Whitney and Bobby -- Why Their Insane Union Survives
12/22/2005 5:51 PM PT
When Christina Applegate and Johnathon Schaech tied the knot, Hollywood was rooting for them. Earlier this month, after four years of marriage, it was over. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were America's newlywed darlings, but it wasn't meant to be. Also this month, Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen formally took it to divorce court.
So how could it be, amidst the matrimonial ruins, that one of the realtively few couples that have held it together -- even endured -- is Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown? The 13-year union has been distinguished by substance abuse, domestic violence, arrests, probation violations, rehab, re-rehab and re-re-rehab. What on earth keeps their marriage together?
"They're kindred souls, rebels together" says Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide To A Healthy Relationship.' The fact that their hit reality TV show is a proud display of their individual and joint foibles reinforces the good Doctor's point.
"They're being accepted by the world as the kind of couple that stays together and rages together," says Dr. Kuriansky.
It's telling that Whitney and Bobby see themselves as part of the mainstream. Lat night, Bravo aired 'Being Bobby Brown: Christmas With the Browns,' a special holiday version of their version of reality. The Browns seemingly want to show off their wacky union to America.
"You could call it extreme marriage," says liscenced psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. Stacy Kaiser. But, marriage as sport can only happen when both partners enjoy the game, which both of our experts agree the Browns do. "They are united by the peaks and valleys of their high drama romance," says Dr. Kaiser, theorizing that Whitney and Bobby, both artists who sing of love, have a highly romanticized vision of themselves as a couple. "They're living in their own reality show but they're also living in their own self-scripted movie." Analysts have another name for this -- co-dependency.
"Emotional equals come together," says Dr. Kaiser, "If nobody does the proper growth to get healthier, then they both stay the same and its easy to stay together." Bobby and Whitney's drug battles have been particularly public, especially Whitney's now famous 2002 confession to Diane Sawyer, on ABC's ''Primetime,' that she had abused cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs in the past. While she insisted she had triumphed over her addiction through prayer, she has since sought help twice, most recently with a rehab stint this past March. But even sobriety has its risks.
"If one partner has matured, grown and evolved, the other partner can get left behind," warns Dr. Kaiser. Has that happened with the Browns? Hell to the no, you might say. In 2003, Whitney called police, claiming her husband had hit her. But, even this didn't end their edgy love affair. Couples can fall into a "battering/addiction cycle, where one partner uses or abuses, then feels remorseful, then apologizes," says Dr. Kaiser, who adds "then there's the honeymoon phase where everything's glorious until the cycle starts again."
The Browns also have stong traditional bonds, including a beautiful and talented 12-year-old daughter and a loyalty to each other that's as stubborn as their insistence on living life on their own terms. And, never underestimate the fact that they make each other laugh.
"Crisis and bad situations either bring people together or pull people apart," says Dr. Kaiser, adding "What seems to happen with Whitney and Bobby is all the drama pulls them together. Now, if they could only use that strength to grow together in a more positive way."
TMZ tried but was unable to get Whitney and Bobby's imput for this story.