It actually made headlines a while back when tabloid-shy actress Gwyneth Paltrow admitted in an interview that her relationship with her husband, musician Chris Martin, is “hard” and “complicated.”
Really? Living with a paparazzi-punching rock-star (okay, it was only once—rumor has it Chris is a swell, sober, yoga-practicing vegetarian) isn’t one endless picnic in the park? Your biggest conflict isn’t deciding whether to go to Golf-n-Stuff or Super Target on Saturday afternoon? Trying to raise two children together in the blinding public spotlight—where you can’t even bark at your kids in the checkout line at the Food Lion because someone will videotape it and it’ll be on the six o’clock news around the world—is a little challenging for you?
If it sounds as if I’m bitter, Gwyn, I guess it’s because I am. Relative to, say, me, you do have it easier in a lot of ways. Whereas I consider driving fourteen roundtrip hours to stay with my in-laws a “vacation” and have to nuke my own damned chicken nuggets, you can have as many cooks/maids/vacations/therapy sessions as your pampered little heart desires. You can buy out the whole first-class section of the plane when you travel, so not only can you comfortably stretch your endless limbs, but you don’t have to spend the entire flight apologizing to the pissed-off row of travelers in front of you because your kids refuse to stop screaming while kicking the backs of their seats.
Anyone who’s ever uttered those two life-altering words in front of God and family will tell you that marriage is hard. It’s complicated. There are triumphs and tragedies, speed-bumps and road blocks, staggering highs and mind-blowing lows, days when you feel lucky to have landed such a fantastic life-partner, and days when you’d chop off his favorite body part and happily toss it in that overpriced wedding-gift Viking Pro mixer if you thought you could get away with it. That marriage is challenging isn’t news; it’s life.
In defense of famous folks everywhere, I suppose it’s not GP’s fault that the media deem her every sneeze headline-worthy. Still, should Ms. Martin discover that water is wet, she might want to keep that little nugget to herself.
Jenna McCarthy is an internationally published writer and the author of The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties, and Cheers to the New Mom/Dad! Her work has appeared in more than fifty magazines, on dozens of web sites and in several anthologies including the popular Chicken Soup series. Jenna currently is hard at work on her next project, a practical guide to living with and continuing to love the TV-addicted, listening-impaired, not-quite-handy man that you married. Visit her online at jennamccarthy.com.