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Al and Tipper Gore Separate: How to Respectfully Split Up

tipper and al gore separateIn a move that’s shocked political watchers on both sides of the party divide, today Al and Tipper Gore separated, and announced the move to friends in an email. The couple has four children, ages 25 to 36, and have been married for four decades. Below, what the Gores said in their statement to friends, plus a Hollywood take on couples who split up after their kids are grown.

Politico.com obtained a copy of the email that the former Vice-President and his wife sent to friends. It reads:

“We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate. This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”

An official representing the Gores confirms the split. Will Tipper and Al Gore divorce? That remains to be seen. Mostly, I’m just thrilled that their first announcement about the split went to their friends, not the press. And it went out before rumors started circulating. Sure, the Gore kids are grown, but still, even as an adult it would be hard to watch reporters speculate about whether your parents were about to split. By preempting any rumors and issuing this respectful statement, the Gores have stemmed nasty rumor mongering (mostly) and approached their split in exactly the right way .Especially when it comes to their kids.

As my husband said when the news broke, this is so sharply sad and shocking because the Gores have always seemed remarkably in love. Perhaps they were. Perhaps they were staying together until their kids were grown. Or perhaps the love died when the kids left the house and they only had each other.

Who knows? But it’s got me thinking about other high-profile couplings that may be on the road to splitsdom once the children are out from underfoot. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon split last year when their youngest child was 17-years-old. Anyone got predictions for who’s next? I’d throw Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie out there, except that at the rate they procreate/adopt, they’ll never have all of the kids out of the house. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin? There are constant rumors that they live very separate lives. Any thoughts?

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