other person before the Powers That Be (and your 500 closest friends and relatives) is as symbolic as it gets.

Yet there are plenty of couples that don’t feel the need to have the pomp and circumstance of a traditional wedding ceremony — or even the institution of marriage — intrude on their relationship.

There are a number of reasons why a couple, no matter how devoted they are to each other, choose not to get hitched.

This can be either because they’ve been married in the past and have no desire to slip on the old ball-and-chain once more, or simply because they just don’t see the need for what is, essentially, a legal contract for the distribution of property and assets.

For some people, love is enough, and that’s okay.

If there’s one celebrity couple that can be held up as a shining example of this, it’s Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell Source:

These two superstars, which met on the set of a movie in 1966, have been Hollywood’s love match since they got together in 1983.

Both had been recently divorced, both had kids of their own, and both knew that the secret to their deep love would be to build a family together without the trappings of being legally bonded to each other.

They’ve been together ever since, up to and through the matching stars they received on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.

There’s a great lesson to be learned here, especially if you’re recovering from a previous marriage that ended in divorce and you’re looking to get back to searching for love and companionship.

If marriage didn’t work for you in the past, you aren’t compelled to try it again if you don’t want to.

If you’ve never been married and you’re still capable of holding deep, meaningful, and long-term relationships with others, then what do you need marriage for in the first place? Goldie and Kurt sure don’t — and it’s okay if you don’t want it either.

Getting Back in the Saddle While Coping With Divorce

It can certainly be traumatic to call it quits on any serious relationship, especially one where there are lawyers involved. Once the dust settles on your own divorce, you’re likely to feel more than just a little lost. Yet divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the line, not for you — and certainly not for celebrities!

There are plenty of celebrities that, after their split, didn’t let their newly-single status hold them back from conquering their own worlds.

The famous breakup of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in 2001 didn’t slow down either of these super-celebs, with Cruise going on to star in what seems like a billion different spy movies and Kidman taking a more thoughtful art-house approach, accepting elegant roles that let her showcase her amazing acting skills.

tom cruise and nicole kidman Credit:

Romantically, both Cruise and Kidman went on to remarry after their breakup.

While Tom ultimately chose to go solo once again after a six-year marriage to Katie Holmes, Nicole and her new hubby Keith Urban got together in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. Both of these talented thespians haven’t lost a step, not letting a little thing like divorce hold them back from both achieving their professional goals and their personal ones — and that’s a lesson we can take with us in our own lives as a result.

Deciding Whether It’s Time to Move On From a Dysfunctional Relationship

The personal lives of celebrities, which are ironically often on display for so many of their fans, are just as varied as our own lives.

They run the gamut between pedestrian and adventurous, family-oriented and outrageous, or wholesome and scandalous. Each one is different, and each one will either work or not.

What we can be sure of, though, is that there are as many different approaches to marriage, divorce, and how to deal with divorce as there are drops of water in the ocean.

You can rest assured, however, that no one, celebrity or fan alike, ever made the decision to get divorced on a whim.

Even the most dysfunctional relationships can sometimes appear to be preferable to being alone, even in the case of celebrity marriages where financial security usually isn’t one of the things you have to worry about if you call it quits. The pitfalls of coping with divorce make it a hard decision to make to be sure!

It’s a winning bet that every celebrity couple out there that ever split had to burn the midnight oil before coming to the decision to divorce. Even when it seems obvious that you should pull the plug on a failing relationship, memories of the good times can often stay your hand. If you and your partner tried your hardest and did your best to patch things up and recapture the magic that made you fall in love with each other in the first place only to find that this magic simply isn’t there anymore, you need not regret your decision in the least.

Sometimes, though, you don’t have a choice. And that’s fine, too.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, if you’ve caught your spouse cheating, or if there’s a tragic illness or accident, you’ll find the decision is a matter of self-preservation, self-respect, or simply out of your hands altogether. Nobody expects you to mend fences while they’re on fire. Coping with divorce is better than coping with infidelity or the risk of personal harm. And if your responsibility goes further than yourself — if you’re safeguarding your children from harm — then the path is even more clear.

The end result is that you can’t let anyone bring you down for getting divorced, being widowed, or remarrying after your first relationship comes to an end.

Coping with a divorce can be as simple as holding your head up high like your favourite celebrity.

Channel their energy and embrace their persona to lend you the strength you need to greet the world with a smile on your face and a confident attitude that will silence the haters.

Coping With Divorce Requires Support

You might think that the hardest part of breaking up with a long-time partner is the divorce itself.

But coping with divorce is more than just dealing with the immediate event.

What are you supposed to do after a divorce, after the papers have been signed and you’ve extricated yourselves from one another?

The silence can be deafening, especially if you’ve been together for a long time — suddenly, this other presence in your life that you’ve become accustomed to having around is no longer there.

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In the days, weeks, and months after a divorce, it’s only natural to feel completely unmoored. Coping with a breakup of this magnitude is going to take more than a couple of ill-conceived nights out on the town (or if you’re really feeling self-destructive, a couple of one-night stands) before you start feeling like yourself again.

It’s certainly not the best way to get support after a divorce, but there are worse ways.

What can you do to get over a divorce?

  • Use this opportunity to begin exploring yourself and your own identity in a safer, judgment-free environment.
  • If you’ve always wanted to travel to someplace or enjoy a hobby that your partner didn’t enjoy or approve of, now is the time to stretch your legs a little.
  • Learn how to scuba dive.
  • Get that tattoo you always wanted — or maybe remove that tattoo with your ex’s name on it!
  • Read, listen to music, watch movies, or do anything that makes you feel like you’re expanding into the person you can now grow to be, coping with divorce can be like a hermit crab moving into a new shell.

At this time, you may also find yourself gravitating towards your community for support.

Whether it’s your family, your friends (the ones you kept in the divorce, anyway), or other community groups, having this support network on your side can be a major boon to reclaiming your identity and growing into the person you were meant to become.

You can be sure that all your favourite celebrities who divorced went through the same exact processes, though there might be a couple more bottles of champagne tossed around on private jets during their growth process than in yours!

Have a Little Faith — Believe in Magic

One of the biggest forms of support that people can turn to while healing after divorce can be seeking things bigger than yourself.

In many ways, this can represent a return to the faith of your younger years or a rekindling of your current belief.

Chris Pratt, for instance, is famously unshy in crediting his personal and professional successes to his own unshakeable faith.

While it might not be for you it certainly works for him just fine, so who are we to judge?

To that end, you can rest assured that finding your own path and developing your own set of beliefs can help you heal from the wounds of any divorce.

Turning to yoga and meditation is a well-known choice, as it has any number of benefits in exercising the body while also calming and soothing a troubled mind and heart.

Let’s not forget that Gwyneth Paltrow, famous for her acting as much as her notoriously granola way of life, has had several high-profile celebrity breakups under her belt including Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

When it comes to coping with divorce, the end result is that no matter what type of relationship trauma you’ve just experienced, there’s not just one way to put your life back together again and get back on your feet. Some people hit the gym like it’s their job; others decide now is the best time to learn how to build a boat in their basement.

Others still donate their time and money to Habitat for Humanity or open up a yoga studio for cats. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or someone else, there’s no wrong way to cope — and you never know, sometimes believing in a little magic is what you need to make your life magical again.

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Whatever you decide, think about incorporating some good, old-fashioned conversation into your life if you’re coping with divorce.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be something that’s scheduled and codified, though it can be — speaking to a therapist regularly can help you sort through the jumbled thoughts and emotions left over while coping with divorce.

This can be either one-on-one or group therapy, and it can also be in either formal environments or simply with friends and loved ones over coffee.

In fact, it matters less how you reach out and to whom you reach out than the act of doing so in the first place. Putting that energy into the universe of wanting to understand who you are now and what you can do with your life is an overwhelmingly positive step towards continued growth and recovery. You’ll see that the universe responds, oftentimes providing you with positive energy back threefold (or even more).

But you don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to coping with divorce.

The ties that bind your favourite celebrities together in an interconnected web of energy are the same ones that bind us all — you included.

Expand your horizons and reach out to the universe for light and love and even people you’ve never met can feel it. You can see this firsthand for yourself — get a Tarot card reading over the phone today and you’ll be surprised at how insightful the cards can be — and how they respond to the vibrations you’re emitting, even as you cope with your own breakup and become the person you were always meant to be.

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6 comments on "Coping with Divorce: What Celebrity Breakups Can Teach Us"


Wow excellent article with loads of advice, food for thought. Thanks.


Loads of info thanks


The end of a relationship should be see as a new beginning!


Some great tips in this amazing article

Main image for Coping with Divorce: What Celebrity Breakups Can Teach Us


They are very seldom relationships in Hollywood that actually stand the test of time. The ones that have are truly inspiring and are also very private people outside of the work they do. I believe that says a lot!


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