(31 August 1980 - 4 February 1983) (her death)
In 1980 her mother urged Karen to attend a dinner at the chic Ma Maison restaurant that Karen wanted to skip, and there she met Tom Burris, a 39-year-old divorce with an 18-year-old son. Two months later they were engaged.
After a whirlwind romance, she married real-estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Burris, divorced with an 18-year-old son, was nine years her senior. A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are in Love", was released in 1981. Burris concealed from Carpenter, who desperately wanted children, the fact that he had undergone a vasectomy.
Also, allegedly, Burris was spending money beyond the family’s needs and borrowing up to $50,000 from his wife, at the time. Karen was only left with stocks and bonds.
Carpenter also alleged dealt with physical and emotional abuse from Burris. In 1981, she decided to take a stand and changed her will. She revised her will to say all of her possessions would be given to her brother and her parents.
Two months later, following a public argument in a restaurant, the couple split. In 1982, Karen officially filed for divorce.
Karen was still married to Burris and was due to sign the final divorce papers the day she died.
Karen Carpenter’s funeral was held on February 8, 1983. Over 1,000 mourners attend. The funeral was attended by people such as Dorothy Hamill and Olivia Newton-John. Burris also attended and put his wedding band in the casket.