A year and a day after they first met, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries filed for divorce. While Kris is said to be “blindsided” by the split, Kim remains enigmatic about what really made up their “irreconcilable differences”. Here, match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor reveals may have gone wrong in paradise and offers marriage advice on how to avoid it happening to you.
When the news broke that Kim Kardashian had filed for divorce from basketball player Kris Humphries, citing “irreconcilable differences”, few were surprised. From the start, many people felt the marriage was a publicity stunt to boost Keeping Up With the Kardashians ratings, or to boost Humphries’ earning power.
But why weren’t we surprised? It’s not just the speed of the courtship that made us uneasy. The couple were married within just nine months of dating, but some of the most successful marriages have started in a whirlwind fashion. So what was it that rang alarm bells? There were clues right from the start that the relationship wasn’t a good fit. Here’s what went wrong and some marriage advice on how you can avoid making the same mistakes.
‘It wasn’t the fairytale I’d expected’, was the reason Kim gave, on her personal blog, for her divorce. She has also said, ‘Everyone that knows me knows I’m a hopeless romantic!’
Having an overly romanticised view of marriage is the most common cause of marriage breakdowns because – ready for it? – marriage isn’t romantic! Romance is based on desire, which is fuelled by very undomesticated things like mystery, longing and uncertainty. Marriage, in contrast, is a partnership that benefits from certainty, routine and stability. Kris was an extremely romantic boyfriend – we all sighed as he lay out rose-petals to spell out the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ and bought a $2million ring – but gestures like these are the exception, not the rule. If Kim expected to wake up to rose-petal messages every morning, she was being unrealistic. ‘I believed in love and the dream of what I wanted so badly’, admitted Kim. But dreams just don’t cut it in the cold light of day.
Lack of communication
According to one US source (TMZ), a major bone of contention between the couple was that Kris wanted to move to Minnesota – where he’s from – to raise a family. Kim, meanwhile, wanted to stay in LA. What this reveals is that the couple failed to discuss the logistics of married life before they began it. If Kim is as romantic as she claims, she probably brushed aside any ‘boring’ conversations about day-to-day life, or figured that things would work out on their own. Some marriage advice – avoiding conversations about the future is a big mistake. Not only should you ensure you and your future spouse want the same things from life, you should also know that you have the ability, as a couple, to discuss them. Because issues like where you live, preferred parenting styles, religion, finances, family and socialising will make up most of your married life. After the rose petals wither, this is the stuff you’re left with.
Lack of respect
Anyone who watches Keeping Up With the Kardashians quickly realises that men aren’t given much respect by the Kardashian girls. According to Now magazine, Kris began to feel ‘henpecked’ very soon after the wedding. In September, the magazine quoted a friend of Kim’s saying: ‘The trouble is that Kim’s very bossy and a control freak. She treats Kris like a lapdog. She’s already complaining about all the little things he does that annoy her – like the fact he snorts when laughs.’
What caused this lack of respect? Well, Kim is worth far more money than her soon-to-be ex husband – her estimated worth is $35million compared to his $10million. Kim is also ridiculously busy – filming her TV show and promoting her clothing line – whereas Kris has been forced to do nothing due to the NBA Lockout (where players’ salaries are frozen and play is suspended while the National Basketball Association negotiates new deals).
On the eve of Kim’s 31st birthday, the couple were reported to have had a huge row. ‘They had it out!’ a witness revealed. ‘She told him he needs to do something productive… He needs to get off his ass, like, yesterday.’ Kris was reputed to have been heard telling his wife, ‘Don’t leave me!’ But, oh dear, she did.
If you want to ensure your marriage lasts longer than the courtship, some salient marriage advice is to learn to do the hard work before you head down the aisle. Talk about issues, find someone with compatible ambitions, and realise that marriage is 90% domesticity and only 10%.