Jenkins: Kim and Kanye’s divorce is more complicated than it seems


Taylor Wypyski

The impending divorce of the infamous Kim and Kanye brings up conversation about the toll mental illness can take on relationships.

Caleb Jenkins, Copy Editor

A dramatic relationship meets a dramatic end as Kim Kardashian files for divorce from Kanye West. The almost seven-year marriage has been on the rocks in the eyes of the public since December of 2020, when a source told E! News that “Kim and Kanye are doing their own thing. They spend a lot of time apart.” The relationship has been at risk for a while though, as Kanye has been very open about his struggle with bipolar disorder in recent years, and many fans have been concerned about his mental stability due to his recent actions. However, it is also important that the public keeps in mind the mental health of those closest to Kanye and the effect he has on them.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by “periods of unusually intense emotion,” alternating between manic and depressive episodes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Kanye has refused to accept treatment for his illness and remains unmedicated despite his wife’s pleas for him to seek medical help. 

The year 2018 marked the beginning of a very dark period for Kanye, and by extension, a dark period for his wife and their relationship. After the rapper remarked that slavery “[sounded] like a choice” on a TMZ podcast, he was met with a wave of justified outrage as well as an understandably upset response from his wife, who he was afraid would leave him over the event, as he later revealed to the New York Times.

West addressed the subject, as well as other issues regarding his mental health in his 2018 album “Ye.” The song “Wouldn’t Leave” stands out as a moment of self-reflection, with lyrics that seem to acknowledge the pain and turmoil Kanye has put his wife through throughout their marriage. While the tone of the song is undoubtedly penitent, one must ask if a remorseful attitude in the moment will lead to any real change in patterns of behavior.

Two years later, West announced that he was running for president. He declared his platform as pro-life and anti-vaccine, values not shared by his wife and her family. At his first political rally, West revealed that he and his wife had discussed aborting their first child, North West. This led to yet another justifiably outraged response from his wife, who was “furious that he shared something so private,” according to a source who contacted People magazine.

Although it is obvious that Kanye has been dealing with some serious mental health issues over the past couple of years, the effect his actions have had on his wife must not be ignored. Kim’s decision to divorce her husband of almost seven years might be the best decision for her own well-being. 

While the divorce might be the best option for his wife, Kanye’s mental health might only plummet further because of it. Yet many fans seem to believe that the divorce will lead to a bout of creative inspiration for the artist, comparing the present state to Kanye’s head space when making “808s & Heartbreak” which was made in the wake of his mother’s death and another breakup. This is, of course, a horribly misplaced outlook on the situation as a creator’s suffering should in no way be celebrated as a means for creation, even if the end product is something great.

All too often we forget that celebrities are human beings who have a right to their own private lives. Having every detail of one’s life struggles broadcast to the entire world can take a toll on one’s mental health. Kim and Kanye’s divorce will likely be a tumultuous process for both of them, and it is important that the public treats them with respect, regardless of how famous they might be.