Ant McPartlin was granted a divorce from his wife this week.
I shouldn’t really be arsed. It’s not my business. I don’t know them. They don’t know me. Why should this even appear on my radar?
I’ve written about relationships and marriage a few times. I’ve written about how I often wonder if marriage is the kiss of death (I can’t declare it is in Ant’s case as he and his wife were married for 11 years which is practically a world record in Celebland). I’ve written about how my only experience of anything matrimonial is when I resume the role of drunken wedding guest. Oh and the fact I’ve cancelled two weddings. And of course how becoming a parent changes your relationship. Dramatically.
And that’s kind of what I want to talk about today.
But first back to Ant.
I get it.
OK, so the reason for divorce was adultery. Which is something of a current and contentious issue. Everyone has an opinion on adultery. As we found out last week when Sean(n) Walsh and Katya Jones of ‘Strictly Snogging’ fame (sorry for using the word snogging – I know it’s nausea inducing) took an absolute thrashing on social media because they had a drunken kiss in a lane after a few pints down the local.
I made my stance on this clear.
If you’re going to sit there and judge from behind your phone, then you better get boarding up your glass house and make sure you’re perfect for the rest of your days.
Of course, Sean(n) had to fend off the accusations of gaslighting and emotional abuse from his spurned ex, which is another matter altogether. And if true is impossible to defend. However, when it comes to the kiss itself, I won’t be casting aspersions.
Life isn’t black and white. It doesn’t come with a manual. We charter so many courses, so many stormy periods in our lives that sometimes we’re going to take a wrong turn. We’re human. We fuck up.
Back in 2017 it was well documented (I wrote about it here if you’re interested) that Ant hit one of those stormy periods. Again, many people had their opinions on this, as only people can on social media (yes, I’m fully aware of my opinionated nature on social media – irony is not lost on me!). But it was clear to anyone with a set of eyes that Ant wasn’t the cheery soul we’d been used to seeing on our televisions for the last 2 decades. He was deeply troubled.
When you go through something like a breakdown, or alcoholism, or anything that knocks the wind out of your sails and shakes the foundations of your world, it’s going to change you as a person. You can’t expect to go through something like that and think life will carry on as normal when you come out the other side.
You see life through a different lens. You view people, scenarios, even the whole world with a renewed attitude. There’s a clear disparity between the way you thought about things before and the way you think things through now.
So, it stands to reason that relationships and friendships you had before this life altering event might not look or feel the same once you come out the other side.
How can it?
What was good for you back then might be bad for you now.
Those metaphorical shoes you’re trying to put on might not fit anymore.
That person you shared everything with now feels like a stranger.
And that’s when you move on. And it’s sad. It’s sad for everyone involved but it’s understandable. Because life does move on.
When I found out I was pregnant, the words that I’d hear the most often were “life is about to change in ways you can’t even imagine”. But I couldn’t quantify that at the time. Because aside from the fact I was getting fat and I was unable to smoke or drink or move without moaning; nothing much had changed.
And then I became a Mum. And I realised that every single aspect of my life, even the things I wasn’t aware of B.C (Before Child), had turned on its head. And that first year or so was probably the most defining of my life because I struggled, had my breakdown and had to piece everything back together again.
I don’t recognise that person from five years ago. But sometimes I get days when I don’t recognise the person I am today. And I know there are people in my life now who feel as though they don’t know me anymore. And I guess that’s in part due to the fact recovery from trauma and breakdowns isn’t linear. I’m also in a place right now where I’m trying to find myself. Which sounds like something some spotty teenager would come out with not long after passing their A-Levels.
I’ve gone off on a tangent here. There are so many facets to this post. But the fundamentals of it, the pertinent point I’m trying to make is that I understand why so many relationships seem to break down these days. As sad as it is for Ant and for his wife and their family and friends, I get it. I can appreciate the complexities of life and why people move on from not only relationships they’ve held for a long time but also friendships too.
Life. It goes on.