02/23/2011 01:49 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

When the Vows Break: Are Oscar-Winning Actresses Destined for Divorce?

I don't believe in curses.

The Cubs haven't won the World Series in more than a century for baseball reasons -- not because a certain Chicago tavern owner put a hex on them for not letting his goat inside Wrigley Field.

I feel the same way about the alleged hex on women who win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Still, a recent study by researchers at the University of Toronto claims there's something to it -- and maybe, just maybe, this year's Best Actress nominees who are married -- Nicole Kidman, Annette Benning -- should be worried about taking home the Oscar.

The study found that between 1936 and 2010, Best Actress winners were 63 percent more likely to get divorced than non-winners. The average marriage of an Oscar winner was about four years, while the average marriage for losers lasted about nine and a half years.

The researchers say their findings are scientifically significant, because there isn't a difference in the divorce rate for Best Actor winners and losers.

But they can't really say why until they do more research.

"The asymmetric effect of winning an Oscar for the survival of Best Actresses' versus Best Actors' marriages indicates that, when it comes to the effect of gender roles, the marriages of ordinary and extraordinary women display similar patterns," the study conclusion states.
"On the one hand, the increased risk of divorce women experience may be ascribed to a husband's discomfort with his wife's fame and success. On the other hand, after a status increase, the wife may grow dissatisfied with her current marital arrangement either because she has outgrown the relationship or because she now has the confidence and opportunity to move away from a bad marriage. The specific trigger for divorce, therefore, may reside in the wife and/or the husband."

Sometimes even the findings of research studies aren't exactly scientific when you break it down.

Look, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet and Sandra Bullock are all Best Actress winners whose marriages ended in -- or in Winslet's case is headed toward -- divorce.

They are beautiful, talented and successful -- and rich -- women.

They are not cursed because they received a certain golden statue.

Marriage isn't easy, even for common folks.

Toss in overwhelming success, paparazzi, groupies, stalkers, TMZ and Twitter feeds, and maintaining a healthy marriage is even more difficult. Sure, winning the Oscar can add short-term pressure to celebrity marriages.

Whether all that eventually leads to divorce depends on whether couples remember that attaining their ultimate goal -- a long life together -- takes teamwork, determination and a consistent, sustained effort in the face of adversity. That beats a curse any day.

Same goes for the Cubs.