The fashion in celebrity land appears to be a quiet divorce and continuation of family life. After the media storm of the McCartney break up who even remembers Madonna’s divorce? That headline grabbing media magnet managed to get divorced and quietly move on. How clever is she? I submit that she is unique in this regard.
The uncoupling fashioned by Gwyneth Paltrow et al offers a new landscape where couples spend time together post divorce in what appears happy families doing what families who are still legally and emotionally intact do. This all reminds me of Stepford Wives. Let’s pretend we are having fun for the sake of the children, our reputation or to exhibit our exemplary emotional control, self sacrifice and lack of pain and our superiority.
Here’s the thing – if you wanted to have Sunday brunch together as a family you would not be divorced. The relief of divorce is not having to spend time together – isn’t that after all the point of divorce?
These celebrities are copying what most people do who don’t want to get divorced but can’t stand the sight of each other – live out their lives in misery still forced to present a united front to the outside. The reason lots of people give for not going through with divorce is financial – they can’t afford it. What the fashionable celebrity set are expounding is financial independence via divorce, discreet sexual freedom via divorce but family gatherings a la unhappy marriages.
Is this a good thing? In my experience couples who spend time together as a family afterwards usually do so because one party cannot move on. It’s not about love or kindness it is about control and fear. It does not produce happy memories for the children or even happy children – it is dysfunctional and causes anger and rejection by the children.
Let’s look at Halle Berry – what a stormy ride she has had with Olivier Martinez – they are now divorcing as reported in the Telegraph above – they state that they are moving forward with love and respect for each other. Has the passion run out then? It will be interesting to see if they are able to follow Gwyneth in her conscious uncoupling. Here’s Gwyneth’s explanation:
“What that really means is that even though you hate me and you never want to see me again, we are going to brunch because it’s Sunday and that’s what we do.”
Make your choice but remember – you only have one life and spending Sundays, Christmas and other special times with your ex who you may hate, loath, dislike be repelled by or simply find boring and offensive is endorsed by celebrities.