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Bill and Hillary outlast Al and Tipper

So who would have thought that Bill and Hillary would outlast Al and Tipper? The Clintons’ marriage was -- is? -- famously complicated. The Gores’ marriage -- well, except for that overwrought convention kiss -- seemed pretty normal. Almost, you might say, "Love Story." "It was just like everyone else melted away," Tipper wrote of their meeting at his high school prom.

They survived four kids, their son’s accident, her depression, his loss.

You would have thought they were past whatever hump it is after which marriages can be deemed solid. There is something deeply unsettling about their decision to separate, because the pairing seemed so stable and so sensible -- not two peas in a pod as much as two pieces that fit together.

In a 2000 Time Magazine piece by Tamala Edwards and Karen Tumulty, Al Gore described their marriage as "a communion [that] just became a lot deeper and broader to the point where I wouldn't and couldn't consider a major life decision without her deep involvement" -- but also as a matter of “that old cliché about opposites attracting.” He was stuffy and formal; she was cool and fun, that issue with the lyrics notwithstanding. (As a parent, I totally get it.) He worried about global warming; she played drums. If they can’t hack it, who can?

It just goes to show the mysterious institution that is marriage. No one outside a marriage can ever be confident of fully understanding what goes on inside it -- what keeps people together despite so much hurt and anger, or what makes them drift apart after so long together. “Mysteries to each other,” Karenna Gore once said of her parents. More, I guess, than she -- or they -- knew.

By Ruth Marcus  | June 1, 2010; 3:07 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Comments

Kids: don't marry your highschool sweethearts. Wait until you're 30 and avoid the stereotypical middle-life crisis.

Posted by: alarico | June 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Kids: don't marry your highschool sweethearts and don't marry in your early 20s. Wait until you're 30 and avoid the stereotypical middle-life crisis.

Posted by: alarico | June 1, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons, who married in 1975, really won't outlast Tipper and Al for another 5 years.

Posted by: omiachan | June 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The over/under I'm hearing on how much Gore has been philandering is eight years and three women.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 1, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I just looked through the Post's online photo slideshow of the Gores in happier times. It struck me that the coverage (nationally, not just here) is like the coverage of a death. This outcome is just a darn shame and I'm sorry to hear of it.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 1, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What on earth do Bill and Hillary have to do with the Gore's marriage?

Was this included merely as a cutesy lead (too cute by half), or is it that Ms. Marcus can't resist taking a cheap shot?

Oh, I see, they used to work together ... so, do Applebaum's husband's issues in the Polish government mean that Mr. Marcus is having job problems?

Posted by: round55 | June 1, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

So who would have thought that Bill and Hillary would outlast Al and Tipper?

==========================================

I can't say I'm surprised. A powerful couple who spend so much time apart (on the opposite sides of the world even) start to live separate lives and before you know it, they don't know each other.

As much as I criticize Obama I can understand the getaway weekends and the date nights they have together. It just might save their marriage.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 1, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

While this is a shame for all those concerned and after 40 years, to decide that you are better off separated than still married,,

I would like to go on record, that what we are just witnessing is the greatest danger to Marriage and the Family in America today,,,,

So lets stop blaming Gay people wanting to marry is the greatest challenge to the Family and Marriage,,,,

The greatest challenge to the Family in America and Marriage is DIVORCE....

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | June 1, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Infamy - Bill and Hillary outlast Al and Tipper

Posted by: 2009frank | June 1, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I never voted for Al but I always admired his relationship with Tipper. Somehow it gave me hope that in my messed up life, I might still have a chance to be like Al and Tipper. Seems so sad to see a 40 relationship break apart.

Posted by: easymistake | June 1, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it was all about "bush" wasn't it.?

Posted by: muawiyah | June 1, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Everyone will survive this, including their children and themselves, but I just found the news sad.
Al Gore turned from candidate to statesman in the manner in which he accepted the Supreme Court decision.
His reward was the Nobel Peace Prize, after which he was viciously attacked by press world-wide.
He has ploughed through the wreckage of the trash like a trooper and has never given up.
Meanwhile, Tipper has lived a quiet, unassuming life, pursuing her own gifts of artistry and kindness.
I salute them both and agree they deserve privacy now.
We need to leave them alone and let them find their way.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | June 1, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

See what happens when you let straight people marry? :)

Posted by: caps1974 | June 1, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I wish them both the best. This only confirms that no one outside of a marriage knows what is happening in that marriage. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and love to spend 40 years together. Circumstances are always changing in our lives and we never know what is coming at us. maybe that is for the best.

Posted by: chlind | June 2, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I can speak from personal experience that long marriages can unravel after all the outside stressors have gone away. We supported each other during the hard times, like foxhole buddies, and when the wars were over, we had nothing more to hold us together. It is heartbreakingly sad.

Posted by: nahneetoo | June 2, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Ms Marcus, In a world where we are on the brink of war, where oil is spewing forth in the gulf, and where we have a president who is both self-promoting and out of touch, I bring you a message from "WE THE PEOPLE". WHO CARES?

Posted by: barrysal | June 2, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Kids don't marry a dork like Al Gore

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | June 2, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Personally - I think it is an honest statement about married life.

Couples marry when the moment hits, they live and love and accept life with grace...and then they know there is something out there they haven't done/seen/experienced... and they want to run for it while they still can.

Too many marriage end in sad used-to-be, from divorce to death, and a world of things undone that might have made such a loss bearable.

Give them space to be..

Posted by: dutchess2 | June 2, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

How about a wife-swap? Al and Hillary make a perfect match, while Bill can get on with getting on.

Posted by: jpost1 | June 2, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, I find it terribly sad when any couple married as long as the Gore's have been married split...it is heartbreakingly sad. They've out-lasted most.
Seriously, this shouldn't be front page news. We have some serious issues in this country that we need to pay attention to and address...Wars, Oil Spills, Division on Immigration laws, and quite frankly I keep wondering what real news stories we are being diverted from?

Posted by: johio1 | June 2, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, I find it terribly sad when any couple married as long as the Gore's have been married split...it is heartbreakingly sad. They've out-lasted most.
Seriously, this shouldn't be front page news. We have some serious issues in this country that we need to pay attention to and address...Wars, Oil Spills, Division on Immigration laws, and quite frankly I keep wondering what real news stories we are being diverted from?

Posted by: johio1 | June 2, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Al Bore finally bored her.

Posted by: sailhardy | June 2, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I am waiting for some Network Air Head to blame both the Gore departure from Tipper as well as Bill Continuing head bashings from Hillary on GW Bush... oh wait a Cbs Derangenment syndrome poster lady already did blame GW for the Gores Slit of Ill Gotten Millions and poor Bubba still is stuck with Hillary!!!

Posted by: redhawk2 | June 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I am waiting for some Network Air Head to blame both the Alphonse Gore departure from Tipper as well as Bill Clinton Continuing to get head bashings from Hillary on GW Bush... oh wait a CBS Derangenment syndrome poster lady already did blame GW for the Gores Split of Ill Gotten Global warming Millions and poor Bubba still is stuck with Hillary!!!

Posted by: redhawk2 | June 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

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