Sheryl Crow: ‘It’s better to have three broken engagements than three divorces’

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow covers the August issue of Good Housekeeping. Every time I cover a Sheryl story, I re-google her age and am amazed all over again. Sheryl is now 52 and looks both fantastic and real. This interview takes place at Sheryl’s 50-acre ranch near Nashville. She’s got both of her sons, Wyatt (7) and Levi (4), in tow. Sheryl talks about several topics in this feature. She talks about her benign brain tumor as a wake-up call. She alludes to her famous ex-boyfriends, which include Lance Armstrong, Owen Wilson, and Eric Clapton. Somehow I missed her liason with Owen over the years. I very much remember Sheryl catching heat for Lance Armstrong’s actions. Sheryl is simply grateful that she never married any of these chumps. Good point:

On battling cancer: “Something happens when you’re diagnosed with a disease. Your emotions start racing, and clarity is reached.”

The glamour of parenting: “I’ve become a glorified taxi driver.” Though she has a nanny and her sister Kathy helps out, Crow is a hands-on mom who takes the boys shopping at Target, drives them to Sunday school and swimming and tennis lessons and helps care for their pet guinea pigs.

Put your clothes back on, pop stars: “It’s hard to be a woman in music today. There’s so much sex that’s projected, and that’s a bummer. These singers talk about how empowering it is, but a good musician who can command the stage doesn’t have to rely on sex to sell her music.”

Her ex-boyfriends: “I had always gone out with guys who were highly successful, which would seem like it would put me at an equal level. But what ends up happening is that one of you becomes smaller — and it was always me. It’s always the woman. I mean, I don’t know if it’s always the woman, but I do think that sometimes in order for one person’s light to shine, everyone else has to dim theirs.”

Her newer relationships are different: “Embrace the idea of only having equals in your life, and you’ll see your relationships change. I’d made a pact with myself that my kids would know anybody I was involved with as a friend first. They weren’t gonna wake up and find somebody sleeping in their house or feel abandoned because the relationship fell apart. You can still love and respect someone, even when you’re mad at them or disagree with them. And you can celebrate the good things happening for them, even when those things are not happening for you.”

Her love life in perspective: “I’ve been set up before. It’s funny — my guy friends will tell me, ‘I don’t know anyone good enough for you.’ And I keep saying, ‘Lower your standards!’ Hey, I would love to get married — I’m still old-fashioned. But I don’t think marriage is the be-all and end-all. It’s better to have three broken engagements than three divorces.”

[From People]

I haven’t kept up with much of Sheryl’s music since the late 1990s, but I’ve always admired her personally. She seems very strong but her “picker” hasn’t been very reliable when it comes to men. Her three famous exes have all battled some form of substance abuse problem. Sheryl is absolutely correct about three broken engagements being worse than three marriages. Who would want that trouble in their lives besides Kim Kardashian?

Sheryl Crow

Photos courtesy of Good Housekeeping & WENN

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45 Responses to “Sheryl Crow: ‘It’s better to have three broken engagements than three divorces’”

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  1. PunkyMomma says:

    Kudos to her! Wise words coming from life experiences. Cheryl sounds so grounded, it’s refreshing.

  2. NewWester says:

    That is a beautiful photo of her in the forest. The dress is lovely

  3. chloe says:

    I love Sheryl, she came in concert to my hometown last year and she took both of her children to our Children’s Museum, my friend saw her there and said she was very nice and a very hands on Mom.

    • TG says:

      Your comment just reminded me also that years ago when she was at the height of her fame my brother and I were in Orlando during Spring break and she was outside at the hotel playing her guitar and he ran into her and had this long conversation with her a he had no idea who she was. He said she was down to earth and nice. His friends had to tell him who she was.

      I also think Sheryl just answered for us why so many female celebs date and marry down. Julia Roberts, Jessica Simpson come to mind.

      • Jayna says:

        Robert Downey, Jr.’s wife pretty much said that. She said there can only be one star in the family, Like on the red carpet, she said she steps back and he has his moment. She said he laps it up and loves the compliments. Whereas, she would rather make sure she doesn’t make a fool of herself in some inappropriate outfit on the red carpet and doesn’t need the attention and is the type who would rather receive a compliment when she’s left the room and someone says something nice about her. She says it’s probably why they work.

  4. Kaye says:

    I like her words and her attitude, but I would not recognize the woman in either of those pictures as Sheryl Crow.

  5. Mzizkrizten says:

    Didn’t she also date Kid Rock? LOL

    • mystified says:

      I hope this isn’t too far off point, but Kid Rock is sort of a local where I live. Years ago, when my son was in the hospital, I saw Kid Rock outside smoking on a loading dock (back when it was allowed) with a motley group of orderlies, cafeteria workers and custodians. He seemed to genuinely enjoy their company and they his. He didn’t try to make himself the center of attention either but treated these new, temporary acquaintances as his equals.

      I think how people treat others who can’t do anything for them says a lot about them.

    • Bridget says:

      Yep they did, but it was a long time ago. Pre-dating the song they did together.

  6. Panache says:

    Word on the popstars comment (she didn’t say they need to put their clothes on though, really).

    But I don’t really understand why people talk about divorce as if it is the worst thing in the world. Unless someone takes all your money off you, it’s just a government recognized breakup.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      “But I don’t really understand why people talk about divorce as if it is the worst thing in the world. Unless someone takes all your money off you, it’s just a government recognized breakup.”

      That would only be true if you married for money, or if you see committing your life to someone as a meaningless government recognized union. If you marry for love, and you mean what you say in your wedding vows, then the end of your marriage is heartbreaking. Your life as you know it ends, your dreams are crushed, your faith is broken, your confidence in your own decisions is rocked, you feel guilty if you have children, you feel like a failure, you feel foolish and scared and alone. Is it the worst thing in the world? Absolutely not. But it hurts like hell and I can’t recommend it unless you feel, as I did, that the alternative is worse.

      • hannahG says:

        But that’s true for all serious (longterm) relationships, isn’t it? Regardless of whether you were ‘living in sin’, engaged or married.

      • Mrs McCubbins says:

        I agree Goodnames. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

      • Anony says:

        Not necessarily. Just being in a long term relationship alone is not a commitment to making a future together. I feel like a lot of couples, including some of my friends, go into cohabitation without actually having a real discussion of what their future is with each other. One of my friends just recently broke up with her boyfriend after living together for almost a year because it came up that he didn’t want kids. However, I’m sure people in all serious relationship feel all those emotions to some degree. A number of my friends have ended cohabitation relationships and have all moved on reasonably well. I’m sure it was hard but I wouldn’t say the same level as divorce for most of them.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        To me it wouldn’t be the same, HannahG, but everybody’s different.

    • RJ says:

      Not for me it wasn’t-I’ve been married and divorced once. It was relatively “easy”–no kids, separate finances, equal salaries, we sold our home within 2 months & split everything. Even though I initiated the divorce, it was one of the WORST experiences of my life. I’ve been with my current partner for 10+ years and we have no plans to get married. Why? I do feel he’s my soulmate, but the mere thought of the possibility of going through another divorce again makes me very happy to keep it the way it is now-committed in our hearts but not in the eyes of the law.

  7. shannon says:

    I’m not a huge fan of her music, but I am a fan of the 90′s and when I think of the 90′s, Sheryl Crow is undoubtedly a part of that. I love, love, love this article. Some people think it’s impossible to be happy w/your life without a man in it and I think she summed it up beautifully.

  8. Mia V. says:

    Great poitn of view about love, Sheryl.

    ps. The story is about Sheryl and somehow Kim K. ends up on the text. Then comes all the conspiracy why we can’t stop talking about her.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Very beautiful photo shoot! Wow! Love that cover!

  10. Esmom says:

    I don’t know, I have very mixed feelings about her. I found myself liking her music back in the day but then I heard how awful she was to the musicians and collaborators who helped her succeed. And then I felt sorry for her because Lance was such a jerk to her and then she had all these health scares.

    I do know how I feel about that cover shot, it’s extremely unflattering.

    • L says:

      When she was with Lance and following him around during the various bike tours she was well known for being a jerk to EVERYONE. Other team members. Cyclists on other teams. Team management. Fans. Assistants. Press Etc etc. I don’t know how much of that was from her or from her following Lance’s lead-but she had a horrible reputation with cycling fans.

  11. Maria says:

    how she uses the word equal is pretty weird. it seems being equal is only based on earning power and professional success for her. couples are rarely equal, how do you define that anyway? if a man has a well running company and doesnt have to work too much, but the wife does all the housework but brings in nothing of the money are they equal? if not what does not make them equal? the amount of money the husband brings home or the bigger amout of work the wife is doing?

    Women like her have to realize that only a very small percentage of men earn as much as she is earning and have as much or more influence and success. some of them are gay, some wont like her, some are in relationships with women of her status, some of them are in relationships of women with “lower” status. so how many men are there for her?

    power couples rarely work, im not talking about celeb couples, they often need each other to make more money and its more of a business deal anyway. lots of CEO women have stay at home husbands. Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams are hugely succesful, you dont hear much from their husbands. it might work even better with a guy that does not have the ego of a power player. do you think a man that is the head of 50,000 employees is the type of guy that is laid back? willing to give up the leader role? make cut backs in his professional life?
    if you limit yourself so much like Sherly does then dont complain if you are single or not happy.

    • Sozual says:

      I think she is happy, but I do agree with a lot of what you are saying. I don’t agree that all celebrity relationships are business deals. I think celebrities whether they are married to someone not in the biz or married to someone in the business won’t yammer on about their relationships if it is real. I do think a few who yammer on are real, like Nick and Mariah. Only cause of an interview she did not putting whip cream and peaches all over the relationship. She seemed pretty honest about the good and bad. Beyonce and Jay-Z, I think there is love there, but I think a lot of it is about ego. If they were two middle-class people working for the same company and crossing paths, I don’t think they would be together. I do agree though that she has bad taste in men and her definition of an equal is messed up. She seems to think equal is someone who has money and fame. If she went after a guy that was socially active maybe she would find someone nice, but she dates these celebrities. She should define someone equal as someone morally equal.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      I wonder if its as much leader as it is having bigger stakes commitments? I like of those men, say Eric Clapton, and her at that stage of her career. He has sold out shows of 30 thousand, she maybe 5 thousand. He undoubtedly would have songwriting bookings and recordings that require absolute commitment, and her maybe not that same degree. That is not saying that her singing to a smaller audience in a smaller venue makes her commitment less relevant.

      In my marriage, my husband meets with foreign dignitaries and large companies from Asia and the middle east. If I have a meeting (with a coworker or company representative), and I get a call to come get my kids from school, it lands on me to go get them. Their dad can’t really cancel on the dignitary from Tunisia. He is more ‘powerful’, but not more important in our marriage. We just have had that conversation about whose career is more amenable to certain situations. So I am the female that ‘gives in’. But I get an amazing life, get to nurture my kids, have a fulfilling career.

  12. eliza says:

    How weird that Wilson and Armstrong, once friends, exchanged a couple girlfriends with each other. Kind of icky.

  13. lucy2 says:

    She does look good, though that cover is photoshopped into oblivion.
    She does not have the best track record in choosing guys, but it does sound like now with her kids, and the health issues she’s had, she’d changed quite a bit and is in a good place.

  14. Sullivan says:

    Sure, it’s better to have three failed engagements than three divorces, but that’s setting the bar rather low.

    • GeeMoney says:

      I personally think three broken engagements is about as bad as three divorces… either she has crappy taste in men or someone didn’t want to commit.

      And I’m guessing it was the men who didn’t want to commit (Lance Armstrong springs to mind here).

      • Esmom says:

        I remember her relationship with Lance vividly because my husband is a cycling fanatic and she was so visible with him all the time. It did seem like she changed her life to revolve around his and while he appeared to want to commit for a while he eventually just dropped her like a hot potato. I do think she was a rebound after his divorce, and so it was not all that surprising that he wasn’t ready to marry again so soon.

      • HappyMom says:

        I think the same thing. One or two broken engagements over a lifetime-okay. But 3 over a fairly short period of time-and she was no spring chicken at that point-kind of weird.

      • Jayna says:

        Hell, no, it’s not even close. Live through a divorce and children and custody battles and financial battles. Then do it three times. Then ask the people who had to attend all three weddings. Three broken engagements over 51 years of a life doesn’t even come close to three broken marriages.

  15. GeeMoney says:

    “It’s hard to be a woman in music today. There’s so much sex that’s projected, and that’s a bummer. These singers talk about how empowering it is, but a good musician who can command the stage doesn’t have to rely on sex to sell her music.”

    She’s so right… PREACH!

  16. K.B. says:

    While I agree with her, the whole point of getting engaged is because you plan on getting married. If you can’t see yourself spending the rest of your life with someone, you shouldn’t accept the engagement ring.

    Then again, we’re living in a world where people have kids first and then get married (only to divorce within 3 years), so I guess the moral of the story is Sheryl’s a genius!

  17. Rhiley says:

    I am sorry but I can’t say that she looks “real” in these photos. She is a gorgeous lady no doubt and looks fantastic but in these photos she looks like mix of Denise Richards and Colbie Callet. She is very often a great mix of rock n roll meets country, but these pictures make her look like a completely different person.

  18. original kay says:

    The passage about her ex’s explains why she has 3 broken engagements. What a sad commentary about relationships that was.
    I’d feel bad for her, only I don’t.

    • minime says:

      I guess I never liked her and I might be biased, but wasn’t she told to be the reason why Lance left his wife, after the wife supported him throughout his cancer battle?
      I might be wrong on that, but I always had that in mind.
      I think Lance is/was not a nice person, but I if this is true it also says a lot about her.

      • Rhiley says:

        Her whole relationship with LA is really shady. I am in the camp that she had to know something was going down with him and the doping, even if it was just a hunch that yeah he might be the best doper to ever participate in the Tour de France.

  19. mg says:

    I’m happy she is in a good place and think she looks very pretty. I’d love to look like her at 52 or 35. In fact, her body is better than that of many 20 year olds with today’s obesity trends. I’m in my mid-30s & engaged but my previous long-term relationships didn’t work out, so I can relate to her. So glad I did not marry the ones who came before. If I had not met my fiancé I might have ended up like her on a rural farm minus the adopted kids.

  20. Lisa says:

    She’s gorgeous. I have mixed feelings about the “keep your clothes on” mentality, but I don’t think she said anything offensive here, Using your sexuality on your own terms can be empowering (I hate that term), and I think the real problem are the male and male-influenced women execs who push overt sexuality on girls who are too young to challenge or question it.

  21. Pail says:

    I love Sheryl’s music. She is an awesome role model for people and children. Go preach the truth, Sher!