Fans everywhere were crestfallen to hear that Chris Pratt and Ana Faris, one of the most enduring and endearing celebrity couples in Hollywood, were officially separating.
The news came as a shock to many—their 8-year marriage has been punctuated by public displays of affection and the sort of playful romance that helped millions of fans believe in the possibility of true love.
But on August 6th, Chris Pratt announced the couple’s breakup via his Facebook page with this post.
“Anna and I are sad to announce we are legally separating. We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed. Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another.”
The post, which has over 30,000 comments from saddened fans, quickly spread through social media and news channels.
The pair initially met while filming their 2007 comedy film, Take Me Home Tonight. At the time, Faris was married to actor Ben Indra, but their marriage would go on to end within the year because of the growing divide between Faris’ rapid rise to fame, and Indra’s increasing obscurity.
In 2009, Faris and Pratt wed in a ceremony in Bali, and Hollywood’s brightest fairy-tale romance began.
Unfortunately, the same forces that drove Faris and Indra apart began to haunt the otherwise-happy couple when Pratt rose from his own relative obscurity to become the star of the 2014 Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy.
As often happens, fame led to fame, and Chris Pratt is now one of the most famous and sought-after men on the planet, and has a net worth of around 30 million dollars.
The forces behind the failure of their marriage show themselves in the interviews and comments the two stars gave just before and after their split. Let’s take a look at what these forces are, and what you can learn from them so that the same doesn’t happen in your own relationship.
An Imbalance Between Career and Family
When Pratt’s career exploded after the release of Guardians, so did his schedule. Suddenly, he was off filming in remote locations and traveling the globe to promote his work.
For Faris, the struggle of raising their son in this environment may have been too much.
“I take pride in how great my relationship is with Chris,” she said on her Podcast, Anna Faris is Unqualified, speaking of fan rumors that Pratt and his Passengers co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, had illicitly hooked up. “But having said that, of course, in this crazy world where he’s off doing movies and I’m in L.A. raising our child, of course I’m going to feel vulnerable, like any normal human would. It did make me feel like, 'Is public perception— even though it's false—is there a grain of something?' It made me feel incredibly insecure."
While there’s no proof that Pratt and Lawrence were anything but co-workers, Faris’ comment is telling. When one spouse works long hours, the other can feel ignored, isolated, and overburdened with children and household tasks as she was “left alone for months at a time,” according to Radar.
And that’s not even counting the gnawing suspicions of infidelity and distrust that can arise when a spouse is away—especially when that spouse is wealthy, powerful, and attractive.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, with a spouse who works long hours away from home, communication is important. Make sure that you block out some high-quality together-time whenever you can. Stay positive, and let your partner know how you feel—he or she may be able to change things up by turning off the phone and laptop while at home.
As with anything, balance is important here. Unfortunately for Faris and Pratt, they couldn’t quite find it.
A Sudden Shift in Power
Jealousy is a nasty thing. It can creep up on you when we least expect it, especially if you’re the competitive type. And when it does, it can generate all sorts of negative feelings, even in the best marriage.
As Chris Pratt went from being a 300-pound self-described “fatty” to a chiseled worldwide superstar who wrangled dinosaurs and saved the galaxy for a living, something changed in his marriage.
When he first married Anna, she was the one who was getting leading roles, and was far more famous, attractive, and wealthy. But when the situation was reversed, the couple’s relationship became strained.
One source close to the couples, cited by Page Six, claims that Pratt and Faris were always very competitive with one another, and would often “compete over who’s funniest, and get insecure if they’re not.”
This kind of sudden shift in power can wreak havoc on a spouse’s ego, making him or her feel insecure, and even guilty for “not being as good” as their partner. But the key to weathering a shift in marriage dynamics is to maintain a firm hold on your own self-worth.
It’s insecurity that often dooms a marriage—insecurity which can easily become anger and resentment. But realize this: no matter how famous, powerful, or rich your spouse is, you’re both still just a couple of valuable human beings.
And that will never change.
Another huge contributor to this tragic celebrity separation is a case of mismatched expectations.
According to TMZ, Faris wanted to start a traditional family—one which would spend a lot of time together.
Pratt, however, with his new place at the top of the Hollywood food chain, didn’t want that, because he “can’t juggle a growing family with his career.” The Guardians star had just taken off, and wasn’t ready to be tied to one place.
The desire for a family is one of the big issues that can utterly break a relationship if it isn’t discussed before the relationship ever begins. Unfortunately, whatever Pratt may have wanted beforehand was probably changed by his newfound fame—there was just no way to predict it.
For the average person, however, there are a few things which should always be discussed before marriage: the desire for children, a common value system, and shared major life goals. If any of these are severely mismatched, the chances of a successful marriage are slim.
The Burden of Public Scrutiny
Finally, the last factor in Chris Pratt and Anna Faris’ separation is: you.
To be more specific, it’s all of us.
Many fans gushed over the couple’s marriage, describing it as “perfect” and “a fairy-tale.” Pratt and Faris were routinely placed on the pedestal of the greatest celebrity couples of our time.
And when you’re expected to be perfect couple at all times while within the public eye, the pressure can break you.
In the end, these two were just a couple of flawed human beings trying to make a marriage work—just like the rest of us. They weren’t gods or angels or the embodiment of true love.
“I don’t think that’s something, when you’re an actor, that you’re prepared for,” said Faris, an interview with People. “There are two different roles that you play—the one on-camera and the one in public. That’s the tricky part.”
As much as fans loved the couple, they may have played a part in pushing them away from one another.
You may not be subject to the tidal forces of fame in your own life, but you certainly have family and friends who can either idolize or vilify your relationship and significant other. When this happens, make sure that the two of you remain true to yourselves—in public and in private—and strive to always see your spouse as he or she really is, rather than who others make them out to be.
Social media is buzzing with proclamations that “love is dead” now that Pratt and Faris have separated, but remember this: these are just two human beings who are now getting ready to move on with their lives. They’re not the avatars of love.
In fact, love is still going on across the world, blooming and successfully bringing people together into beautiful relationships.
And who knows? Pratt and Faris have only separated, not divorced, and—don’t hold your breath—it’s possible they may stay together in the end. But whatever they do, there’s a lot to learn from their very human situation.