A stab of reality — there’s no such thing as a perfect couple
Editor's Note: Some names have been changed
On the face of it, Louise and Jamie Redknapp had one of the most steadfast, solid marriages in the public eye. Together for 23 years and married for 19 of those, with two beautiful boys, they seemed the picture perfect couple as Jamie sat, doe-eyed and adoring, in the audience every week while Louise, 42, danced her sequins off in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
“I wasn’t expecting for him to be there every Saturday in that front row,” cooed Louise at the time. “And that has made this even more special for me, because it’s something really nice to see someone you love extremely proud of you.”
In turn, that made last week’s rumours that their marriage has hit the rocks even more surprising for many.
Louise’s close bond with her 28 year-old Strictly co-star, Daisy Lowe, is said to have contributed to the split, whether symptom or catalyst of the “mid-life crisis” her in-laws seem to believe she’s going through.
Regardless of the specifics, why is that some celebrity splits rock us more than others?
Some may have felt a similar stab of disappointment when the bubble between Demi Moore and Bruce Willis burst almost 20 years ago; others were stunned when Brangelina broke up both their marriage and that portmanteau, last year.
Even if you consider yourself above such things, if Richard and Judy or Kate and Wills were to split, admit it, the world as we know it would surely rock briefly on its axis. Because if they can’t make it, who can?
It isn’t just these celestial lodestars that many of us measure our terrestrial marriages against. Perfect couples are everywhere; clogging up our social media feeds with Happy Anniversary poems and pictures of lovingly prepared birthday breakfasts or simply walking into parties hand in hand and finishing each other’s sentences, each and every one of them perpetuating the myth of a “happily ever after”.
And — Danielle Steele fans, close your eyes now — it is a myth.
According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of couples in Britain who describe themselves as “extremely unhappy” has doubled in the past
Making my life look fantastic convinced me — and everyone around me — it was all fine, but ... I was incredibly lonely.” Rachel, a PR director
The number of couples in Britain who describe themselves as “extremely unhappy” has doubled in the past five years,