Evan Peters and Emma Roberts, niece of Julia, daughter of Eric and nepotism poster girl, are engaged. But don’t be so quick to congratulate them, because this unholy union likely won’t last too long.
The couple was plagued with domestic violence over the summer after Roberts, 22, was arrested in Montreal for assaulting Peters, 26, and experts say that if they get married, the end result could possibly inspire another season of American Horror Story. We consulted with Dr. Cynthia Chestnut, as well as Dr. Elizabeth A. and Dr. Charles Schmitz (none have treated Roberts or Peters), who explained the newly engaged’s violent history and fame likely won’t bode well for their betrothal.
“Like all celebrities, they have the added burden of intense media intrusion into every aspect of their lives. From their marriage to work, they not only have to get over the emotional extremes and violence in their relationship, they have to do it in the public spotlight,” Schmitz explained. “Considering their pre-marriage relationship and what we know through multiple research studies done worldwide, the chances of Roberts and Peters having a successful lifelong marriage are not good.”
Dr. Chestnut echoed those sentiments, but was slightly more (and very cautiously) optimistic. “I believe they should take it really slow,” Dr. Chestnut advised. “They would need to address the domestic violence in therapy, discuss temperament, emotions associated with anger, fear, pain and how these would be managed. If they love each other to the point of making a commitment to marriage, [they should] begin working these issues out before walking down the aisle.”
Without that therapy, the outcome could look scary for the young (really young—she’s just 22) couple: the violence, which pals of the pair simply described as “passion,” is likely to grow worse. The Schmitzes noted, “The incidences of abuse and violence are likely to increase under all of the pressures that comes with this type of public scrutiny.” They added, “If a relationship starts off with mental or physical abuse, it is not likely to improve, even with a serious commitment. People stay in toxic relationships because they are afraid to walk away, want to live up to the expectations of others, are afraid of the embarrassment, fear being killed or hurt if they leave, or feel they have no other options.”
And don’t assume that just because Roberts was the one to get arrested that Peters is necessarily a hapless victim, either. “Research studies conducted in the last 10 years worldwide reveal that mutual violence exists in the majority of domestic abuse cases,” Dr. Schmitz reported. “Even though Roberts was arrested, both Roberts and Peters were hitting each other when the police arrived, according to the police reports. In fact, in abusive relationships there is a two out of three chance that the abuse is mutual.”
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The docs also point out that in cases of mutual abuse, the dangers to both parties is probably equal. “A tiny five-foot woman can attack with objects when you are not looking and can be just as deadly as a six-foot man. Men are becoming more open about abuse by women as today there is less of a stigma attached to men as victims of abuse.”
Aside from being subjected to more irritating pictures of them together looking unshowered (hell-lo, Coachella), there’s a much uglier and more sinister omen for their union. “While getting help and walking away from a toxic relationship is one of the most difficult things you can do, it is the only way you have a chance to truly find lasting love in a healthy loving relationship,” the doctors said. “Let’s face it — abusers rarely become former abusers! We are not saying that a toxic relationship can never be fixed. But unfortunately, toxic relationships rarely do get fixed. Instead, they only get worse. The violence can spiral out of control. Sometimes that failure can be a very costly failure — you can get hurt, emotionally scared for life, or even killed.”
Case in point: Even the publicity likely isn’t worth these two getting hitched.