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5 Reasons Why Stars Like Britney, Jessica, and Avril Fail at Waiting

June 10th, 2010 by

Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Avril Lavigne: Three celebrities that used to be champions of the waiting-till-marriage cause, but whose once-lauded values have since fallen into obscurity after disgustingly trivial and short marriages. What happened? Why do these stars start out so strong in their values, and then fail so miserably?

1. They Marry Too Young

Age at marriage for those who divorce in America
Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%

Statistically, the younger you are when you get married, the more likely you are to get a divorce. This applies especially to those under the age of 25, who make up more than 35% of the divorced population.

Jessica Simpson married at 22. Avril Lavigne married at 21. Britney Spears had plenty of other issues and from my understanding gave up her V-card before marriage anyway, but when she did get married (for 55 hours), she was only 23…and already a train wreck by that point.

So, by the numbers, their marriages already had a high chance of failure just because of how young they were. Then you add other factors like…(see next points)

2. Saturation of Suiters

For normal people, meeting new people is a long, challenging process. For a celebrity, they walk into a room and everyone falls at their feet, already in love.

Imagine that everyone — everyone — you meet is instantly obsessed with knowing you, being nice to you, totally fawning over you and being your best buddy. And everybody in the room would kill to be near you, much less have sex with you. Forget about trying to meet new people. You literally have to focus on fending off all the of people trying to meet you.

When you can have anybody you want, and you feel an urgency to get married (e.g., because of pressure from waiting till marriage for sex), it’s just a matter of picking. The over-abundance of people in love with you makes it easy for you to make a quick, impulsive choice (like at age 21 when you really want to get married so you can have sex).

After you’ve gotten married, this abundance of options turns into abundance of temptation — it’s harder to stay faithful and committed relationship challenges when you can walk out the door and have hundreds of the most beautiful people in the world throwing themselves at you.

3. Fame-Induced Narcissism

What is Narcissism?

The word “narcissism” derives from the greek myth of Narcissus, a hunter (known for his beauty) who was so proud and so disdainful of those that loved him that the gods cursed him to fall in love with his own reflection and waste away staring at it, unable to turn away from his own beauty.

In modern terms, a person who is narcissistic is completely self-absorbed, thinks that they’re special, feels entitled to things without earning them (just because they’re special), and has an underlying sense that they’re superior to everybody in their own secret (or not so secret) way.

You may have had a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend who was totally full of himself/herself. It’s hard to maintain a relationship with that kind of person, because they only think of themselves and they always think that they’re “in the right”.  There’s no give and take, and cripples relationships.

How fame makes people narcissistic

Narcissism is rampant in celebrity culture. Not necessarily because the people started out narcissistic, but because after years of everybody loving them and treating them like they’re special — they start to believe it.  And thus, most celebrities end up catching at least a minor case of narcissistic thinking patterns, and subsequently lacking all ability to maintain a meaningful, two-way relationship with another human being.

This affects almost every celebrity, whether they waited till marriage to have sex or not.

4. Lack of Virtuous Peers to Reinforce Values

When you have unlimited money and unlimited love from others, it’s pretty easy to go hog-wild and just spend your life partying, snorting coke, having random sex, and buying things. That is the peer group that these waiting-till-marriage people are thrust into. Try staying committed to your marriage when all of your world-famously-cool friends are trying to drag you out to the clubs for drug/sex romps every single weekend.

Famous people, already under the influence of #2 (saturation of suiters) and #3 (celebrity-induced narcissm) are surrounded by peers who have given into those influences. Hollywood culture is about as far from the notion of “lifetime commitment” as it gets.

How normal friends help you with relationship problems

In real life, if you get into a fight with your husband, your best friend may say something like “Hey, look. If you’ll just compromise on this one point I think you guys can work it out. You’re being kind of silly about that anyway. Now give him a call and say X.”

How Hollywood friends help you with relationship problems

In Hollywood, your friend is more likely to say “Screw him! Get a divorce and let’s party. You can find a thousand guys way hotter than [husband’s name]!”. And if that’s the only advise you’re getting from everybody…after a while maybe it starts to sink in. Peer pressure is very against a lifelong marriage in Hollywood.

Especially in the case of waiting till marriage: In regular life, you’ll end up having a few friends who are waiting too (or at least friends who respect it).  In Hollywood, everybody will call you crazy and you’ll be totally alone in your decision (you won’t fit in).

5. They Marry Other Celebrities

Items 1-4 above chronicle all of the reasons why it’s difficult for a celebrity — waiting till marriage or not — to maintain a marriage. When you’re a celebrity and you marry another celebrity, you double all the problems listed above. This is why celebrity marriages, as a rule, never last.

Avril Lavigne married the lead singer of Sum 41, Jessica Simpson married 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, and Britney Spears wast dating Justin Timberlake when she lost her virginity (rumored), and the guy she briefly married (Kevin Federline) was a thinks-he’s-a-celebrity celebrity…which is even worse than an actual celebrity.

Celebrities that marry non-celebrities are more likely to stay married

There are celebrities that successfully waited till marriage to have sex and are still married today — they all married non-celebrities, and they waited a little longer to get married. Lisa Kudrow married a marketing executive at 31. Leelee Sobiesky married a fashion designer in her late 20’s. A.C. Green married a dance teacher and singer (who is an accountant by day) at 38. And those marriages are still going very, very strong.

Look out, Jonas Brothers.

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20 Responses to “5 Reasons Why Stars Like Britney, Jessica, and Avril Fail at Waiting”

  1. James says:

    #2: Aren’t most women in this situation, celebrity or not?

  2. Mike says:

    @James – You have a point, especially with most attractive women. But still, having every creepy old man and fat boy in the bar leering at you is different from Justin Timberlake walking up and being all “Hey. I want you.”

  3. Sally says:

    Mike: Solid point, thank you! I agree with you.

  4. madia says:

    this is so true! 😀

  5. betrue says:

    This site seems quick to judge other’s problems and issues. Before stating opinions that affect many, young and old, facilitators should research before they speak/type. I know this is a morally based mentality (and website,) but whomever should take into account the vast amount of impressionable minds that view this material.

  6. MarriedAt19For29YearsStill says:

    First let me say I applaud the principles of the website. This article is a little disingenuous though. The title talks about the failure to wait, but it’s really about failed marriages. So other than some rumour based gossip (from my understanding gave up her V-card before marriage anyway), these celebrities may have followed these principles.
    I fully agree with your items 3 – narcissism. The last item – celebrties is really just a restatement of narcissism. Two narcissitic people are very unlikely to have a successful marriage by very definition (any narcissistic person is unlikely to have a healthy successful marriage).
    I completely disagree with your age comment. While I do agree with the statistics, I disagree with the casuality. The other statistic missing is the volume of marriages at those ages to compare. I would suggest that the volume of marriages in that age group is also the highest, so in actuality the percentages may be closer than you suggest. I don’t believe age is a factor whatsoever. Do a little historical research, and those numbers don’t hold consistent. If it’s not consistent, it has to be more than age. I believe that the maturity and personal attitudes of the individuals is a much bigger factor.
    Culture has a huge factor in this. In the past, divorce carried a stigma that prevented people from divorcing. People would work it out (or at least deal with it) because they believed that divorce was unavailable or they were unwilling to go through the process. The ease and availability of divorce makes it common. Instead of dealing with disagreements and disappointments, it’s just easier (and cheaper) to get a divorce.
    I also thing item 2 is more of a symptom than a cause. Likewise, item 4 is not really a cause, but an enabling factor. Underneath both of these is the lack of a foundational belief that marriage is sacred (or important, or whatever term you want to use).
    Likewise, celebrities marrying celebrities does not necessarily mean divorce and unsuccessful marriage. There are a number of apparently successful marriages between celebrities – here’s one list:
    This list of “failures” would suggest these couples were doomed because of circumstances through no fault of their own. In reality, it’s all due to the choices they individually made and continue to make. If two people in a relationship choose to stay committed in that relationship, they will.
    A better article would be on how external pressures, like those you’ve mentioned, can eat away at those choices, and how to defend against them.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I agree with betrue; this article is far too judgmental.

    I also disagree that marrying young is a cause of divorce; I’ve read articles that state otherwise. (They say that waiting until you’re older can mean you’re so set in your ways that you’re not as flexible to living with a new person…which also sounds like lame reasoning to me, but the point has been argued.)

    There is no *perfect age* for marriage; it’s when you’ve found someone you love and you’re both at a time in your life where you’re ready to be married. I’m waiting until I’m out of school (age 22), which will put me in that 20-24 bracket. I don’t feel as though those statistics apply to me; I know what I want in my life, and so does he. Blanket statements like that do nothing to help readers; ask them instead to look at the state of their relationship and their own emotional maturity.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Idk with Jessica Simpson I heard Nick cheated on her though so that’s not really fair no?

  9. Mike says:

    @Anonymous – I think maybe that falls under point #5 about marrying other celebrities.

  10. Dumdeedum says:

    Wow. Pretentious, judgmental, and quite frankly, hilarious.

  11. Guest says:

    Britney Spears moved in and started living with Justin too.

  12. lux says:

    I think this is true

  13. lux says:

    And I know it is true

  14. Jerry walls says:

    I lost my virginity at age 34. I am happy I waited so long as I found a woman I loved . I am a Christian man and I hope I am forgiven for not waiting until marriage. Jerry

  15. Marriedat20stillmarried44yearslater says:

    We were 20 and 19, immature and naive. We were both virgins and sex was very awkward and troubling at first. We had one thing going for us. We believed strongly that divorce was wrong and that we could never face our parents and friends if we got divorced. We were determined to make it work even though we didn’t always feel in love. There were long periods of cold shoulders and hurt feelings. there was a lot of temptation to call it quits. We stuck it out because we wanted to do the right thing. We are both so happy we did. We have been married for 44 years and are happy and in love. Through it all we knew we could count on each other to stick it out and be there for each other and our 3 children. Looking back the struggles have all been worth it.

  16. Stephanie says:

    There needs to be a marriage culture where people are encouraged to work things out. People give up too easily nowadays. I know the economy is bad now, but divorce rates have been high even before the economy crashed.

    Also, I think people are too easily offended by this website. Just because the divorce rates are higher for certain age groups or certain lifestyle choices (e.g. multiple sex partners before marriage) doesn’t mean that the marriages never work out. It just means there are things to be cautious about… make sure you are ready before you take the next step. Don’t just get married to have sex, but because the person you’re with is going to help you in life. To a Christian, a spouse is the person to help you grow in holiness and lead you to heaven and raise the kids in a Christian home. I believe the Christian ideal of a spouse can be adapted to other faiths/belief systems as well. :)

  17. Weapon X says:

    I hope it’s true that celebrities who marry non-celebrities are more likely to stay married. Now only if I could somehow convince Taylor Swift that were true I might have a chance! Haha in my dreams right!

  18. CB says:

    Although you can’t argue with statistics, do you really think it’s realistic to recommend that virgins wait until they are in their late twenties to marry? Maybe I don’t have the self-discipline that some people have, but personally, putting off sex through my hormonal teen years and through four years of college was hard enough for me. I’ll be getting married this June at 23, and my future husband will be 22. We know that marrying young is increasing our “chance” of divorce, but we are also taking measures to prevent it, such as figuring out our finances early and going through pre-marital counseling. I think the reason why so many people get divorced when they marry young is not because they’re young, but because they’re irresponsible. Just my take on things :)

  19. J says:

    Lisa Kudrow wasn’t a virgin until marriage. And also, using the word “virtuous” to describe all the waiters against all the non-waiters, as well as implying most non-waiting celebrities are all partying with coke is pretty mean. Celebrities DO tend to party with drugs more than the average person, but the way you phrased it made it sound like you were grouping most non-waiting celebrities in with that, and that’s is pretty misguided.

  20. Samantha says:

    I dated a guy who was on his way too be semi famous
    It’s rough all these girls all over him, without knowing nothing of his character which wasn’t good. I think anyone who wants to date a known celebrity or someone in the public eye should think about it long and hard. See how they act around the fame, my ex didn’t pass the test I should of ran sooner I would be in a better place now.

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