Life Simplified - Winner of 2013 Telly Award

Hollywood Marriages

Showbiz is an industry like no other; it takes more out of people than it gives back. We all know the fame and the lucrative lifestyle it offers but we may not be all aware that it deprives us from practicing societal core values if we choose to do so in our relationships. These values do not have necessarily a genuine moral component but they do carry a burden of forcing us to abide by them. The settled family with one permanent street address; the kids going to the regular district schools; the parents working nine to five and attending PTA meetings when called upon… Showbiz life is nothing like that. By virtue of the nature of the “biz,” it requires the participants to be away from loved ones for an extended periods of time; it requires that they attend promos, openings, tours, parties, and the like, which such a profession in itself invites a chic, promiscuous life even one does not want it.

Such a lifestyle forces people to forgo all recognized traditional values thus making them skeptical of themselves whenever they instinctively gravitate to traditional relationships. Where monogamy is frowned upon and promiscuity reigns as the norm, they ask themselves: “If ever I choose to have a traditional relationship, dare I say even marriage, will society’s rules apply to me where I can lose my partner because one of us is guilty of promiscuity?” Such pondering may have an easy answer in a world outside their glittery circle, but for members of that distinct community, it may not even arise to a discussion among partners let alone grounds for divorce.

Society proscribes any intimate relationship which does not embody the elements of a traditional marriage. One of these elements is the unbending conformity to the full disclosure of each other finances. With such disclosure, the law requires that one is responsible for the livelihood of the other if either chooses to terminate the union, which means to support the other financially as long as the other remains unmarried. As much as the entry into matrimony is mutually consented, the exit, i.e. the divorce, is not. The law, as a reflection of societal imposition, recognizes the union as it does a contract. It attaches to it all the obligations we, the pillars of society, want our laws to reflect. One of the obligations is the freedom for one party to opt out at will, but the legal duties binding both parties cannot be waived. The law will therefore require them to wind down the assets borne out of the partnership. This winding is really what all of them are afraid of.

Without the responsibility of legalizing their union, most people are happy with the relationship they have created. They enjoy each other’s company, and whatever it took to coast without having to face each other about all “those traditional marriage issues,” they are happy with the status quo. Most relationships do not make money an important issue, especially when both parties are to sustain their own spending habits. Such arrangement is perfectly acceptable if it works for both. However, if ever, they decide to tie the knot, the discussion about money, the main issue they dreaded for all this time, is at the forefront. Not because they said so, but the law said so.

This basically translates to a simple bifurcation; either one gets married and legally be forced to support the other in case of a divorce, or sit down with the spouse-to-be and discuss the money situation once and for all. Either way, the fear of bringing the issue of money is what scares most Hollywood people from getting married because they have been perfectly coasting through with their girlfriends/boyfriends of years, on whom they can sleep around without any legal or financial consequences. Talking about money is hardest thing to do in a relationship, and since it is required by law, one has to do it if one wants traditional marriage, or in the alternative, one chooses to live a no threatening life with another similarly situated.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

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