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London - Couples should not try to emulate the glamorous weddings of the stars if they really want their marriages to last, a senior family court judge has said.
The lavish ceremonies splashed across the pages of celebrity magazines such as Hello! have little to do with the reality of lifelong commitment, according to Sir Paul Coleridge.
They are also twice as likely to end in divorce after ten years, according to research from the Marriage Foundation, the charity Sir Paul launched this year. Forty percent of stars’ marriages end within a decade compared to just 20 percent of ordinary couples’, the study found.
“The worrying feature of these statistics is the picture they paint to those who regard the celebrity lifestyle as something to be admired and copied for its own sake,” Sir Paul said.
“These are, after all, the role models upon which many, especially young people, fashion their lives. Aspiration for happiness built on celebrity lifestyle is, it seems, dangerously flawed. All of us subconsciously want to believe that these beautiful people are living an idealised life which we can vicariously enjoy.
“Surely this must create a false expectation within the participants that in some way their relationships will be better, easier and, above all, more exciting than the average.
“Unfortunately all men and women, glamorous or not, are riddled with the same weaknesses and shortcomings which surface even quite soon after the excitement of the wedding has died down.”
Sir Paul said real life has nothing to do with the stars’ love stories played out in celebrity magazines and on TV.
“There is a disconnect between the nature of real long-term relationships and the dramatised and apparently more exciting versions portrayed on screen or imagined for them by the rest of us,” he said. “This is surely exacerbated by huge, expensive fairytale weddings attended by the icons of the day.”
The report pointed to the 55-hour marriage between Britney Spears and Jason Alexander and said that “few non-celebs can match that kind of relaxed attitude to their marriage”. Others whose marriages barely made a year include Russell Brand and Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.
Sir Paul said that while most celebrities hankered for a stable marriage like anyone else, their fame made it harder to find.
“They pay the price by being even less able to sustain long-term healthy relationships than the rest of us,” he said.
The 40 percent rate of celebrity marriage break-ups over ten years was worked out from an examination of 572 prominent celebrity weddings since 2000. It found a fifth were over within four years, against just one in 20 of all marriages.
The report said there were some starry happy endings. Kirk Douglas has been married to wife Anne for 58 years, while Barry and Linda Gibb have notched up 40 years. - Daily Mail