Celebrities Reveal Why They Actually Divorced Their Partner
Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia / CC BY 3.0

Celebrities Reveal Why They Actually Divorced Their Partner

When two famous people get married, they face extra pressures and burdens the rest of us can't fathom. In fact, that might be one of the factors why so many showbiz unions fail. But there are vast and unique reasons celebrity marriages end, proving relationships are just damn hard - whether you're Jennifer Aniston in Hollywood or Joe Schmoe in Kokomo.

With their relationships playing out - then fizzling out - in the glare of the spotlight, famous duos often face questions about what went wrong. While some remain tight-lipped, other celeb couples explain their breakups, discussing the matter in the press and offering fans a peek into their private lives and struggles. Holding a marriage together, no matter your status, is a challenge to which almost anyone can relate.

  • Chris Pratt And Anna Faris

    Chris Pratt and Anna Faris divorced in 2017 after nearly nine years of marriage. Pratt commented to People magazine that "divorce sucks." In Elle, Faris shared her feelings about the end of the marriage:

    I don't know if embarrassment [of letting fans down] is quite the right word. Something akin to that. I had a little bit of a childish feeling of "Oh come on, f*cking grow up!" Like, [there was] a little anger. But that’s not fair either, because I cultivated it though. We intentionally cultivated this idea of like, "Look at this beautiful family." There were so many moments that were like that but, of course, just like anything on social media, you don’t post like, "Where the f*ck is the toilet paper?!" or whatever. I think it’s a very hard forum to be genuine, and I think it does a disservice to people to not be.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow And Chris Martin


    A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin divorced after 13 years of marriage, and their breakup served as front-page news - mostly because of how they worded their divorce: a "conscious uncoupling." But once the brouhaha over their unusual syntax ended, Martin took a lot of responsibility for the split:

    I wouldn’t use the word breakdown - this was more a realization about trying to grow up, basically... If you can’t open yourself up, you can’t appreciate the wonder inside. So you can be with someone very wonderful, but because of your own issues, you cannot let that be celebrated in the right way... About two years ago I was a mess, really, because I can’t enjoy the things that we are good at and I can’t enjoy the great things around me because I’m burdened by this. Up to a certain point in my life, I wasn’t completely vulnerable, and it caused some problems. If you don’t let love really in, then you can’t really give it back.

  • Brad Pitt And Jennifer Aniston

    Brad Pitt And Jennifer Aniston
    Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Contributor / Ron Galella Collection

    After five years of marriage, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston divorced in 2005. Rumors flew that Angelina Jolie broke up the happy couple, and a media frenzy ensued. But Aniston explained it differently:

    Nobody did anything wrong. But we wish nothing but wonderful things for each other. You know what I mean? It was just like, sometimes things [happen].

    As for Jolie's rumored involvement, Aniston said:

    I think it's time people stop with that petty B.S. and just start celebrating great work and stop with the petty kind of silliness. It's just tiresome and old. It's like an old leather shoe. Let's buy a new pair of shiny shoes.

  • Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt

    Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt
    Photo: World Economic Forum / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt started dating in 2005, but didn't get married until 2014. Two years later, however, the pair headed to divorce court. Both took the blame for the marriage's failure, but Pitt cited his alcoholism as a major factor:

    I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know - things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: you either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.

    Jolie, however, claimed full responsibility for the divorce:

    It’s all my fault... We had met working together, and we worked together well... I wanted us to do some serious work together... I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate [making the film By the Sea together]... In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things. But there was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on, and it wasn’t because of the film.

  • Channing Tatum And Jenna Dewan Tatum

    Channing Tatum And Jenna Dewan Tatum
    Photo: Peabody Awards / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Channing Tatum married Jenna Dewan in 2009, but the pair separated in 2018. In a joint statement, the couple acknowledged they still love one another, but were headed in different directions. They wrote:

    We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love each other, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision - just two best friends realizing it's time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible. We are still a family and will always be loving, dedicated parents to Everly.

  • Ben Affleck And Jennifer Garner

    Ben Affleck And Jennifer Garner
    Photo: Jeff Vespa/VF14/Contributor / WireImage

    Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner became friends in the early 2000s, started dating in 2004, and got married a year later. In 2017, they divorced. Garner described to Vanity Fair what marriage to Affleck was like and what caused the split:

    He's the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He's the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He's just a complicated guy. I always say, "When his sun shines on you, you feel it." But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it's cold. He can cast quite a shadow.

    Garner detailed her post-divorce life in an interview with an Australian news outlet, admitting:

    I would not have chosen this life for myself or for my kids. I would not choose to be single or be in this position. It’s something that we are working through. I haven’t been on a date, and I am not interested in dating. People want to set me up, and I am just like, "No thank you!"