Contributed by Nadia Persun, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
When it comes to Hollywood marriages, it is more surprising when they last versus when they don’t. However, it is still striking when “forever” becomes “forget it” in just 10 weeks. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries have called it quits. It’s quite stunning that their marriage did not last. They seemed like a perfect couple, with a deep connection and so much in common, after all both of their first names begin with the letter “K”.
Kim releases a statement, “I had hoped this marriage was forever but sometimes things don’t work out as planned.” On the contrary, perhaps things have worked out for her exactly as planned. Following the highly publicized nuptials, reports claimed Kim earned up to $18 million from the event.
It would be silly to expect these two to grow old together, but they should have lasted for at least one season of Kardashians! However, maybe the script for this marriage included a quick divorce. Regular day-to-day relationships are boring, they clearly fade in comparison with the drama of vice, promiscuity, adultery, dirty fighting and make up sexual scenes. Anything what sells shall be offered to those willing to consume. It’s likely that the show producers are busy working on the idea for a show sequel about reconciliation. Kris Humphries’ recent statement gives a clue about the upcoming saga: “I love my wife and am devastated to learn she filed for divorce.” So, he was not the first to know? “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work,” Kris adds.
So, it’s quite likely that show watchers will have an honor to be privy to Kim and Kris’ “deep, meaningful, and private” TV broadcasted conversations and may be even to their couple therapy sessions. People can watch more of their fake displays of sentimentality and affection and their washing of dirty laundry in public. It’s a shame that these characters and their staged dramas still find a sizable audience, helping them to capitalize on rituals and values that are not for sale, while also trashing and trivializing them along the way.
Some questions to ask before saying “I do”
The success or failure of marriage may hinge on how well partners deal with issues such as finances, sexuality and expression of affection, communication and conflict resolution, desire to have children and parenting philosophy, dealing with relationship in-laws and other family or origin issues, ways of spending leisure time, agreement about personal values and spirituality, division of household chores, and other relationship related expectations. Ability and willingness to communicate and negotiate about these issues, as well as partners’ mutual desire to adjust and grow along the way, are the keys to a successful marriage.
Seeking premarital counseling and taking a premarital assessment inventory may be good ways to prepare before getting married. There are several premarital counseling questionnaires that are used for premarital assessment. Examples include, Premarital Preparation and Relationship Enhancement (PREPARE) and Study Assessment (FOCCUS), which are offered by some counselors at Meier Clinic in Wheaton. Premarital counseling questionnaires may help to identify what areas a couple needs to discuss further during premarital counseling sessions.
No matter what premarital counseling questions are for a couple, it’s best to get them answered before the wedding ceremony. Being married is much harder than getting married, and a therapist or spiritual counselor specializing in relationships may be able to help couples avoid some of the common pitfalls. Questions that couples have before marriage only intensify over time, and premarital counsel can help people resolve their issues before relationship problems arise.