Celebrity Splits: Do Age & Power Cause Relationship Problems For Hollywood’s Successful Women?

Are age and power common factors in relationship problems for Hollywood’s leading ladies?

In the wake of two major separations in Hollywood – David Arquette & Courteney Cox, and Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman – Access Investigates the issue.

Examining Age:

Recently separated Courteney Cox is seven years older than her now-estranged husband, David Arquette. Susan Swimmer, Editor of More Magazine, tells Access that the former “Friend” may have slipped into more of a mothering role, rather than a wife role – a common obstacle when a woman dates a younger man.

“We’ve heard David Arquette talk about how Courteney Cox maybe mothered him a little bit too much,” Susan told Access Hollywood. “Maybe he needed to be mothered, maybe he didn’t…

“I think Courteney Cox has been very open about the fact that David is young and vibrant and he brought a lot of life and fun into their relationship, but I think as time went on, she really felt that she was mothering him,” Susan added.

Age differences may have also played a role in the recent split of longtime couple (albeit unmarried) Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (Susan was 12 years older than Tim). Age may also be a source for speculation of rumors of trouble in paradise for Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Demi Moore, who is 16 years his senior.

Examining Power:

Another challenge facing celebrity couples is the balance of power. Many relationships that have bitten the dust in Hollywood have often contained a woman who experiences more success and or fame than their man.

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry married mildly successful R&B soul singer Eric Benet in 2001, but divorced just two years later after Eric admitted to straying.

Halle moved on, healed and gave it another go in 2006 with model Gabriel Aubry. The beautiful couple had a child together, but split earlier this year after four years together.

Another famously successful Oscar winner, Sandra Bullock, believed her then-husband, Jesse James, had “her back” — tearfully thanking him in her 2010 Golden Globes acceptance speech.

“I get to thank my husband who really makes it OK for me to leave home ‘cause I have some home to come back to-- and to him,” she said at the time.

The couple’s seemingly successful marriage soon crumbled after Jesse was caught cheating with multiple women – actions he seemed to regret during an interview in May on “Nightline.”

“I took a perfect marriage and a perfect life and a perfect wife and step-mother and like threw it away because of my actions,” Jesse said.

Yet another Academy Award-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon, married her “Cruel Intentions” co-star, Ryan Phillippe, in 1999. The pair had two children and remained married for seven years before announcing their separation in 2006 – just one year after Reese won an Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in 2005’s “Walk the Line.”

Hilary Swank, a two-time Academy Award winner, wed actor Chad Lowe in 1997. She won her first Oscar for 1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry, and her second for “Million Dollar Baby” in 2005. The couple split the following year.

Jennifer Garner met “Felicity” star Scott Foley when she guest-starred on the hit coming-of –age drama. The pair began dating, and married in 2000.

At the time of the couple’s nuptials, Jennifer was a little known actress. However, she landed the starring role in the critically acclaimed action series, “Alias,” in 2001, and she and Scott separated in 2003.

In an interview with People magazine, Scott admitted that the demise of their relationship was due to Jennifer’s newfound success.

“Jennifer became a huge celebrity. She became a huge star,” Scott told the mag in an October 2003 interview. “There was no other relationship, there was no infidelity, nothing. People get divorced, you know? Through no one’s fault and everyone’s fault.”

Of course, these factors don’t always spell doom for Hollywood romance. Two-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep has been married to sculptor Don Gummer since 1978. Fellow Academy Award-winner, Julia Roberts, wed cameraman Danny Moder in 2001, and the couple has three children together.

Vocal legend/actress Barbra Streisand married actor James Brolin (father of Josh Brolin) in 1998. Additionally, multiple Emmy Award-winning actress/writer Tina Fey married Jeff Richmond, actor/TV producer/composer, in 2001. The couple has a 5-year-old daughter together, and appears to be going strong.

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