Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Pete Wentz to divorce. Why do some break-ups affect us more than others?

Wentz-SimpsonImage Credit: Chris Weeks/WireImage.comJust this past week alone, Jude Law and Sienna Miller ended their relationship, Terrence Howard’s wife filed for divorce, and Kelsey Grammer made moves to make his divorce with Camille Grammer official. But none of these break-ups involving high-profile stars affected us quite like the one announced today involving a pair of significantly lower-profile celebrities: As anyone who logged onto an entertainment website learned, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Pete Wentz.

Like many of you, upon hearing the news, I found myself hit with a pang of sadness. And also like many of you, I immediately found myself wondering: Why do I care?

Now, we’ve been through this before, albeit on a much larger scale: When Sandra Bullock and Jesse James parted ways very publicly last year, we all felt the immediate, inexplicable need to grab the tissues, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and sit on the couch watching While You Were Sleeping, because we had to believe that love still existed in the world! (Just me? No, come on, you were at least tempted, right?) But that break-up was different: We had spent months watching the duo express their love for each other during the awards season, making us feel we were watching a fairy tale destined for a happily ever after. Simpson-Wentz and Wentz kept a remarkably lower profile. While part of the reason we feel attached to the couple is because the tabloids chronicled their early relationship, engagement, wedding, and birth of their son, Bronx Mowgli, the pair has spent the better half of the last two years out of the spotlight — presumably, living like a normal couple. When it came to celebrity marriages, they really seemed to be just like us: Walking casually through the town, buying groceries, clutching their adorable baby in their arms. We often expect the high-profile relationships to fail — I can’t say I felt anything when Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson broke up — but if two seemingly normal, made-for-each-other kids can’t make it work, what hope is there for us? Okay, Kate, bring yourself back: Hollywood is not real life, Hollywood is not real life…

Who else found themselves more disappointed than they expected about the Wentz break-up?

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • Lee

    As Jimmy Fallon would say, let’s send this up in the Who Cares Hindenburg.

    • debi

      no kidding- how old is this writer?…12?

      • Courtney

        Yeah, I thought this article was gonna be about how much she didn’t care. I’m surpirsed anyone reading about this breakup would be affected.

      • Elysia

        Yet you guys clicked on the link to read the article….

    • Noire*

      The “Who Cares Hindenburg” comment…seriously the funniest thing I heard all day! Thanks Lee

    • LOL

      The Who Cares Hidenburg is going down. Oh, the humanity! Pete who?

    • Conservative America

      You know who cares? Conservative America cares. We warned you that once the gays got the right to marry that the whole institution would fall apart. Well, looks who’s right! Now that gays can marry, straight people have lost all respect for the sanctity of marriage. This is what the liberals have wrought!

      God made Adam and Lilith. Then Eve when Lilith didn’t work out. Not Adam and Lance, then Steve when Lance didn’t work out.

      In short. End the legalization of gay marriage. Save our country!

      • Allison

        Um, gay marriage and straight marriage have absolutely no affect on each other. None. Jesse James is an a$z with absolutely no help from anyone else, and Pete and Ashlee – well, they probably rushed into the marriage; and given that Joe Simpson kind of left the pastorhood and cares more about how much money his daughters can make, he probably didn’t help much.

      • MikeG

        I can’t tell if this comment is supposed to be satirical or serious. Either way, it’s laughable.

      • MikeG

        (“Conservative America’s” comment, that is–not Allison’s.)

      • tg

        Seriously, have you taken all leave of your senses? That argument is pointless and totally without merit. Divorce rates were climbing long before the legalization of gay marriage. Think for two seconds before you post any more of your inanities.

      • Joshua Montague

        I absolutely agree with Conservative America. It’s sad to we have taken for granted the gift and beauty of marriage. And as far as same-sex goes, marriage is a religious institution that has nothing to do with the state.

  • Chaz Winterbottom

    I think the last job she had was a nose job.

    • Jason

      Not funny and it has nothing to do with this article.

      • greg

        Actually pretty funny

      • D

        That actually was funny.

      • Mary

        Funny and true.

      • commentor


  • stella

    for this couple, i’m just surprised that they didn’t break up sooner.

    but for the most part, i guess we all do have a celebrity couple who we consider “average” and “devoted to another” and feel sincerely regretful when they break up. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon was one for me (they’d been together forEVER!) and say, if Meryl Streep left her longtime husband Don Gummer of 30+ years, I’d find that sad as well. I’m usually more affected by the evidence of longevity than any “low-profile” marriage, though. Low profile doesn’t equate to stability or good choices.

  • Ethan

    The amount to which you care about these break ups is the product of the amount you feel satisfied with your life subtracted by your sympathy for someone you like. Since that amount is bound to change from time to time and person to person, some breakups affect you more than others. If you have to retire to your couch and watch bad movies, I feel for you, but you might want to worry about the first amount a little more.

  • confidential

    This relationship was shakey from the onset. She got pregnant and then married. That wouldn’t be the most solid foundation for a relationship. But honestly, who cares? They got married and are now breaking up. $hit happens.

  • aleksa

    I jumped straight to “I don’t care.”

  • suzycreamcheese

    Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. I don’t know why.

  • Will

    Didn’t really care about these two. I’d say the only divorce that would really make me sad would be Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.

    • Ethan

      Now, I don’t care about these two either, but you ever think that having a couple you would care about is some sort of projection? Who knows what their relationship is actually like.

  • Kelly

    I’m with the blogger on this — I was weirdly sad. I think it was because they both seemed to make in-love decisions – they both sort of fell off the map in their careers after getting together, like they were more interested in having a normal, loving life than in having their fame. Or maybe I’m just a sucker….

  • susan

    The only break-up that would upset me would be mine. Celebrities are like wallpaper: they can weird, interesting, inappropriate, ornate or barely there, but in the end, they don’t hold up the building, the walls do.

  • kay

    I swear this makes me want to cry. I’ve been a Fall Out Boy fan since 03 so naturally when Pete got married I was insanely happy for him! I swore to everyone this was going to last despite what people said because the two of them looked so legitimately happy together. I guess all I can do now is wish the best to both of them and say that things always have to get worse before they can get better…

  • Ashley

    I actually kind of felt like this was going to fail. They were a mismatched pair from the beginning and I believe they only got engaged and married so quickly because there was a little one on the way, as much as they try to deny it. There’s no way Papa Joe would let one of his daughters be an unwed mother.

  • Kate

    Wow, these online message boards really bring out the cynical, cold-hearted people. There used to be a time when people actually cared about others. I hope when your relationships fall apart someone will care. No one cares about anyone else anymore. I’m not crying about their breakup, but I feel for them anyway. I’m sure most people on here have had relationships end. You should at least sympathize if not empathize with them.

    • E

      Well, there’s a difference between “not caring” in the sense that these people aren’t in our lives and don’t affect us personally, and “not caring” in the sense that, as annoying celebrities, they deserve to be miserable. I “don’t care” more in the first sense than the second, though your empathy is admirable. I do think that choosing to be in the harsh glare of the celebrity world means that although occasionally people look up to you, mostly you hold yourself up to people’s ridicule and indifference when your life is upsetting. And worse, you have to tell everyone every personal thing you do. So, I think “not caring” on that level is actually the sympathetic thing to do – let them have their personal traumas somewhere else that doesn’t involve me.

  • Tanya S.

    I am pretty surprised that they are divorcing. I just finished reading an article where Pete was talking about Jessica’s fiance. He was saying how well he fit into the family etc..Very sad….especially for Bronx

  • Dave

    Really? Their breakup is one that affected you? Sorry, this is one of the ones that I’m completely apathetic towards. I couldn’t care less about Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz breaking up, or really anything the two of them do.
    The most recent celebrity break up that made me feel a bit of sadness was Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

    • ILoveZacLevi

      I agree with the first part. I mean, there are some breakups that surprise me and make me feel slightly sad, but this is not one of those, and neither is Courteney Cox and David Arquette. For me, well I was pretty bummed about Ryan Reynolds and Scarlet J.

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