Arnold and Maria separate

It’s one of those stories where the people involved are so famous and familiar, no last names are necessary.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have separated, with Shriver moving out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine the next step in their 25-year marriage.

Shriver has been residing apart from the actor-turned-politician for the last few weeks. The former first couple confirmed the separation in a joint statement released Monday after questions from The Times.

“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us,” the statement read. “After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship.

“We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public.”

Over the years, the marriage between the international celebrity and the daughter of the Kennedy dynasty has come under close scrutiny, especially during the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis, when The Times reported on Schwarzenegger’s lengthy history of groping women. At the time, Shriver defended her husband, helping lift him to victory in the free-for-all contest.

Since Schwarzenegger left office, it had seemed as though the two were living separate lives. Shriver, a former contributing anchor on NBC’s “Dateline,” has worked on her women’s empowerment website, guest edited an issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and promoted causes near to her heart, such as Alzheimer’s research. She struggled with the death of her father, Sargent Shriver, in January, and took her son Patrick and some of his friends on an East Coast college tour in April.

Shriver, 55, spoke openly about the uncertainty she felt about moving on to the next phase of her life. “It is so stressful to not know what you’re doing next,” Shriver said in a March 28 YouTube video to supporters. Though there was no intimation of a split, Shriver appeared without her wedding ring. “I’d like to hear from other people in transition,” Shriver said. “How did you get through it? What were three things that enabled you to get through your transition?”

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29 responses to “Arnold and Maria separate”

  1. “We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives.”

    Translation: Four more kids thrown under the bus.

  2. I’m not sure about that. Aren’t most of the kids are older? One is an established author, and another is entering college.

  3. In this particular case, privacy means avoidance of being vulnerable. It is important for this highly influential couple to reveal what has influenced their decision to separate in order to help themselves and others understand the internal and external dynamics that influence couples to make such a decision. Without such revelation marriages are harmed even more and they model dissociation, avoidance and rationalization as a problem-solving strategy. It could be a teaching moment for them and all of us.

  4. Ronald King — I don’t think Arnold and Maria have any obligation to share their private lives with us just because they’re celebrities. Nor do I think that they necessarily have any special wisdom: they could be wrong in their self-analysis and give misleading, if well-intentioned advice. And even if they did correctly diagnose what is behind their split, it may not be applicable to couples whose situations are different, and it is unlikely to have a lasting impact. IMO it is better for couples whose marriages are troubled to see trained marriage counselors, who can provide assistance that is based on expertise and tailored to the specific couple.

  5. It’s a shame, but they are in all honesty not any different than regular people. (perhaps they just have more money). “Regular” folks get divorced, no matter what church/faith they belong to. If they end up of getting divorced, I wonder it Maria will get a fast track annulment?

  6. First off, marriage is NOT private it is personal. Marriage is a public act and public commitment. The end of a marriage is also public and should be publically accounted for by the parties invoved.
    Second, I do wish at least one bishop would issue a pastoral letter noting that divorce is a SIN. Separation due to physical or other serious abuse may be justified but certainly any separation (or civil divorce) done merely because we “fell out of love” or “have gone our separate” ways is a mortal violation of the marital vows.

  7. “I’d like to hear from other people in transition,” Shriver said. “How did you get through it? What were three things that enabled you to get through your transition?”

    Oh, yes, we’ll reduce this to a PowerPoint presentation; that’ll fix everything. …just another victim a madly consumerist worldview.

  8. Divorce is not a sin. Divorce AND remarriage without a decree of nullity is a sin.

    Divorce can be an occasion of sin.

    Civil divorce is permitted by the church in order to manage legal issues (such as support and custody of children) in the event of a separation.

    But it is the remarriage which is the sin.

  9. It’s not just small children who are harmed by divorce. Every divorce makes a statement to the family affected by it (and to the wider society): Our commitments to others, even within the most intimate of relationships, do not matter as much as our individual desires. It is a lesson that never leaves children and colors all their dealings with others, whether they learn it as toddlers or have it shoved in their faces during the very years when they might otherwise be inclined to seek “life”-partners.

  10. Robert …

    The catechism puts it this way:

    2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.174 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.175

    Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death.”176

    2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.177

    If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

    2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

    If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.178
    2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

    2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179

  11. “I’d like to hear from other people in transition,” Shriver said. “How did you get through it? What were three things that enabled you to get through your transition?”

    Well, having been through many transitions, some minor, some quite wrenching, I’d have to say that my irrevocable commitment to my husband is number one.

  12. Divorce itself may not be sinful but it is tragic in every sense of the word! For all the extended family as well as the offspring whether they be still children…or grown adults.
    Even married adult children and the grands are affected..just
    witness the “twisted circus” everyone goes through each and every holiday for the rest of their lives…Maria and Arnold are experiencing problems in their marriage we can only quess at and probably would be wise for us not to dwell on the specifics morally speaking. But there are no problems which God has not and will not give the graces to get through. Unfortunately this is a world and a generation that no longer recognizes the word/act of sacrifice when it comes to our daily lives…it is all too easy for the affluent to “split” and look for greener pastures…whether it be another partner..or just simply the Beverly Hills Hotel! Maria might
    recall her own grandmother’s method of handling a very similar “marriage”…and benefit from her decision to “remain” in her married home…if not her marriage!

  13. I will be praying for them and their children. You don’t know what is going on in someone’s life unless they tell you and they (wisely) aren’t telling us much…I would like to talk to Maria about the grief process she will go through–similar but worse than that experienced by one who has lost a spouse through death…please give her my e-mail address Deacon Greg, if you think she might want to communicate with me. I was married for 31 yrs, have been divorced for 4.5yrs, and facilitate a DivorceCare group for my parish…

  14. They do not have to disclose their private lives to us. I wish people would put them in their prayers, offer them good Christian counsel if they are able and mind their own business.

  15. Believe me, older children suffer from divorce.
    My 3 sons were in high school & college.
    After 3 years of husband refusing to quit blatantly shagging a married woman at the office, I filed.

    The older two sons married late. The youngest is still single.
    It has horribly affected them.
    Now the mistress is their step-mother and her daughters clued them in to the adulterous affair that led to their parents divorce.

    There is no moral support for constancy in marriage any more.
    My husband’s male friends all knew about it & laughed.
    There is no honor in being constantly humiliated by a mistress.

    After about 5 years after the civil divorce, a priest convinced me to seek an annulment for the healing that comes from it. He was very wise to counsel me to do it. It was very healing.

    I wish Maria the best. The word is out that Arnold has had a roving eye and hand throughout the marriage.

  16. @Naturgesetz, I have been married going on 36 years and I have 30 years experience in marriage and family therapy. It is critically important for couples to reveal to everyone affected their perception of what is influencing them to separate as a starting point for healing and reconciliation. Since this is a highly visible couple their range of influence is much broader than those of us less visible and influential. Secrecy is harmful to everyone involved and it only serves to protect the ego that is fearful of the truth being exposed and maintains the insidious dynamics of self-absorption which tears down the foundation of love.

  17. Joe (the father), Jack, Bobby, Eunice (Shriver) … And I can’t remember the whole family.

  18. @ naturgesetz

    Joe Kennedy – In Swanson on Swanson, silent screen star Gloria Swanson revealed having an affair with Kennedy when, she claimed, he forced himself on her during his business trips to Hollywood when he left his saintly wife, Rose, at home in Massachusetts.

    Jack Kennedy – serial adulterer. According to the Boston Globe: “During the [wedding] festivities, Jack [who was 15 years his brother’s senior], Ted’s godfather and best man, wore a microphone because the Bennetts had hired a film crew as a wedding gift. Later, watching the footage, Joan would hear Jack whisper to his brother that marriage didn’t mean you had to be faithful.”

    Bobby Kennedy – serial adulterer and is reported to have been sleeping with Jackie O.

  19. It is none of our business no matter who they are.

    Press coverage trying to make it our business does not make it so.

  20. Arnold has been fooling around on his wife for YEARS. He has never met a woman he doesn’t want to fondle, and he usually–though not always–knows how to pick the ones that don’t complain. Maria, in typical Kennedy-by-way-of-Shriver fashion, plays the doormat and puts up with that denigration and emotional abuse for years and years, even DEFENDING the fondler on Oprah when she KNEW BETTER.

    Now that Teddy’s dead, she can bust a move, live large, and self-actualize without that deadweight cheater in tow. Hope she finds her lost self-esteem when she throws that steroid-infused bum to the curb. I hope she takes him to the cleaners as well. He’s a poseur and a jerk–and a cheat, and that WILL come out in time.

  21. @ Ronald King
    You definitely need to “reveal” to heal but I cannot believe that the children benefit from such revelations…
    If there is an annulment granted, that is enough “said”.

    @Deacon Greg
    there is so much mis-information about annulments…could you write a column on the subject?

  22. Family secrets hurt children in many ways because the truth is not known and children are left with unrelieved suffering that contaminates their present and future sense of self and others in all of their relationships. An annulment does nothing for healing the children. I have seen this many times and have directly worked with the pain that results from children not being told the truth.

  23. @Ronald King, I will think about what you have written…Do all marriage and family therapists believe that? Do child psychologists/ psychiatrists?

  24. Perhaps the reports that have been circulating all day on Tuesday May 17 that Arnold fathered a child through some lady other than Maria puts this whole nastiness in some context

  25. If Maria had done this to Arnold, they’d be calling for her execution. Arnold has way too much ego and power, along with the likes of John Edwards, and so on. There is a terrible double standard going on and the Church should be more outspoken about it. There is no “fix” for this marriage. Divorce him or get an annullment, but get out of it! Maria suffered the abuse all this time for the kids and Arnold knew it. This is a bad man. The best punishment for him will be if his children shun him.

  26. According to the news Arnie fathered a child with a housekeeper, who doesn’t work for them anymore. Wonder if he pays for the child’s upkeep and paid for the housekeeper to keep her mouth shut—until Arnie decided to tell Maria about the kid? Even though their kids are older, this has to hurt! Maybe Maria will divorce him AND get an annulment. She probably has enough pull to get an annulment rather quickly.

  27. I am from Germany, however Austria is the neighbour. Due to this fact, I’m embarrassed a bit how Schwarzenegger had behaved. These days I have read there is no marriage contract. The divorce will bring to Maria Shriver a lot of cash. Genuinely, she has more than enough of it.

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