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It may seem
totally superficial, but I was one of the many who sighed a very sad sigh when
actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced their divorce. After 10 years together, the parents of
three were throwing in the towel. Rumors and sightings of Ben with the hot
nanny took over the tabloids and Jennifer came off looking like the sweet saint
that she (probably) is.
I know it's
silly to even care because I don't actually know Ben and Jen. Chances are, neither do you. But let's face it, Garner and Affleck were one of those
celebrity couples we all hoped would make it in a "we're hoping our own
marriage makes it" kind of way.
like a normal couple—if you can be normal while being really, really famous. His dark brooding persona was balanced by her
doting All-American Girl image. They
seemed like any of us. And sadly, just
like any of us, the two have split.
There's a lot to be learned from Jen and Ben's split. Because if you're like me, you'll do anything to protect your marriage. Or if you've
been through a divorce, you know there's nothing you want more than to divorce
kindly for your kid's sake. Here's what I'm taking
1. If Jen Garner can keep her divorce civil, anyone
stories and photos of Ben with the cute, young nanny, Affleck and Garner are
still often photographed together with their kids. And despite getting publicly
cheated on, Jen is still willing to play nice for the sake of her kids. If she can, anyone can, right?
2. Couples don't split overnight and there's
rarely one single thing that causes divorce.
In her recent Vanity Fair cover story, Garner admits that long before there were any
allegations of infidelity in their marriage, the two had separated. She said, "We had been separated for
months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our
decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation." There's rarely one event that ends a
marriage, even if it seems that way from the outside.
3. If you don't want people know you cheated,
Rumor has it that Affleck was none too
pleased that Jen basically confirmed to Vanity Fair that he had an affair. But if he hadn't cheated, no one would have known about it. Easy fix!
4. Even if you dress like Batman for your
kid's birthday, everyone will still remember how you wronged your spouse.
was cool of Ben to put on his Batman costume for his son's third birthday party, but Jen still had to explain the word "scandal" to her young
kids when the couple's divorce (and Ben's affair) went public.
5. Kids will eventually be old enough to Google
Ben's oldest daughter is probably "I can
Google my parent's divorce" years old and his younger two children will
eventually be that age, as well. The same
applies for all of our children. They will all eventually be old enough to use
Google, Facebook, Instagram and various other forms of social media that might
also serve as proof of Mom's or Dad's indiscretions toward one another.
6. Even if you've split, divorced parents are
still stuck with each other for life.
While Affleck and Garner publicly spend a
lot of time together for the sake of their kids, reports say she finds it
annoying to spend so much time with her ex. But divorced parents are stuck
with each other, even if they're no longer together, so it's better to try to separate nicely
7. Normal, seemingly happy couples have problems, too.
Jen and Ben looked like the
picture of a normal, adoring couple and maybe they were. But like normal couples, a lot was going on
inside their household that led to their divorce. You can never judge anyone's marriage, or judge
their household, unless you're in it.
8. You can control the level of animosity in
Tensions are high and emotions run deep in
any divorce, but Garner is determined to rise above being angry and resentful.
She told Vanity Fair, "I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I
need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and
foremost." Words to live by!
9. Getting through a divorce is easier if you
have people and things to rely on that give you joy.
and mothers often put themselves and their interests second to those of their
spouse and children. But Garner found
getting back to her childhood interests like dance and music helped her get
through her darkest hours. It's a good reminder!
10. No matter how much you loved your husband, you'll still be relieved you're
not together when he gets a dumb tattoo.
Garner is demure when asked about Ben's new huge
back tattoo of a phoenix, but it's clear she's thrilled that his huge tattoo is
his problem now and not hers. Even in a
messy divorce, there's a silver lining!