Lessons from Al & Tipper

Making sure you never take your spouse for granted.

Comments (33)

(33) Anonymous, June 13, 2010 4:04 AM

Keeping your marriage healthy AND happy

1: Maintain a sense of humor Even during serious arguments inject some humorous remark (Humorous, NOT sarcastic!!) Humor difuses stress and anger. 2: It's the little things that count EVERYDAY do the little things that you know are important to your spouse and, if they didn't notice, point out that you were thinking of them and wanted to please them. 3: Tell them EVERY DAY that you love them Even on those days that you don't feel like saying it. 4: Appreciate the little things they do for you.( Instead of thinking about all those things they didn't do that you wanted them to!)

(32) SusanE, June 12, 2010 1:09 AM

Was anyone really surprised?

The Gores was a strained relationship all during the marriage it seems.. He is a politician who was in high office. He is a seriously smart man, who has been distinguished with many awards. He won a Nobel prize. He writes. He works for ecology, safety and a Healthy earth. ..... She still uses the name 'Tipper". 'Nuff said. After 30 or so years most people in marriages change. The home was made and life was consumed with work, bills, raising kids, and friends. The children are gone. The work life is coming to an end. What was once the main reason for being married is over. Now they have free time to follow their passions and dreams. Sadly, they don't always include one another. Unless each partner feels the same closeness to stay together, then Its a great time to part when each is still young enough to have good health and energy. They aren't breaking up a home with young children. Finances are generally sufficient. Following your dreams and perhaps finding another partner with the same interests, can keep life interesting and vital.

(31) Betsy, June 10, 2010 6:09 PM

Do not be "stiff necked"

I have found if I let go of my need to be righteously right and stop being stiff necked on an issue of disagreement I am then able to say "I was wrong" or, at least, "I was probably wrong".. At that point I am able to calmly state myposition with an open avenue of conversation w/ my husband- who is an amazingly patient person.

(30) TMay, June 10, 2010 6:03 AM


I concluded that one cannot find one's bershert unless one knows oneself, which is quite logical, and the way to know oneself is to spend a lot of time, one on one, with oneself, and of course you should enjoy being with yourself.Some learning about yourself you learn in interactions with others.

(29) Shmuel Zev, June 9, 2010 5:04 PM

quality time - comment #23

It is so important that when spending time together, conversation should not center about the 'technicalities' of family life. Speaking about doctor appointments, educational issues, finances etc. will do nothing to bring you closer together. Try to share feelings or ideas. Share yourselves, not your do lists. Communicate your thoughts, your likes, your fears. Listen to each other and trouble yourselves to understand. You are not necessarily obligated to solve issues but to empathize with them. Build emotional bridges, not stategic alliances. Make the time, or you are just two people sharing the same appartment and environment. Your objective is to become one. Ultimately, you will find great satisfaction in being, what the rabbis called 'reyim ahuvim' (beloved friends).

(28) Petra, June 9, 2010 3:02 PM

my happy marriage

My late husband and I had a rule - always hold hands when emotions are running high. This is easy when the emotion is joy. And the best part is, your spouse can feel the love you feel for him when you disagree or misunderstand or don't like a situation. After a while our disagreements became unemotional discussions, our hurt due to misunderstanding ceased at the instant of contact, and situations became joyful rather than unbearable because at least one person in the room loves you. Another rule we had was if you expect that the second thing you will say is, "I was just teasing," Don't say the first thing. Also, have a few separate interests, like playing guitar or sewing, to keep you apart a little bit. Coming back together is a joy and you have something new to talk about. And, most importantly, never let anything fester. If you are upset and need to cool off before talking, fine, but don't put off talking about something, expecting your spouse to recognize your pain. We are not mind readers. Situations change. Ground rules that work before you have children will need revising. When they start to school there will be more changes. Discuss, on a regular basis, what is fair to each person in your home as regards sharing of responsibilities.

(27) TMay, June 9, 2010 6:19 AM

My father says

Aside from the fact that love is a verb, my father always said both parts of the couple have to give more than 100%. Giving 50% and then saying "I've given my part and now you have to give your 50% for there to be 100%" does not work, and seeing couples quibble about "I did this and now you have to do that" makes me feel uncomfortable about them as a couple in the future. Besides, the words "I""me""mine" don't work as well as "we'' "our" "ours". .

(26) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 2:17 AM

Go on vacation

I would love to go on a vacation. Who's got money for vacation - the schools take it all

(25) Silvia, June 9, 2010 12:57 AM

Why the Gores?

Great commentary, but you could have made your points without referring to the Gores, or any other so-called celebrities, politicians, or newsmakers....they're all fakes anyway....

(24) Grace Fishenfeld, June 9, 2010 12:57 AM

Our ritual

I am in love with my husband, Bernie for 57 years. We celebrated our anniversary with our son and his NY family, this past, May 28. My Bubbie told me a very long time ago to kiss good-night every night and never go to sleep with anger. My husband and I both agreed to this so when we turn in , even after having some harsh words, we begin to laugh because we know that we are going to kiss, no matter what. It's really nice, even after all these years.

(23) shoshana, June 8, 2010 11:15 PM

we really don't know what goes behind doors

I strongly agree couples need to think of ways to keep their marriage "fresh". However, we can't judge what happened in someone's personal life. The world has no idea why Al &Tip got divorced. They could have had marital problems five years after marriage, but they wanted to prove that they were a happy couple ( "after all they must love each other after 40 years"). Aside from that, all couples can use marrital advice no matter how great their relationship is. I do have some tips on how to refresh your marriage. The most important is keeping the laws of niddah (family purity). This makes us appreciate our marriage more, and not take that emotional relationship for granteed. It is essential that couples spend some time alone, whether it is over night or just to eat out one night. If you have children arrange a babysitter, a family member, or ask your friend a favor and in return do that person a favor in need. When spending that time alone try not to focus or discuss stressful issues in your life, ( i.e finances, your kids, home, job related etc.) Talk about the activity you are donig, what interests you, what you like to eat that's on the menu (its more fun to share your dishes!). I hope I helped. Thank you for bringing up this important topic.

(22) Steve Skeete, June 8, 2010 11:01 PM

Quo Vadis marriage?

Forty years of marriage, over, just like that! I must confess I have a big problem with that. What could be so bad about someone who is not a criminal, not an addict, not certified insane, not unfaithful, not bankrupt etc., that would cause you to want to leave that someone after forty years of marriage? Tipper would have to explain that one to me to me or come clean. Al must tell me why the "climate" at his house has "changed" so drastically. What is happening to Al and Tipper is equivalent to one minute you are watching the tide roll in, and next you are being told to head for higher ground because there is a tsunami approaching. If a marriage of forty years is not "in the bag" then no marriage is safe. If a $1000.00 an hour marriage counselor (and I am sure there have seen at least one) cannot talk two adults married for forty years into keeping on going then face it America, marriage as we use to know it has washed up. Quo Vadis U.S.A?

(21) R C I, June 8, 2010 9:50 PM

The West needs to rethink its values.

They were a beautiful couple. Sad that Al and Tipper had to split. The Western world needs to rethink its values. Love and romance shouldn't rank as the principal motivators for getting married, because they aren't. The need to procreate, and to have a more respectable standard in the society should rank higher.

(20) suri, June 8, 2010 9:27 PM

get dressed up and look great

i find that most of the time we can't get dressed up to look great just to please our spouse. i find when a person gets really dressed up either to go out with their spouse - or just bec - it helps the both of you.

(19) Chaya Weisberg, June 8, 2010 6:49 PM

Talk things out

Our Rabbi gave us what he thought was the most important marital advice when we got engaged: Never go to bed without working things out- don't think you're being righteous holding it in, it'll come out and be too late to repair. We've had such busy times and we'd be sooo tired but until today 6 1/2 years later we wouldn't go to sleep before being able to hear each other out and accept where each other were coming from. Some times it wasn't easy, especially when we'd have to wake up early for another busy day and know that a kid was going to keep us up at night but as judaism teaches us "peace of the house is the foundation" and we feel it. I'm so glad he gave us that advice.

(18) Tova, June 8, 2010 6:42 PM

respect each other

Never take each other for granted. Thank each other often. Use your manners and say please and thank you. Don't order each other around. If you want children to show respect for their parents, speak to each other with respect and model that behavior.. Talk to each other the way you did when you were dating. You would never scream at each other or order each other around when you were first getting to know each other. By respecting your spouse you are saying something about the person you chose to marry so says lots about yourself as well. If you treat your spouse like a dish rag - than you are the one who married a dish rag! If you treat your husband like a king, that makes you a queen!

(17) Beth, June 8, 2010 6:28 PM


Being appreciated is a sweet blessing to give your spouse,your children,your friends. I also highly believe in praying together each morning...taking the time to pray for one another keeps you connected all day. I just celebrated 24yrs of marriage with my darling yesterday.We are asking for 24 more!!

(16) Dassy, June 8, 2010 6:26 PM

Triple "A"

Rav Moshe Aaron Stern zt"l, Mashgiach of Kaminetz Yeshiva, lectured broadly on the subject of maintaining a great marriage. One of his most valuable tips for me: Enjoy a strong, fulfilling marriage by constantly practicing "Triple A" with your spouse: Attention, Affection, Appreciation. Try it. Make Triple A part of your life. It really works!

(15) Don Kastner, June 8, 2010 5:46 PM

Finding G-dly qualities in my wife.

I found that by getting closer to G-d, I am able to see the same qualities in my wife. We are created in His image.

(14) Tammy wellman, June 8, 2010 5:39 PM

Pray together

That old saying "The family that prays together stays together", if both partners have their heart pure toward G-D their heart will be true and faithful to each other.

(13) , June 8, 2010 5:04 PM

Take time once a year to take one month from "marriage bed" and revitalize the spiritual side of a marriage. There also has to be time for "just the two" without the children if there are any still at home. Let Grandmother/Grandfather spoil them for a week or two. The longer a marriage lasts, the more work and time with each other it takes to make a marriage last until death do they part. Don't leave each other out of what you are doing. When people go in different directions they will grow in different directions and both should be on the same page as to what the plan is for their married life. Spur of the moment getaways are good, but the planned ones can be great... and take the time to be with each other.

(12) don bowles, June 8, 2010 4:28 PM

al and tipper

I have a suspicion that ,Tipper is just fed up with Al's deceit. The emails have proven that global warming is a fraud.

(11) Tom Schoen, June 8, 2010 4:04 PM

Loving the right spouse is not work!

If you have to "work" at your marriage to keep it alive you are married to the wrong person. If you love your spouse you will naturally want to do things together and will spend time with each other without forcing yourself to work at contriving togetherness activities. Marriage is a continous celebration of love and passion, not "work".

(10) Elizabeth, June 8, 2010 3:50 PM

Our lives were changed so much when we...

Began to study TORAH intensively, listen to teachers and rabbis about the lessons there and we are trying now, for nearly a decade, to incorporate the wisdom there in every part of our lives. And learning to observe those special holidays like Yom Kippur...wow that was also powerful. Before this path, well...my plans were to live separately. Not necessarily divorce, but I just wanted to live in peace. Now we have peace!! We approach our 38th wedding anniversary. And we are so grateful for this gift, and now to be together, loving as it was always intended from the very beginning of time!! We recommend it highly!!

(9) Mindy, June 8, 2010 3:41 PM


Thank you Rabbi. One thing that works for us is Shabbat dinner. Even if you don't get candles lit on time, even if you only say the blessings for wine and bread and then just eat, even if you are not shomer shabbos, make Friday night special. Have a candlelit dinner with food everyone likes. Do not allow any work to be discussed. Serve a challah and some wine, and turn off the TV. The focus becomes the family instead of the outside world, and it has made a huge difference for us. The book A Day Apart, by Noam Zion, can help anyone find a way to make Shabbat special for their family, whatever their situation.

(8) Yisroel, June 8, 2010 3:11 PM

4 Rules

1. Ask each other how their day went. 2. Communication: These are the 3A's which should be communicated for a successful marriage: Admiration, Affection, Appreciation. 3. Focus your attention when they speak to you. Mirror the same emotion as your spouse. (i.e. If they tell you a joke laugh at it, even if it's not funny). 4. No silent treatment, interrogating, or criticism (unless it is really needed in which case it should be done very gently, tactfully, andf privately)

(7) ilan Samson, June 8, 2010 2:42 PM

shouldn't warming, like charity, start at home?

not very global, the warming, is it

(6) Sharon, June 8, 2010 2:33 PM

WORK is a 4 letter word!

Work is a 4 letter word and good marriages take work they just don't happen. Many couples reach a point where they think that it shouldn't be so hard to keep things going, they get tired, they get lazy. But in this case with the Gores, they just don't need each other anymore. They have money and can have everything money can buy but happiness and love. Very Sad... It remains to be seen if there are other actors waiting in the wings. If there isn't, they may find that growing old alone is not wonderful.

(5) Avi Brilliant, June 7, 2010 9:18 PM

The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman

To anyone looking for extremely helpful marital advice, I highly highly recommend the book, The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman. The insights, ideas and concepts are invaluable, profound, enlightening and unique. The author illustrates clearly and simply how to express love in a way that will be most effective in creating, maintaining and enhancing all loving relationships.

(4) Elisheva, June 7, 2010 1:36 AM

taharat hamishpacha!

the laws of family purity help us keep our marriage fresh!

(3) Anonymous, June 6, 2010 6:32 PM

Do something special at least every two weeks. A quiet 10-minute stroll, or going out for lunch on a Sunday, can be a healthy way to re-connect with your spouse. That's what works for us. In addition, always keep an eye out throughout the day for things she would appreciate. It could be a story, a joke, or a candy bar. That way you both gain - you have her on your mind, and she will feel special.

(2) lisa, June 6, 2010 6:06 PM

til death do us part.....

Maybe they didnt let their marriage get stale...maybe they just grew apart....going out w/ your spouse weekly sounds great...but does it really happen even though we would like it to....I think day to day respect, humor and some form of communication works best in this harried world we live in!!! And yes...we can never be sure about anything...all our relationships must stay fresh.....with our spouses, our parents and even our children...we can never put ourselves in cruise control mode!!!

(1) abrams, June 6, 2010 4:11 PM

I'm happily married for 55 years, every day, I tell my wife, how nice she looks, I can't help it, she does look nice. We hug every day, and we never go to sleep without making up first, if we had an argument that day


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