*Apparently it was enough time to evaluate the situation and decide how or if it could go on. Yet sadly at the end of 72 days, the hold was released and the marriage between branding mogul Kim Kardashian and professional athlete Kris Humphries was aborted.

It was a whirl wind romance, fairy tale wedding and a fleeting honeymoon all under the watchful and critical eye of the media. I winced at seeing glimpses the most personal moments of their lives graphed into a number of reality television series all of which feed a voyeur’s fix.

Unfortunately, it didn’t feed their relationship or semblance of it. Against the backdrop of the lights, cameras, plot lines and conflict injects were the lives of real people who were trying to live out their lives under the most artificial circumstances. Hell, no wonder it didn’t last.

Love is a mystery. Romance is magical. Marriage is sacrifice and hard work. And it is an institution whose very foundation is built on selflessness, as altruistic as this may seem.

It’s why so many marriages fail if you roll the wagon wheels backward and analyze how the marriage only travelled so far before the wheels locked, much like a grocery cart at Walmart locks when you try to push it past a perimeter you can’t see yet know it’s there.

Kim and Kris didn’t get very far at all. In just 72 days they abandoned the wagon because it seemed they just couldn’t come to terms on where it was going and how fast it should go. Someone had to acquiesce yet an impasse seems all they could arrive at.  Many people believe they shouldn’t have hitched up their wagon in the first place. That very well may be true.

It’s the story of not only celebrities whose breakups are painfully public, but it’s the story of many couples whose breakups are painfully private.

Whether you believe their marriage was a publicity stunt or not, vows were taken and today are broken. Now lives have to resume “business as different” and not as usual. They have to try to ameliorate their lives as they carry with them their own delusions and realities about their failed union. It’s the old his story, her story and the truth.

What’s disheartening is that the institution of marriage was exalted in the most grand and opulent way by the celebrity duo. Yet it didn’t prevail with all the seemingly advantages it had in its favor like money, fame, fortune, family oh and love, well at least we think there was love in all this pomp and circumstance.

A wedding is an event and boy they threw one.  A marriage is a rite of matrimony and the highest form of commitment one human being makes to another. We live in a culture of events from grand galas to opulent openings and coveted closings. They are easy to do and attend. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the festivities.

But marriage is what happens after the event is over, it’s the living “ever after” the guests have left the reception and the folding chairs and tables have been loaded back into the party rental van. It’s sharing those quite moments of repose and weathering those disquieting moments of discord.  It’s not for the faint of heart or the fanciful in spirit. This I do know from personal experience. Now Kim and Kris are getting the lesson as well.

Why do I care about this couple? I don’t. I just care about the mockery they have made of an institution I respect and value and someday hope to re-enlist.

Veronica Hendrix is a syndicated columnist and feature writer whose work has covered the span of the human continuum – from clinical trials of male contraceptives, to the gang violence. She is the owner of Bromont Avenue Foods. Visit http://bromontavefoods.com for more information.  For comments, interviews, speaking engagements or moderator requests please send an email to [email protected].)