Marriage is without doubt an incredibly tough nut to crack. If you choose well, listen to your mother and marry your perfect match it can be the best thing since Google. But even if you choose well, listen to your mother and marry your perfect match, marriage can still push all your buttons and drive you up the wall, make you question your judgement, and sometimes render you completely insane.
Unfortunately for the majority of people who pay a small fortune to merrily skip up the aisle and say ‘I Do’, a few short years later they will likely find themselves slinking into a solicitors office, handing over their life savings and 3 pints of blood, and snarling ‘What was I thinking, no I bloody well don’t’.
Divorce is everywhere, it’s a sad fact of life. It has probably joined ‘death’ and ‘taxes’ to become the 3 things in life that are depressingly inevitable. In many countries, 1 in 3 marriages now end up in costly court battles – fighting over child custody rights, the dog and the CD collection. On the upside, now that CD’s have all but been been outed by the MP3, this particular dilemma will become easier to solve.
It is sad that so many marriages don’t even last long enough for the dishwasher to remove the last traces of the sticky label from the new dinner service. Or for the extortionately priced wedding albums to be filled with photos from the happy day. But hey, this is the reality of it all, and, as someone who has already trodden down that particular path, I can’t say that it necessarily a bad thing to be able to get out before the ’till death’ vows have a chance to kick in.
Maybe I have a very cynical view on marriage, (though I like to see it as being realistic) but I strongly believe that if something is really not right, then nothing is going to fix it. Not even hours of counselling, or resigning yourself to a lifetime of ‘doing the right thing.’
And yes, even if children are involved, I still believe that it’s better to be out than in. Nothing interferes with happy childhood memories more than miserable parents, slamming doors and death stares across the breakfast table. I think any child would plump for smiling parents and less fighting if given half the chance.
In the run up to my wedding, and that would be the first one that didn’t work, not the second one that is ticking along just perfectly, I told my then husband-to-be that I was a great believer in divorce. Romantic? No. Honest? Probably a little too much, given the money already spent out on the hot buffet for 50. But then what’s the point in mincing words.
Coming from a family history based in divorce and bad feelings, I knew that I would never be able to stick something out if I wasn’t happy. After all, life’s just too damn short to be depressed and hating the person you wake up next to. Luckily for me my ex was a very understanding man, both then and 4 years later, when we agreed it was never meant to be, called it quits and went our separate ways. Luckily for me we also had the friendliest divorce in history, with not one ounce of bad feeling or back stabbing bitterness in sight.
Some people of course aren’t so lucky, especially when the ‘injured’ party goes hell for leather to try and make life as difficult and complicated as possible. Whether this involves cutting up clothes, hiding rotting fish around the house before leaving or just trying to suck every last bit of energy, life and money out of the person doing the leaving. Some people simply refuse to draw a line under the past and ever let it go.
Of course now that I am older, wiser and blessed with hindsight, I can now admit that I knew at the time that I should never have got married in the first place. But that’s one of those things that’s hard to voice out loud, especially when the wedding ball is rolling at breakneck speed and you’re clinging on by your fingertips for dear life. Or when you’ve already had your dress altered 5 times to accommodate your diminishing weight (through the stress of knowing it’s not a good idea) and haven’t the heart to tell the seamstress her work was all in vain.
So all that aside. Knowing how hard a marriage can be to hold together behind closed doors, where no one can witness the pointless hypothetical arguments and the bread knife whizzing through the air, what hope has anyone in the public eye got of actually lasting the distance.
None really. Celebrity marriages are pretty much doomed to fail from the start. From the young and stupid who hotfoot it Vegas, 13 hours after falling desperately in love at an MTV after-party, to the veterans of the screen, such as the once lovely Mel Gibson, who hook up with someone young enough to be their granddaughter, and then flaunt them down the red carpet.
Hmnmm, now lets think. They met on screen, they fought on screen. They married on screen, they fought on screen. They had kids on screen, they fought on screen. They moved to the States, they fought on screen.
The common denominator here? Well that would be the fighting.
Add that to the fact that every day of their life together was docu-soaped. And every word, thought and insecurity they felt was no doubt taken, twisted and exaggerated, just to up the viewing figures and satisfy the drama hungry audience.
So did they stand a chance? The words hope and hell spring to mind. I would have had more chance of winning the Lotto – and I don’t even buy any tickets.
Still at least they can now both guarantee a 10 page spread in Hello magazine, to discuss, dissect and detail their marriage breakdown. And then they can both star in their own new reality shows about how to bounce back, recover from a broken heart and go on to make pot loads of money.
Cynical? Me? Never.
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