Artists And Marital Breakdown: Why Some Don’t Marry At All
Marital breakdown is defined as a “breach of domestic anticipation, often leading to a divorce or dissolution of the marital relationship.” This social problem appears to be more prevalent among artists than any other group of people. Although much of it is seen in the life of base artists like pop musicians, actors, and actresses, marital breakdown also occurs in unions involving ‘high definition’ or intellectual artists. Take for instance, our revered Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
Wole Soyinka has been married three times and divorced twice. His first wife was Barbara Dixon whom he married in 1958. Barbara gave him his first son, Olaokun. In 1963 he married another woman, Olaide Idowu, a librarian with whom he had three daughters and a second son. In 1989 Kongi went back to the market, shopping yet for another wife. He found Folake Doherty and married her.
Unlike his father who married 27 wives, Femi Kuti is not a fan of the ‘tie-tie’ institution. “I have never believed in marriage. And I still don’t believe in it but I am happy I experienced it,” Femi said in a certain press interview. “I believe if I probably hadn’t married my wife we would still be together… I don’t let the marriage break-up get to me.”
Among Nigerian actors and actresses it is quite chaotic. By way of mentioning just a few out of thousands of cases, Stella Damascus and her second husband Emeka Nzeribe fell apart before a year in their marriage. She was said to have rushed into that marriage and rushed out as well, though it appears the pretty actress has found a new lover, Daniel.
One of the prettiest celebrity artists in Nigeria is Clarion Chukwura, of whom some commentators say marriage is obviously not for the likes of, given her breathtaking beauty. Clarion has been married and divorced at least twice. She was married to the famous Afro-Juju singer, Sir Shina Peters, a marriage that produced the popular cinematographer, Clarence Peters.
Another stunningly pretty Nigerian actress, Juliet Ibrahim, was married to Pilot Kwadwo Safo. But Juliet herself announced the end of the union. It was alleged that Mr. Safo was cheating on the pretty artist, coupled with his family’s unnecessary meddling with her career.
In the Western world, artists and celebrities’ marriages fail frequently and a good (or rather bad) number of them have decided to avoid the institution like leprosy. Oprah Winfrey, 63, (journalist, actor, television and film producer) has never been married, though she has been dating her partner, Stedman Graham, for over 25 years. She also dated Roger Ebert in the mid-80s.
It is no longer a subject of dispute: artists most other creative people are bad at marriage. If you are looking for evidence in one word, take ‘Picasso’, said one writer, and if you need another, say ‘Hemingway’. Then if you want to drop the microphone, just whisper ‘Elizabeth Taylor’, who in her lifetime married 8 men and divorced 7 of them before she died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79 in 2011.
Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist who produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. After his 1927 divorce from Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer; they divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War, where he had been a journalist. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940; they separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II.
Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea (1952), Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill health for much of his remaining life. Hemingway maintained permanent residences in Key West, Florida, (1930s) and Cuba (1940s and 1950s), and in 1959, he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho, where he killed himself in mid-1961.
Artists, besides being highly emotional people, have an extreme sense of freedom. Marriage (never mind what tradition and religion tells us) is a prison by consent. Artists don’t want anything that will stifle their creativity or clog the flow of their inspiration as the nagging, frivolous, childish demands of most women often do.
Artists don’t like to be suffocated, restricted, or owned by anyone. Highly disciplined artists with transcendental minds can live for months without sex. If he is married or lives with a woman, she is bound to interpret this sexual hibernation as a waning of his love for her or loss of her power to attract him.
For those artists whose libiriot, the idea of ‘one man one machete’ may seem like incarceration. One entertainment editor (name withheld) said that the truth of the matter is that no two women ‘taste’ the same. He was reacting to a comment by someone else who was arguing that “all women’s ‘holes’ are the same.” Relating to the same issue, a late sports photo journalist (name also withheld) said that always digging one particular hole blunts a man’s instrument.
For artists and most creative geniuses, it is their work before love and other things, of which the other partner may find difficult to understand or come to terms with. For instance, Thomas Edison was once so much occupied with his thoughts that he forgot his name on a ration queue during the First World War. Similarly, Bernard Shaw forgot his destination in a bus because he lost his bus ticket on which his destination was written. Such people may not be clinically insane, but surely, they manifest some symptoms of madness of which their partners, especially female partners, may not understand.
Artists need space too. Solitude and silence are vital molds upon which creative ideas take shape. An artist’s partner who does not understand this need is bound to come into conflict with the artist. The remedy is to give the artist the space he needs whenever he wants to be alone.
Acquainting one with these few facts of artistic temperament may go a long way to keeping one under the same roof with an artist, but it would be a terminological inexactitude to speak of understanding a transcendental artist, because, he is a bottomless pit.
Written By Osa Amadi
Illustrative photo Marital breakdown is defined as a “breach of domestic anticipation, often leading to a divorce or dissolution of the marital relationship.” This social problem appears to be more prevalent among artists than any other group of people. Although much of it is seen in the life of base artists like...email@example.comAdministratorA blogger #AMonpointTV is my brand and am onpoint #Thank You For ReadingAM onpoint TV | Information & Entertainment Platform