How Did Maria and Arnold Stay Together So Long?

While we are initially shocked by the announcement Monday night that Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been separate for a few months; “to work on their relationship,” the separation might not be what surprises us.

Reports in allege that Maria had been trying to get to this point for at least the past two years.  But each of her parents died, making it more difficult for her to take this big step.  Friends site issues such as Arnold’s enormous ego, infidelities, and womanizing allegations.

Really??  All those things we vaguely thought we knew/remembered about him are true? And she has spent 25 years married to him, raising 4 children?  But Maria’s mother was John Kennedy’s brother and Robert Kennedy’s brother.  Her father was a candidate for VP of the United States.  She is considered one of the last of the American Royalty.

Why would she, of all people, have to stay in a marriage which clearly was not working for her?

And if a daughter of the Kennedy clan – a star journalist in her own right – has stayed married to a man who does not make their marriage his highest priority, what hope do we mere mortals have for our own marriages? Are we all doomed to remain in unhappy marriages rather than face the judgments and accusations that accompany a change?

Maria posted a video on her website two weeks ago, asking her followers to help her process the idea of transitions, and what she should become next.  Even with all of the resources available to her, this strong and beautiful woman is clearly a lost soul at a moment of crisis.

As difficult as it must have been to be married to him for all of these years: to support his candidacy and tenure as Governor of California after she asked him not to run, to stand by his side when sexual allegations arise, the decision to separate – and then to announce the separation to the world – was apparently even more difficult.


And, finally, this brave woman overcame her fears and concerns and did the thing she dreaded most.  Reports say her children, ranging in age from 14 to 21, encouraged her to take this step, and that her youngest child will be living with her away from that family mansion.

She will be fine.  She has already done the hardest part, and survived.  If she sticks with her resolve and lets herself become the woman she intends to be, this will be the best thing that has happened to her in a very long time. We are all rooting for her.

 What we love:  It is never too late to elect your own happiness over the institution of marriage.

Published by Sharon Oberst DeFala

Sharon Oberst DeFala has practiced low-impact safe divorce since 1992.

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