A stab of re­al­ity — there’s no such thing as a per­fect cou­ple

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFESTYLE - By LAU­REN LIBBERT

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

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The num­ber of cou­ples in Bri­tain who de­scribe them­selves as “ex­tremely un­happy” has dou­bled in the past five years,

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