Marriage With The Enemy: Inside Whitney Houston And Bobby Brown's Destructively Co-Dependent Union

Date July 19, 2018

Smashing career and unique voice of the legendary Whitney Houston are often eclipsed by the tragedy of her personal life. Sadly, often when we talk about the late singer, our minds wander to everything that went wrong with her life. And if you ask around, most people would point to her ex husband Bobby Brown as one of the biggest villains of her story.


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Marriage for the sake of it

New documentary depicting the life of Whitney Houston simply titled Whitney offers deeper insight into her relationship with Bobby Brown, as told by the singer's friends, family, and her ex husband himself.


Whitney and Bobby met in 1989 when he was a struggling R&B artist, while Houston was already at the peak of her career. The two developed a romantic relationship, which resulted in marriage in 1992. According to the late singer's friend Ellin LaVar, their union wasn't built on love, but more on Whitney's desire to get off the market:

Part of me felt like she got married to please people. Just to get off of the market so people would stop questioning her.


What followed was a complete downfall of Houston's personal life.


Mutual destruction

Although many blame Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston's eventual substance abuse, it wasn't entirely his fault. She started using drugs before meeting her future husband, but being together with him only made everything worse. Ellin LaVar saw their relationship as co-dependent and bad for both of them:

The problem with Whitney and Bobby was they exacerbated each other’s addiction...It just manifested itself in a really bad way.


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But drug addiction wasn't their only problem. Whitney and Bobby were constantly arguing, especially when intoxicated. He was jealous of her success as a singer, which led to many domestic disputes. Their co-dependency kept them together and made things worse as the time went by.


In 2007, Whitney has had enough. She filed for a divorce, and they went their separate ways.

Remembering Whitney

Bobby Brown gave an interview to Rolling Stones, in which he revealed that he stayed in touch with Whitney after their divorce. They were both working hard on making their lives better and becoming sober. Once they were apart, it became much easier. Brown still doesn't believe Houston's addiction ended her life:

I don’t think [Whitney] died from drugs. She was really working hard on herself to try to be a sober person.


But regardless of her tragic life, Whitney Houston blessed us with her music, which we will cherish forever.

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Whitney Houston