Gwen Stefani: Marriage ‘was the one thing I didn’t want to fail at’


Multi-hyphenate Gwen Stefani was one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year for 2016. In her interview with the magazine, Gwen speaks on the topics that she has been covering rather steadily for the last year – her divorce, her kids, Blake Shelton and how her career became her lifeline throughout it all. Only in this interview, Gwen really does sound more reflective, like a person who has finally allowed the whirlwind events of the last three years to sink in. I was a teen in the ’80s so I have a soft spot for Gwen but I’ll admit that I tuned her out for most of the last year. Reading this interview tuned me back in a little.

Taking stock of the last year: Mind-blowing. I don’t understand my journey. It’s so crazy. But one thing I learned is, that’s what life is. We all have to go through hard times. Tragedies. Those are given to us to see what we’re going to do with them. How can we give back? How can we improve when we have these challenges?

On being embarrassed by her divorce: I don’t think you’ll talk to one person who didn’t make it in a marriage who’s not gonna feel that way. The intention of being married is the vow, right? You want to put everything into it to make it a success. And all I had to look at was the huge success of my parents: They just had their fiftieth anniversary. I had to work really hard at marriage, all the time, like everybody, but ours was extra hard, when you add that we’re from different countries, both of us being in music, and celebrity. [Marriage] was the one thing I didn’t want to fail at. People can say whatever they want to about me…and I don’t get too affected. But I didn’t want them to think I was a failure. There’s nothing weird about how I felt.

On how writing her album “saved (her) life”: It released me from that feeling of hopelessness. When I was in the studio for This Is What the Truth Feels Like, it was like, I need to be here right now. This is the only place I feel good. It doesn’t matter what comes out of this, as far as my career—this isn’t about a hit. It’s about saving my life. And it was interesting, because I know you’re going to ask me about Blake, but finding somebody who was going through the exact same experience? [Shelton divorced country singer Miranda Lambert at about the same time.] That was an inspiration. He was a friend to me when I needed a friend. An unexpected gift. And that became an inspiration in the songwriting.

On the differences between her and Blake: It’s definitely two different cultures. But there are many similarities, in things that we love and our ­morals. But it’s really fun when you can learn about so many new things and share those differences.

[From Glamour]

The interview also talks about how Gwen came to design fashion and her views as a mother. She discussed taking the boys on the road with her and how much they enjoyed it. I never really understood how a child could like the rigors of touring but she gives a little insight, such as Zuma loving his role of helping his mom and opening the curtains for her after her costume changes.

I completely agree that there was nothing weird about how she felt in regards to her divorce. I feel like her thoughts in that answer explain why she was so over-the-top about Blake. I was struck, however, by the similarities in her answers about the differences between herself and both Gavin and Blake. Obviously different countries will form a wider cultural gap than different regions but if you’re discussing contrasts, Cali girl and country boy are pretty extreme. It almost reads like the challenges she saw going against her marriage are what are working for her and Blake. It doesn’t work like that and I really hope she’s not making the same mistake twice. For the time being, though, Gwen seems content and I am glad to hear it – she’s had a rough couple of years. We all work our stuff out in different ways, if keeping her name in the headlines was what she had to do to sort her head, so be it.




Photo credit: WENN and Fame/Flynet Photos

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17 Responses to “Gwen Stefani: Marriage ‘was the one thing I didn’t want to fail at’”

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  1. Melly says:

    It sounds like she might have gone to therapy. She sounds far more reflective and insightful here than she has in a long time.

  2. Meandyou says:

    You didn’t fail Gwen. You married a d**ck who cheated on you but that is not your fault. My parents have been married for 42 years and while I admire that, they are not a model for my marriage and my relationship with my husband because we are different people and my parents, my mom especially, come from a time where women tolerated more. I love them both to death but I take what I like from their relationship. So in a way, aspiring to that standard is good but if things don’t work out the way you expect, don’t feel shame because you are a different person than your mom and your husband is a different person from your dad.

    I remember Gwen when she came out with No Doubt and that was mid 90s, not 80s! I was a teen then too. I loved her then but haven’t followed her music much since. She seemed annoying for a while with her cultural appropriations of harajuku girls and Blake, but ultimately I think she’s harmless. If she wanted to be over the top with Blake and stick it to Gavin, so be it. I don’t mind. It’s good she found her way back and she seems in a better place now.

    • emma says:

      I think the whole marriage-failing thing comes from her Catholic upbringing. One for life! I doubt she’d get her marriage to Gavin annulled for the sake of her children, so she may never marry again.

  3. Heat says:

    I was also a teenager of the 80s and loved No Doubt. I always hoped that, in the end, Gwen & Tony Kanal would wind up back together.
    She does sound a lot more introspective here, which is nice. And I get that she can only answer the interview questions that she is actually asked, but I am truly tired of hearing about it; I just don’t care, anymore. Heck, even GOOP stopped talking about her conscious uncoupling faster than this.
    If I were Gwen, I’d be telling every interviewer to stop asking about the divorce, and focus on something else. Or, maybe there’s nothing else in her life worth asking about. Hmmm…sad.

  4. Size Does Matter says:

    Gwen referring to her marriage as “extra hard” because they were from different countries and both are in music and are celebrities. GMAFB. They had so much in common plus access to resources most people only dream about. It’s like she’s still trying to justify the divorce to herself, as in they could have made it if it was “regular hard” instead of “extra hard.”

    • kai says:

      Yeah, I can’t read her interviews anymore. I’m sure it was all very hard for her, but divorce doesn’t fall under “tragedy” in my world.

    • Sunshine Gold says:

      Yes, give her a little break! That was her experience. How can you judge someone on how they feel about their divorce? It’s so, so, so personal. Rich, famous people still have feelings and failings, it’s not like relationships are easy because you have money!

  5. Redgrl says:

    Time to be quiet about this, Gwen.

  6. SM says:

    My dear God. I actually think this bugs me more that the award for men ally of the year for Bono (or whatever title they threw on it). What does it way to girls around the world when Gwen keeps identifying her self only as an extension of men she falls in love with, she constantly admits that she made a carrier out of her relationships with men. She can;t stay singe and is driven my the sole motivation of being admired by men (remember how she said that she puts her make up on at home just for her husband) …. nice one. And by the way, a while back her ex husband complained about press exploiting their marriage and that he wishes it would stop. Well,maybe he shouldn’t complain about this to the press and just talk to his ex wife. She is exhausting.

    • emma says:

      All the songs from No Doubt were about boys too or her insecurities. I love No Doubt, but coming back and listening to the lyrics is kind of depressing sometimes.

  7. elle says:

    Has she always had wonk-eye or is she just wearing eyelashes that are too heavy?

  8. Andrea says:

    Her relationship will combust that is clear. She seems far too needy/clingy. I wish her the best but I think she has a lot of inward self reflection to still focus on sans Blake.

  9. Amanda G says:

    Um, No Doubt formed in 80′s but weren’t popular until the mid-90′s.

    I wonder how SHE failed the marriage? By giving up? Or was it not all Gavin’s fault like she claims?

    She always jumps from one long relationship to the next. I would love for her to be single for awhile to get to know herself better and gain some independence. She molds herself into what her guy wants/likes. Things with Blake happened so fast… I don’t believe one can move on from a 20 year relationship that quickly. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop with Shefani.

  10. Granger says:

    That cover photo is incredible. As in, incredibly photoshopped.

  11. jferber says:

    You didn’t fail, Gwen. It was your ex-husband who failed you and the kids. Don’t beat yourself up.