Celebrity Psychological Issues No. 15 – Fame, destruction of family and relationships

“[We] were engulfed and then swept away by a wave of fame and fortune. It got rather too much for me to cope with." – Jane Hawking, first wife, who divorced Stephen Hawking in 1990

“[We] were engulfed and then swept away by a wave of fame and fortune. It got rather too much for me to cope with.” – Jane Hawking, first wife, who divorced Stephen Hawking in 1990

Here is issue No. 15 of the Top 20 issues of celebrities. For the previous article, for issue No. 14, click here.

15. “Fame has destroyed my family/marriage” – Fame’s impact on relationships

Many people dream about being born into wealth and fame; some women even pursue the rich and famous man as a potential husband.

The belief is that by marrying into or being a part of the celebrity’s family, a new world will open – a world of glamour, parties, wealth and an endless life of luxurious vacations, palatial homes, servants and the very best of everything.

But the celebrity knows that this turns out to be a myth. There is even less time and attention for the people in the family of someone truly rich and famous,

The exposure to fame has a negative impact on the family and relationships.

Family members claim they feel invisible, secondary, ignored or robbed of the relationship; robbed of the person they love and cherish.

Even the wife of a scientist can become the victim of fame.

Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most famous physicists/authors – a celebrity in his own right.

He has been featured in the TV cartoon The Simpsons, in Star Trek, and his voice has even been sampled on a Pink Floyd album.

His 1988 international bestseller book “A brief history of time” has sold over 25 million copies.

And yet Stephen Hawking himself admits that his embrace of his then new-found fame destroyed his first marriage to Jane.

He became “the public wunderkind” Jane says. “[We] were engulfed and then swept away by a wave of fame and fortune. It got rather too much for me to cope with.” After 25 years and 3 children, they divorced in 1990.

“There’s a lot of people in my life and that’s hard [- The entourage.] There’s people in the house. There’s hair and makeup. It’s a lot, I think, for someone to deal with…Forget about all the outside stuff, being judged, being under scrutiny in the relationship…I guess that adds in…but I think they would say that [the entourage] was a big part of their discomfort, if there was any.” Jennifer Lopez explaining why she believes her relationships have failed (Marc Anthony, Ben Affleck)

Aside of being swept away by the “wave of fame and fortune”, as mentioned above, celebrities are also subjected to all sorts of non-stop temptation as well as the ego and entitlement which destroys boundaries and often leads to narcissism.

However, another aspect is the time you spend away from your spouse – the travel and extended periods of being apart.

In film, for example, it can be 3 to 6 months on location – away from your spouse and children – unless you are an A-list actor and can afford to have them with you. And even then you are working long hours, sometimes all night, and that again, robs you of time with your children and family.

And if you are both celebrities, there are even more hurdles and obstacles:

  • The paparazzi and media place even greater expectations on you and want to portray you in one of two ways – either you are so devoted and in love with each other, or, you are cheating and about to break up
  • You potentially will be competing with each other
  • Temptations surround you both as do suspicions
  • You both can fall into the world of drugs and be unable to help each other
  • Busy schedules and commitments drag you apart from each other physically and geographically
  • You are unable to devote to each other the real time, energy and emotion that is needed for a meaningful and satisfying relationship
  • Ego and entitlement can quickly undermine and corrupt your love for each other

“Everything I do is in the media, in the spotlight…I’m also a target for fallacious women that, you know, want to not see me and my wife happy. They’ll say whatever they can to sell books and be on TV shows…We go through things like any other married couple, but I think at the end of the day, our love and our bond is stronger than any rumors of infidelity.” – Ja Rule, (singer, rapper) Oct. 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1caYz0PI-A#t=36

For the next celebrity psychological issues, No. 16, click here

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