After 25 years of marriage, political opposites Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated. When the two met, he was an Austrian body builder/movie star and she a rising TV news journalist and, of course, a Kennedy. They seemed a disparate couple from the get-go, but managed to find the common ground and that little something-something that produced 4 beautiful children and the “picture perfect” family. However, Schwarzenegger just ended his two terms in office as the GovernATOR of California and Maria’s role as First Lady, so like most families, things are never perfect. But, we can’t help but wonder if Arnold “will be back?!”
Shriver has been keeping busy as an advocate for green energy, has done some work in TV and for Oprah’s magazine. But, rumors have been circulating that the relationship was on rocky ground. The couple issued a statement about the separation saying, “after a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together.” They say that they will continue to parent their four children together- Katherine, 21, Christina, 19, Patrick 17 and Christopher, 13.
MOMism: “Don’t stay together for the sake of the kids.” Sounds a bit cynical, but if parents are miserable, they are sending their kids the miserable message. Kids need to see love and harmony between mom and dad, so they know what a good marriage looks like. They model our behavior, after all. They also need to see that marriage is not all wine and roses, it takes work to keep a relationship healthy. It’s fine for them to see the ups and downs as long as they see the mutual respect and love, too. They shouldn’t expect perfect relationships or “picture perfect”parents, but they should expect constant committment and devotion.
So, MAMAs, if things are bleak and beyond repair, do you think the kids are better off with two separate, but happier parents? How about one really happy parent and one really sad? How do we parent our KID-Os, so their relationships stand the test of time…friendships and marriages? Please share your opinions!
Question #1: YES Question #2: NO Quite simply, all marriages (relationships) are built on compromise(s) and one (1) always – regardless of the subject; love, sex, food etc – compromises more than the other. Then comes the day when that individual says that enough is enough. Lastly, there is no simple answer to your last question because each of us; as are our relationships, is different from everyone else. )
I agree that kids deserve to see the work that goes into a relationship and shouldn't think it's all wine and roses. I don't think that WE (as spouses) can expect everything to be great all the time either. I think that too many people give up too early and might be willing to walk out on the relationship without first putting in the hard work. We can never know what it's like to wear another's shoes….but we should always be asking ourselves if we need to make more of an effort. And our kids should see us making it!
Jenn in Austin, I agree with you completely. I went into my marriage (now married for 13 yrs.) knowing it would be hard work…but hard work that I welcomed. We have two boys – 8 and 6 and we let them see us have a difference of opinion when it is appropriate to show them.. that even mommies and daddies disagree but we still love each other. This is real life. Why sugar coat it and give them false expectations of what real life is all about. I think people choose to get married and have the attitude of "oh well, if it works great, if not, no harm no foul." What a shame. In my book, that is a slacker attitude about life.