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Divorce in the Spotlight: How the Brangelina Split is Affecting Us

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Dr. Meg Meeker

When famous people get divorced, it seems commonplace. Another couple, another divorce. Then one partner falls in love again, celebrating with a glamorous wedding and then of course, another divorce follows.

Many people want to read about it, and I understand, but we must be very, very careful. A peculiar phenomenon happens when folks see the same cycle repeated: they begin to believe that the cycle is normal and not a big deal.

This is a dangerous leap. When grown adults believe that divorce is no big deal, we deceive ourselves. And if there are kids wrapped up in the divorce, pain like the children have never experienced is about to unfold in their lives.

To each and every child who lives through it, divorce is a very big deal.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have built a personal brand around humanitarianism and compassion. They speak up for the underprivileged and they adopted children in order to spare them the horrors of poverty. How ironic that these two who champion themselves as child advocates are ignorant to the pain they are about to unleash upon their own kids. Some people have the notion that “staying together for the children” is passé, but I don’t see it that way. Staying together for children is an excellent reason to remain married, unless there is frank abuse.

I am so tired of hearing parents in the midst of a divorce say that they are “putting the needs of the children first.” Sorry friends, most parents do not do anything close to this. If they really put the needs of the children first, they would do everything humanly possible to prevent divorce because the hurt that kids carry from it is far worse than the pain of living with parents who can’t get along.

We will hear Brangelina say they are putting their kids first. Hogwash. These children deserve to be loved and cared for by two adults who stop running around the globe boasting about their gifts of compassion. If they would focus less on themselves and more on their children, their marriage might have a chance.

But I don’t really care about these two. I hurt for their kids because their children represent the thousands of children I have seen over the years whose parents have been duped into believing that divorce is commonplace and a natural result of two people growing apart. For the sake of our children, it should never be accepted as commonplace. It should be seen as the very last option after all attempts to keep the marriage healthy have been exhausted.

I understand that many of you reading have gone through a divorce and this is not meant to incite guilt. It is an attempt to help adults stop and think about the repercussions of our actions on our kids. Since they can’t speak for themselves, someone must speak on their behalf and I am glad to do it.

Kids need parents–moms and dads.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the volumes of literature verifying my statement.

To make matters worse, we will most likely see a battle between Brad and Angelina over money and their kids. These issues may make the front pages of entertainment magazines and we will read more. Each will most likely claim that the other is an unsuitable parent, etc., etc. One will try to cut the other parent out of the kids’ lives in spite of the solid research that unequivocally states that children need both parents in their lives. And I hope, when you read this, your heart will break too.

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