Celebrity Corner

How Kim Kardashian and “multiple marriers” can learn to make marriage work

Kim & KanyeIt has been exactly 34 days since Kim Kardashian and Kanye West tied the knot in a lavish ceremony at the Palace of Versailles in France, followed by a glamorous reception in Florence, Italy  – and everyone is wondering (don’t pretend you’re not) … will this one last?

Or will it at the very least last longer than her 72-day marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries – a complete embarrassment for all involved, including the 10.5 million people who watched the wedding special on VH1. If only I could get those four hours of my life back.

Before you go thinking I’m advocating for the demise of Kim’s third marriage (Yes, third — she was married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000-2004), I want to assure you it is quite the opposite, especially since this go-around there is a child involved – a very adorable child, might I add.

The average person marries once – maybe twice in their lifetime. But of course Kim Kardashian is not the average person. And neither is Jennifer Lopez or Melanie Griffith or Billy Bob Thornton.

They are all what is referred to as “multiple marriers,” meaning they have said “I Do” at least 3 times – with many walking down the aisle several times past that number.

Meet Pam Evans, a former Silicon Valley Technology Executive turned Relationship Strategist, expert on multiple marriers and author of “The Ring EXchange,” found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“Multiple marriers are often more highly scrutinized by others because of their past track records,” Evans told me.

And she knows all about scrutiny – she’s on her fifth marriage and owns every single mistake that brought her to this point, turning her missteps into lessons she shares with others through her work.

“Since this is Kim’s third spin on the marry-go-round, we certainly hope she has learned some valuable lessons from all her previous relationships and two brief marriages,” she says.

So I asked her – what exactly makes people marry more than three times? Do they love wedding dresses? Have a craving for wedding cake?

“Multiple marriers often enter into romantic relationships that quickly lead to marriages without staying power,” she says. “Loneliness, emotional insecurity and impulsive decision-making are some of the behavioral traits that get people into trouble.”

In past interviews, three-time marrier Jennifer Lopez has said she does not like being alone. Melanie Griffith, who recently ended her 18-year marriage to Antonio Banderas – also her third marriage, well technically her fourth marriage if you count the first and second time she married Don Johnson — has said she was unhappy in the past if she was not in a relationship.

See a common theme here?

Evans says marrying for the right reasons is one of the main things that will guarantee staying power in a marriage, and she suggests Kim and Kanye stay focused on the friendship they developed before they started dating.

Whether or not you are a “multiple marrier,” Pam offers these tips for success in any relationship or marriage:

1. Set realistic boundaries on workaholic patterns.

“In the early days of your relationship, would you have taken that call from your boss when you were in the middle of a champagne toast?  Well, then, don’t do it now!” Evans says.

“A common problem among many couples is that their work life becomes their number one priority; unfortunately, their relationship is then relegated to third or fourth priority.”

2. Keep the lines of communication open, reasonably discussing (not arguing about) matters in order to arrive at an agreement

“Quite frankly, it isn’t uncommon for a partner to have a one-way dialogue without really listening for, or even caring about, a response,” says Evans. “It’s like the sound of a foghorn in the distance; you can choose to tune it in or out.  Or what about the partner who appears to be listening because of his affirmative nods and smiles, but who isn’t really participating in the exchange at all?  I call this non-communication ‘the nod and the wink.’ For communication to be effective, it must be frequent and must involve both people.”

3. Respect the ‘separate but equal’ aspect of their relationship, so each person maintains their individuality, while honoring the ‘together and equal’ part, too.”

“So many individuals, once they become a couple, knowingly or unknowingly relinquish their personal power and freedom for the sake of keeping the partnership running smoothly,” she says. “A spouse starts to define himself or herself through the marriage, rather than seeing themselves as half of a greater whole.  You’ll often see spouses abandon their genuine interests, or people they have enjoyed sharing time with, in order to accommodate their spouse.”

When it comes to Kim and Kanye, Evans says they must put themselves second. “For this marriage to have longevity, obviously the couple will need to jettison their own self-interests and potential control issues, and instead think about what is best for them as a couple and as a family,” she says.

Two of the most self-involved people putting another person’s interests above their own? I’ll believe it when I see it.

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