Few minutes after news broke that Angelina Jolie was filing for divorce from Brad Pitt yesterday, Los Angeles was hit by an earthquake. It came CNN made this tongue-in-cheek announcement: “The two incidents are unrelated.” But not for the couple and their children—they will never be the same.
Consider three surprising factors why the couple is divorcing:
1. They are famous. Research shows that celebrity marriages are twice as likely to break up as others. The Marriage Foundation studied couples who married between 2000 and 2010 and were divorced by 2014. The results: 50 percent of star couples were divorced, compared to 26 percent of “normal” marriages.
2. They are wealthy and attractive. According to The Atlantic, men are 50 percent more likely to divorce if their partner’s looks are important in their decision to get married. Women are 60 percent more likely to divorce if they care about their partner’s wealth. Of course, I don’t know if these factors applied specifically to Jolie and Pitt, but it’s a safe guess that they were not irrelevant to their relationship.
3. They are not churchgoers. Jolie says her experiences while making Unbroken drew her closer to God, though I could find no evidence online that she regularly attends worship services. Pitt says he grew up in a Baptist home, but now “I oscillate between agnosticism and atheism.” By contrast, regular church attenders are 46 percent less likely to divorce than those who are not.
None of this means that the Jolie–Pitt divorce was inevitable, of course. But it does show that famous, wealthy, attractive people are not immune from divorce. And it shows that all marriages need God at their center.
Tim Keller: “Men, you’ll never be a good groom to your wife unless you’re first a good bride to Jesus.” C. S. Lewis agreed: “When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.”