ARE you in a toxic relationship you want to end? Extremes examples are Anne Boleyn, beheaded after just three years of marriage to the notorious King Henry VIII, and Elizabeth Taylor, who married and divorced Richard Burton twice.
But many celebrities crave an explosive, unhealthy relationship. Last month, golfer Rory McIlroy became the first player since fellow Irishman, Padraig Harrington, in 2008, to win back-to-back majors. His victories in the Open Championship, US PGA and World Golf Championship in the Bridgestone Invitational raise the ugly question: was his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki holding him back?
McIlroy has hinted that since his sudden split from his bride-to-be, his play has been on top form. “I’ve put a little bit more time into my golf and refocused in a way. It’s the only thing I have. I’ve got my family and my friends, but I just immersed myself in my game,” he said.
“I’ve practiced hard and I’ve done all the right things and I’m reaping the rewards. Golf is the number one priority to me and while I’m on this run of form I want to try and keep it going as long as possible.”
Psychotherapist, Edel Malone, says it isn’t unusual for a person’s career to take off when a relationship ends. If your personal goals are being compromised it’s a sign of a bad relationship.
“Interdependency in a relationship is what we aim for. If both partners are loving and supportive of each other’s respective goals, then they can grow from it,” says Malone.
In 2005, Kate Moss began the most toxic relationship of her life. It was her 31st birthday when she began a hopeless love affair with Pete Doherty.
The poster girl for the heroin-chic fashion trend of the ’90s, Moss had an edge that was amplified once she stepped out with Doherty.
The pair epitomised the rock-and-roll couple and the drug- and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle that goes with it.
Shortly after meeting Doherty, Moss was caught on camera allegedly snorting cocaine.
Although Moss had admitted in the past to dabbling in drugs, being photographed with class A ones was the ultimate fall.
The British press hounded Moss like they had Princess Diana a decade before.
Fashion’s ethereal princess turned overnight into an evil fairy changeling that few labels wanted to touch.
“Often, celebrities who live in the fast-paced world of having what they want, when they want, fall into destructive relationships,” says psychotherapist Edel Malone. “This can stem from self- destructive tendencies, which make the person push the boundaries as far as they can go, which can result in disastrous consequences.”
The emergence of ‘Cocaine Kate’ was the lightning rod that forced ‘La Moss’ to take a step back from the chaos.
By mid- 2007, after a stint in rehab and a successful comeback, Moss escaped the rapture of her venomous relationship with Doherty.
“Once out of a co-dependant relationship, there is time to focus on you and your own needs,” says Malone.
But the addiction of the tumultuous love affair doesn’t always have the happy ending.
Singer Whitney Houston was found dead in a room of a Beverly Hills Hotel, just hours before she was due on stage at the Grammy Awards.
Her premature death was caused by a cocaine-induced heart attack and heart disease.
The talented singer’s demise began when she met Bobby Brown.
In her recent book, Remembering Whitney, Houston’s mother, Cissy, says that things may have been different if her daughter had never met Brown.
In her 2009 interview with Oprah, Houston said she thought that Brown was jealous of her success. The manifestation of his jealousy coincided with the box-office hit, The Bodyguard, in which Houston starred and performed the number-one soundtrack.
“Something happens to a man when a woman has that much fame. I tried to play it down all the time,” Houston told Oprah. She described her ex-husband as her drug.
“He was my drug. I didn’t do anything without him. I wasn’t getting high by myself. No matter what we did, we did it together.”
In 2003, Brown was charged with misdemeanour battery for hitting Houston.
Curiously, after the hearing the pair walked out arm-in-arm, with Houston singing the Aretha Franklin hit ‘(You Make me Feel like) A Natural Woman’.
Just three years later the pair was divorced and, by 2009, it looked as though Whitney had cleaned up her act with the release of a new album, and Brown was history.
Unfortunately, the addiction never left and Houston met a dramatic ending.
The singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse fell deep into her own caustic relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil.
Their two-year marriage was immersed in drugs, yet Winehouse described Fielder as the great love of her life.
She called him her most “precious poisonous possession”.
Speaking on the Jeremy Kyle show last year, Fielder admitted to giving Winehouse her first dose of heroin.
After his stint in jail, Fielder was urged by Amy’s family to divorce her.
“I was told if I loved her I’d divorce her and set her free, which is what I did.”
This may have been the glimmer of hope Winehouse needed to kick her addictions and get back on track.
Once out of the co-dependant relationship, Amy became drug-free.
But her demons continued to haunt her and she turned to alcohol instead.
On the release of the toxicology report into Amy’s death, Blake had expressed his relief that no drugs had been found in her body.
“It meant I didn’t kill my ex-wife,” he told The Sun newspaper.
Toxic relationships prey on the weak and are a false promise of a better, more exciting life.
“Those with low self-worth or self-esteem issues often find themselves in toxic relationships,” says Malone.
“They do not want the responsibility of looking after themselves and this is where the recklessness comes in.
“If this becomes too destructive, the result can be catastrophic for the person.”