If you have turned on the television or radio recently, it is hard to escape the never-ending stories of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelities. Even his two older children have tweeted some of their thoughts and feelings on their Twitter accounts. Schwarzenegger is not the first celebrity or politician to cheat on his wife and family. And unfortunately he probably will not be the last.
So Devan, Amnon and Ryan, I wonder, as you begin to develop more serious and intimate relationships, does the news of yet another celebrity affair make you skeptical or dishearten your views on the future of marriage and monogamous relationships? Does famous people cheating affect you?
An interesting question, but I would have to say no. When I hear that a celebrity or politician is involved in a scandal, my reaction is more like, “Well that’s not a surprise.” It is almost expected for people in the public eye to be involved in a nasty divorce or find out that they have a kid with their maid or something. I would also like to point out that I really don’t care what they do either. There have been so many instances where celebs or politicians were caught up in a scandal and their lives and careers were screwed because of it (Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, etc.) I really do not agree with that at all; just because Tiger Woods slept with a bunch of girls doesn’t mean he should have consequences when it comes to his career.
But back to the question, I never connect their scandal with my own life because their lives are so unreal. This question would be the equivalent of asking me whether I feel worried that I will end up in rehab because I so many celebrities go to rehab. It’s just illogical to make a connection between my life and someone who has a completely different way of living.
I think there are examples of cheating that affect my own relationships and my life. I get worried when my friends’ parents or my friends are dealing with divorce or a break up due to infidelity. A lot of my friends have parents who split when they were young. Even now I have friends who are dealing with their parents getting divorced. It’s scary to see your best friend go through that and remember that that family used to be happy. It makes a lot more sense to compare my life with theirs since we grew up in the same place and have similar conditions of living.
But often I find myself thinking, “How did I get so lucky?” since I am one of the few who hasn’t dealt with my parent’s divorce or a horrible break up. It’s scary to wonder when my luck will run out like it has with so many of my friends.
I have been aware of this pattern of scandals in high profile marriages and relationships for quite a while. If anything it has just made the people that I look up to more human. Just because a person is a celebrity does not make him or her supernatural. If anything, these people are more susceptible to making errors and ruining their lives. The amount of pressure placed on their shoulders is tremendous, with millions of people inflating their pride and throwing temptations in their face. They’re only human! Pride and temptation affects everyone!
These high-up figures of society are not justified in their flops, but should we really be that surprised? People tend to idolize the A-list stars and politicians a little too much. It’s important to have inspirational figures to give people hopes and drive. However it is even more important to know that these figures are on the same level of humanity as we are in the rest of society and society is full of affairs and divorces.
So what I take from this is not skepticism towards marriage, but the awareness of how our choices affect our lives. Even people living in the dream world of fame can’t escape mistakes and ruin. It’s nice to know that we’re all in this together.
I would have to say that mistakes by celebrities does not affect me. We, as teenagers, are not only so different in our lifestyles, but different in the people we actually are. Most likely Amnon, Devan, and I won’t ever be famous. It’s because of the difference between us and celebrities, in the way that we live our lives, that celebrities’ actions usually don’t have much of an effect on me. Of course I’ll have an opinion on what they do and how they act, but it usually won’t change my actions or my mindset.
I’m glad Devan and Amnon have such healthy takes on the issue. I agree infidelity seems to be very common, and divorce rates are very high at almost 50%.
I wonder whether the rates are higher among celebrities. They have so much money, fame and power, that they may feel above some of the normal consequences of their actions. They may feel entitled to that extra fling or outrageous lifestyle (as in Charlie Sheen).
While there are always circumstances that we don’t know about (Did Bill and Hilary Clinton have some atypical marital agreement?) I believe that these flings often represent weakness of character and lack of responsibility. I hope to be raising moral, responsible kids.