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The Righteous Choice of Gisele Bündchen: Walking Away from Her Marriage to Tom Brady

The Righteous Choice of Gisele Bündchen: Walking Away from Her Marriage to Tom Brady

Gisele Bündchen, the wife of the legendary quarterback Tom Brady, finds herself deeply upset as he continues to play football despite retiring at the end of the last season, only to "unretire" six weeks later.

In a conversation with Elle magazine, the supermodel subtly expressed her disappointment, saying, "I've fulfilled my role, which was to be there for Tom. I focused on creating a safe haven and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to support him and his aspirations."

However, her support appears to have dwindled over time. Recently, Gisele has taken solo trips to both Costa Rica and New York, even skipping Brady's first game of his third season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In essence, the Brazilian beauty has been quietly contemplating the idea of leaving her marriage – an experience many wives and mothers of a certain age can understand. At some point, managing a household, raising children, supporting a husband's career, all while keeping the romance alive, can feel overwhelming. 

Particularly during challenging times like the pandemic. It's only natural for any of us to fantasize about taking a break and prioritizing ourselves.

The Righteous Choice of Gisele Bündchen: Walking Away from Her Marriage to Tom Brady

While it's true that Gisele receives more assistance than most in managing her household, it doesn't necessarily make it easier, as one expert points out.

"Invisible labor doesn't just refer to the physical tasks that need to be accomplished," says Gemma Hartley, author of "Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward."

"It includes noticing, planning, and delegating. Even when we delegate this work to others, women still feel responsible for it, and it remains on our plates."

Supporting her superstar husband means Gisele likely parents by herself for at least half the year, celebrates Christmas alone, manages the household and staff, deals with both physical and emotional challenges, and even relocates to Tampa. (Tampa!)

"There's an expectation that men can focus more on their jobs than women can, even for non-celebrity couples," adds Hartley. "This often means neglecting the invisible work necessary to sustain a relationship, a life, and a family."

When she married Brady, Gisele was one of the most successful supermodels of all time, having graced over 2,000 magazine covers and boasting a net worth of $400 million. However, since 2009, she has devoted herself to raising her children with Brady – Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, 9 – as well as stepson Jack, 15. Though she didn't completely retire from modeling, she considerably reduced her cover shoots and campaigns and stopped doing runway shows.

Meanwhile, Brady has accomplished incredible feats, winning seven Super Bowls and amassing a fortune of $250 million, undoubtedly cementing his place as the greatest quarterback of all time. One wonders what more he has left to prove.

As 42-year-old Gisele revealed to Elle, "Now it's my turn. It's not like I'm going to remain in the shadows forever."

Perhaps all she needs is an extended vacation, or maybe it's a sign of an impending divorce.

Many professional working mothers with husbands who are reluctant to take on household responsibilities face a tough choice, as author Lara Bazelon explains in her book, "Ambitious Like a Mother."

"They either drastically compromise who they are and what they want to stay in the marriage or choose to leave."

A study conducted by the American Sociological Association in 2015 found that women initiate 69% of divorces, and among college-educated women, the number rises to 90%.

For now, it seems Gisele is still pondering her decision, although she has been clear about her desires from her husband, stating, "I would like him to be more present."

"I've had these conversations with him countless times," she adds. "But ultimately, I believe everyone must make decisions that work for them. He also needs to pursue his happiness."

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