Men like Joe Jonas are learning what it’s like to be a woman – and they don’t like it

Left holding the baby while your other half lives it up? Welcome to my world – and that of many others...

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner – he has filed for divorce, saying the relationship was ‘irretrievably broken’ Credit: Getty

It’s a source of tension that will be familiar to any couple with busy careers and young children. One half of the partnership works hard – but likes to play hard too. Downtime is ideally for drinking, dancing and having fun. The other, meanwhile, also puts in the hours at work, and, not unreasonably, wants the other parent to be around a bit more – maybe read a bedtime story once in a while, or be up for a bit of Netflix and chill at home rather than always out on the lash. 

So should we be pitying Joe Jonas, or secretly, schadenfreude smug that finally someone male understands what many of us women have been putting up with for years?

To recap: Jonas is the fresh-faced, 34-year-old musician who shot to fame as one third of the boys-next-door pop rock band The Jonas Brothers (the other two were his actual brothers). Four years ago he married the actress Sophie Turner, then 23, who is probably most famous for playing the imperious Sansa Stark in the HBO epic Game of Thrones. Since then the pair have had two daughters; on Tuesday, Jonas filed for divorce, saying the relationship was “irretrievably broken”. Days earlier, Turner, who has just wrapped filming on her latest TV series, Joan, was spotted partying at Dropshot Digbeth, a bar in Birmingham that bills itself as a “multi-use activity bar” where you can, as Turner did, not only enjoy a drink – cocktails for a mere £6.50 – but also throw a few punches in a boxing game. Sources are attributing this apparent love of the lash as one of the reasons for the split. Turner, 27, “likes to party”, one acquaintance of the couple told the gossip website TMZ. Jonas, “likes to stay home. They have very different lifestyles”.

The couple in 2019 – he is said to prefer a quiet life while she is said to prefer partying Credit: Jeff Kravitz

There’s so much to unpick here. First: the staying out/going in thing. I mean, I’ve been there, Joe. You’ve got the kids to bed, tidied the house, had a bath, cooked a nice meal, got the fave TV series lined up on Netflix. Hell, if it’s a Friday, you might even have got the cocktail-making gear out. But then the minutes and the hours tick past, and the dinner gets cold, and the phone keeps ringing out and you finally acknowledge what you knew all along: that it was never just going to be one drink after work, was it, it was always going to end up with shots and a boxing game and you, having finally given up and gone to bed, peacefully fast asleep until approximately 3am when they roll in steaming, trying to stay quiet but failing miserably, then passing out in a sweaty, stinky mess beside you. 

Then there’s the childcare thing. Jonas’s divorce petition states that the couple will share parental responsibilities, with joint custody, and initiates a parenting plan: the kids’ primary residence will be in Miami, where until recently, the couple owned a mega mansion (they sold it for $15m earlier this month). But one person close to the couple says that who looks after the kids is the biggest issue of all, suggesting that Jonas has been left caring for the two of them “pretty much all of the time”, including when his band is touring (he also reportedly wants another child). 

Again, been there, done that, sorted the playdates – not to mention booked the swimming lessons, got rid of the nits, baked for the cake sale, gone to the parent teacher meetings, read ALL the class WhatsApp messages, cleaned up the sick and read the stories (many, many times over). It’s bloody hard work, looking after small children, isn’t it Joe? We’d all like to be a bit more Sophie, wouldn’t we? And sometimes we do indeed channel our inner Sophie and escape for a night out, at which point you can very much catch us enjoying £6.50 cocktails and punching something very hard. But nobody’s actually filing for divorce over it, are they?

Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Credit: HBO

In fact, I think the biggest problem of all here is that he’s an American and she’s a Brit, and there are your irreconcilable differences right there. Squeaky clean Joe grew up the son of a Pentecostal minister, wearing a purity ring as a symbol of his desire to wait until marriage to have sex (spoiler: he didn’t wait). Turner (who has called the purity ring “laughably, toe-curlingly lame”) grew up in the Warwickshire countryside with two older brothers and a load of pigs. He wants to stay in Florida, she’s desperate to move back to England, missing “the people, the attitude, everything” (that “everything” is doing a lot of work there). His favourite drink is sangria, and he’s lent his face and name to a carbonated, canned, “low cal” version with 80 per cent less sugar. She had her hen do in Benidorm, clearly likes the odd cocktail and is on record as having wished she “could have gone out and drunk a lot and thrown up in the middle of a club without it being photographed”, rather than spending her twenties as a wife and mother.  

And now she looks like she’s actually going to go out and do it – Jonas brother or no Jonas brother. I predict several more nights on the lash before she settles down in the countryside with her daughters and some pigs.