Why John Lennon Said He ‘Would Never Bother’ Divorcing Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s marriage began after his first divorce
In November 1966, Lennon and Ono met at a London gallery where she was preparing for an exhibition (per Vogue.) They had an immediate connection, though he was married to his first wife, Cynthia Lennon.
Though John Lennon divorced his first wife, he said he probably would never have done the same in his marriage to Yoko Ono. Even after he and Ono split and were somewhat detached, he didn’t see a reason to terminate their relationship legally. He once explained why they “probably would never bother” divorcing each other, even if they decided to live separate lives.
“This is … the madness of it all — to this day I don’t understand that, but it’s almost as though … John’s attitude in life was: The best form of defense is attack,” Cynthia told NPR’s Fresh Air in 1985. She added, “It was one of those situations I will never understand.”
Cynthia eventually found out about the affair when she came home, and Ono was there. Lennon filed for divorce from his first wife and supposedly tried to get custody of their son, Julian Lennon, by accusing her of adultery.
Why John Lennon and Yoko Ono ‘probably would have never bothered getting a divorce’
In a 1975 interview with SPIN, Lennon spoke about his marriage to Ono, which led to the birth of Sean Lennon and, eventually, a “failure” of a separation. “They always say, ‘Their marriage was a failure,’ at every divorce. Ours was the other way around,” he explained. “Our separation was a failure.”
Cynthia said Lennon hurt her, but she wasn’t angry or bitter. And she thought “he found his space” with Ono, whom he married in 1969.
“… It was fate, or our decision, or whatever. I don’t know how it worked,” the former Beatle shared. “We knew we’d get back together one way or another, but had no idea when.”
He added, “We knew we would get together one day, but it could have been ten years.”
Furthermore, Lennon said he didn’t see himself marrying a third time.
Lennon said that legally ending their marriage wasn’t a priority for a simple reason. “We probably would never bother getting a divorce. I mean, if you’re living apart you are as divorced as can be.”
Paul McCartney looks back with some anger on his relationship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
John Lennon left The Beatles after he married Yoko Ono, and Paul McCartney had thoughts
Lennon seemed to feel vastly different about his time with The Beatles than he did about marriage to Ono. That is, he ended his time with the band conclusively.
WARNING: there’s a bit of swearing at the end of this video 🎸 🎸
McCartney guessed it might have been because they grew up in Liverpool, “where it was always good to get in the first punch in a fight.”
According to Paul McCartney, Lennon became antagonistic without explanation after bowing out of The Beatles. He told BBC Radio 4, “Everyone was flailing around, [and] John turned nasty. I don’t really understand why.”
But he didn’t exactly buy into everything the couple was selling. For instance: “War is over.”
And though some have argued Ono broke up the band, McCartney said, “I’d been able to accept Yoko in the studio, sitting on a blanket in front of my amp.”
“Well, no it isn’t,” he pointed out. “But I get what you’re saying …”