They’ve been married two, three, four, five even eight times, making the institution of marriage seem like a session of speed dating. What do celebrities know about what it takes to have a happy marriage? A lot more than you might think. Here’s what you can learn from some of the world’s most divorced celebrities.
Should These People Really Be Offering Marital Advice? 1 of 8
As it turns out, their advice is spot on. Let's count the ways.
Zsa Zsa Gabor: Honor the Beauty of Alone Time 2 of 8
She was divorced seven times, and one of her marriages was annulled. Yet the Hungarian-born actress, author of How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man, ended up on what seems like a happily married note. On her 94th birthday, her husband presented her with a cake that said, "Happy Birthday Baby." Perhaps all of her previous marriages set her up to do the last one, right, you know? As she once said: "You can never be as unhappy alone as you can be with somebody you don't want to be with. Alone, you can go to a movie... you can put cream on your face...you can do just about anything you...please." As the popular joke goes: Single people wish they were married; Married people wish they were single. If you are still single, learn to enjoy all the freedom single hood provides. If you are married, remind yourself that there are single people who envy you. Try to see your marriage through their eyes, and remember to give yourself plenty of alone time. Even sleep in separate beds or go on separate vacations if you'd like.
Geena Davis: Change Your Marriage By Changing Your Self 3 of 8
She's been married to Richard Emmolo (for just one year), actor Jeff Goldblum, director Renny Harlin, and then surgeon Reza Jarrahy, a much younger man. This last union has lasted more than a decade and produced three children. She says her marital success stems from all she learned from her marriages that failed. "Who am I to give advice?" she said during one interview. "You can't hope to change your life by marrying someone that is different — 'I'll look for a different type and then I'll have a different life.' It's is much harder than that. You have to change yourself, and it is very hard." So true. That's why I wrote a whole post about the importance of changing yourself. Just fyi: meditation helps, and it helps a lot.
William Shatner: Be the Best Version of You Possible 4 of 8
He's been married four times— to Gloria Rand, Marcy Lafferty, Nerine Kidd-Shatner, and Elizabeth Anderson Martin. Though that sounds like quite the line up, two his marriages lasted more than twice as long than the marital average, and one of his marriages was cut painfully short by his wife's accidental drowning. His current marriage has spanned more than a decade. He once said, "Marriage is a reflection of your life in general: how you treat people, how you argue, how secure you are in your own thoughts. How vehemently do you argue your point of view? With what disdain do you view the other's point of view?" Want to have a happier marriage? Brush up on your communication, assertiveness and conflict resolution skills. Doing so could change everything.
Larry King: Shut Up and Listen. Apologize Every Day. 5 of 8
He's been married and divorced 7 times, with yet another marriage annulled. When Access Hollywood asked him "What's the key to a limited happy marriage?" he joked, "If you want a happy marriage, the husband should just wake up and say, 'I'm sorry.'" Perhaps, yet King's most sage marital advice was really masked as career advice. He said, "I never learned anything while I was talking." Having problems? Caught in an argument loop? Stop talking, and start listening. The solution will come.
Joan Collins: Don’t Share the Same Bathroom. 6 of 8
She's been married five times, but the last one seems to have stuck. Her advice: Never use the same bathroom. "We're never in the bathroom together. In fact, I think it's important to have separate bathrooms." It sounds trite on the surface. Yet when I think back over my own marital issues, many of our fights centered on what did and did not happen in the bathroom, what was allowed to be on the bathroom counter, and who didn't bother to replace the roll of TP. The woman has a point, people. Just saying.
Donald Trump: Marry Your Best Friend 7 of 8
He's been married three times, but this didn't stop him from waxing poetic about the secrets to a happy marriage on the day his daughter Ivanka tied the knot. As he told OK! magazine, "The key to marriage is you have to have somebody that you can relate to, who can be your friend." Who's going to argue with that advice? Not me.
Madonna: Expect Nothing 8 of 8
Twice divorced Madonna told Oprah: "To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt." She's not a Material Girl after all.
Read more of Alisa’s writing at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com.