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Gina and Pat Neely, Food Network Celebrity Couple, Split After 20 Years: Why Do Marriages Break Up

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

Maybe you’re searching for an Fairfax, VA divorce attorney because you and your spouse just ran out of things to talk about after 20 years. Or perhaps you want a lawyer because you just discovered deeply disturbing news, such as evidence of infidelity or a criminal act. In either case, you would probably like to understand how and why lengthy marriages like yours break up.

Let’s take a look at a high-profile celebrity split to give us insight into that question.

Gina and Pat Neely had been co-hosts of “Down Home with the Neelys” on the Food Network. The couple had established a food business empire, including a restaurant, multiple cookbooks and a popular television show. They discussed their break up on a Memphis, Tennessee news channel: “Today, we announce that we are ending our marriage of 20 years with irreconcilable differences. This is a tough decision, but we believe that it’s the best decision for us. As parents of two beautiful adult daughters that we love dearly, we will continue to be involved in each other’s lives as parents and friends.”

The gossip website TMZ alleges that the couple had been separated for two years prior to the announcement. When a seemingly happy and robust marriage breaks up after decades, it’s natural to wonder: “what happened?” In the case of the Neelys, one can only speculate. But this profound question has deeper ramifications. Here are some common reasons people give:

  • “We just grew apart.”
  • “Once the kids left, we found that we weren’t connecting anymore.”
  • “He/she had an affair.”
  • “Financial difficulties drove us apart.”
  • “Once he/she got sick, the marriage became a burden.”
  • Etc.

Are these all “just so” stories… or rational explanations? Why do some marriages break up after years, while others weather the storms of life? Some researchers controversially argue the following: while monogamy is a natural state for human beings, we may not have evolved to develop the need or desire to partner for life. In other words, some people, for whatever reason – genetic predisposition, perhaps? – are just not naturally permanently monogamous.

Philosophical discussions about the nature of marriage aside, if you have questions about your separation, or if you need the help of an Fairfax, Virginia divorce lawyer, contact the team here at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC at (888) 530-4374 to schedule a confidential consultation with us.

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