Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

Do Al and Tipper Gore “Truly Love One Another”?

I am not the biggest Al Gore fan in the world, though I am grateful for his invention of the Internet. But I have always appreciated his commitment to his family and the longevity and apparent inviolability of his marriage. Thus, I found myself sad to hear the news of his pending divorce from his wife of 40 years, Tipper.

gores-wedding-al-tipper-4.jpgOf course I wonder what got them to this point. Partly, this is simply a matter of prurient curiosity. Partly, I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my own marriage and find that I have much to learn from others, both positive and negative. But the issues in the Gore marriage are really not my business, and so I’m satisfied to offer a prayer for them and their family and to get back to making sure my own marriage is strong. (Photo: Al and Tipper on their wedding day.)


I am truly baffled, however, by a comment of someone who knows the Gores quite well. Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, had this to say about Al and Tipper: “They will get through it because these two people truly love one another.”

Huh? This I don’t quite get. If they truly love one another, don’t you think they might make an extra effort to work out their marriage? Or can one truly love one’s spouse and nevertheless seek a divorce from this spouse? I am confused. Or else Donna Brazile is confused.

  • Betty

    I think this comment reflects the modern view that the purpose of marriage is to get your needs fulfilled. Thus, if your spouse no longer fulfills your needs, you must divorce, even if you love one another. There is no room for a definition of love and marriage that includes self-sacrifice.

  • Carrie Mayo-Plemons

    I think that you have to wake up and choose to love your spouse every day. Some days are easy, and some days are hard. I can tell you right now that without Christ in our relationship, Jeff and I would not be where we are. We pray and ask God daily to give us strength and a love for one another.

  • Mark D. Roberts

    Carrie: Amen. Yes, it is a daily choice. Sometimes we get lazy and stop making that choice. Things can be okay for a while, but, inevitably, marriages begin to crumble. Yet if both partners truly love each other, then they will choose to restore even a crumbled marriage. I have seen this happen many times. Of course I have also seen people get the the place where they just don’t want to work at it anymore.

  • Jennie

    First of all, the comment about the internet? I got it. Tee hee.
    I was sad when I saw the news about the Gores too because the process of divorce is painful. But, we really don’t know the circumstances of Al and Tipper’s relationship. They may be better off not living together …even if they have a lot of respect for one another and love each other in a way we don’t understand. There are many people who, once freed from unhealthy marriages (and, usually, after undertaking the hard work of getting themselves better) are much happier and, in several cases, have married the right person for them as grown-ups. Tipper and Al met each other at a high school prom.
    Personally, I think it’s too simplistic to say that if partners truly love each other they can choose to restore a crumbled marriage. In the case of the Gores, there is mental illness involved and probably other things we can’t begin to speculate about. So, I choose to end in agreement with you, understanding that “the issues in the Gore marriage are really not my business, and so I’m satisfied to offer a prayer for them and their family and to get back to making sure my own marriage is strong.”

  • Karen

    My husband and I will celebrate our 41st anniversary June 7th, and it has been sometimes very difficult, sometimes an absolute joy. We have on our bedroom wall and plaque that I read almost every day since it’s by my closet door.
    The essence of it is asking the Lord to help us remember when we first fell in love–the attributes we saw in each other, the characteristics that drew us to each other way back when…for us, anyway. It’s a prayer to help us renew/choose to continue to love, even in the hardest times, when we would rather just give up.
    Yesterday would have been my mom and dad’s 64th anniversary, if she had lived. Daddy still celebrates the love he had for his bride, even though she’s been gone 18 months. And they had some really rough times. But their love for each other and the Lord kept them together. As has already been said, they chose to love each other, unconditionally,through the rough times. And they kept the wedding vows they made before lots of people and their God.

  • Mary

    Would you rather have the Gores live the life I have endured for over 20 years? The moment after we said “I do”, my husband informed me he wished his work had called him away at the last moment. He has had affair after affair, has ignored me almost completely the whole time. Except for a few intimate times, once that got me pregnant, we have not been together and basically hate each other. My husband wanted me to get an abortion, which I refused to do. We had a beautiful, healthy baby girl and all he could say was “don’t name it after anyone in my family”. I tried so hard to make the marriage work, both by myself and with help from others-including professional counseling. He just kept saying that everything was my fault. No explanations, nothing useful at all. I have stayed because I didn’t have the money or the training to raise my daughter. Since my mother passed away last Nov. he has become physically abusive. The minute my daughter moves into her dorm room, I am divorcing him. Everybody is going to say that I should have tried harder, too. There is nothing else I can do. I may not even live long enough to see my freedom. Just goes to show you that you can’t have any idea what is going on in a marriage. And as for the “mental health issues”, my husband knows I am allergic to aspirin and managed to put a ton of it in my food one day. I was acting like I had had a breakdown and my husband got me committed. The doctors worked out what had happened and told me I had truly been “gaslighted”. But now I have “mental problems” in my records even though it is not true. I am so sick of people using that for an excuse for any thing going on.

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