What’s Up With Al and Tipper Gore? Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Al Tipper Gore Seperate
Here we go again. We are endlessly fascinated when high profile marriages crash and burn. It offers us opportunities to speculate, criticize, engulf ourselves in smugness, or in humbler moments, recognize the humanity in all of us. But most of all, just like the outrageously popular show, American Idol, it gives us something to talk about and weigh in on.

So, today’s flavor of the month is the Gore marriage. Inquiring minds want to know, “How is it possible that college sweethearts who appeared to be such a loving, connected and supportive duo, could actually be calling it quits? We’re just dying to know what is really going on behind closed doors. America postulates. “It must be infidelity.” Others suggest that accumulated personal stressors have finally taken their toll. Some say the unavoidable pressure of political life and of being in the public eye for so many years has driven a wedge between them. Still others hypothesize that they’ve just grown apart. Perhaps AT&T should create a text number where we could vote on what we think are the real reasons the couple is headed for divorce. Dialing for divorce, anyone?

Call me unruffled, but I’m not at all surprised by the announcement of the Gore’s divorce. It’s not that I saw signs of dissatisfaction brewing on television – my only contact with the Gores- it’s just that I know the facts.. And here they are. Back in the 80′s, when I started my work as the “Divorce Buster,” I was acutely aware of the national divorce statistics. Divorce started to skyrocket in the 60′s and the 70′s. In the 80′s, after two decades of rampant divorce and disposable marriages, things finally leveled off. Since then, the National Center for Health Statistic has indicated that the divorce rate, contrary to popular belief, has actually dropped a bit. However, there is one group in which the divorce rate continues to climb, and that’s the veteran marrieds – the group that has been married for 30- 40 years. Empty nesters are flying the coop.

There are varied theories about this phenomenon including the thought that couples who have stayed together for the sake of the children can’t wait to part ways as soon as the kids leave home. Others assume that many of these couples haven’t nurtured their relationships; they’ve made careers and children their top priorities. When kids leave home and careers lose appeal, there is no glue holding these couples together. They feel estranged from each other, and yearn to have new experiences, meet new partners, and develop new passions. With life’s hour glass running out, they shun the obligatory and pursue personal bliss, which often means leaving marriage behind.

No analysis of the reasons for the Gore’s pending divorce would be complete without mention of the obvious- that political office and matrimony make strange bedfellows. But the truth is, at the end of the day, Tipper and Al, are just people. And when it comes to successfully navigating the trials and tribulations of marriage and the inevitable conflict that goes with the territory, even winning a Nobel Peace Prize doesn’t always do the trick.

Michele Weiner Davis is the creator of the Divorce Busting Centers, learn more on how you can solve marriage problems and stop divorce. Follow me on Twitter @divorcebusting, add my Divorce Busting Facebook Page, and subscribe to the Divorce Busting YouTube Videos for more advice and upcoming marriage saving events.

About mwd27

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author, marriage therapist, and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Among the first in her field to courageously speak out about the pitfalls of unnecessary divorce, Michele has been active in spearheading the now popular movement urging couples to make their marriages work and keep their families together. She is the author of seven books including her best-selling books, DIVORCE BUSTING: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido. Michele's work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCall's. Michele is a marriage expert on Redbook's advisory board, ClubMom.com and iVillage.com. She has made countless media appearances on shows such as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN, and Bill O'Reilly. Michele's Keeping Love Alive program aired on PBS stations nationwide. She recently completed a reality based show for the BBC about helping couples save their marriages. Michele maintains that her true expertise in helping couples have great relationships is derived from first-hand experience. She and her husband have been married for more than thirty years.
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  • http://mysticalanswers.com Fairy

    I always feel so let down when marriages of this length fail. It scares me to read about it because my 19 year old marriage has been rocky. I’d hate to make it to 40 years then throw in the towel at over 60 years old!

  • http://www.divorcebusting.com mwd27

    As a response to this post, today on Twitter someone asked:

    “Have we become so jaded that we see a 40-yr marriage as a failure just because it ended before death?”

    Fair question, but to this I say – It’s not about being jaded. It’s just that when a marriage ends, it symbolizes a failure to find solutions to the problems which caused the divorce. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t years of happiness and joy and connection, it just means that, for whatever reason, one or both of the spouses no longer choose to do the hard work of finding resolutions to their marital challenges. Also, when there are children involved, regardless of the age of the children, there often is a sense of failure regarding the family unit, which will never be the same.

  • jonnymag

    I disagree. For 40 years, they gave it everything they had. They were in love and mutually supportive all throughout their life in politics, having kids and grandchildren, her depression, his post-election depression, and his Nobel Prize. And now, suddenly, there are no more challenges.

    They got married so young that they were not the individuals they were going to grow up to become. Yet, there is nothing they haven’t already tried in 40 years. There is nothing left to fix. The simple truth is that they’ve been growing apart since the day they got married. They just never had the time to notice it before.

    If they had been at the same jobs for 40 years and were now leaving to seek new challenges, we’d be applauding them, not just for their past record of success, but for having the courage to move beyond what’s been safe and familiar. But, for some reason, with marriage, we don’t see it the same way.

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