CHANNING and Jenna Dewan Tatum are splitting after nine years of marriage. Their announcement was full of typical Hollywood BS.
WITH the news of Channing and Jenna splitting after nearly nine years of marriage, romantics all over the world have been left doubting the possibility of that precious promise, “til death do us part”.
But after reading yet another romantic and positive split statement from a happy, separating couple, it’s time to call BS on this Hollywood trend of the romantic divorce.
Channing and Jenna have chosen to “lovingly separate as a couple” with “nothing changed about how much we love one another” and they are just “two best friends realising it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous fulfilling lives as possible”. So why divorce? If you really love each other, surely you can work it out?
I know love isn’t always enough, but doesn’t their statement read like two great people that love each other and have so much respect for one another? Have we just lost the art of working through relationship struggles? More likely, this is just the latest BS celeb split announcement.
While I would like to think mature adults can part in this respectful and loving way, as someone who has worked helping couples through divorce, it doesn’t ring true. You don’t have to look far to see separating couples full of anger and bitterness. As with most things in Hollywood, the reality is far from what it seems.
Is this the new fairytale we want to hear? Two people meet, fall in love, get married and then lovingly divorce?
Earlier this year Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux also called it a day, citing that it was a decision made “mutually and lovingly” and they will “continue their cherished friendship”. However, her divorce to Brad Pitt in 2005 had a similar feel, with their statements also boasting of friendship, saying: “We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.”
So what happened to that? What about Ange? When after this statement did we see shots of them catching up for a coffee — or even sitting anywhere near each other at an awards show? Quite the opposite.
Fact: People don’t just end marriages because they wake up one morning and feel like they are on a different path to their best friend who they lovingly respect and cherish. Maybe it can happen, but that is the minority and I would safely assume not the norm in Hollywood or anywhere else in the world.
How many couples do you know who are consciously uncoupling or lovingly splitting? How many couples do you also know who are caught up in court battles, child custody and allegations of AVOs? The truth is, Hollywood stars are trying to protect their image and careers when they make these announcements.
But these statements aren’t just about them. Their statements could be hurting other divorcing couples who do not have the protective benefits and PR of the glitzy life.
The idea and pressure of the romantic divorce is now part of the curse of the false projected perfection we all put online. (Have you seen some of the Instagram pages of the Hollywood A-listers?)
What we need to remember is that, in a world where social media rules, a lot of these messages are polished — they’re not reality.
If we don’t, we’ll continue to be disappointed, chasing something that doesn’t really exist. Especially now that we have turned something as painful and terrible as divorce into something that needs to be Hollywood-perfect too.
Only recently, a teary and emotional Kendra Wilkinson took to Instagram to discuss her impending divorce after 10 years of marriage to Hank Baskett, with honesty and despair. The word “love” was mentioned, but also “sad” and “scary”.
While this can and should be a moment of privacy, the projection of perfection even when going through a divorce is not doing other vulnerable and hurt couples any favours.
It’s time to call BS on the romance of a Hollywood divorce for the sanity and sake of others struggling through the same situation.
Isn’t divorce hard enough without Hollywood making you feel less because you aren’t “happily separated ever after”?
Dr Nikki Goldstein is a sexologist, relationship expert, author and former family mediator. Listen to her podcast Sex & Life here.