The celebrity news channels are buzzing with reports that the marriage of Hollywood superstars Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones is on the rocks. Their rumored $300 million in combined assets means that should they decide to call it quits, their divorce negotiations will be in a league of their own. That doesn’t mean however that there’s nothing to be learned about breaking up from Douglas and Zeta-Jones .
Spend Some Time Apart
While neither celebrity has filed for divorce or legal separation, the celebrity couple is reported to be spending time apart. It’s a smart move since it gives them both the personal space and freedom to weigh their options. Not only can a physical separation allow emotions to cool enough to open the door to true dialogue, it can also be the path to reconciliation.
Separations however can be unsettling. Many of us crave certainty and separations put us in limbo land where nothing can be taken for granted. Even with mutually-agreed expectations for the separation, such as no dating, the best wisdom is to just take it one day at a time and accept that it’s probably a much-needed lesson in living in the present.
That being said, it’s still advisable to seek legal counsel. For all you know, your spouse could already be executing their divorce preparations, moving to another state and shifting assets around. Initiating divorce proceedings would be one way to protect yourself from these maneuvers.
Spend Time With Your Children
While Zeta-Jones and Douglas have not been seen publicly together since April, they have been seen separately on vacation with their children. Another smart move on their part. Children are a lot more aware about marital woes than we give them credit for and they’ll be sensing the uncertainty just as much their parents.
Spending time with them now reassures them that they are loved, that the problems between mom and dad are not of their making and above all, that they are still a family no matter happens. Furthermore, spending time with both parents lays the foundation for shared parenting time and that the children will not be pressured to choose one parent over the other.
Zeta-Jones’ rep’s to HuffPost Celebrity ended with, “There will be no further comment” and again, this is a strategy that even non-celebrities can and should follow. It means staying away from social media or at the very least refraining from making any marriage or divorce-related status updates. With emotions running raw it’s all too easy to misinterpret a statement and add fuel to an already raging fire.
Most of us don’t have to worry about a loose-lipped “friend” blabbing our private business to the media but we might worry about local gossip, maintaining our privacy and protecting our children. Now’s the time to choose your confidantes. Know who you can and can’t trust. Know what you will and won’t say and practice your own version of “no comment.”