Like everyone else in the western world, I know exactly what went wrong with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie*.
It wasn’t hookers. It wasn’t drugs. It wasn’t Marion Cottilard (although she is so ridiculously attractive you can only look at her sideways in low-light, so, there’s that…)
It was matrimony. It was that wedding. It was that scribbled-on dress. It was the French Chateau and the kids in tuxes and all those magazine covers.
They should never have done it.
You know how I know when my 11-year-old relationship is going through a low moment?
I start Googling rings. Diamond ones.
When that happens, it means that I am flirting with the idea that my partner and I ought to get married.
He and I share two children, a mortgage, an extended family, and more than a decade of history and stories. Our lives are completely intertwined. He knows me better than anyone else. I love him more than anyone else.
But the ring-Googling days are a sign that I have decided that today, we are not enough. We need to mix things up.
Maybe we've been at a wedding and I love how our beautiful friends look, lit from the inside out and gazing at each other like a cake they can't wait to taste. That looks perfect, I think, as I look over at my other half, who's semi-comatose in front of The Walking Dead.
Maybe my daughter has asked me - again - if she can wear a pretty dress and carry some flowers. Aw, that would be nice, I think, as break another hairbrush on her birds' nest hair.
Maybe I'm thinking how very much I'd enjoy having all of my loved ones in the same space, dancing. So joyful, I think as my friends and I Whatsapp for the 24th time about finding a date we can all have dinner some time before Christmas.
Whatever. It's usually code for I'm bored, life's a drudge, you're annoying me, where has the romance gone? It's code for: I need something to happen.
Listen: Mamamia Out Loud discusses the Brangelina split. (Post continues after audio.)
Brad and Angelina had been together for 10 years when they got married in 2014. Ten years, six children, millions earned, millions spent, millions donated. They had survived a cancer diagnosis and its serious, life-changing fall-out. Criticism and privilege and scrutiny that we can only barely imagine.
In Hollywood years, 10 is 100. Their's was a relationship that defied a million magazine covers. That seemed to disprove once a cheater always a cheater. They did Good Deeds. They were perfection.