This week, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton announced they were getting divorced after four years of marriage.
After hearing this news, I thought back to July 2011, when the three-time-married Jennifer Lopez announced her split from then-husband Marc Anthony.
According to CNN, fans of the celebrity couple (and Twitter itself) are "grieving" about the news. One tweet exclaimed,
"Now that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are getting divorced I can say with 100% confidence that love does not exist."
How did a seemingly happy couple who publicly and playfully bantered across social media — dispelling myths of any marriage trouble — end up splitting a few months later?
Of course, in true tabloid style, rumors of an affair are flying around, but the king and queen of country are staying tight-lipped at this time.
Last time rumors were churned out, Shelton tweeted at Lambert, saying,
"just read in a tabloid that our marriage is falling apart!"
Lambert tweeted back,
"Oh no! Can't wait to read if we make it or not"
It seems that this time, they clearly did not.
This past weekend, Lambert delivered a tearful performance of 'The House That Built Me" during her Cheyenne Frontier Days concert in Wyoming.
It's been reported that she may have been caught up in her feelings about the news that was to break just a few days later.
The song was originally written for her soon-to-be ex-husband, Shelton, to record, but she resonated with it so much that he gave the song to her.
So, what could possibly have gone wrong in such a short amount of time?
From what I have seen, there are some fundamental reasons why a "perfect" high-profile couple goes from "made for each other" to "divorce lawyer, now!"
1. The Art of Illusion
When going through a rough patch, many couples want the time and space to see if they can work things out.
Once you start announcing to the world a split may be imminent, those in the public eye will be bombarded with opinions, questions, "I told you sos" and camera lenses following their every move.
They will be under unwanted scrutiny.
Therefore, it is sometimes easier to keep up the illusion of togetherness while they figure out if they can salvage the marriage and work things out.
2. Dirty Laundry
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone wants to air his or her dirty laundry to the public. I can only imagine what it's like to live in the high-profile bubble that superstar couples inhabit.
But, preserving some privacy comes high up on the list when so much of one’s life is public.
This means we don’t, and quite rightly so, get to hear them fight, squabble and fall out like most regular couples do.
3. You Live In Hope
If you've invested a lot of yourself in the marriage, you want things to work out.
You hope after each argument, things will be different. You hope the latest counseling session will be the one to clear the air.
You hope you can put the past behind you. You hope you can let resentments go. You hope you won’t become just another break-up statistic.
You hope you will be able to make it through the storm and come out the other side triumphant.
And, while living in hope, you tend to "act as if" in public. This is because "acting as if" focuses the mind on regaining what you once had as a couple.
Again, it then appears to the adoring public that everything is A-okay.
4. It’s None of Our Business!
I know we like to think we are involved in our favorite celebrities' lives, but realistically, it’s none of our business.
We shouldn't expect Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton to give us, the public, a blow-by-blow account of their private and intimate life.
When going through tough times in their relationships, many people want to confine those difficulties to the people who matter the most.
As much as they love their fans, those people usually consist of family and trusted friends.
5. The Shame and Failure of It All
Sometimes, it’s just downright embarrassing to have a "perfect" relationship fail, particularly when not much time has passed or there are rumors of an affair.
When one of my partners had an affair, I felt a sense of shame.
I believed it was somehow a reflection of me as a person, and I must not have been good or strong enough to keep the relationship together.
There is the suggestion of an affair in this case, a rumor that has dogged Shelton and Lambert for some time now.
If that is the case, no one — well, with the exception of a few who have taken to Twitter and Facebook to tell all — wants that broadcasted across news and media channels.
A relationship breakup can also be a huge blow to one's self-esteem and confidence.
6. The Ostrich Syndrome
Many couples simply don't want to acknowledge what is happening, or confirm the trajectory of the relationship.
Sometimes, ex-partners are shocked by the end of their marriages or relationships, but if they dug a little deeper, they'd notice they never faced their problems.
It was easier for their hearts to remain oblivious and carry on as though everything would work out.
7. In Denial
People tell themselves, "It could never happen to me. It won’t come to that.
We’ll get through it. Stuff like that doesn’t happen to us. It will all just get better, somehow."
For many, it doesn’t ever come to that.
A rough patch is just that: a rough patch. For others, however, being in a state of denial fuels the problem.
Living in that headspace means you aren't taking the necessary action to resolve issues or turn things around.
8. Incompatibility – Growth, or They’re Just Not into You Anymore
In their relationships, many people grow apart. Priorities and values shift, or what you want in life changes.
You find yourselves on different wavelengths.
Besides being flexible and re-evaluating your own life, sometimes it is simply better to acknowledge you are no longer the people who came together at the start of the union.
The four years Shelton and Lambert have been married isn’t a huge amount of time, but a lot can still transpire in that timeframe.
Sometimes, a person becomes the one you never chose to spend the rest of your life with.
Is love doomed?
When we look at celebrity couples, it's easy to believe none of them ever last.
That's most likely because the media only really focuses on ones that hit the divorce courts.
We, of course, never really know what's going on behind closed doors.
And aside from the "Real Housewives" approach to living, we only see what's happening on the surface.
Take heart, however, from the plenty of surviving celebrity marriages. There are plenty still out there!