Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Celebrity Divorce
Celebrity Divorce

Learn the Past Progressive Tense

Date: Feb 21 2012

Themes: Romance

Grammar: Past Progressive Tense


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

In the US, about 40% of marriages end in the divorce. That’s a lot. But it seems like divorce is even more common among celebrities. Nearly every time you pick up a tabloid, there’s a headline about a couple splitting up on its cover. Whether it’s because of their busy careers, the pressures of fame, or the temptation of being constantly surrounded by other attractive people, it sometimes seems like famous people just can’t manage to stay married. Hear Marni and Mason talk about celebrity divorce.

在美国,约有 40% 的婚姻以离婚告终。这个比例非常大。但似乎名人圈中离婚更为普遍。几乎每次当你拿起小报时,就会在封面上看到某对夫妻分道扬镳的标题。无论是因为忙于事业、名声压力或不断被其他性感人士诱惑,似乎名人有时很难掌控婚姻。听听马尼和梅森讲述名人离婚。


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  Mason, I was looking at this tabloid, and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are on the cover, and they’re soon to be divorced.

Mason:  I didn’t peg them for a divorced couple. Like, there were definitely plenty that I’m like, yeah, that’s not gonna last. But I thought they had something going.

Marni:  It seems like there’s been a rash of celebrity divorces recently, and specifically J Lo, I think, has had her fair share of relationships, but I won’t go there. You know, does it seem like celebrities in general just can’t make a marriage last? Is it harder on them because they’re celebrities?

Mason:  I always assume so, just because I think marriage is hard work for pretty much everybody. I don’t know, you may think I’m not romantic saying that, but I generally believe that acknowledging that it’s not all fluffy rainbows and unicorns, you’ll probably have a better success rate. But celebrities don’t necessarily have to commit to one person, and do things that are hard.

Marni:  OK. Sure, you know, and some people have to stay in marriages because they sort of feel like they have no choice, if you’re not rich and famous. But it could be just because they’re celebrities, the nature of that is that we’re hearing about them. You know, perhaps it’s just indicative of divorce rates in general in the United States.

Mason:  It’s just like there’s a philosophical shift that’s happened in our lifetimes and our parents’ lifetimes around, like, personal happiness and self-fulfillment rather than, like, self-sacrifice and commitment and sticking together. Yeah, people care about different stuff.

Marni:  Yeah, absolutely. And celebrities, you know…who more than celebrities are into pleasing themselves and their own personal happiness.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Past Progressive Tense" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Marni and Mason are surprised to learn of yet another celebrity divorce. Marni says it seems like celebrities just can’t manage to stay married. But she wonders if marriage in general is becoming too difficult for people. Maybe it just seems like celebrities get divorced more than average people because their divorces are always on the covers of tabloids.

Mason says that divorce has become more common in general. People are less willing to do the hard work it takes to maintain a committed relationship. They’re more interested in their personal happiness than sacrificing themselves for others. Marni agrees, but she thinks celebrities might be even more self-centered than the average person.

Why do you think divorce has become more common recently? Do you think it’s harder for celebrities to stay married than average people? Why?



Log in to Comment




Abdull, some interesting facts you’ve shared with us. Yeah, I think Culture and society have a lot of impact on our conception of marriage, whether we want to admit or not.

: )

05:48 PM Feb 21 2012 |

abdull qader


i live in Afghanistan, and i think  we have the lowest divorce rate in the world, here if two people split it will not look good on them and it will give them bad publicity in the society and then no one will marry them because of the bad publicity they  recieved. maybe 2 percent of marriages end with divorce and the reason is this that here getting marry is very difficult, the man has to have at least 20000 dollar to get marry so he will never seperate because if he seperates  he wont be able to marry again  because of the expenses, its a culture here to pay for the girls family and i think it has a positive aspect that will never seperate (its a culture)     my english is not good   if i made any mistake  please feel free to notify me   im here to learn english

04:46 PM Feb 21 2012 |



we humanbing we just try to keep  the higher level of arrogant ..and forget   forgivness..and  in celebeites people  it  wil harder than average peole cuz of  focsuing eyes on them…...

04:18 PM Feb 21 2012 |

tutorheatherSuper Member!

United States

Snoopy, that is very sweet of you to say. Thanks so much!


03:52 PM Feb 21 2012 |

1 person likes this




They should not to believe what they have heard.or have seen in Newspapers, magazines and news about their marriage !

I mean : they should give no ears & no eyes for

Newspapers, magazines and news !

Then their marriage will successed !

03:52 PM Feb 21 2012 |




It is life, sometimes is hard .

03:46 PM Feb 21 2012 |

1 person likes this




TutorHeather, the more you share with us, the merrier we are.

please don’t refrain from pouring all of your knowledge on us

: )

03:33 PM Feb 21 2012 |

tutorheatherSuper Member!

United States

Sorry  that my posts are long. I like to be thorough. If you ever have questions, please ask here or email me.



03:22 PM Feb 21 2012 |

1 person likes this

tutorheatherSuper Member!

United States

Hi all!

Perhaps I can help to further clarify this sentence:

“I don’t know, you may think I’m not romantic saying that, but I generally believe that acknowledging that it’s not all fluffy rainbows and unicorns, you’ll probably have a better success rate.”

Fateme.a, a poster below,  “took a stab” at the meaning, and she did a great job! I am just adding more information for those who might be interested.

Succinctly, the speaker is saying that romance is not simply about fantasy, and once we no longer expect only romance and happiness from our relationships/marriages, we can have more realistic, solid relationships.

Although rainbows exist in nature, they are so beautiful that they are almost fantasy-like. We cannot touch them, of course, and they also appear and disappear suddenly and as if out of nowhere. Rainbows are refracted light that we can see by way of rain droplets. Still, they appear almost magical, even when we know there is a scientific explanation for their appearance.

On the other hand, unicorns are mythical creatures that exist only in the realm of fantasy. It’s a white, horselike creature with a gigantic horn.

Some people believe that love is like rainbows and unicorns, and that love and marriage are so magical that marital life willl be pure romance and fantasy. When reality hits couples, usually due to financial strife, family issues, employment problems, or something simple like household chores, the romance feels like it’s fading. This is when marriage shows itself to be what it truly is: hard work. It takes a LOT of commitment to remain married. Getting married is the easy part! People focus so much on the fantasy wedding that they forget how hard life will be after the wedding is over.

If anyone has heard of the American music group, Maroon 5, you might know a song called “She Will be Loved.” It features a great lyric that speaks to the issue of how love is about more than just fun and romance.

The song is about a relationship that is undergoing struggle. One of the lyrics reads, “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along…”  Instead of unicorns, the singer uses “butterflies,” but it’s the same concept. While the magical part is nice, it’s people learning to compromise that sustains the relationship.

I think celebrities have a lot of options that many of us do not have. It is hard for many people to leave a marriage due to finances. Sometimes people cannot afford to split up, find new housing, find new medical insurance (in the US this is a HUGE problem), but celebrities do not have any of those worries. They are free to make sudden changes due to having excessive money. This is both good and bad. It’s good because if there is abuse, for example, a partner can leave without being harmed. Some people in abusive relationships stay because they fear homelessness without the $ support of their partner. They may also worry for their children’s welfare.

The “bad” is that many relationships can be repaired, but when people feel the “magic” is gone, and they have plenty of money to find a new house, they might give up too easily. Any relationship takes commitment. We all get frustrated with friends or family sometimes; it’s natural. But, in the end, unless there is abuse, it might be rewarding to make compromises and work through problems.

Many celebrities just keep marrying and marrying, and truly never find happiness. The real secret is that they are usually not happy themselves, and think they will find perfect happiness in another person. That never happens.

Rainbows and unicorns, indeed!


Have a great day, all!





Divorce is marriage Hollywood style.

I supposed we all should have gotten used to celebrity divorces by now, apparently not, Mason is all emotional over Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony split, bless his heart.  Celebrity divorce is the air that stars breathe; thus, it’s more surprising to me when they remained tied up than when they split, sad? Admit it. It’s true. I think celebrities are far too hasty to commit. Falling in love, I correct, falling in lust I should say, is what drives them to each other. They just click out of gut feelings, a rather shallow attraction, and a sudden desire. Physical attributes, I believe is the ground they erupt their romantic liaison from.

     Well, for many years it has been easy for me to predict the next celebrity couple, I’m not a Nostradamus, believe me I’ve checked. I just picked up some patterns and factors which I found to be favorable for stars to meet their others; I purposely left out “significant”. The first indicator that two celebrities are likely to become partners is: co-starring in a relatively successful film, for years being on the set of a movie and walking together at its premiere has served as  a speed-dating event for stars. Another factor is the fact that they both are among the most trending or controversial names for that given period.  Once they’re popularity start to die out, they’ll try to regain the media’s interest by splitting up. In Hollywood the outcome of a divorce is a major boost in popularity. You’re constantly on the radar screen of the press, you become the talk of the town, and on come the lucrative interview proposals, you’re invited to the most broadcasted talk shows, everyone wants to know how that had happened.  Instead of condemning the act of divorce, the press and the culprits see it as a money-making machine, it’s what sells. Divorce, is what fans want to hear about .And suddenly the spotlight shine brighter on you, you’ve consequently resurfaced more popular than you ever been.  

     But few star couples really could have lasted longer had it not been for the pressure, and the rumors of tabloids. These paparazzi will follow these lovebirds individually like shadows and pounce on the most trivial of things to raise suspicions , titles like  “X is seen in Malibu with a mysterious woman”, “Y has allegedly cheated on X” ,  “X got cozy with unidentified man at bar”, some stuff like that. Tabloids are little buggers to married stars, some of those speculations they’ll come up with are so compelling that couples will begin to become less and less trusting intimately, which is the beginning of the end for them. No trust, means less credibility, less tolerance the relationship becomes a source of stress, it’s very unsettled and fragile.  It takes a lot of mutual loving and  trust  to sustain a marriage, If those are present in any relationship, then they’ll safeguard a couple from outside pressure and rumors. But unfortunately these are qualities, meaning they can’t be put on sheet of paper and portrayed, that’s what some celebrities need t realize.

  In the respect to the average of us, I think the standards set by society are the main causes of the rising of divorce cases. So much are expected from a married couple now.  Through the years materialistic assets have become more like necessities to people, these once ephemeral luxuries have turned to play a rather important role into our marriages.  It’s hard to keep pace with this fast-moving society, where demands are constantly changing, and the bars is always on the rise and the need to keep up in term of assets is almost mandatory. I’ve heard wives say to their husbands “Our marriage is so 1992!” whatever that suppose to mean! It’s a more material world now, and it’s getting in our bedrooms, our kitchens, and our backyard, everywhere.  We live in a world in which it’s almost laughable when you can’t afford certain things. First you need to earn money and then her heart, when you finally do; you need to earn even more money.  

: )

03:08 PM Feb 21 2012 |




That’s life, man!  Everywhere divorce is rising higher rate than last time, Maybe because people are getting open to others now, hang out more often outside, people dn’t want to have boundary in their life, Married is not that easy and not just depend on love I guess. Well however everyone has their own reason why they do that, so if we are not sure our married will go smotly or will end up with divorce, better think more before we settle down. 

Celebrities, oh yeahh…... In my country also Celebrities facing the same problem, DIVORCE is not something unusual in their life, even they can directly married again after divorce with privious one, they don’t take much time just to take to another step to settle down, For them Married is kinda game I guess hhhhhhhh 

02:56 PM Feb 21 2012 |




thats why i don’t like to settle down when after all youll just break up

02:03 PM Feb 21 2012 |

cheer manal


There is a common denominator of most religions, they all consider marriage as something sacred, the permanent bond between man and woman that is supposed to last until death.

There are people who tend to make sacrifices and give up things for the sake of enhancing their marriage conditions, and there are also people who have priorities in life that are more important than maintaining their marital life safe.

Celebrities have difficult times with relationships ,the volatile nature of their marriage is apparent when we look at their divorce rate. I think they are overly attracted to maintain their stardom than their marriage.

02:01 PM Feb 21 2012 |

lazy girl 2011


Divorce has become more common recently,I think that’s because people are open now,such as thought,action and so on.They think they will meet the right person someday,and they believe “I can live well without you!”

It is ture that celebrities have a higher divorce rate.I think it’s harder for celebrities to stay married than average people.There are many things in their marrage, not only love.They will divorce when they have a better choice,or just feel bored on the relationship.So maybe I really like some icons,but I don’t agree their life style and their attitude to the marrige.

01:29 PM Feb 21 2012 |

the beginners

Saudi Arabia

personally i never ever thought being famous could be a good thing and the reason they have high divorce rates  is because of the life style they chosen for themselves where you see attractive people around u all the time and the ease of sex makes the couples don’t value each other so much ….this is one thing

the other reason is that in their world , they meet many people and date many people before they settle down  and each person they date have good sides and bad side , so when they settles down they tend to think that there significant other have all the good  sides of the previous others they’ve been with which lead to disappointing.

09:11 AM Feb 21 2012 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

you can earn dirty money but not dirty love!

08:34 AM Feb 21 2012 |




Money is not the only solution of all the happiness… mony can give everthing to you but not happiness, it can give u the food but not hunger.. it can give u the water but not thirst.. it can give u the partner but not love and satisfaction..

This is for the celebrities as I think that they lean on the money and fame..

08:02 AM Feb 21 2012 |




God makes the couples but human breaks that… in this way human is against the God and he or she can never be happy in future with their next married life after getting divorced with previous one…

if there is relevant matter in getting divorced and if both wants divorce then it may be good for both of them..but I m not sure about it if it’s right or wrong

07:57 AM Feb 21 2012 |



New Zealand

Mebal Lee

I think he means that “Being realist and knowing that marriage is not a fantasy like the stories of unicorns and fluffy rainbows helps people to have a better success rate in their marriages”

07:53 AM Feb 21 2012 |




because human being has lost his control over himself…. he or she always thinks that he or she could have got better than the previous….they don’t love but they run after the personal happiness… they have forgotten the word “sacrifice”.. may be because of having money it happens with them… after having money they think that only they have full right to do what they want to do… they play with other’s emotions…

It may be harder for the celebrities to stay married because they have everything and they think that they can get everything easily… they can get other one if they leave previous…human being of today’s generation has no power to bear anything… he or she believes in living life as they want to…. that’s y they do what they love to do… that’s assumption I have..

There may have been other reasons except money but I think that they need to manage that.. it’s not a child’s game… don’t spoil others life…

07:49 AM Feb 21 2012 |

Likes (17):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast