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The Gore divorce: Talk about inconvenient truths

Maybe the Clintons gave us too much information about their marriage, but the Gores can’t get away with so little. Or so says my wife. In Jody’s view, the Gores’s decision to split after 40 years has unleashed doubt, fear and an uneasy permission to exit into every couple’s relationship. The country is left scratching its head, not knowing what it means for the possibility of going the distance in marriage, or whether that’s even a worthwhile goal. Depending on how we process this event, Jody says, there’s a good chance the Gores are about to do for late-in-life divorce what Bill Clinton did for young adults' attitudes toward oral sex – mainstream it in ways that have unhappy consequences. But without understanding more about Al and Tipper’s motivations, it’s impossible to know what conclusions to draw.

We have no right to intimate details, of course. But given the role the Gore marriage has played in the public mind – a role many married couples probably couldn’t have articulated until word came of its demise, but also a role the couple carefully nurtured over the years – it would be nice if the Gores came clean on one simple question. It’s this: Are you splitting mostly because (a) one or both you is involved with someone else and wants to be free to be public about this new relationship; or (b) there’s no one else yet, but you’ve grown apart and realized that you want more from a partner than you can find with each other. And this desire for more spark or enthusiasm or passion or shared interests trumps whatever bonds have been forged over decades. No details, please – just tell us if it’s (a) or (b).

Why does this matter? If the answer is (a), it’s nothing new. If it’s (b), however, it’s scary and threatening. The Gores’s example would mean that couples later in life, despite what appear to be profound ties and genuine affection, won’t feel obliged to stick it out if they’re not getting what they want. No matter how meaningful the memories, you don’t need to settle. You’re only 62, after all! The silver lining is clear, and involves a liberating (if intimidating) new standard for relationships: You only live once, so why not live as fully and passionately as you can? Still, the prospect of legitimizing this question even for couples 40 years in suddenly has every married person nervously reassessing.

So just tell us, Mr. and Mrs. Gore: is it (a) or (b)? We can handle the truth, however inconvenient.

By Matt Miller  | June 4, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  Miller  | Tags:  Matt Miller  
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Next: Obama on the Gulf Coast, take three

Comments

"Or so says my wife. In Jody’s view, the Gores’s [Gores'] decision to split after 40 years has unleashed doubt, fear and an uneasy permission to exit into every couple’s relationship."

Hey, pal, how about a little proofreading before posting?

The absurdly constructed plural possessive (corrected above) was bad enough, but please explain what "an uneasy permission to exit into" means.

And then explain what "even for couples 40 years in suddenly has" means.

Then go and find (and enroll in) the nearest adult-ed refresher course in grammar, punctuation, and basic structure.

Posted by: haveaheart | June 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Late-stage divorce is likely the other end of the "bell curve" that bulges with fewer early-adult nuptials today. As the notion of a "lifetime" commitment between partners continues to fade, we'll likely see more and less of both.

Posted by: modiamond | June 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Really, it's nobody's business but the Gore's. I'm sick of it already.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | June 4, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The day we stiop idealizing marriage is the day we will settle down and live our lives without silly disruptions like divorce. The Gores are stupid to think the grass is going to be greener somewhere else. What a waste. They disrupted the love and wholesomeness of their family all the way to their grandchildren. How sad. They may find someone else but in the end that person too will come with flaws and their tolerance may be even less with someone with few bonds that time and history provide. I believe they will live to regret this.

Posted by: sandnsmith | June 4, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This post, like so many other columns in the media in the past couple days, is just plain stupid.

No, Bill Clinton's shenanigans did not change people's attitude toward oral sex. People were having oral sex before and continued having oral sex afterward.

Likewise, do you really think that people who've been married a long time have been saying to themselves, "Well, I'm unhappy in my marriage and I'd like to get divorced, but if the Gores can stay married, so can I!"? I mean, really, you have to be a complete fool to think couples around the country have been working to "save their marriage" but now are going to throw in the towel since the Gores have.

GIVE ME A BREAK. Just admit that you only want an answer to your question for purely rubbernecking reasons. Don't pretend that this is crucial for the health of millions of marriages around the world.

Posted by: rlalumiere | June 4, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If they've grown apart it's scary for ... us? Why? That's happened to lots of couples I know; do you really not know any non-celebrities with the same experience? Why would the experience of the Gores give it any more relevance to the rest of us?

Posted by: couldabin | June 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Really? You think their split will impact my marriage, or someone else's? We really need to live our lives based on our own decisions and not that of others. It's called personal responsibility. We need to stop buying, dressing, acting, drinking, eating, doing anything based on what anyone else is doing. Live from your heart.

Posted by: commoner1 | June 4, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Miller and his wife need to get a life. Why he even bothered to write this dumb article is beyond me. Who cares why the Gores are getting a divorce, and of course it will not have an impact on other people's marriages. We need to learn to mind our own business and stop liveing vicariously through others misfortune.

Posted by: Listening2 | June 4, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Why is this any of your (or our) g-d business?

Posted by: Gutavo | June 4, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This is sort of like Bristol Palin lecturing the world on the perils of unprotected sex and teen pregnancy. Really? She is the what, 5 millionth teen in this country in this situation? Other than the obvious financial opportunity brought on only by her parentage, why should we care about what this kid has to say?

Likewise, leave the Gore's alone. As bona fide public figures, they made the only statement they care to make about a private matter before someone else has a chance to do so. Move on. Let them get on with their lives; let us get on with ours.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | June 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

You actually get paid to write this stuff?


Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 4, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I have observed, through the years, that any divorce in one's own neighborhood makes all the other marriages "nervous". Since the Gore's reside in our national neighborhood, it only makes sense that many of the nation's marriages would get "nervous".
But, for heaven's sake, what is this? High School? The residents of any neighborhood are in no way, shape, or form entitled to know anything whatsoever about any couple's divorce.
I think it is a sad commentary on how "marriage" has been co-opted into some kind of public property to be used by those who profit from it politically, or personally (think celebrities).
It no longer belongs to the two people involved and outsiders believe they are somehow entitled to be let into the couple's bedroom to voyeristically observe, and compare, and discuss every single detail of the couple's private life.
Marriage has become a commodity.

Posted by: cms1 | June 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

People with causes get so wrapped up in them they lose sight of everything else. Tipper probably got tired of Al and his eco wacko buddies.

Posted by: FLvet | June 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

MYOB.

Posted by: sdl63 | June 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Are you insane? I'm as interested as anyone else to know what happened, but the notion that the Gores OWE it to us is arrogant and stupid. Grow up, Matt. They owe us NOTHING.

Posted by: Jayne | June 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...let's look at that quote:
"Still, the prospect of legitimizing this question even for couples 40 years in suddenly has every married person nervously reassessing."

Is Matt Miller as odd as that statement makes him seem? Is he really married? Is he...like..a 20-something?

A couple married 40 years would have been hitched in 1970, thereby having experienced the 70's, 80's, and 90's and "oughts" as a couple, becoming as jaded and wise about divorce and marriage as anyone else as they observe the regular dynamic of coupling and uncoupling around them.

If a couple has been married 40 years they have seen more trials, earned more scars, and absorbed more cultural wisdom than Mr. Miller can apparently imagine. Anyone married 40 years does not have to "nervously reassess" anything. You know from day to day if you are a volunteer or not. If you no longer wish to be married you get divorced.

What's the fuss? This is the Gore's decision, it is not a topic that needs to be debated by callow idiots in the public press.

Mr. Miller needs some seasoning.

Posted by: roboturkey | June 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Probably "b" plus they have enough money to divorce and still have a good retirement.

Posted by: hipshot | June 4, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Gore's just bought a multimillion house together in California. So, they just figured out in the last month that they want to end a 40 year marriage. Yea, right!

How abouth this: Al has increased his wealth by about $100 million since leaving office based on pushing bogus human caused global warming. There are people lining up to sue him for the fraud. He and Tipper have found a way to hang on to their ill-gotten wealth. That's the inconvenient truth!!

Posted by: GOODCHEER | June 4, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Those who would just as lustily rake Bristol Palin over the coals are mortified by the nosy nature of this column?

It's only a matter of time anyway.....Al should just go ahead and tell us her name.

Posted by: yampaco | June 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I have observed, through the years, that any divorce in one's own neighborhood makes all the other marriages "nervous". Since the Gore's reside in our national neighborhood, it only makes sense that many of the nation's marriages would get "nervous".
But, for heaven's sake, what is this? High School? The residents of any neighborhood are in no way, shape, or form entitled to know anything whatsoever about any couple's divorce.

Posted by: cms1 | June 4, 2010 12:14 PM |

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

It's true that it's none of our business. It's also true that Miller is openly asking the same question many of us are thinking: Can any of us have stable, lifelong marriages?

Posted by: bbface21 | June 4, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This is B.S. Who was holding up the Gores as an example of a shining marriage? I've known couples that were together forever until one of them passed. I've known couples that have been together for years, and seemed happy, and suddenly split. I never felt compelled to get all nosy and ask "Why?" Their business is their business. Anyone who's married...and realistic...recognizes that, no matter how much they love their partner, any number of things, illness, children, changes in personality, losses of jobs, can derail an otherwise happy marriage. It happens. Who cares why? Don't pretend now that the Gores were some sort of shining Marriage on the Hill, and now that they've split you're so disillusioned that your lingering over that "Divorce for Dummies" book at Border's. Get real.

GOODCHEER, you're an idiot.

Posted by: grimesman | June 4, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I hate this article. It claims "it would be nice" and "it would matter" if some people started publishing details of their private lives because somehow "we" have decided to identify with them. To this, I reply:

1) Get a life of your own, fool! It's yours to examine.

2) Leave Britney alone! I mean, Al & Tipper...

Seriously, who gives a damn? Don't you have your own problems? What's this ridiculous psychological dependency on the life of public figures? Pathetic...

Posted by: alarico | June 4, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

PS- if you're "nervously reassessing", Miller, sort it out with Jody, not with us and/or the Gores. You owe her that much.

Posted by: alarico | June 4, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

We, The People should worry about our relationship's and to mind OUR OWN BUSINESS!!!

Posted by: onesugar | June 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

On top of all the other problems with this post, it doesn't even make sense. The post presumes that finding someone else (option a) and becoming dissatisfied with the relationship (option b) are wholly separate phenomena, with option a being "nothing new" and option b being "scary and threatening." But obviously option b often precedes and is the reason for option a. So I don't even understand the point of the question that the author wants to ask the Gores -- never mind that, as pointed out by previous posters, it's none of his or our g-d business.

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

This is not just any couple. This is an extremely wealthy entitled couple. Al Gore is a career politician, whose narcissism is not necessarily different from that of many of his fellow politicians. The opportunity for affairs, and life with independent wealth for both of them in their 60s has little to do with that of the average couple in that stage of life. If this divorce enables the sense of entitlement of other older couples who may be on the edge for a variety of reasons we are in a truly sad social situation.

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

This whole post is offensive to me. Did you ever stop to consider that a separation might be a HEALTHY thing for their relationship?

The Gores did not announce that they're divorcing...they're separating.

I know plenty of folks at that age in their early 60's - embarking on their "golden years" and wanting to make them productive & happy, rethinking what they still want to accomplish in the years they have left.

To make 40 years of marriage into 60 years of marriage, it could be that they're mutually supportive of meaningful time apart in order to give each serious time alone to think about what they want -- and to "miss" each other again. I think it could be a healthy thing they're doing for their marriage in the long term. Sometimes real time apart can make the coming- together again infinitely richer (like the adage "Absence makes the heart grow fonder").

Re-read their announcement. I think you've tried to make something salacious & cynical out of a mature responsible loving act between two people who want to make their marriage truly last in a healthy way.

Posted by: PattiFink1 | June 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

We have no right asking the questions of the Gores that you want answered. He is no longer an elected official and has no responsibility to respond. Furthermore, what possible obligation is there for people in their 60's to "stick it out." With today's actuarial figures, they have years ahead to enjoy in solitude instead of alleged marital bliss, which my experience has shown is hardly that.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | June 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Gore has been in the public eye for almost his entire adult life. He deliberately placed the status of his marriage into the public spotlight for many years, especially during his presidential run. Who can forget that over-the-top kiss in front of the whole country; at the time even most of his supporters admitted it looked contrived. What many people are interested in at this point is how much was he 'using' his marital image as a political prop vs. how much of it was genuine love and affection.

Having gone through a divorce (her choice) I'm well acquainted with the pain and desire for privacy during the process, so if they don't want to talk about it that's fine. But I am skeptical of politicians/celebrities (of which he is both) who seem to make a habit of public exposures of their marriages when they are convenient and useful yet when it is not they ask people to 'respect' their privacy.

Posted by: cleveyoung | June 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You're late! This is old news, and someone has already written this exact same article in this exact same paper only in different words. The country has moved on to "The Call" in baseball and the little dead birdies on the Gulf Coast. Keep up for crying out loud.

Posted by: forgetthis | June 4, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please, this is ridiculous. They don't owe us any information about their marriage or their split. Nor should your takeaway be that your marriage is in jeopardy, unless it is for unrelated reasons. Surely you know by now that no outsider can tell what's going on in someone else's marriage. This is not new information -- lots of people marry, a lot of those people get divorced, sometimes everyone can see it coming a mile away, but often no one sees it, and occasionally it happens after a really long marriage. You knew this when you got married; it's still true, so carry on. If you actually are nervous (as opposed to trying to write an article for work) the best thing you can do is stop dissecting other people's failing marriages and instead tend to your own.

Posted by: raia | June 4, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Gores' are not members of your immediate family. They don't owe anybody outside of their innermost circle of family an explanation for the hows or whys of their divorce. So how in the world does their marriage or divorce affect you? Mind your own marriage, let others deal with theirs.

I don't get it. Clearly. But I also don't understand why people get all flustered and angry over same-sex couples wanting to tie the knot.

Posted by: Skowronek | June 4, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Great column; keep up the good work. Sorry you have the most inane readers imaginable. Especially "haveabrain" with the questionable grammar corrections. In fact, this is the biggest collection of loser comments I have ever seen. Why 50 people feel the need to say "Who cares?" or "You're an idiot" is beyond me.

Posted by: Urnesto | June 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Gore's marriage wasn't the measuring stick in which we live by. Could you live with a basket case, a global warming activist and quite frankly a nut. Everyone knows Gore never was the same before or after he lost the election. Look what we've found out about these Democrat wives. The silence they will keep just to get in the White House. Edward's wife is a perfect example. Hillary is a better example. Michelle is yet a better example. All of these men have prove to be unstable, Obama being the last. Who's to blame for humoring Gore. Everyone knew he was walking on egg shells. Everyone knew not to engage him in conservations afraid he would go off in the deep end. Who went to Tipper and Gore's close friends to ask hows Gore's frame of mind. Everyone took it for granted Gore was stable. Still, people were more then happy to let Gore steal their money with his bogus carbon credits scheme. It was the payback for Gore losing the election. Giving Gore their money was supposed to have eased the pain for losing the election to Bush. Was Gore grateful for this. No, he took and took and took the people's money without a shameful bone in his body. As all of this is going on, who's right there watching what Gore is doing to the people with his carbon credits scheme. Tipper is. Obama is going after everyone who makes profits because in his eyes, the money was stolen from the people. How about Obama going after the monies Gore stole from the people with his carbon credits scheme.

Posted by: houstonian | June 4, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well... I'm guessing there are many long-term marrieds who would divorce if they had the money to do so.

Posted by: dadada | June 4, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Gores's separation shouldn't necessarily make anybody else 'nervous', unless we're living our lives by taking cues from the culture. No doubt, many do. But that's ground I'm not willing to concede to the culture or anyone else. What happens or doesn't happen in one marriage isn't predictive of what may or may not happen in any other marriage. There's no necessary leap between "Sorry to hear they're splitting up", and "Yikes, what does that mean for my marriage?!". The dissolution of someone else's marriage shouldn't become a reason to doubt the stability of yours, and it shouldn't be a catalyst to suddenly ask sobering questions about your marriage or the larger institution of marriage either. That sort of thing should be going on pretty routinely, rain or sun notwithstanding. If husbands and wives worked half as hard to put their own marriage on a pedestal rather than looking up to and lionizing other marriages with that distinction, a lot of marriages would be saved and a lot of misdirected soul searching could be put to far better use.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | June 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Ever since divorce became socially acceptable, half the adult population is engaging in serial monogamy - the practice of having a number of long-term romantic or sexual partners in succession. It is like going steady in high school.

Why are we so obsessed with marital fidelity? When people take their marriage for granted, forget to be sweet to each other and feel free to criticize their partner at the drop of a hat - they should be worried. A miserable marriage doesn't have to be a life sentence.

Posted by: alance | June 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse


And you spend time writing this article!!

Are you so confused?

Posted by: swavde | June 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Miller,

You are a very stupid individual! If your marriage is based on someone else's, then you should probably both swallow poison, you don't deserve to live. Who CARES what the Gore's do. This is the problem with American journalists today. Get OUTTA my private life! Ever wonder why you're industry is slowly disintegrating? It's because too many journalists write crap like this. My marriage is based on my WIFE and MY feelings/emotions/attitudes toward each other. If ANYONE plays a part in our marriage, it's our families. Other than that, the rest of the world can kiss our *ss, we could care less what anyone thinks. So, my advice to you, Mr. Miller (besides the advice I gave at the beginning of my post, is GET.A.LIFE, dweeb!

Posted by: sachancp | June 4, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

When the ME generation was a new concept, there were explicit arguments being made against it's practitioners. These arguments have been largely smoothed down as the boomers aged and began to direct the discourse of our cultural history. It is extremely useful to remember that the Gores are not much different than most members of this generation, particularly people of their class and credentials that make up a large part of white collar Washington.

Having met the Gores several times, always as the parents of my friend and never in a political manner, I can tell you they are in fact very similar to most liberal Washingtonian baby boomers with ivy league credentials. They have the same shortcomings and are indeed very fallible. So, what is the basic shortcoming of moneyed liberal baby boomers of which we see so many in Parks Cleveland and Takoma?

Whether they like it or not, they worship at the altar of self realization. Fulfilling one's self or moving toward personal fulfillment is paramount.

It goes like this:

Go to school,
study anthropology,
declare anthropology to be an inherently racist field,
boycott grapes,
go to law school,
work for Skadden Arps,
retire at 35,
move to Maine,
own too many homes,
foreclosure,
work at Whole Foods,
boycott BP.

This is the identity of the particular subset of baby boomers we all know in Washington: those who were born rich and availed themselves of the old boy networks in the ivy league before declaring them unfair and destroying them for the good of the people (again, to make themselves feel better). Boomers are powerless in considering that their might be higher priorities than personal fulfillment and cannot argue their way out of a fight against it, hence divorce.

If their divorce scares you because you share this characteristic, to you I say "yawn". Everything you do is selfish. Die already.

So stop congratulating yourself on your ability to fulfill yourself, you are doing it at the expense of Americans not yet born. your legacy is yet to be written. And we get to write it.

Posted by: spam21 | June 4, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at some of the readers using this opportunity to lambast Al Gore for what certainly in more and more obvious as we go along--that he is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! And we have probably waited TOO LONG to do anything about the fact that we have devastated our environment. Better and more intelligent to scorn those who still don't believe that we are into the middle of global warming!

Posted by: saf62 | June 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Who cares

Posted by: lbvanhoy | June 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

It's one f'ing divorce. Stop being dumb.

Posted by: mhammel22 | June 4, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I would be disturbed if Al was leaving Tipper for Joe Lieberman but I'll defer to scholars its import to the Apocalypse.

Posted by: bassetwrangler | June 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Miller, Please pay attention before you write. The Gores' public statement announcing their divorce made it clear that it is not due to your reason (a). Also, your reason (b) is so prejudicially framed that it is not really an option. The Gores have made it clear that they have grown apart but are still close enough to be mutually supportive of each other during the difficult transition. Frankly, I'm impressed with how they are doing this. Beyond that, it is none of my business.

Posted by: David40 | June 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

These post writers who keep fretting over this stupid divorce must themselves be in shakey relationships.

Posted by: 12oreo | June 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is this surprising? The man has all the personality of a box of turnips. Can you imagine spending 40 years having him wander around behind you in your 120 room mansion turning off all the lights you turn on and blathering on about carbon credits? Tipper should have gotten the Nobel prize, not Obama.

Posted by: zippyspeed | June 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES!!!! He is a nut job with his green house/global warming theories yet he is one of the biggest offenders of everything he preaches against. Personally I give Tipper a high five she should have done it years ago.

Posted by: confusedwithgovernment | June 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank God he invented the internet before his divorce...

Posted by: BubbaDSmith | June 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the only place there was no global warming was in the Gore bedroom!

Posted by: williepete1 | June 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Please stop with the hateful, cynical posts!!!

Al's obviously just demonstrating his committment to recycling.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | June 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

My suspicion is that it is option B, and that's all to the good. In particular, I think of Tipper and how she has lived her entire adult life with Al's agenda controlling everything. My fantasy is that she is ready to get out from under him and do the exciting things she has always wanted to -- and that Al supports her in that.

Posted by: REClayton | June 4, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Don't go there. It is nobody's business but theirs. How many times have celebrities in sports or entertainment played out their whole lives in front of the cameras only to ask for "privacy in this difficult time" when some personal tragedy strikes. The Gores have kept their personal lives personal for their entire adult lives. Leave them alone and let them deal with it as well as they can.

Posted by: topperale | June 4, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

>>>You're late! This is old news, and someone has already written this exact same article in this exact same paper only in different words. The country has moved on to "The Call" in baseball and the little dead birdies on the Gulf Coast. Keep up for crying out loud.<<<<

This is the single best post! Bravo!


Posted by: jeffcoud2 | June 4, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This country has a really unhealthy fixation with other people's personal lives. Where does it come from?

Posted by: osullivanc1 | June 4, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Who the h3ll is "nervously reassessing"?

Who the h3ll cares?

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | June 4, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the rest of us will be much, much, much slower to give credence to the Gores' "example" than you are.

Posted by: whitwhit | June 4, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

please..... fire this guy/he may be worse than Sally Quinn!

Posted by: sginnc | June 4, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

i just hope tipper doesn't try and blame rap music for her family problems.

Posted by: KenFromCalifornia | June 4, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Why does this guy care so much about this? I'll bet he doesn't miss an episode of "As The World Turns" or a Maureen Dowd column.

Posted by: ejs2 | June 4, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

WTH??

Matt Miller thinks we are all going to start questioning the value of life-long marraige just because some politician is divorcing his wife?

Are politicians really that important?

They aren't to me. (But then again I'm a conservative, not a liberal.)

Posted by: unPC | June 4, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

WTH??

Matt Miller thinks we are all going to start questioning the value of life-long marraige just because some politician is divorcing his wife?

Are politicians really that important?

They aren't to me. (But then again I'm a conservative, not a liberal.)

Posted by: unPC | June 4, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I read a quote once by James Hillman, he suggested in reference to marriage that "Love alone is not enough". "The failure to imagine" is what destroys a marriage.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | June 4, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

This isn't your business dude. Further, if you're that strung out about this that you feel the need to publish this, you're the one with issues, not the Gore family.

Posted by: Nymous | June 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm shocked by the inane comments. The truth is that other couples do reflect on their own marriage when someone they know gets divorced after any amount of years. And particularly after 40 years? Yes, it does make people think.

Of course it is their business and not ours. But what the writer is trying to do, is open up the conversation that some people are thinking.

When I divorced after 10 years, I know it caused a great deal of thinking by some of my married friends. Did it influence them? No. But they did have questions and reflected on their own marriage - both positive and negative.

So stop being so cruel readers. Although you are entitled to your opinion - your words are not helpful nor kind. Having a discussion about why a marriage might end after 40 years is really the issue.

Posted by: suntlr | June 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Sh*t happens.

Get a life, Miller.

Posted by: binkynh | June 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Who the he11 cares its just, two liberal pigs calling it quits.

Posted by: dashriprock | June 4, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's your answer even though you know it already deep in your heart.

"Marriage" isn't a natural state for human beings, particularly men, but a higher plane attainable only by something "extra."

That something extra is God's grace which raises natural man to spiritual man.

We yearn for that higher spiritual plane but lack the wherewithal within ourselves to achieve it.

On that higher plane natural man with his self-serving utilitarian values gives way to spiritual man with his selfless capacity for true love.

Only with true love can the marriage bond between a man and a woman transcend time.

Temporal love based on man's natural state is typically only good for seven years or so before it dies a natural death.

Posted by: politbureau | June 4, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Some successful people do unusual things. Larry King has married eight times, but still have problem with his last marriage. Now Al Gore is a successful guy, not only because of his movie making and Nobel peace prize, but also being the leader of global warming and environmentalist, which enable him to get funding easily from the Obama administration to support his smart green energy company.

Posted by: ypcchiu | June 4, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Dunno if this is really worth your/our time, and Im not pointing finers anyway- its their "bidness"- but please, get real evevryone - regardless of whether its scenario A or B, Al Gore will be seen dating a 40ish woman once a seemly period of time has passed.....

Posted by: jdwhite | June 4, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

spam: That was first class work. You should be writing one of these, not Mr. Miller.

Posted by: drc231 | June 4, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Matt, I wouldn't worry. You have to keep the context of this split in perspective. They're fabulously rich and famous people. Not every 40+ year marriage includes members that, when walking into a room, immediately become the most talked-about thing in it. Under that kind of pressure, everything becomes strained.

Spam21: there's room in this world for an honest debate and disagreements. But, come on? Such hyperbole, and in the comments section of a moderate commentator's blog? If you feel so passionately, you've really got to find a more productive outlet.

Posted by: mishnak | June 5, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

It is a great article and you spell out what´s going on.

Posted by: ehubschman | June 6, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

It is a great article and you spell out what´s going on.

Posted by: ehubschman | June 6, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Is a psycho-ecological possible, i.e. a divorce by natural causes, a breakup of a couple without any suggestion of responsability, and consequently a phenomenon that must be accepted first and then managed like any natural disaster, by limitation of damages and prevention of the next?
We know that reality it is covered by the term “boring”. What may causes a couple to be bored of each other, or one of the other?
1) A difference of more than 5 points between the 2 IQs. That gap appears trough differences in intellectual interests, i.e. i curiosity. That gap cannot be denied or repaired in the long term, i.e. when the attractions of youth have aged.
2) A difference between the”emotional intelligence” (EQs), or better named levels of affectivity, as detectable by the way people show their insight of their own feelings and express them , and how they guess feelings in others, like their marital partner. Those EQs cannot be denied also after years or decades.
Those cases of marital dysharmony are subtle. That is not mental deficience in IQ or alexithymia in EQ, which gross cases of baltant incompatibilty can be prevented by immediate evidence. The differences in dysharmony are small and need cumulative effect to produce boredom.
Was not Al Gore showing a significant level of insensitivity to the scandal of the President using non smoking cigars. The mistreatment of a young intern may have provoked a sensible man to ask the Prez to resign, or if refusing that option, al Gore would have resign himself as Vice- president – a clear attitude that could have promote him as next president nominee-.
Tipper Gore alone could tell us if Al “has always kept his emotions in check” or has been “always” alexithymic.
Of course a partner may get some gain by being stimulated by a more intelligent partner; and they also could improve mutually their emotional insight. But those stimulations have limits. Boredom may become irrepressible. The more impatient may regress to adolescence and find a sexual escape with another partner (Our civilisation is reluctant on accepting either polygamy or bordello as such way of repair).
There have been “the hand-wringing analyses of Al and Tipper Gore's marriage” writes Kathleen Parker, but no detail is given; And writing analyses may give cues for the present, not so much for the past.

Posted by: rivenq | June 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

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