I'm still in shock at the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated after 25 years of marriage. I thought that they were one of those couples that would make it ‘til death do us part. Aren't you supposed to be home free after being married for that long?
Plus, their relationship had all the makings of a fairy tale: Older self-made man with accent and defined abs woos younger woman with chiseled cheekbones from prominent political family. Opposites that attracted.
And since they got married in 1986, the two have seemed to complement each other, allowing them both to enjoy professional success with his movie and political careers and her journalism career, and the personal satisfaction that comes from having a family. Now two of their kids are out of the house and the other two will be in a few years. And they have the freedom to start anew, together. Sounds good to me.
So what happened?
I want to know and not because I'm a celebrity stalker or a big fan of body-building. No, I want to understand their separation to help prevent this from happening in my own marriage. I’m only one-fifth of the way to 25 years because, even though I’m 45, this is my second marriage. And my husband and I come from different backgrounds and could be considered opposites, though we grow more similar every year.
Was there infidelity? Did Schwarzenegger and Shriver get bored with one another? Did the difference in political ideology become too much to handle? What was it?
I've recently watched a few long-married friends go through divorces. And whether or not there was infidelity is really a moot point because I suspect that what ultimately caused the splits are the same reasons that contributed to the Schwarzenegger-Shriver split: Two people have grown apart, don't share similar interests, and have lost attraction for each other. Add to it that the kids are grown and out of the house so that glue is no longer there. Plus, some traumatic life events occur like the death of a parent or the loss of a job.
I see how it can happen. It's still sad for everyone involved. And whatever the reason(s) they split, I hope they remain amicable. For their children’s sake and for mine. I just don't want to read about their dirty laundry. I liked living in the fantasy perpetuated by their marriage, that opposites attract and can enjoy long, happy marriages. Like me and my husband.
What do you think went wrong in Schwarzenegger and Shriver's marriage?
Image via schumachergirl1956/Flickr