Inside Martha Stewart's Marriage To Andrew Stewart

They possessed all of the makings of a happy family: She was a part-time model who studied at Barnard College, and he went to Yale. They married in 1961, and she was outfitted in a dress she'd made herself, according to her website. She was lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart. He was publisher Andrew Stewart, her husband of 26 years. 2020 marked their three-decade split — they've now officially been divorced longer than they were married. So, what went wrong?

According to best-selling biographer Jerry Oppenheimer, the Stewarts' marriage was wrong from the start (via The New Yorker). Although Martha has insisted that the divorce was not her choice, Oppenheimer's in-depth biography, "Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography of Martha Stewart," blames Martha for the dissolution. Oppenheimer's book was allegedly sourced from interviews with over 400 people who knew the Stewarts, according to the Chicago Tribune

The book slams her for exploiting her husband's connections in the publishing industry, and for making unrealistic demands. Her wedding ring was apparently too small and she insisted on a bigger one — she then went on to keep Andrew waiting at the altar (per the Daily Mail). There was a claim that she once threw a breakfast tray at Andrew's head (via The New York Times). The last straw in their union? According to Oppenheimer, Martha allegedly cheated, and so did Andrew (via Amo Mama).

Where the Stewarts' story began

To hear them tell it, Martha and Andrew Stewart's story wasn't always mired in turmoil and drama. The two met on a blind date in 1960 and hit it off immediately. Andrew, who was 23 and studying law at Yale at the time, was "extremely serious," as Martha told People. Martha herself was in school, too, at Barnard College. She studied European history and architectural history (via Hollywood Mask). "We fell in love the first date, that kind of thing," Martha previously told New York Magazine.

It didn't take long for things to get serious. Martha and Andrew were married within a year of that first date, according to People. They did well for themselves in the early years, the outlet reports, with an apartment in Manhattan and another property they were restoring together in the Berkshires. They had their daughter, Alexis Stewart, four years after they got married, according to Hollywood Mask. At the time, everything seemed to be going well.

Even Martha's family had nothing but good things to say early on. As Martha's brother George told People, they were "very generous people" during that period. Martha's sister Kathy also remembers those years fondly. "Andy was wonderful — like a brother," Kathy said, according to People. "And Martha was a real mentor."

The painful journey of divorce

Though Martha Stewart says that she and Andrew started out happily, their divorce, later on, was an ordeal for them both. Andrew reportedly threatened to leave a number of times, as Martha explained to New York Magazine. It wasn't until she was on tour for a wedding book that he followed through, she said, which strained their relationship further. She revealed that the experience was hard on her, although she did her best to move forward.

"That, too, was very hard, very hard to feel nice about a person after he does something like that, knowing that that's exactly what you're on, with his picture in the wedding book," Stewart said. "He got me where it hurt the most. Paying me back for whatever I did to him all those years that made him be so mean to me."

There are plenty of theories as to why the marriage fell apart, from allegations of cheating to claims that Martha was too dedicated to her work and didn't do much for her family. However, Stewart told New York Magazine her own theory: Andrew was tired of the work, and he thought she was selfish. The marriage lasted for more than two decades, but Martha told People that the pair haven't spoken since their divorce was finalized.

After Martha Stewart's divorce from Andrew

While Jerry Oppenheimer's tell-all biography has been criticized for its failure to portray the couple's marriage in a neutral way, according to SF Gate, it seems that many of Martha Stewart's interpersonal relationships have been fraught. According to Business Insider, she's been described by several sources as someone who's difficult to get along with. In her own book, Stewart's only child, daughter Alexis, described growing up with her as "hell" (via ABC News). 2004 notoriously brought Martha a prison sentence for insider trading.

Three years after his divorce from Martha, Andrew married a former employee of his ex-wife, who was 21 years her junior (via The New Yorker). Still, despite her marked failures, Martha continues to find success outside of marriage, due in part to her digital-savvy. Namely, she's a prolific blogger. Her Instagram account boasts millions of followers and has endeared her to a new generation of fans. She marked her 79th birthday in July 2020 with a luxurious pool selfie that had everyone talking

Speaking about her divorce, Martha said that it was Andrew's choice, and went on to add, "Now, I'm so happy that it happened. It took a long time for me to realize that it freed me to do more things" (per The New Yorker).