Tackling Divorce and Children Ain’t Easy
If you have been exposed to social media within the last few days, ie aren’t holed up in some Tibetan monastery or currently incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, chances are you’ve heard about Gwynneyth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s recent decision to call it quits. Or, as they phrase it, “conscious uncoupling.” Before you dismiss the Hollywood power couple’s choice of moniker as some new age, yuppie nonsense (I get it, they named their kid Apple for chrissake), don’t be so cynical. The truth is, we could all learn a few valuable lessons about divorce and children from the twosome formerly known as the Martins.
1. Talk it out
The issue of divorce and child development is serious business and the decision to buy a one way ticket to Splitsville should be well thought out. In their message to fans on goop, the couple stated that they have taken the past year to explore their issues (both individually and as a unit) to see if they could be resolved before deciding to pull the trigger. Owning your mistakes and taking responsibility goes a long way in realizing that sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You will probably discover that it’s not your spouses infidelity or a lack of excitement that led to your unhappiness, but rather a simple case of people changing and growing apart. Instead of viewing your marriage as a failure, take comfort in the fact that it molded you into the person you are today and has allowed you the opportunity to find the next great love of your life.
2. Check yourself before you wreck yourself
The path of your divorce, much like the path of your life, will only unfold the way you allow it to. This may sound crazy, but bear with me. Of course I have no way of knowing what caused the rift between Gwynny and Crono, but I’d be willing to bet they aren’t bidding aideu to marital bliss because of drama caused by stalking each other’s Facebook pages. Relationships, especially between spouses, are hard work. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. If jealousy and dissatisfaction are common themes in your marriage, figure out why. There’s a reason why G&C dissected their issues individually as well as as a couple. Your perspective and outlook is yours alone and if you expect your other half to be the barometer of happiness, you will be nothing less than miserably disappointed and constantly searching for something that has been within your reach the entire time.
3. It’s all about the kids
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have always gone to great lengths to keep their kids out of the spotlight for good reason and it can be assumed they will deal with the topic of divorce and children in the same manner. Children exposed to celebrity at a young age are usually train wrecks. Unfortunately, the same goes for kids who have a front row seat to the weekly bout of “Mommy vs. Daddy”. It is imperative that you and your ex present a united front and talk to your children about what is happening and what to expect in the future. If you’re unsure of what to say, seek the help of a professional. And finally, if you do only one thing in your life for the benefit of your child, don’t ever use them as a crutch or disparage their other parent in front of them. I don’t care if you have to turn your kitchen pantry into a panic room or enroll in acting classes to keep from letting little Johnny and Janie know how you truly feel about their deadbeat dad or two timing mom. Suck it up and do whatever you can to protect them. Because, at the end of the day, the most important lesson of all is no matter how much you hate your ex, you have to love your kids more. Divorce and children, and the former’s effect on the latter is serious, don’t let your immaturity screw them up.