From all accounts from folks who knew them well, Tipper and Al Gore were as close to soul mates as it gets. High school sweet hearts. He was still lifting her off her feet and showing it to the world with his lingering kiss at the democratic convention. The traumas they endured over their son’s near death, the political life, the near miss at the presidency – a lot of stuff to weather. But his passion for saving the planet seems to have overtaken his passion for his wife. We don’t know what happened, but thats the speculation. They grew apart. Sad. Forty years. Not wasted, really. But still. Sad.
Why? I’m thinking, ok, if it’s just that – drifting apart, it’s a common thing. Not like a Tiger Woods thing. Just growing into different people. But how long does it take during a forty year marriage before you start to think, “Is this all there is?” and then start the emotional distancing that leads to a separation? How long do you let that ferment in your psyche until you have to finally say it outloud? Especially if you’re in the public eye and you are considered the model of a perfect couple.
Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Many used to point to Paul and Joanne Newman as the perfect pair because Hollywood marriages are not prone to that kind of longevity. If you’re really a geezer you know that George Burns, who was married to his comedic partner Gracie Allen for thirty years, mourned her passing at the young age of 58 so much that he visited her grave daily. He was down to once a month after a while and kept that routine up most of the rest of his life. He just had to tell her about what was going on in his life. He lived another 32 years without her – to the age of 100 – still visiting her.
I think that some people do find soul mates. Not most of us. But despite a whole bunch of proof that the overwhelming majority of couples do not find anything close to a soul mate, we still try to believe if we just search long enough, or sign up for E-Harmony, there is some person out there who will make all of our dreams come true forever and ever. We want the fairy tale and darned if we aren’t going to try and make one come true.
Mark Gungor, YouTube phenom for his hilariously animated and spot on “Men’s Brain’s vs. Women’s Brains” videos, says there is no such thing as a soul mate. Here is the cold shower of logic that Mark Gungor has to offer on the subject. See what you think: