Nicholas Sparks' Marriage Shocker Proves Real Life Is Not 'The Notebook'

nicholas sparks cathy sparksYou've heard of Nicholas Sparks. He wrote some of the world's most beloved romance novels -- which became some of Hollywood's most beloved movies: The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Safe Haven. It's like he'd somehow tapped into the magic formula of love to mine the pure golden core that heats the human heart. But tragically, his own love life has shattered: Nicholas Sparks separated from his wife of 25 years, Cathy, the couple announced today.


"This is, of course, not a decision we've made lightly," Sparks said in a statement. "We remain close friends with deep respect for each other and love for our children. For our children's sake, we regard this as a private matter." Wha? What happened?

It was love at first sight for Sparks: The day after he met Cathy, he told her he was going to marry her. She laughed, he sent her 100 love letters, and about six months later, he proposed. Since then Cathy has inspired Sparks' fictional heroines. "You know, all of the female characters I create have many elements of my wife," he told eHarmony.

But falling in love is easy. Making a marriage work, long-term -- that's much harder.

"I don't like to give marriage tips," Sparks told People in 2003. "There are people who are probably much better at marriage than I am -- they've lasted a lot longer. I could probably learn from them." With such a high-profile career, not to mention five kids, it couldn't have been effortless for the Sparks. If anything, I think they deserve a lot of credit for making it work for 25 years. "I've always wanted to write about how a couple lost their connection, their passion," he said in the same interview.

It's tempting now to say "OMG, Nicholas Sparks' marriage is over! The Notebook is a LIE! Love is DEAD!" There's no need to be quite so dramatic. We have no idea why the Sparks split. But there are a few lessons to draw from this sad news.

Making love last over the long haul is much more complicated and difficult than your typical Hollywood blockbuster. And if you expect to breeze through your relationship the same way you breeze through a romance novel, you're kidding yourself. A good storyteller will save just the exciting parts for you. Life, on the other hand, makes you wade through the boring, uncomfortable, uncertain, and quiet stuff, too. Are you ready for that?

Are you surprised to hear Nicholas Sparks and his wife separated?


Image via Nate Beckett/Splash News

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