Kevin Costner shocked fans earlier this week when he announced he and his wife of over 19 years, Christine Baumgartner, were divorcing.
Even for those who aren’t diehard “Yellowstone” fans and don’t follow Costner all that closely, it’s a painful realization that even relationships that lasted decades don’t guarantee a forever kind of love.
Fans have looked to Costner and his long-lasting marriage as a positive example of a Hollywood romance, says Carmelia Ray, a celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert. “The news of them splitting up is disappointing because people feel like they know celebrities, so when they break up it almost feels like a breakup they’re experiencing themselves.”
What Happened With Kevin Costner?
“It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond Mr. Costner’s control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage,” Costner’s publicist Arnold Robinson said in a statement on Tuesday.
Costner and Baumgartner, a model and handbag designer, began dating in 1998 and married in 2004 at his Colorado ranch. They have two sons, aged 14 and 15, as well as a 12-year-old daughter. Costner has four grown children from previous marriages.
Why High-Profile, Long-Term Divorces Feel So Shocking
With the pandemic, “gray divorces,” or marriages ending after 25 to 35 years, began rising, Michaela Boehm, a relationship and intimacy expert, previously told USA TODAY. The stresses of the pandemic – boredom, lack of escape from each other, conflicts over the kids, conflicts over chores, and lack of exercise – forced many couples to reconsider how they feel about their partners.
Many people have continued examining what they want and don’t want after being in quarantine. Costner’s divorce reminds us that no one is immune to change or pain.
Though these breakups may be upsetting for some, experts say it’s vital to remember that famous couples are only human.
“We project our goals on other people and assume (they can make a relationship work) because they’re rich and we think they’re better than us,” Peter Walzer, a family lawyer in Los Angeles, previously told USA TODAY. “But in reality, money doesn’t buy happiness.”
Does This Mean Your Relationship Is Doomed, Too?
If those who seem to have all the resources to build a happy life can’t make it together, what hope do the rest of us have?
Ray promises love still exists. But for those feeling rattled by a celebrity breakup, it can be an opportunity to check in with your partner, have challenging conversations, and put the work in to maintain the partnership.
“The lesson here is that you should never take relationships for granted,” Ray adds. “It’s a good time to reconnect and take a look at what we can do better for ourselves and what we can do better for our relationships.”
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