Break up advice: learn from somebody else’s mistakes

In the past couple of weeks, anybody anywhere near the UK could not have missed the break up story of the month – Katie Price and Peter Andre. Their names – or who they are – don’t matter, but the circumstances of the break up merit a quick visit to see what lessons can be gleaned. After all, learning from other people’s mistakes can’t be done unless you analyze where and why they went wrong in the first place.

This break up story is one that will strike a note of recognition within the hearts and minds of many couples. In short: Katie wants to be a party girl, and husband Peter is not best pleased about this. After one escapade too many Peter decided to call it a day and announced he wants a divorce (I don’t follow the news, and least of all celeb gossip, but this is a story that one can’t avoid right now. I’m not certain Peter asked for a divorce as such, but I do know that they are splitting up and that it was he that called it a day).

Ok. Whether Katie was a party girl before she was married to Peter is totally irrelevant. Some people will argue that she was this and that in a previous life, and so she should be allowed to continue to do this and that. Well, for those people I have a thought: as a baby, Katie probably pooped wherever she wanted (mainly in her diapers). Does this mean she should be ‘allowed’ to continue doing this? Um.

In practice, most people who argue to keep a habit are trying to justify the habit by the fact that this is how they once did things. This in itself is ridiculous. If you get a job in a big corporation you may be required to wear a shirt and tie. Whether you used to dress in jeans before or not is completely irrelevant. Your new circumstances dictate the new mode of behaviour. Period.

Katie – like many people in strained relationships right now – is trying to have the best of both worlds. Literally. She wants to enjoy all the perks of being married… and all the perks of being single. The two are not congruent. They clash.  It’s that simple.

Katie goes out on the town, dresses provocatively, flirts, gets completely drunk and then falls about the place. Aside from the social value argument (leave that for another article), you may wonder if this fine behaviour for a married person. In this case, Peter is the best person to answer this. And he did.

He actually said that he trusts his wife… when she’s sober, but not when she’s drunk. This statement is somewhat flawed, but I can understand that he’s applying diplomacy to an already stressful situation. A better sentence may be: he trusts his wife… when he can see her. This can be taken as a reflection of her behaviour.

Lesson? You are either fully committed to a relationship, or you’re not. If you try to cling on to the single life when it suits you, you’re going to create stress in your relationship. Peter and Kate’s example is one in a million.

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