It sounds simplistic, but the primary key to a successful marriage, whether the partners are superstars or just plain folk, is for the pair to make each other a priority.
This advice is easy to say, of course, but hard to implement, especially when your every move is followed by Twitter, Facebook, 24/7 cable news, and paparazzi. In the case celebrity couple John Travolta and Kelly Preston, their union endured the scrutiny that arose after a blackmail attempt surrounding the death of their autistic son. No couple is immune from trauma and strife, but they must band together in the face of the trouble, instead of becoming separate camps. Travolta and Preston exhibited grace under unimaginable sorrow and pressure, and their union seemingly emerged stronger for the ordeal.
Compare that grace to the four-star bad judgment exhibited by David Arquette, by blabbing to Howard Stern about how his estranged wife, Courtney Cox, was tired of being his mother and had given her blessing to his having sex with other women. He added that sex with Cox was scheduled to some degree. Loose lips may not sink ships, but certainly can further puncture troubled marriages.
Another lesson to be gained from Arquette is his seeming unwillingness to compromise. On The View, he professed to love his wife, the mother of his child, but says she wants a quiet, calm life, while he (seven years younger) still wants to party. Is this really a gulf that cannot be bridged if both partners agree to give a little?
If star couples in love exhibit a little more Travolta and a lot less Arquette, perhaps the shelf life of these unions will be longer than a carton of milk!
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, and author of The Complete Marriage Counselor for Cupid’s Pulse.