It's official, September should have been renamed "Septic September" when it comes to celebrity divorces.
There I was thinking that January is when we keep our divorce lawyers busy. It now seems that September is the new month for divorce. I can only assume that it is those post-holiday blues. I feel for those celebrities. It is bad enough for us mere mortals but can you imagine what it is like to return to normality as a celeb! There we are having to contend with coming back to a rainy and miserable UK/Jersey. However, a celebrity has it so much harder. They have probably spent a summer on a private island being waited on hand and foot. Suddenly, they are back in the real world. Being stalked by paps and having to deal with the school run. I hate the school run but can you imagine what it is like doing it is a celebrity! Those divorces are clearly them going into post-traumatic shock after their holidays. September is celebrity couple Armageddon.
This September, we have the ending of at least two high profile marriages and there are whispers of several more on the way. Why do I care though? I have been brought up on the myth that is happily ever after. As a child I was read fairy-tales. As a teenager I devoured romantic films. I dreamed of escaping to America, I fantasised about meeting my Harry. As an adult I willed for Carrie to finally find her happy ever after. I wanted Bridget to settle down with Darcy.
However, I was also somewhat contradictory. As a child I remember relatives finding it hilarious when they would ask me what I wanted to do when I was older, I would reply with "well I can tell you what I don't want to do, get married". My GCSE Religious Education coursework was me arguing that a wedding was an "outmoded convention in a modern society".
Despite being surrounded by the Hollywood and fairy-tale ideal of marriage, I realised that this ideal of the perfect marriage wasn't sustainable in the real world. My Mum and Dad's marriage was a traditional one and, to me, marriage spoke of endless benefits for the man, and drudgery for the woman. I failed to see why a woman would want to get married. I saw marriage as being about ownership, the man owning the woman. Yet, deep down I still hoped that one day I might be swept off my feet and that I would have the fairy-tale wedding and marriage. Like I said, I was contradictory or perhaps my heart yearned for the fairy-tale but my head knew the reality.
Yes, I might be happily married, and I might have met my own version of Prince Charming. Yes, he has a Mancunian accent and an obsession with football but he is still my knight. Despite this, I don't believe in happily ever after. Marriage and relationships are not easy. They take work. A lot of work. Before I met Mr C, I was in a long-term relationship with a man that I thought I would marry. Despite our clear incompatibility. His love for declaring me high maintenance when I suggested that he helped me with the washing-up or that we watch something else or even talk, instead of watching Country File AGAIN. My desire for the happy ever after was responsible for me staying in a relationship that clearly wasn't healthy or working, for far too long!
The ending of several high profile marriages has left me questioning the whole institution of marriage because my initial response is "if they can't make it then what hope is there for the rest of us". I know it's ridiculous because no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Those celebrity marriages have only allowed us to see the very shiny, glamorous facade.
We haven't seen Brad Pitt taking a poo on a toilet, or Norman Cook burping after his tea. I will admit that the marriage breakup that left me feeling the saddest wasn't Brad or Angelina, it was Norman Cook and Zoe Ball. Why? Because we know that this was a marriage that hadn't been straightforward, yet they had weathered it all, infidelity, drugs and drink. They clearly loved each other and therefore they symbolised the idea that sometimes love can conquer all. Only, now we know it can't.
We can never guarantee that happy ending. Life is life. Messy and it gets in the way. The only thing we can do is try our best for happy for now. I'm no Snow White and Mr C is not my Prince Charming. He is a very good husband though and I hope that we will always have our marriage because we really do have our happy right now. Marriage takes work and right now it's working. Fingers crossed it continues to work. Talking of marriage, there is one marriage that must never end in divorce, Kate and Wills, because if a Prince and Princess can't make it then there really is no hope for a girl from Essex and a man from Manchester.
This post first appeared on Island Living 365