In Your Language

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sofa Talk, Virtual Peptalk [3]: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

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Well here we are again with a different couple who are on the outs. After 10 years of marriage and two kids, they've come to the conclusion that they cannot be married and parent at the same time. I feel like most of the media outlets are so blaze about celebrity breakups to the point where they almost glamorize them. We, commoners, get this is idea that divorce isn't such a big deal... maybe as long as you are a spokesperson for charity.

The truth is, divorce, period, is a serious matter. While the couple has only announced "separation," they are speaking as if they are pursuing divorce. Outwardly, they still seem to be fond of each other; but we've only seen and heard what they want us to see and hear. 
          We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer
          than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly 
          wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be
          respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship 
          privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be 
          able to continue in the same manner. (Paltrow/Martin, Eonline, March 25, 2014)

They talk about it like they will be okay about it soon. But the truth is divorce SHOULD be devastating. It is the spiritual breaking in half of ONE person (biblically speaking). Add on top of it that they have children, Apple and Moses, who will grow up in a somewhat ordinary (speaking of divorce) but unideal situation. Things will only get harder for the kids once the parents decided to date again and possibly remarry (hopefully to each other- wink).
The Eonline article shared that they had been working hard on the relationship for a year before the decision despite the fact that they've had 10 whole years to fortify their relationship. I hope that doesn't give the public a new standard on which to base separation and divorce. According to their words, love is not enough. On that one point, I wholeheartedly agree.
This couple has kept their relationship private so I'm only going off their blog post and Eonline to base my reflection of this entombed relationship. I also want to take in account for the fact that they are celebrities and assume that they spent a bunch of time apart from each other for screen jobs and music gigs. In a large sense, Paltrow-Martin, are the stereotypical and general example of a star studded relationship.
What hit me from their words were things that were dissonant and on tone with divorce. "We are closer than we have ever been" is not the normal explanation leading to this sort of news. It begs me to ask why they don't keep working at it. Not knowing all the details, if they can report that- they have a lot more to go on than other couples, famous or not.

"We are parents first and foremost..." hits me as a strong indicator of improper priorities in their family. They should have put their marriage "first and foremost" for the well-being of their children. As much as children are "helpless," they are even more helpless when marriages crumble. Divorce has implications to the children's future marriages and even the grand-children's marriages. You could almost say "stay married for the sake of your children, your children's children and your children's children's children." If your marriage benefited more than just your present family but your future family, would you leverage your "happiness" until you could do marriage right with the one you're with?

Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today Ministries preaches that what you spend time on is your treasure. Perhaps with their fast paced famous life, they neglected to spend time with each other. Spending time together means you are treasuring that priority that also greatly benefits the children indirectly and directly through marriage modeling. They will gravitate toward what is familiar- for wrong or right.

I say all of this with the humility of a person who's been divorced. I've had to repent of incorrect thinking and behavior. I wish that I knew what I know now when I first started out dating. I've come to the realization that the more fighting we do with our inner appetites of ego, the less fighting we do in our marriages (or relationships in general). I can be okay with inner conflicts as long as I am actively working on them. The more I put a hedge between my destructive tendencies, the more I am honoring and preserving my marriage. 

For other Sofa Talk, Virtual Peptalk series posts click [2] & [1]

[My prayer for this celebrity couple is that they will use this time of separation to repair their relationship. I pray that if they do get divorced, that their future will bring them back together in remarriage. I pray that they can be one of the few celebrity marriages that publicly, not privately, beats the odds and paves the way for new thinking about marriage. I pray all of these words in His Name. Amen.]

#celebritymarriage #marriagepriorities #Paltrow-Martin #separation

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