Wednesday, July 07, 2010

For richer, for poorer

Lots of marriages don’t work. Gay marriages. Opposite marriages. People enter with the best intentions and then, for whatever reason, end up with irreconcilable differences. Until death do us part is really more of a suggestion these days. So the end of Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels nine-year relationship is in and of itself not shocking. Sad, but not shocking.

But what is shocking, and also sad – not to mention really fucking disappointing, is what seems to be a shirking of responsibility on Melissa’s part now that their marriage is over. Melissa filed for divorce on Friday, citing that old standby “irreconcilable differences.” She also asked the court for a) joint custody of their 3-year-old twins and b) to not pay financial support to Tammy. Um, what?

Tammy, not one to take a headline lying down, took to her blog to let the universe know exactly how she felt about that. She wrote that she was blindsided by Melissa’s filing (she says Melissa had promised not to file until after her tour was over in the fall). And then she had some choice words about Melissa wanting to wriggle out of alimony.
i gave up my managers, agents, contacts, all that good stuff, because i stepped directly into potty training a small boy, and carrying around a small girl on my hip. both excellent souls. and i was a very huge part in raising them for many many years while She with the Guitar focused on her Guitar.

i was always the house wife after that. the only thing i hated about it was not bringing in money- i have made my own money since i started babysitting at 10, and having a newspaper route at 11. having no steady paycheck killed me for those years with her. and now it's really killing me. the other week i had to borrow money from a friend. two weeks ago i had to scrape together $1.25 to pay for gas. i know she doesn't want to give me money. trust. i'm borrowing cash left and right from people to get through this summer, and feed my kids, with a stomach full of ulcers, thank you. no stress here. :-)

Look, She with the Guitar, Tammy helped raise your two kids from your previous marriage. She is raising your two twins. She stuck by you through cancer. She stuck by you when you won an Oscar. She gave up her career to make this all happen. She was truly there for better and for worse. These things, they have worth. She may not have made a paycheck, but those are work. And you benefited from that work. And now, just like any other marriage that ends in divorce where one partner made the money and the other stayed at home to raise the family, you need to pony up.

We can’t enjoy the fun parts and then when things get decidedly unfun say, well, it wasn’t a real marriage anyway. Hell yes, it was. Weren’t you all filled with piss and civil disobedience when Prop. 8 passed, saying you wouldn’t pay your state income taxes because California took away your right to legally marry? Or, as I now suspect, do I detecting much more simple reasoning. Is it all about saving a few bucks and not paying people what they are due?

As we stare down the still-smoking barrel of the latest sorry shooting down of our civil liberties (Gee thanks, Hawaii. Aloha this.), the absurdity of Melissa’s request becomes all the more apparent.

With rights come responsibilities. In this quest to be equal, we have to take the good with the bad. The right to get married? Yes, absolutely. The responsibilities that come if that marriage ends in divorce? Yep, those too. Love is love. Marriage is marriage. Fair is fair. Honey, if you didn’t wanna pay up, shoulda got a pre-nup.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHY?? Does Melissa believe she should not have to pay child support. If her wife had been running around cheating, partying, and doing unspeakable shit, SHE WOULD STILL BE RESPONSIBLE for the kids.

Are you fking kidding me!!! Pony up dead beat.

CAB said...

I enjoy Melissa's music, but I have to say her handling of this situation has seriously diminished my view of her. Which means for me, I'll be saving some money of my own, no convert, no music purchase.

Anonymous said...

Two sides to every story but geez I'm 'Team Tammy' on this one. Melissa was a hero of mine - emphasis on the was. Will find it hard to listen to her for a looooooong time.

M. Bachinski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guest said...

It should be made clear, that Melissa is asking to be relieved of SPOUSAL support, not child support. (M. Bachinski, shared custody does not mean no support by any means.)

Anonymous said...

Divorce is hard. It brings out the worst in people. Those as wealthy as Etheridge have a tendency to believe they rescued some tramp from the gutter, gave them a fancy lifestyle and therefore owe them nothing because financially the other spouse contributed so much less. You've got to fight for rights on this one, Tammy. Get a good lawyer. Don't believe for a minute, and DON'T let Etheridge convince you for even a second, that you deserve less than full spousal support! I guarantee she'll try every trick in the book to get you to walk away with a knapsack on your back. You deserve respect and full regard for the sacrifices you made in the relationship.

once a fan said...

Melissa should pony up. Period. End of story. Tammy gave up her career and invested in their family. THEIR family. I'm not in hollywood, but I know that disrupting a career trajectory in that way is a tough thing to recover from, especially in the midst of a divorce.

Whatever other issues are at play, Melissa should woman-up and do the right thing. Just because she wants to run with the big boys doesn't mean she should act like one. I have been a fan since the beginning, but I can't buy the new album because I think she's being shady and I won't support bad behavior. As far as TAmmy's blog, she has been posting there for years, and should have the right to express herself. It's all fine as long as she is posting merry sunshine tidbits about their lives, but as soon as the pitcure is not so rosy, she should censor herself? b*llsh*t.

lookatthestar said...

It would be awesome if Joyce Wishnia is a real lawyer in a real life..haha I'm Team Tammy for sure...

Bent said...

Ms. Snarker, you have surprised me on this one. You didn't say one word about the dreadful way Tammy is behaving on her blog, so I have to assume you believe it's ok to put all of that out there for the kids to read later. She is acting like a grade schooler on her little blog in small letters. We don't know the story, not the whole story anyway. She offered to be the stay at home mom, by her own admission. ME didn't ask that of her, and god knows they could have afforded a nanny or two to assist while they both continued their careers. Couples do it in that town all the time! ME asked to not pay spousal support....so what? We don't know the story yet, and I have a feeling there is a reason she doesn't want to pay. She didn't just suddenly become an asshole overnight.
PS....had to scrape together $1.25for gas? Yeah, right!

sharon said...

totally agree with Dorothy, the right comes along with the responsibility. and mutual respect is most essential...

Anonymous said...

Is Melissa an idiot? WTF? Pay the woman spousal support. She had your kids, raised your kids, gave up her work to do that. You have the money. Don't play games.

L. said...

Well, a smart court will order temporary spousal support, until Tammy reestablishes herself in a career. Child support will continue until all children are of age.
Tammy is still a gorgeous woman, and I doubt her talent has disappeared, and I am sure the publicity (doesn't matter if it's good or bad) will help her get reconnected in the industry. Perhaps she will not be as successful as she might have been pursuing an immediate career, but she will undoubtedly make more money than most of us ever will.

Anonymous said...

I don't know... there are always two sides to each story. I, for one, prefer to deal with my dirty laundry in the privacy of my home, using my own washer & dryer. AND, although I have been asked - a couple of times - to give up my own career and become a housewife, I never seriously considered the possibility of depending on another person. It's a choice one makes, though, and one needs to live with the consequences of such choices. As with your heart and thoughts, one should always keep something to oneself, and never give everything, never give up everything, because of another person. In my humble opinion, it's a matter of survival and self-worth.

dc said...

Melissa is a douchebag. I would boycott her concerts and albums until she coughs up alimony.

God knows what she expects her kids to live on.

Dead beat Mum!

Anonymous said...

I think we should back off and not judge the situation. I went through a divorce and its not black and white. The papers that are being filed are not the same as the emotions that are being felt.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed in Etheridge. I also think Tammy may be batshit nuts. But, who knows. The custody issue will be very interesting and traumatic for the children. But no pre-nup good luck! Tammy does deserve some sort of spousal support or settlement. Being outside of ones career for three years does present issues. If it's true that the woman scraped 1.25 together for gas then in some way she's being resourceful (albeit tacky) by using her blog and taking her case public.

Syd said...

Melissa is proving herself to be exactly who and what I suspected her to be. It rhymes with cunt.

Nelfy said...

I used to really look up to Melissa, but now I'm completely disappointed. When one partner stays home to take care of the home and the kids, while the other has a career - especially one that is so successful - it is obvious that both parties contributed to this career. And Tammy could have worked, it's not like she didn't have a career before.

There's a reason there are marriage and divorce laws. When the love ends, supporting each other doesn't though. I really hope Melissa has to pay Tammy spousal support and stops behaving the ways she does towards Tammy. From how I have seen her behave in recent interviews (The view, to name one), I feel like she's being very dishonest about the whole situation. She should just not comment on it or just said something really general, instead of making it seem like she's lying.

Elyima said...

So much for Melissa learning anything about karma from what she's been through...I'm sure it's more complicated than the details that are being presented to the public. From the information that we do know, it certainly seems that the decent thing to do would be to financially support someone who put their career on hold to support a family and hold your hand through cancer....even temporarily. I'm very disappointed in how Melissa has reacted to this. If she wants to share custody and has the means to support Tammy while setting up an adequate environment in which to co-parent, then she should. The terms could be renegotiated if Tammy begins to make a living for herself again.

Melissa's wallet will probably suffer a greater hit from fans who choose not to support her anymore than it would from supporting Tammy.

Heather said...

Team Tammy. And I think so much less of Melissa Etheridge right now...

Anonymous said...

Team Tammy for sure. I've been a follower of her blog for a long time, and I don't think she's any kind of crazy unless it's crazy with grief. If you've had the experience, you get it. If you don't, then trust me, you really don't.

alice said...

Amen. While I agree with 10:50 am Anon said ("The papers that are being filed are not [necessarily] the same as the emotions that are being felt,") the fact is that marriage comes with responsibilities. I don't know what kind(s) of pre-nups are available for DPs, but this just makes me so much more thankful for Nolo Press's guide for LGBT couples. Making sure everyone has a bank account in their own name & some savings is super-important, since it's nearly impossible to think clearly when you're in the midst of a split.

Sharing info publicly isn't problem-free when there are kids involved, but I can def. understand her motivation for talking about it.

TaylorBoi said...

Now I have "Come To My Window" stuck in my head and I dislike Melissa even more than I already did. She always rubbed me the wrong way just a little bit.

endie1746 said...

The only words we have heard on all of this are Tammy's. We don't know the story. Melissa is choosing not to comment...must be a reason. Let them be.

Anonymous said...

Team Tammy...you have a family forever, divorcing does not end a family...therefore, you continue to support your family...yes, that means financially.

LJT66 said...

@Bent,

You MIGHT have a point IF Etheridge hadn't written an expose on her last relationship with Julie Cypher. Like or hate Tammy's writing style, Melissa has no room to talk when it comes to airing your dirty laundry in public.

wordswork02 said...

I'm definitely on Team Tammy. Melissa has shown herself to be a person without character. How does she expect Tammy, the woman who gave up her career for love, to support their children? Or doesn't she think they are HER children since they don't have her DNA?

I think Melissa is trying to get away with the same crap that Martina Navratilova tried to get away when her DP ended -- the old "it-wasn't-a-real-marriage-so-why-should-I-have-to-pay" trick.

I fail to understand why these lesbians think they can have it both ways. They want to whine when they are not afforded the same rights as everyone else and then shirk the costly responsibilities when they are.

I hope Tammy takes Melissa to court and tries to get her due.

As for Tammy airing their business in such a public way, I think she did it the only way she had available. No one like Oprah or Ellen (well, we know why there) is offering her a microphone to tell her side of the story. If this were Brad and Angelina or even Jake and Vienna, there would have been a 1 hour special dedicated to the break-up.

Anonymous said...

So much for Melissa. [flush]

Anonymous said...

Tammy helped raise Melissa's kids as her own.

Tammy stuck by Melissa through cancer.

Tammy gave up her career (though admittedly not huge) for Melissa and kdis.

Tammy stuck by Melissa through CANCER and RAISED her KIDS.

Tammy was there for Melissa when she most needed her at a very human level.

And now Melissa expects Tammy to joint-custody her kids and doesn't want to pay for the expenses?

Where is the logic here? Where is the basic human decency?

TheWeyrd1 said...

As always there are two sides to the story...though like others, I suspect that ME is not being a very stand up kinda gal in this case.

I've always enjoyed her early albums (CD's for you younguns) as I think she wrote some terrific lyrics. She definitely has talent and puts on a great live show.

That said, she's also human and therefore very infallable. That's not an excuse to be so cold hearted though. I do wonder about her "truth" now in retrospect. I read her biography several years ago and completely doubt the idea that she didn't do drugs. I find that very hard to believe. And I find it equally hard to believe she really believes in equal rights and responsibilities for EVERYONE.

I'm not going to say I'm on Team Tammy though, I think she, also being human, probably has some responsibility for the demise of their relationship. And I'm not sure writing about all of it on her blog is such a good idea. Fascinating as it is to read it...

BTW...didn't she legally change her last name to Etheridge in the last few years... ME should pay to have that changed back...heh

TheWeyrd1 said...

BTW...I meant NOT infallible...

Anonymous said...

Truly, truly sickening. I don't care whatever else is going on, Tammy stuck with Melissa through freaking cancer, and took care of both their children and Melissa's children from a previous relationship.

I made a note to myself when they didn't get married when it became legal in Cali, though only briefly legal as we all know. I knew then, Melissa is a bullshit hypocrite. They should have ran down the freakin' aisle like everyone else who was serious about getting married. (Notice how Rosie didn't either?). All talk and blowing smoke about equality, and now her new tour and music about some spiritual awakening. HA! And yet she acts with a complete lack of integrity, or even basic fairness!

Self-centered blowhard fraud.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally, Dorothy. You're a voice of reason. I think Melissa should be more graceful in this divorce.

Anonymous said...

Melissa showed her vengeful catty self when she wrote that pitiful bio and did the nasty on all her girlfriends, especially Julie Cypher. Julie got screwed over by Melissa and received nil financial support, even though she also gave up her career and became a fulltime housewife and mother for 12 years to support Melissa's dream. Julie certainly showed class by remaining tight lipped and not airing out any dirty laundry.

Melissa is trying the same tactic with Tammy and also wanting part custody of the kids as she did with Julie, however, the difference is that Tammy has the law on her side. They were legally recognised as domestic partners. Tammy will get a nice settlement plus financial support. Melissa has lost credibility this time around.... I believe that is called karma. I wouldn't blame Julie if she did a happy dance even after all these years have gone by. Heaven help Melissa’s next gf.

dc said...

I hope Melissa doesn't expect her next gf to give up her career and look after her kids from her previous relationships!

cocoro said...

o..
i heard that ameris' divorce percent is higher
than others because lots of different people in here,
and then because of the differences they like each
other at the first time

and then

because of the differences, they can't tolerate each other.

- my eng. teacher said long time ago. -

that's sad news anyway.

I feel somehow she should talk to each other than
posting blog about it. like talk to melissa first and
then talk about more, until she said she will support her for some years until her life setting well
alone, then everything will be fine.

but now, she posted, melissa could feel very unhappy about it cus many people who actually
non of their business but start to talk and blame.
so on.

hope they be happy although they ended up.

EdgyJuneCleaver said...

What a shame Tammy had to resort to vitrol on her blog. Who can blame her either. As an ex-housewife myself I can still remember how those words stung: "Why should I give you anything: you didn't contribute anything to our household the past decade." I was married to a man. I naively thought women would never treat one another like this. Just goes to show acting like a selfish jack ass isn't gender specific.

You go Tammy! Take what you are due which is half and start your life again.

Melissa: shame shame on you.