In the bitter war that is the divorce of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, it seems the wounded-in-action are still on the field. The former ‘King and Queen of Country’ have been the subject of enormous rumor and innuendo. But beyond the speculations, they also constantly fan the fire between them. And what they aren’t doing with their lives is moving on.
The Divorce: His Side
Blake Shelton‘s side of the story is pretty straightforward. Miranda cheated. He filed for divorce. How much she cheated and with whom remains a mystery, but neither of them has given much denial to the allegations.
One rumor was that Miranda cheated with Chris Young, an up-and-coming star who recently became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Lambert and Young shared the same manager. He also joined her on tour in 2012. When news broke of Lambert/Shelton split, Young was quickly implicated. And he just as quickly denied it.
Young immediately tweeted, “I don’t normally address gossip but in this case I will. My name has been mentioned as a contributing factor in Blake and Miranda’s divorce. That is totally FALSE. They are both my friends and I would not betray that friendship. Just wanted to clear that up. Love you guys. -CY.“
However, Young wasn’t the only rumor of infidelity. Miranda supposedly had another lover, though the name never came to light. And Shelton has only fanned the flames of the suspicions about Lambert’s infidelity.
According to PEOPLE, his songs implicate Miranda in their divorce. For example, when asked if “She’s Got A Way With Words” referred to an ex, Shelton didn’t argue. That song is about a lover who lied and cheated. Not exactly subtle.
In an interview with Billboard, Shelton flat out admitted that his 2016 album, If I’m Honest, tells his story. “If you listen to [the album],” says Shelton, “you can learn some facts of my divorce. Maybe not specifics, but you can get a general idea about it. It is my divorce record.” (Notably, “She’s Got A Way With Words” is on that album.)
But that’s not exactly Lambert tells it.
The Divorce: Her Side
Miranda didn’t immediately open up about the split. In fact, she so staunchly opposed talking about it that she cut short an interview when the subject of Shelton came up–an interview that was actually for her latest album that was about to release. (That album was The Weight of These Wings, which went on to the No. 1 spot on the charts and was nominated for the CMA Album of the Year.)
But earlier this year, she finally spoke publicly about it to Billboard. She even explained why she stopped that interview about her new record.
“I just didn’t need to talk about the record,” she told Billboard. “If you want to hear my side of the story or my opinion of what happened, it’s all on there. There’s no mystery anymore — take from it what you will.”
She has said that Weight isn’t a divorce album, but she also told CMT that the album chronicles her life. “It’s a double record, and it’s very much a story of my last couple of years and all the things you go through in life,” she said. So it may not be just a divorce album–but you can’t abstract that from it, either.
Her album covers everything from hitting the road Thelma & Louise style (“Highway Vagabond”) and feeling all girl (“Pink Sunglasses”) to painfully beautiful lyrics of heartache (“Tin Man“).
She summed it up poignantly in her Billboard interview. “I’m more known for my fiery personality and my confidence, but that’s not me all the time,” she says. “I won’t look at things ever again in the same light, because different things in your life bring you to a deeper level with yourself. I won’t take pain for granted anymore.”
Though the full details of their split are a bit muddled, what is painfully clear is how difficult it’s been for both of them to move on.
During his Billboard interview about If I’m Honest, Shelton admitted how hard the divorce was. “When we recorded the vocals for some of these songs, I was only six months removed from when all the crap went down,” says Shelton. “When you have a broken heart — at least, when I do — you got to get it out of your system. You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell.”
And Lambert’s statement about “not taking pain for granted” clearly implies a similar sentiment.
Two years later, the pair presented a front that they’ve moved on. Both seem to be happily settled into new relationships. There wasn’t much to fight about because they had a prenup. And yet, they actually haven’t moved on.
For two people who have moved on, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert never seem to stop interacting. Both as friends and foes.
On the one hand, they act like flirtatious friends who didn’t ever really break up. For example, shortly after their divorce they were exchanging tweets like pals.
And in an interview with CNN, Shelton said, “Our whole thing was, you know, we’re just going to be cool about this,” Shelton said. “It is what it is. We’re buddies.”
So they say they’re cool. Friends. But these two “buddies” sure exchange a hell of a lot of fire from their still-smoking-guns. Even just recently, the pair got into a Twitter war about Garth Brooks lip-synching at the CMA Awards. (Can we say petty?)
Miranda: The Evidence
Lambert has given up ample evidence that she hasn’t moved on. For one, she said in a recent interview that she lives for “music and mutts.” She said men used to be on that list, but not anymore. Um, that’s a pretty pointed statement for someone is is supposedly in a serious relationship.
And speaking of Anderson East, what is happening there? The rumors say they may get engaged soon, but the rumors also say she won’t because of her feelings for Blake.
Still aren’t certain? Just listen to some of the lyrics on her new album. “Well Rested” is a particularly good example. The track is about a woman who finds herself with a man falling in love with her–but she isn’t ready. The timing just isn’t there.
The song begins, Well, this moment is heavy / For me, I’m not ready / Like a caged bird barely set free / Forgive me, I’m finding my wings.
Then the chorus cements the message, It’s your tail you’re chasing / It’s your past I’m erasing / And your heart can’t be tested / When it ain’t well-rested.
And in case you have any doubt if she’s singing about her own heart, read the last lines: Don’t waste your investment / If your heart ain’t well-rested / My heart ain’t well-rested.
If you really want to reflect on it, consider how quickly she began dating Anderson following her divorce. Perhaps they aren’t more serious because her heart wasn’t “well-rested” when they started.
Blake: The Evidence
And as for Blake, if he’s past his divorce from Miranda, why initiate fights on Twitter? Go live your life.
And here’s another thing. Ask Gwen to marry you! All of us get a steady social media diet of how great the relationship is and how crazy about her you are. From holidays to hanging with her kids, Blake and Gwen are anything but avoiding the spotlight. So what’s up? Why is their relationship in the same place it was two years ago?
They say that in any story there is his side, her side, and the truth. The truth of what actually happened is a matter of some debate. And whether they’ve truly moved on isn’t altogether certain, either. Maybe they aren’t hung up on each other. Maybe they’re hung up what happened. Whatever it is, the evidence says something is up.
One of the most interesting facts about their divorce is how quickly the story between the couple changed. As Rolling Stone noted, Blake surprised Miranda at her Wichita concert in May 2015. The two sang “God Gave Me You” together, a song he had dedicated to her when he wrote it. When they finished, she had tears in her eyes. Two months later, the couple announced their divorce. Shelton filed the papers and the divorce was final just a few weeks later.
It’s difficult to move past something so equally devastating and surprising.
Perhaps 2018 will give us more insight. Maybe they will actually move on with their lives and relationships. What do you think? Sound off in the comments if you think they have or haven’t moved on, who’s to blame, or anything else you want to share about the fallen country Camelot.