Published November 02, 2011
Seventy two days after saying I do, Kim Kardashian is saying, I don't.
The magic is gone.
Citing irreconcilable differences, she prepares to ride off into the sunset comforted by the profits of her wedding-paloza that sparked so much media attention ... and shopping.
It seemed a match made in heaven -- two people drawn together by fierce good looks and marketable smiles. And while the California economic climate may have been improved by a wedding on the scale of launching the Titanic, an iceberg of heartache lay beneath the telegenic surface.
Who can believe that the wedding of the century (not Kate and William) but Kim and Kris Humphries could end so tragically? Surely all onlookers are irreconcilable in shock and dismay at another celebrity relationship in turmoil.
Which leads one to ponder exactly what makes up irreconcilable differences in less than three months of trying to make that crazy love last?
Of course, as that fragile flower of new love was videotaped hour by hour, marriage counselors could pour over the moments of a union so brief it didn't last as long as the 13-show typical run of a TV season it attempted to fill. Whole research papers could be written about the telltale signs of strain in the waning hours of a 72-day marriage.
Perhaps Kim and Kris should have learned from the experiences of other celebrities who put their private lives on public display and found that it's hard to get over a fight when America is tweeting at you.
Perhaps they might have considered that there are some things so sacred, so fragile, so personal and so special that they should not be sold with advertising slots. Kim might want to consider that not everything that can be taped, should be taped.
Private moments have their own special place in a couple's life.
There is an old Proverb that says he who repeats a matter can separate close friends. He who retweets it can do it at lightening speed.
Lost in today's culture for many is the idea that marriages should be made carefully, thoughtfully, and gravely so that "til death do us part" had some relevance. Divorce is a painful reality for many. Such private tragedies are no laughing matter. But it hurts more than the parties involved as marriages erode and crumble.
Whole generations are being raised without the hope of finding someone who will stand with them for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live.
It's difficult to believe in that kind of selfless, lifelong love having never seen it for yourself. And it can be hard to believe, in the midst of a truly epic fight, that a couple can learn to forgive when they have not seen others take that path. That road less traveled.
Most have heard the statistic that about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce. But that is just for couples who give marriage a go the first time around.
According to divorceguide.com, it is 67 percent of second marriages and 74 percent of third marriages that collapse.
Love, once lost, is not so easy to find again. Or perhaps the real problem is that trust and faith in a new union is hard to find when sorting through the ashes of old pain.
Which brings us back to "irreconcilable difference" which insinuates, in the very phrase, the idea that an actual effort was made to bring two halves back together as a whole.
Thinking back to more than 19 years ago when I married, I remember a hazy blur of adjustment that included strangely heated fights about which radio station we would listen to in the morning and the awkward growing pains of meshing dissimilar groups of friends into strained parties.
The two become one. And it's not always pretty.
It takes two people working every day to achieve a lasting love. And struggling through the mess behind closed doors surely makes it easier to build something that perseveres without the pressure of public opinion (whose opinion shouldn't matter anyway as it is none of their business.)
In 72 days it is hard to imagine that you have enough material for a truly earth-shaking fight. And after 19 years of marriage, perhaps part of the secret is letting go of that material so you don't need one.
Marriage counselors and gossip columnists will speculate on the reasons behind the split. But it is possible that the ones who will most be hurt will be the young people following Kim's live, hoping to emulate her 15 minutes of fame.
One more celebrity marriage falls apart. One more princess does not end up happily ever after with Prince Charming. One more dream is lost. But it doesn't have to be.
Kim has made a career for herself and her family out of the common day experiences of the lovely and privileged.
But the planning for her marriage and the thoughtful decision making that went into the purchase of dress, flowers and food should match the effort made to save the marriage.
With Kim's strong media skills, a reality show in which two people worked hard to follow through on their vows could be truly informative and unique.
It's no news flash that the first year of marriage is difficult. But so is staying in shape. So is running a successful media conglomerate. And so is getting along with your sisters.
Divorce for women who are being abused, for a multitude of heartaches known to the individuals, sometimes is a choice but must be made. But no one is saying that is the case here.
For my part, I hope that reconciliation can be achieved. Strong marriages serve as inspiration. And Kim could inspire more than a clothing line.
Kristi Stone Hamrick is a media consultant, married 19 years, and counting.