Lessons From Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

by: Tammy Greene

It would be hard to ignore the latest buzz in celebrity couple news. There has been little else talked about than the separation and impending divorce of Hollywood's darling, Gwyneth Paltrow, and front man rock star, Chris Martin. This marriage of 10 years has been closely protected and kept out of the public eye, so news of the break up has come as a surprise and a blow to their adoring fans.

There has been endless speculation on what went wrong in their relationship, but it is, at this time, just speculation. After recent news of many Hollywood breakups, it certainly would seem that celebrity status puts an added stress on a marriage that many are not able to rise above.

Although no divorce is easy, it does appear that this illustrious couple has figured out the ever-elusive secret of how to have a diplomatic and uneventful dissolution. Even as they head for divorce, this celebrated couple has much to teach us about relationships and separation.

What You See Is Not Always Real. Gwyneth Paltrow has built her brand on having it all together.  We admire her for her strong family bonds, her pulled together style, her clean eating and healthy lifestyle, and up until a few weeks ago, we also admired her for her seemingly fairytale marriage. But here is the truth; what you see on the outside is not always real.

What we have portrayed to us through magazines and commercials and movies is not reality. Celebrity or not, we all are dealing with our own private stuff. Everyone from your next-door neighbor to Oprah Winfrey has their own inside struggles that we are not privy to. The lesson here is, don't believe everything you see.  Celebrities are people too. Like the rest of us, they too are just trying to get thru each day with the appearance that they have it all together.

Children Come First. The biggest tragedy in most divorces is it's effect on the children. There is the very real concern that there will be long term effects on the well being of the kids.

With two children Apple, age 9, and Moses, age 7, this is sure to be among a top concern of this A-list couple too, and it seems they have not taken this responsibility lightly. Martin and Paltrow announced that they have come to an agreement to share custody of the children. They have made it clear that it is top priority that the children’s transition is as easy as possible.

Granted, not all relationships can end as amicably as this one seems to have, there is a lesson to be learned about ensuring that their children are made the priority in the midst of divorce. Though not always possible, the goal should be to make sure that the children still have both their parents in their lives.That even though Mom and Dad don't live together they are still a team when it comes to parenting. Though surely difficult, couples like Paltrow and Martin show us that it can be done.

Maintain Your Dignity. Paltrow and Martin have been known for protecting their personal lives fervently. Even in the face of divorce they are keeping the reasons and terms behind the decision for separation private and personal. In a country where divorces have become increasingly ugly and cruel, it is certainly a breath of fresh air to see two people maintaining their kindness and dignity in what is certain to be a challenging time.

It is understandable that not all relationships come to an end in such a civil manner. Certainly there are reasons for a split where maintaining a polite relationship of any kind is impossible. That being said, it is important to always aim to be the bigger person. So many divorcees allow the process of separation and divorce turn them into someone that they are no longer proud of. As of yet, it doesn't appear that this superstar couple will be among that list.

We look to celebrities to help guide us through parenting, aging, trends, diets, exercise and relationships. Even though many relationships in the spotlight end in a whirlwind of drama, it is nice to see that some Hollywood couples work hard to ensure that their separation is done with privacy, compassion and dignity. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin appear to be shining examples of just that.

Tammy Greene is a graduate of the University of La Verne. She has worked as a Child Life Specialist and social worker assisting families who have children with illness or mental disabilities. Tammy is a producer of the national PBS children’s television show, Curiosity Quest. She has a blog, Married and Naked, where she shares personal lessons learned from her own life, offering helpful ways to navigate through the challenges of marriage. She is a contributing expert at HopeAfterDivorce.org, DivorceSupportCenter.com, CupidsPulse.com, LAFamily.com, and FamilyShare.com. Tammy is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of two. See Tammy’s Curiosity Quest website at http://www.curiosityqueststore.com/. Follow her blog, MarriedandNaked, at http://www.married-and-naked.com/