Can we still be “Friends”?
It was reported last week that another Hollywood celebrity couple has sadly decided to separate. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have announced that they are parting ways as a couple. According to a joint statement made through a spokesman, Stephen Huvane, their decision was “mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year”. The statement concludes by saying, “Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another”.
Following on from the “conscious uncoupling” of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, does this reflect a positive shift away from the traditionally hostile nature of a marital separation?
The more a couple can come to terms with their separation emotionally, the more likely they are to retain respect for each other. This will really help in deciding on workable arrangements for the future, whether in connection with financial aspects or, where relevant, for the children.
Help and support is available for couples at this time. Counselling for couples or individually can be of real benefit in reducing the anxiety and potential conflict involved in a marital breakdown. Divorce consultants can also offer vital support to people going through the divorce process. These are all complementary to the role of family lawyers who can take clients through the wide range of non-court options available to separating couples to resolve their issues in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
It would perhaps be idealistic to expect all separating couples to maintain “deep respect and love” for each other. However, once through the inevitable emotional turmoil of a separation, if this can be achieved, it is an outcome which should be applauded.