SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGES IN THE GLARE OF THE SPOTLIGHT



This article is authored by JANE BOURSAW at POPEATER

Ahhh, marriage. What can I say…?

I’ve always been a strong person and fiercely independent. I was intensely devoted to any romantic relationship I had when I was in it. But even when I was involved in those situations, there were relatively few lovers that I had that I could’ve imagined being married to.

I knew instinctively that I had to get out and live – see a little bit of the world – before I could ever commit fully to something that monumental.

So I did just that.

JACQUELINE BISSET (a heartstoppingly gorgeous woman who had a number of live in relationships but never formally tied the knot) once said something that made an enormous amount of sense to me: “Marriage is a lovely dream. I don’t think it’s such a lovely reality.”

In many cases, it’s not.

People change. They take each other for granted. They lose touch with what brought them together in the first place.

And those are the relationships that are less dramatic and highly combustible.

I’m not traditional or conservative in any sense of those words. Surprisingly, though, my values are very old fashioned. I definitely believe in integrity and in treating people the way you’d like to be treated.

My romantic life (from the age of 16 on) always felt like a high wire act of dazzling proportions. When it was good, it was fabulous. But I could never tell if there was a net.

Not a problem. Cats always land on their feet.

My mother thought I was being ridiculous. But she knew me better than anyone else out there.

“One of these days, little Ms. Drama Queen, you’ll find the man of your dreams. Then you won’t need to grab that white horse and get the hell out of Dodge. Sometimes it really is worth it.”

This is why I miss my mommy. She was something else. She wouldn’t be a bit surprised at everything that’s gone on in my life during this decade either.

Mama was gone before I started CP. She would’ve been thrilled to bits by all of this.

So marriage really is the final frontier. It’s the only thing I’ve never done with a man that I’d really like to explore at this juncture.

(Just wrap your head around that sentence for a few seconds flat…)

It’s definitely a concept worthy of serious consideration.

Hmmmm…

There are plenty of celebrity marriages that probably should have been over a long time ago, but continue to thrive in an industry where if a marriage lasts a year, you’re bucking the odds.

MELANIE GRIFFITH and ANTONIO BANDERAS spring to mind. She was married to DON JOHNSON (twice) and STEVEN BAUER before tying the knot with ANTONIO in 1996. His previous marriage lasted nine years.

So, what makes it work?

For one thing, ANTONIO just seems like a really good guy who can weather the storms of life. He supported her through her 2009 stint in rehab. Their relationship seems stronger than ever.

“There were people who literally didn’t give us more than six months,” he said earlier this year.

“But we love each other, and above all, we love our family. We’ve figured out how to get past obstacles…and if you get past those, you only get stronger.”

WARREN BEATTY was the biggest playboy around. But he seems to have figured it out.

In a 2007 story in The Independent, he said of his 18 year marriage to ANNETTE BENING: “She has a great capacity to be happy, which is a great gift to me and an even greater gift to her children. For me, the highest level of sexual excitement is in a monogamous relationship. I would hate myself if I failed to live up to it.”

This story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention RON HOWARD, who has been happily married to his high school sweetheart CHERYL since 1975.

Do the math – that’s 35 years!

And BETTY WHITE said that she and ALLEN LUDDEN were partners in every sense of the word.

“Allen and I had worked together on and off during almost 18 years of marriage. But in our private life, we were always very much a team. As well as lovers, we were each others’ critic, editor, fan and friend.”

When I interviewed MICHAEL McKEAN a couple of years ago, the star of This Is Spinal Tap talked about how he and wife ANNETTE O’TOOLE were nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD for cowriting the song A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow, featured in A Mighty Wind.

It was an homage to their own love story.

“We weren’t separated by anything enormous, except for the fact that we weren’t together for a big chunk of our lives,” MICHAEL commented.

“We knew each other in passing because we had a lot of friends in common. And then 10 years ago, we found ourselves both free of other entanglements…and we fell in love. Everything else fell in line.”

“I guess The Beatles were right. All you need is love.”

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