Melissa Etheridge’s ex: the gloves are off

Melissa Etheridge and her longterm partner, Tammy Michaels, announced their split last month after nine years together. We primarily heard Etheridge’s side of the story that the split was “mutual” when she was inevitably asked about it on the press tour for her new album. Michaels briefly posted two semi-cryptic blog entries that made it sound like the split was more one-sided. She wrote that she was “blind sided” and hinted that Etheridge was spinning the story for her own purposes. Those posts were subsequently deleted, though, and it seemed like that was the last time we would hear about it for a while. Now Michaels, who is the biological mom to twins with Etheridge, son Miller Steven and daughter Johnny Rose, 3 and a half, has posted a follow up accusing Etheridge of emotionally and physically withdrawing from the relationship while she took care of the children and held down the fort:

no more censorship for me?
well, no censorship?
really, honey?

things can be a long time coming
to one
and smash the hell out of
hit and run
not even staying to clean up the mess

secrets, with-holding,
whispering to all but
the one whom holds the vows
and the toddlers

disappearances into the
hourglass-shaped wood with strings
never to finish a fight
never interested in clarifying,
making sense, making it right
even finishing the fight
more interested in making something rhyme
time after time after time
and later angsting that you and me, WE
it didn’t work out
you evolved
you needed to be happy-
but really… you withdrew your hands
from family and intimacy
to pluck those strings more

i’d rather hear 10,000 fans
screaming my name in worship
than hear my wife harp on me
about my family intimacy issues too,
you know?
which one is going to get me harder?
easy answer

sideswiped and left mangled
up to my eyes in toilet training toddlers
and sounds of a guitar wailing
letting me know
you would probably leave me soon
i know those heart-ache wails by now

i even told you it was a break up album
and you laughed at me
you laughed and laughed
i heard fearless and i got sick
“that’s your break up song with me”
i said to you
you got so angry with me, remember?
and stomped off

so thank you for telling an interviewer
that you WON’T censor me on my blog
(i thought i was to say nothing, my bad)
i was so unhappy thinking people dare look at me
and think that i consider
a marriage and forever to be
nine years or six years or whatever
and i gave up on everything
and just walked off
never is that me… nope, never

cuz i did not go anywhere, honey.
and you and i both know it
please stop telling the press it was mutual-

my birthday rolled around,
the holidays….
and me and the twins sat right there waiting…
we didn’t go anywhere. we just
sat and waited and waited and waited and waited…..

“i saw you with your new friends….
you wear them so well….”

i think you’re saying it’s okay
to be more open now on this blog?
good. cuz sitting on the fence of
“speak true”
“say nothing”

f@%#*ing rides a pole so far up my ass it nearly pierces my brain, and i can’t take it anymore, now that i am back home where people don’t live in the smoke and mirrors.

oh, and don’t let me forget this.

i still love that damn woman so much, i’m still trying to stop. i had a dream last where honey and i were fighting and going to get a divorce, and i woke up sobbing…. then i realized. oh. it’s true. and then what do you do? when the horrible feeling in the dream gets to stay even after you wake up?

there. there is my truth as of today.

home again.
home again.
feeling true.
feeling honest.

[From Tammy Michaels’ blog via Huffington Post]

I’ve read this many places and it seems to be coming up often now that there’s this whole issue over Facebook privacy: when you’re going through a split do not air your dirty laundry online! You should even be careful about who you tell your business to, as even your closest friends may have allegiances to your ex. As mad as you are over how your ex is portraying you or your split, it’s better to suck it up and take the high road. You can talk to a few carefully chosen friends and should be careful not to let the world know your business.

The way Michaels words this, it sounds like Etheridge pulled away and was absorbed in her work instead of working out differences as they came up. This happens in many relationships, and it’s not helpful to blame the other person or to act like the victim. At least in public. You can bitch the person out all you want to your best friend.

Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels are shown on 4/18/07. Etheridge is shown performing on Good Morning America on 4/30/10. Credit:



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54 Responses to “Melissa Etheridge’s ex: the gloves are off”

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  1. Dorothy says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this! Team Tammy!

  2. Leticia says:

    Tammy Michaels has a right to air her feelings.

  3. meilamon says:

    I agree, like Melissa Etheridge won’t be giving interviews about her side of the situation. Seems like Tammy just wants to share her side of the truth. I hope it helps her to feel better and move on.

  4. notgaga says:

    So Tammy is supposed to suck it up and be quiet while Melissa gets to control the story of the break-up (and possibly gain an advantage in any custody issues)? Hardly seems fair.

    Of course the one left behind runs the risk of looking bad .. .

  5. Melanie says:

    What a beautiful F-Off letter!

  6. Riley says:

    Doesn’t have quite the intensity as “Come to My Window” or “Somebody Bring Me Some Water.”

  7. Jo says:

    Tammy has been writing her blog for years.. has always written from her heart and I have been following.. too bad for Melissa I used to be a fan now meh.. not so much.. Don’t know them but team tammy

  8. Jackson says:

    Eh, she didn’t exactly go into vivid detail. She got out how she feels and her side of the story. If Melissa wants to say ‘mutual breakup’ in interviews and it’s not true then let Tammy say her peace on facebook. I really feel for her, actually. What she writes seems way too common in a marriage.

    I’m not a fan of that whole “Team whoever” stuff, but, yeah, in this case, ‘Team Tammy.’

  9. tiki says:

    etheridge has a pattern of behavior that she appears to believe absolves her of any responsibility in her break-ups. tammy called her hand on it. good for tammy. she shouldn’t be castigated for putting out there what she’s experienced after melissa gave her version of events. she didn’t launch a pre-emptive strike as melissa did; she’s reacting to what’s already out there via etheridge.

  10. Hannah says:

    I say fair play to her. She seems to have had a tough time in the marriage and now. Melissa gets to go on Oprah and talk about how amicable things are…when really it seems as if she has behaved like a selfish immature brat. Soon, she will be parading a pregnant twenty-something on her arm who she can later crap on.

    I wouldn’t write anything like that on any kind of social media platform – but I’m not in the public eye nor is my other half. Seriously, go Tammy. It’s a heartbreaking entry and fair play for putting it out there.

  11. Lenore says:

    Sorry, I stopped reading after “the one whom holds the vows”. That “whom” should be a “who”.

    Anyone who inserts a random M on the end of a Who, when the sentence does not require it, deserves a gentle slap round the back of the head for being such a poseur.


  12. stinabelle says:

    I’m Team Tammy on this one. Melissa is free to give interviews about it, but Tammy can’t write oblique references on her blog? That’s not fair at all.

    And regular people do this sort of thing all the time–in Facebook statuses, on Twitter, in their blog. It’s a way to grieve.

  13. Feebee says:

    Easy to say don’t air your dirty laundry. Melissa has many public opportunities to say her piece, not only in interviews but through her music.

    You can’t expect Tammy to hold her tongue. I don’t see her playing the victim card. I see her laying it out how she saw it. I hear her calling out Melissa for not even trying.

  14. H says:

    I think she should say what she feels. I know of two marriages that broke up because one person in the marriage decided it was over. Yes, both marriages where having problems but when a partner decides that it is not worth staying to work on issues, that is pretty devastating to the other person.

  15. Victoria says:

    @ Riley: OR “I Wanna Be In Love!”

  16. Cinderella says:

    I totally support Tammy on this. She had her heart ripped out, and I don’t blame her for airing her perspective of the relationship.

    Melissa certainly didn’t take the high road when asked about the break up in the first place. She could have replied that it’s a very painful time for all involved and she’d rather not talk about it.

    Tammy was not the one wanting to be single. Nevertheless, Midwestern girls are strong, so hang in there, Farm Girl.

  17. bellaluna says:

    @ Celebitchy –

    Your last little bit is why I hate things like Facebook and call people Twitiots: true friends (real face-to-face friends) are rare and precious, and will keep your secrets to the death. That’s who you talk to when your heart is broken, not whoever happens to read your stuff and who don’t know or care about you.

  18. mhjmc says:

    I agree with Tammy, Melissa’s new song did sound like a break up song to me as well.
    Kudos to Tammy for standing up and saying something, I’m sick of celebrities saying their breakup’s were a mutual decision and they are best of friends, bullshit, breakups suck, they are hard, painful and someone hurts more than the other .. good for Tammy to put it out there!!! I guess we know who really has the balls in this relationship!! Team Tammy!!!

  19. Mistral says:

    I don’t think she said anything that was out of line. She has a right to feel the way she feels. If you feel someone has abandoned you, why shouldn’t you be free to express that? Especially if the other person is trying to tell all of your friends it was mutual, and you feel it was all them.

    Also, this isn’t the type of thing that the kids/their schoolmates could find on the internet when they are old enough and have to feel embarrassed about. It isn’t a weird sexual expose/cheating dossier/drug abuse outing…

  20. Jewbitch says:

    Why can’t she blog about it? Melissa sings about it. Team Tammy.

  21. d says:

    I think Tammy has a right to express herself in the public medium if Melissa is doing the same. However, for everyone else not in the public eye, i think it is airing of dirty laundry and I wish people would stop. I know this couple going through a divorce and the woman won’t stop blogging certain things (often passive-aggressive about her husband) and it’s like, shut up, shut up, shut up, you are looking like a big fool here, not your ex. HE hasn’t written one word about it on his beyond the initial statement that they were done and that was all he was going to say about it.

  22. Shelley says:

    Absolutely Team Tammy although I doubt she’d be keen on the team-concept. But if she reads this I think she’ll be glad to see there is support and sympathy for her. Melissa’s talked about this breakup non-stop and Tammy has been very quiet. I believe Tammy has class and heart that Melissa is sorely lacking; Tammy showed strength and loyalty beyond my imagining when Melissa was so ill with cancer. Tammy is a gifted actress and her blog is one of my favorites. I’m not gay and not liberal but I enjoy her posts, admire her tremendously, and know her twins will grow up very well loved. So yes, Team Tammy 100%.

  23. Ken says:

    Whatever – tell it to a few selected friends and suck it up? Are you for real?? Obviously you’ve never been placed in this type of situation, so easy to throw stones when you’re not the one in pain. I’d hate to have you as a friend if you’re slinging this type of bullshit around.

  24. Catherine says:

    To me, Melissa has always come across as a tough, heartless “I’m in charge, so F you” kind of bitch anyway so it is not all that surprising what is being written here but I always find this public whining to be tacky. Keep it to yourselves.

  25. Sally G says:

    She didn’t say anything until Melissa did, so I think it’s only fair she has her say.

  26. Peg says:

    She needs to spill it to her best friends, therapist, and attorney. No one else wants to hear it. Get over it and get on with your life. Everyone gets dumped at some point. (Julie Cypher dumped Melissa and she whined about that in her book.) Move on. Some day she’ll be glad that she was available to meet someone better.

  27. Iggles says:

    Peg – Wow, what a world it would be if we could all easily “get over” a divorce: losing a spouse and breaking up your family.

    In such a world breeds temporariness. No need for lifelong commitments, since we would be alright with breaking up once that loving feeling is gone! (Why work thing out when you can fall in lust with a stranger around the corner!)

    *ends rant*

    Team Tammy!!!!
    Only the heartless could read that letter and think she’s in the wrong for expressing herself.

  28. Jeri says:

    Sometimes you can be in so much pain the last thing you care about is putting on a good face. Getting thru the day is tuff.

  29. gen says:

    Team Tammy all the way!!!

  30. Darlene says:

    Melissa got to air her grievances on Oprah, on Ellen, on WHEREVER. She got to write a (probably going to be) best-selling album about the breakup…

    Tammy gets her blog. GO TAMMY!

  31. Brittney says:

    I don’t see the problem with “airing your dirty laundry” in this particular way. Sometimes after a break-up, you feel so helpless and silenced that to express yourself in a somewhat public way is the only effective way to legitimize what you’re feeling and work toward finding some sense of closure… if that’s ever possible.

  32. Wendy says:

    Team Tammy!

  33. boo says:

    grow up Melissa you sound like a 12 yr old.

  34. erika says:

    Totally with Tammy on this one. If the ex is talking during press junkets why can’t she on her blog. Be true to yourself and you’ll have no regrets.

  35. Aspen says:

    How could anyone chastise her for that? This woman has been forced to watch her ex-wife parade all over the media circuit promoting her album while smiling a coy smile and shrugging her shoulders about the divorce as though it was nothing.

    Talk about a twisting the knife in the gut.

    And here Tammy is at home with two kids she thought she was raising with a partner…but that partner decided she couldn’t hang with a family life and was so selfish as to refuse owning that. She left her wife and kids because she just didn’t want to be a parent after all, and then she tells everyone with a mic and camera that the split was mutual.

    I don’t see how anyone could read what Tammy wrote and find anything to criticize. Some of you are clearly just too young or have never had enough pain in your lives to understand the difference between having someone break up with you…and having the co-parent of your children and your spouse just desert you for the glitter of something more glamorous.

    Tammy and the kids just got told they weren’t worth the effort.

    Team Tammy.

  36. Aussie Mama says:

    wow, that’s bloody sad, quite heart wrenching actually. the girl has song writing abilities herself.
    what a pity, it’s always the kiddies that suffer. the selfishness of a parent can be horrendous.
    me, me, me…..

  37. Sincerity says:


    Your advice is solid. People have gone entirely off into “the deep end” on social networking sites to their detriment. Once you publish something in the public arena, it’s almost impossible to retract what was said. None of us, lived day-in or day-out with this couple, so what actually went down between Melissa and Tammy is really between the both of them and that’s really where it should remain. Melissa Etheridge is a songwriter/performer and expressing herself artistically is a very therapeutic way for her to work through her difficulties. Tammy on the other hand, prefers to write; however, in this instance, a “personal” journal would be much better until she has had time to adequately process her heartache. Publicly trashing your partner only drives a wedge further between the both of you which effectively eliminates any chance of a reconciliation. Peg’s advice also was “right on the money” and time does heal all.

  38. Ophelia says:

    Team Tammy! And I hate the “team” stuff too, but I can make a few exceptions. The misplaced “whom” made me wince though.

  39. Diva says:

    Yeah, it’s one thing when the one who left isn’t on one of the biggest shows in the world telling the story she wants the world to believe, then maybe blogging isn’t the “right” thing to do as far as the “right and wrong” police are concerned, but Tammy Lynn Michaels has every pass in the world for using a much less public platform to straighten out the situation.

    Totally Team Tammy!

  40. WTF?!? says:

    How very 10th grade emo of her.
    This is an adult woman we’re talking about, right?

  41. Trashaddict says:

    Sounds so much like the death of a hetero marriage….

  42. says:

    i dont think this comes across as her playing a victim card at all.

  43. endoplasmic ridiculum says:

    I really feel for this woman. She has a right to set the record staight and stop the spin that the break up was mutual if it wasn’t.

  44. sketches says:

    Why on earth should anyone have an opinion about other people’s divorces/relationships? Team Tammy? Team Melissa? What nonsense!

  45. RHONYC says:

    “i’d rather hear 10,000 fans
    screaming my name in worship
    than hear my wife harp on me
    about my family intimacy issues too,
    you know?
    which one is going to get me harder?
    easy answer”


    homegirl can spit!

    awww…this is gonna be berry-berry INTERESTING indeed.

    p.s.- speaking of berry…doesn’t it seem that ms. ‘i’m the only one’ etheridge has got a case of the ‘halles’.

    she can’t keep a relationship fo’ shiz, lol!

    jussayin 🙂

  46. RHONYC says:

    hey now # 44…

    read the sign:

    ‘escapism can be smart’ 🙂

  47. outinri says:

    So regretfully, prior to reading the blog I purchased tix to see Melissa in Cape Cod, MA. My girlfreind and I go every year. We have decided to make TEAM TAMMY t shirts and wear them to the show…Front row seats. Think she’ll get the hint?

  48. Anna says:

    Maybe Tammy does have some right to express her feelings of being hurt, but she should not totaly insult Melilssa in doing it. Yes, Melissa expresses feelings in her music,but she never says the name Tammy in her songs, and never insults Tammy personaly in them. I back Melissa on this.

  49. Trish Young says:

    1st thing I noticed in all this is the fact that a woman WITH A CAREER OF HER OWN chose to give up her career IN THE NAME OF LOVE. I have noticed over the years that whether the relationship is homo or hetero, that giving up part of yourself will DOOM the relationship. While I feel sorry for ALL parties involved, they could have made the children thing work as the ORIGINAL children she was giving up her life for had another parent and she could have worked her schedule around Julie’s schedule. So TAMMY messed this up by changing the parameters of the relationship.

  50. Kim says:

    Just viewing this as a relationship with no attention payed to what type, I think Tammy should either sue for money to help take care of their kids or start writing her own music (her blog is sort of lyrical). Melissa was lucky to find such a pretty woman to love her. Melissa IS NOT “all that!” If I were lesbian, I wouldn’t be attracted to her.

  51. Debra says:

    I feel Melissa should fess up and pay child support and alimony. She was in a marriage and filed for divorce. Be a woman and take your medicine. It’s the right thing to do especially since Tammy gave up everything to be a stay at home mom/

  52. newlywed says:

    The irony is Melissa left her first wife when the kids were toddlers…. likely she will find another younger mommy now. Tammy you can do this! She owes you and the children a comfortable life… You stuck by her though sickness and in health. Melissa at least be as desent as courts would require any man to be!

  53. Linda says:

    I’m extremely disappointed in Melissa. I’ve been a fan for a while and I was so happy for M & T when they met and fell in love… What Melissa is doing now with this recent court action is appalling.

    Bottom line: Tammy deserves so much better. She’s beautiful and I pray she will one day find the love she deserves.

    I’m 100% Team Tammy!

    Melissa should be ashamed of herself leaving Tammy without any defences.I feel real bad for Tammy. But than again that seems to be melissas thing. Having Children with her partner and than …adios…bye..bye….Sound familiar??Tammy you go girl…What the….don’t even have $1,25 for gas?
    OMG……. I hope she wins the custody and financial support that she needs for her kids…and by the way…I REALY DO HOPE TAMMY DIDN”T SIGN A PRENUP….
    What a shitty way to be treated ..when you were there trough her cancer!!!!!
    I got no respect for melissa and I will not by any of her CD’s anymore …or go to her concerts and listen on the radio to her CRAP>>> TAMMY …HOLD YOUR HEAD UP ….and stick it to her…like she did to you… Blessings …..