Eat, Pray, Love author divorces man she married after leaving her first husband

Eat, Pray, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert and her Brazilian stud Felipe
Eat, Pray, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert and her Brazilian stud

Does abandoning your marriage in order to travel the world indicate that a woman has the character necessary for a life-long married love? Let’s look at a case in which a famous feminist abandoned her husband to travel to have adventures.

The New York Times writes:

Elizabeth Gilbert, whose best-selling 2006 memoir, “Eat Pray Love,” traced a journey of self-discovery around the world that continues to resonate with fans, announced a new chapter on Friday.

[…]Ms. Gilbert, speaking directly to her readers in a Facebook post, said that after 12 years she was separating from José Nunes, the Brazilian importer whom she met during her travels and later married, and who was a central character in the book.

“I am separating from the man whom many of you know as ‘Felipe,’ ” she wrote of her husband, referring to his pseudonym in the book. “Our split is very amicable. Our reasons are very personal.” She also asked for privacy, saying she would be “a bit absent from social media during this sensitive moment.”

“Eat Pray Love,” a sumptuous tale of escape, self-discovery and romance, quickly became a cultural phenomenon, though not one without criticism, with some noting that not every woman who wished to escape would have the privilege to live as sumptuously as Ms. Gilbert did on her sojourn through India, Italy and Bali.

The book, however, drew praise from Oprah Winfrey and was made into a 2010 film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. The tale also resonated with fans, mostly women, who either identified with being in an unhappy relationship or had managed to artfully escape one.

The phenomenon has endured over the past decade: The travelogue touched so many readers that it eventually spawned a book, “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It,” comprising 47 essays from inspired fans who had written their own tales of escape and discovery. That book was released in April.

[…]In April, Ms. Gilbert said that she missed travel: “I’ve never been to Japan, Iceland, South Africa and other places that it would be a pity to come to this earth and miss.”

Adventures, escape and discovery – that’s what young women want today. Not marriage, and not motherhood. They believe that they can find lasting happiness through travel and adventures. Even if they change their minds later, and want to marry, repeated acts of self-centered behavior do not prepare a woman for life-long self-sacrificial married love. Promiscuity and hedonism do not prepare a woman’s character to be content with the roles of wife and mother.

Here is Gilbert writing in the New York Times about her priorities:

It started with a boy I met at summer camp and ended with the man for whom I left my first husband. In between, I careened from one intimate entanglement to the next — dozens of them — without so much as a day off between romances. You might have called me a serial monogamist, except that I was never exactly monogamous. Relationships overlapped, and those overlaps were always marked by exhausting theatricality: sobbing arguments, shaming confrontations, broken hearts. Still, I kept doing it. I couldn’t not do it.

[…]If the man was already involved in a committed relationship, I knew that I didn’t need to be prettier or better than his existing girlfriend; I just needed to be different.

[…]Soon enough, and sure enough, I might begin to see that man’s gaze toward me change from indifference, to friendship, to open desire. That’s what I was after: the telekinesis-like sensation of steadily dragging somebody’s fullest attention toward me and only me. My guilt about the other woman was no match for the intoxicating knowledge that — somewhere on the other side of town — somebody couldn’t sleep that night because he was thinking about me. If he needed to sneak out of his house after midnight in order to call, better still. That was power, but it was also affirmation. I was someone’s irresistible treasure. I loved that sensation, and I needed it, not sometimes, not even often, but always.

[…]In my mid-20s, I married, but not even matrimony slowed me down. Predictably, I grew restless and lonely. Soon enough I seduced someone new; the marriage collapsed. But it was worse than just that. Before my divorce agreement was even signed, I was already breaking up with the guy I had broken up my marriage for.

[…][I]f you asked me what I was up to, I might have claimed that I was a helpless romantic — and how can you judge that? If really cornered, I might have argued that I was a revolutionary feminist, taking brazen agency over my own sexuality…

She didn’t want to commit and love others self-sacrificially. That’s boring! She wanted to get attention and drama. Men liked her because she was easy to use and easy to throw away. She wasn’t anyone’s “irresistible treasure”, because she didn’t have enough value for any of these men to commit to her for life and take care of her as she aged. The men she chose wanted sex, but they were not going to actually provide for her or protect her when she reached her 70s, 80s and 90s.  The question that we need to ask is whether a woman like this can stay married. Is she capable of doing the work that ordinary wives and mothers do in a married home – the work that wins a man’s loyalty for life? Is she capable of behaving in a way that leads a man to commit to caring for her when she is no longer young and pretty?

Let’s review what happened after Elizabeth Gilbert divorced her first husband for travel and adventures.

Christian men’s rights blogger Dalrock explains:

Having written a book on divorce, Elizabeth decided to write a book on marriage titled Committed.

From the Publishers Weekly review on Amazon:

How did a woman who didn’t want children land the only Latino hottie with a vasectomy in all of Indonesia?

[…][I]t turns out he needed a visa to get into the US, so he asked Elizabeth to marry him.  After a year of bickering and unhappiness together, she finally said yes after he explained it to her.

From the Publishers Weekly book review on Amazon.com:

When are you going to understand? As soon as we secure this bloody visa and get ourselves safely married back in America, we can do whatever the hell we want.

You couldn’t make stuff this romantic up!

That was 6 years ago, Elizabeth is about 47 now and divorced again. I wonder how well her plan of “seducing” men and getting no commitment in return will work over the next 40 years? Tramp stamps and belly-button rings seem fun when you are 17, but are not so fun when you are 71. Hooking up, cohabitating, traveling and having adventures seems to make sense when you are 17, but they don’t result in a man standing by you when you are 71. A woman needs to invest in a marriage-minded man early, and sustain this investment if she expects him to stick around when she loses her youth and beauty. Not every man will respond to this investment, but it is her job to choose one who will – with the help of wise advisers.

UPDATE:

In early September 2016, it emerged that she is now in a relationship with her best female friend.

31 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love author divorces man she married after leaving her first husband”

      1. The first two definitions and the second part of the 3rd definition seem to fit perfectly:

        slut
        [sluht]
        noun
        1. Disparaging and Offensive. a sexually promiscuous woman, or a woman who behaves or dresses in an overtly sexual way.
        2. Informal. a person with a seemingly insatiable but often undiscerning desire to do or have something specified: guilty of being a shoe slut;
        a book slut, reading five books at once.
        3. Archaic. a prostitute; harlot. an immoral or dissolute woman. a dirty, slovenly woman.

      1. Nope, I had several other contributions to the conversation, and no one has yet shown the definition of the term I used to be not applicable.

    1. Is Oprah any better? Are you saying she has values? She’s been in a relationship for years. Sin is sin whether you’re a TV icon or not.

  1. Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    Slut.

    Anyone who is surprised this happened… is incredibly naïve. The precedent was already set; she’s just following the pattern she already established.

    She will likely end up all alone with her cats, and a freezer of ice cream. ;)

  2. I’d heard of the book/movie but didn’t realize what an over-the-top slut and homewrecker she was. Wow.

    The fact that an individual like her is so wicked isn’t surprising, but it is pretty sad that she was so popular with the masses.

  3. I wonder how many of her fans who have lost husbands have considered that it was women like Gilbert who stole them, or how they’d feel if Gilbert stole their current guys.

  4. Seems like the feminism inspired culture today will reap its consequences through divorces, unstable relationships and the complete refusal of self-sacrificial love the bible teaches. Not to mention, children born out of selfish marriages who suffer the most. May God help more women to learn from His love.

  5. Self discovery and the body bags it creates. When men are self-centered, shallow narcissists that’s bad, but this is of course is completely different, and such deep thinkers as Oprah and Roberts concur. Courage is being married and making it work.

  6. “Relationships overlapped, and those overlaps were always marked by exhausting theatricality: sobbing arguments, shaming confrontations, broken hearts. Still, I kept doing it. I couldn’t not do it.”

    Borderline personality disorder. These people need high conflict relationships and drama to feel alive. Among women its virtually an expression of sociopathy, because they are self-absorbed to the extent that they can behave with unbelievable indifference and callousness towards people close to them.

    The guys she married were probably put through absolute hell before she walked off to in search of new prey.

    It’s also not unusual for BPD women to have some kind of serious interest in mysticism/yoga/meditation. They are fundamentally broken people and continually looking for something that will give them a sense of completion and peace.

    They usually end up with a superior, holier-than-thou attitude to go with their sociopathy. They’re utterly revolting people, and its not unusual for BPD women to end up losing their minds completely as they age and they get less attention.

    1. No, no, you’re too clinical. She is isn’t a raving psychopath addicted to sex. She’s just “romantic” and “adventurous”. She is just taking feminism seriously. Not crazy at all.

      I think the most horrifying about this story is that there is something inside all women who bought into her values that seeks to abandonment all commitments and deny all obligations to others in relationships.

      1. He’s right, WK: there are a TON of psychopathic / sociopathic women in our culture today.

        Just stand in front of an abortion mill and observe. Very few are conflicted or shameful about what they are about to do. Some are even celebrating their impending abortion. And many claim Christ as they go in. Our abortionist certainly does.

        You may be the luckiest man on earth to have put off marriage.

    2. “Borderline personality disorder. These people need high conflict relationships and drama to feel alive. Among women its virtually an expression of sociopathy, because they are self-absorbed to the extent that they can behave with unbelievable indifference and callousness towards people close to them.”

      You make me happy because you saved me all of this writing.

      To add, the first thing that came to mind was narcissism. She wanted to dominate men, was oblivious to the pain it caused these men, and then once she had secured this person, she started the process anew all under the guise of being a “romantic”.

      She wasn’t romantic or self-empowered, she was, in more familiar terms, a shallow homewrecker. Slap on the guise of female empowerment and you have the 3rd-wave feminists all climbing aboard and making excuses for what they would never tolerate in men: using people for your own self-pleasure regardless of the harm it causes them.

      Welcome to the age of male objectification under the guise of female empowerment.

    3. I can’t help but notice the “holier-than-thou” tone of your post, as well as the overt hostility. Which Bible verse teaches that?

  7. On the one hand, her inability to get past the boredom of a relationship of intermediate length seems a bit sad. On the other hand, I have no doubt that she will continue to attract men for short relationships. Honestly her experiences as a seducer don’t seem like they would lead to a lot of confidence in fidelity. But she has a lot of money so even if she didn’t have the attractive features she has relied on in the past, I’m sure she will continue to find company and adventure. A confirmed bachelorette.

    1. She isn’t a desperate slut at all, she’s a seductress and a true romantic. She can be faithful if she wants to be, despite her repeated pattern of infidelity and self-centeredness. Pretty sure.

  8. She was naive and gulliable in Bali, laughably so. I never finished the book. It was disgusting.

  9. What shocks me most reading this thread is the blatant hypocrisy and judgmentalism and vitriol from those who call themselves “Christians”. This woman is authentic and courageous. Which one of you has a myriad of best sell book titles under your belt? Which one of you is courageous enough to put your inner most thoughts in a book – in the hope of helping others with similar struggles – for millions to digest?
    I think its important to love one another and support people, as opposed to siting on the side lines waiting to caste judgements. My experience in life tells me that that is what lonely unfilled people do- people whose own fear of failure paralyses them and keeps them in their conservative and unhappy boxes. Is this what Christianity looks like? No thank you.

    1. Haha – that was funny – great snark, Shannon!

      You were being sarcastic, right?

      Because, if not, then your statement below is self-refuting, since it is a judgment itself on this thread and those who participated:

      “What shocks me most reading this thread is the blatant hypocrisy and judgmentalism and vitriol from those who call themselves “Christians”. “

  10. “They are fundamentally broken people and continually looking for something that will give them a sense of completion and peace.”

    Isn’t this what most people could say about themselves? Let’s be completely honest here. Is anyone 100% content and perfectly happy all the time? No.

    That’s what’s so great about the message of Christianity, though. No one is perfect. Rather than trying to “fix” whatever your problem is with relationships, yoga, wine, pasta, etc… you can get to the realization that it’s all been fixed by the love of God.

    As far as writing about this woman and casting judgment on her – no one is judging people here. Ms. Gilbert is putting her message out there for the public to read, and preaching a message. Her message is destructive! She’s destroyed herself and her relationships in search for a happiness she will likely never attain because she isn’t comfortable in her own skin. She’s looked in all the wrong places. And it’s important, when someone makes a spectacle of her search and acts like she’s found it, that we address the error in her ways – publicly – for the benefit of all the other people out there in a similar predicament.

    1. I think this generation really struggles to see the value in setting boundaries on self-destructive behavior. They would rather indulge their desires and then pass the costs on to others, than learn what not to do so they can avoid making the mistakes. A lot of women tend to want to minimize their responsibility by saying that the terrible, costly consequences were unpredictable because life is unpredictable, but the truth is there are moral rules and there are boundaries, and the harm that results to society and children from breaking the rules is real and evident to anyone who wants to be guided by evidence instead of emotions. We are in an epidemic of female-initiated divorce for unhappiness, and the harm caused to children is real, and the costs born by taxpayers (not just welfare, but additional law enforcement) is real, too.

      1. I think this generation really struggles to see the value in setting boundaries on self-destructive behavior.

        On their own self destructive behavior. These are the same people who wish to surround everyone else with a bramble of regulations and rules lest anyone be microtriggered by a nanoaggression. So we have the worst of both sides of the same coin: people who refuse to control their own worst behavior because “you can’t judge me!” but who at the same time insist on controlling everyone else around them.

        It’s probably just a coincidence that prescriptions for anti-depressants and other psychoactive drugs are at all time highs…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s