Following in the steps of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Russell Brand, Heidi Klum and Seal are the latest in a seemingly endless line of Hollywood divorces. After seven years of marriage, the two announced that they were getting a divorce earlier this week. Unlike other celebs, however, this split came as a major shock to the world. Klum and Seal seemed as if they were the perfect couple. The two celebrities had four kids and were incredibly devoted to their family and relationship. The 38 year old German supermodel and 48 year old British singer renewed their vows every year of their marriage and were always seen holding hands and doting on one another in public. So how did this happen? What went wrong in their fairy tale marriage?
When asked about this in the Ellen Degeneres show, Seal acknowledged that though he loved Klum, they had recently grown apart. The two had been spending less and less time together. Klum stayed in Los Angeles with the kids while Seal had been touring for his new CD in Europe. They lost touch with each other and their relationship was irreconcilable in the end. As Seal said, “These things happen.”
What makes Klum and Seal’s story so astounding is that it shakes all of us. Their marriage was not the usual Hollywood sham; they were a poised and well respected couple of society that many admired. Yet, Seal’s resounding words “These things happen” makes it seem normal that they fell apart. Indeed, with an almost 50% divorce rate in the United States, divorce has become an everyday reality for many people. And with celebs divorcing right and left, it seems impossible for anyone to maintain a healthy, loving marriage. Watching these relationships crumble makes many question their own relationships. Is it possible to keep a marriage intact these days? Does real love last?
Although it seems impossible, a long lasting marriage filled with love is attainable.
It just takes hard work and real love. The problem comes when couples lose intimacy and emotional connections. According to Dr. Lisa Firestone, many couples maintain a fantasy bond in their relationships. This bond is an illusion of closeness and connection, but it is a fantasy version of love. In this way, couples preserve an imagination of love while keeping emotional distance from each other. This bond typically develops as couples fall out of love, yet they protect themselves by maintaining an illusion of affection for each other. Although protecting themselves, fantasy bonds can be destructive because there is no real intimacy in the relationship. The couple is not truly in love; they are just holding onto one another for support. These bonds exist in a large majority of relationships. As Klum and Seal began to lose touch with each other, fantasy bonds attempted to maintain what once was. In the end, though, the fantasy bond was not enough to preserve their marriage.
However, it is possible to eliminate the fantasy bond in a relationship and have a successful, loving marriage. By communicating everyday and being honest with your partner, couples are less likely to “lose touch” with each other. Keeping the relationship alive is key. By doing new things, keeping an open mind, and engaging with one another, your marriage does not have to end like Klum and Seal’s.