A few days ago, the band The Civil Wars announced that they were no longer Ross and Rachel on a break, they were officially totes for real this time over. They are never ever ever getting back to together. Like, ever.
I had several friends check on me that day, because this is/was my favorite band. If you haven’t heard them, spend some quality time with YouTube and check them out. And although the composing has been on the wall for a while, fans hoped for over a year that they would fix the problem, resolve their differences and keep making beautiful music together. So seeing that they are my favorite band, what I am about to say will sound crazy.
I’m glad they broke up.
The first time I heard them perform was online, and I watched this video-
My first thought was “what an adorable, in love couple”
Pretty soon I realized from comments that they were not married to each other, they were both married to other people. John-Paul also has four children, and Joy had her first child last year. It was an odd love for me, because you’d have to be crazy to say they aren’t musically outstanding…but I always feel a bit uncomfortable listening, like I was participating in something that I wasn’t quite sure was right. It almost felt voyeuristic, and I wondered sometimes if it felt that way to their spouses too. I wondered what it might be like to be John-Paul’s wife, at home with four children while my husband was touring the country, being adored by fans and spending so much time with a gorgeous talented woman in the same business.
I’m not stupid. I know sex sells, and all you have to do is read the YouTube comments for five minutes to understand that John-Paul and Joy’s chemistry onstage and off had contributed to this sense that they were a couple- acknowledged or not. Sexual tension, a sort of will they or won’t they, crept up to not only become an unfortunate byproduct of a woman and man singing together, it became almost part of marketing. Perhaps I am cynical, but I just can’t believe that wasn’t intentional. Watching the above video after finding out that they were married to other people made me feel like I was contributing to something seedy and wrong. Oversensitive? Maybe. But then the break-up happened.
When they announced that they were taking a break, Joy continued to speak publicly while John-Paul disappeared from social media. Of course everyone wanted the story, and the most information I have read came from Joy, where she told the Associated Press- “If you want to know what happened to the band, listen to the new album.” This made me angry, honestly. It made me angry because it is almost impossible to listen to the entire album and not walk away wondering if they had an affair that went sour.
Maybe they didn’t. Maybe it has nothing to do with their relationship. Maybe they just hate each other and can’t work together. Maybe they have legal obligations that keep them from really talking about what happened. Maybe they wanted to not talk about anything and keep the suspense to boost sales. But the point is, they have been polished and marketed as two people with amazing chemistry, both musically and personally, and everything about them screams that they are secretly in love.
And there are five innocent children who are in homes that did not choose this life.
So I know it’s strange for me to say that I am glad they are no longer a band. I sincerely hope that if they ever choose to create music together again, they will completely reject this notion of blurring the lines to create drama and intrigue into their relationship. The sad thing is, they are almost musically perfect. They didn’t need that junk. I hope that if a second chance ever happens, they will let the music speak for itself, and leave the saliciousness to reality television.
Marriage and parenting are big deals. The choices we make in our marriages and with our children affect the future far longer than the music plays. And it is tempting for all of us, me included, to take a good thing and make it THE good thing. But if John-Paul walked away from this level of success to fully invest in his wife and children, he’s got nothing but respect from me.
I still pray for them both. They ARE my favorite band, after all.
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