The story of Ronnie Wood trading in his beautiful wife Jo for a younger model who looks almost identical is an all too familiar one, particularly for a divorce lawyer like me.
Whilst of course wealthy powerful men have always been a magnet for young women there has been a marked societal change over the last fifty years, running alongside women’s liberation. Men from all social stratas are now believing that they deserve better and younger. Whether it is the media that has fuelled this arrogant belief or simply their own life experiences, is a matter of debate.
However, alongside the disintegration of family life, we have seen an ever increasing phenomenon of men who cherche Ie temps perdu – in essence looking for their youth and believing that they will be far happier with an exact replica but younger version of their wives.
The recent example of Ronnie Wood saw him exchanging a long suffering supportive and loving wife” for a “young wild and exciting version”. There are of course very happy exceptions to this but they tend to be in a minority.
However, from my experience as a divorce lawyer, what we see some five years down the line is the fall out from these new wild and exciting relationships. Put simply they do not work! What happens at that stage is that the husband will bitterly regret his decision to live the exciting wild party driven lifestyle and be longing for a quiet life by the fireside. Suddenly age catches up on them and they realise that they had little, if nothing, in common with their new partner and a lifestyle that simply is too overwhelming for them. They are expected to perform sexually in a way that might have been very exciting at first but becomes exhausting after a few years. Suddenly they feel like performing animals and their egos will not allow them to fail to perform as expected. Many of them turn to Viagra for assistance with its side effects and exhaustion. A lot of such men have dragged themselves into my office sitting exhausted and begging
for me to do something to end their misery! These relationships started out so hopeful but ended disastrously.
Young women are extremely savvy as to their financial rights and accordinglythese wealthy powerful men can suddenly find themselves on the end of huge financial claims, with head in hands asking themselves why they did not draw up a pre-nuptial agreement to protect themselves. It would seem that these men
are caught up in the whirl of fantasy and lust and their brains in many cases have simply not functioned with any clarity.
In the case of Paul McCartney, he was seeking the added comfort after the loss of a loved one and therefore was extremely susceptible to chasing the dream. This ended in tears as we all saw clearly and him having been subjected to what we refer to as ‘Mirror Wives Syndrome’ where the man will seek a similar looking women years younger.