Maria Shriver might have been publicly humiliated by her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, but she is handling the tragedy beautifully. Actually, the celebrity couple have both remained extremely civil in public and in private since the news broke he got their housekeeper pregnant and kept the baby a secret. How has she been able to keep her cool and rise above the celebrity split a better person for it? By making smart choices as a role model for other women.
Maria Shriver was spotted out at the beauty salon recently with a big, blowout hairdo. Nothing makes a woman feel prettier than a new hairdo at a salon whose staff shower compliments on you! But besides pampering yourself a little bit following a breakup, the Kennedy family reporter has also done a whole lot of other things right surrounding her divorce that have kept her inner world in tact and her outward appearance admirable from the perspective of other women.
First of all, when Shriver found out that her “devoted” husband Arnold Schwarzenegger had been unfaithful, she did not do the wrong thing and blame the other woman. When Mildred Baena confessed her secret, Shriver put the blame squarely where it belonged — on Arnold’s broad shoulders. She may have been the person who leaked the story to the press, but she never blamed the mistress for his indiscretions. Had she been foolish and blamed the other woman, she would have been doomed to spending the rest of her life mistrusting other women and placing false confidence where she shouldn’t (with him).
Second, realizing that a betrayal like his can’t easily be overcome, she told the plain, honest truth to her kids, took the moral high road without being haughty, and filed for divorce. Rather than hiring a lawyer from spite, her legal actions actually showed that Maria Shriver was willing to let him go and to free herself in such a way that they would both be free to heal at their own pace in the future. If they ever do choose willingly to come back together, it will only happen when and if they both realize they truly love each other. No romantic relationship will ever happen between them again unless they voluntarily come together. With no legal ties binding them, a future between them is actually someday free to happen — even if they only end up dear friends.
Third, she has been pro-active about giving the kids time away from their dad so they could sort out their own feelings but has in no way blocked or prevented contact between them and him. Rumor has it that although the kids initially were extremely angry at their father for his lies and family betrayal, they are (slowly but surely) coming around to having a positive relationship with him. The boys, for instance, have been spotted having their hair cut together with their celebrity father (a bonding ritual many fathers and son engage in on a monthly basis). She and Arnold have even been spotted out at family functions together included sitting next to one another in church with other family members there. No, Mildred Baena has not been allowed to interfere. Arnie’s love child has also been kept away from Maria’s children, allowed to live his life in relative peace and quiet elsewhere.
Fourth, she’s also held her head up high throughout the tragedy. Although some people chose to cast nasty aspersions against her and joke that Arnie cheated because she was too high-class and frigid, Maria Shriver kept going. She did not hide behind a wall of shame. She has continued to support her friends (like Oprah Winfrey when she retired from her long time gig as a talk show hostess) and has been spotted on many travel and shopping excursions while spending time with friends and family. She has not let the other woman come between her conversations about their marriage and the subsequent split with Arnold, either. Instead, she’s kept Mildred Baena (and her children) where they belong: out of the conversation, away from the emotional spotlight, and out of the public picture.
Lastly, although continuing to live her life she now takes precautions to protect her privacy. As paparazzi reporters seemed to be sated once they were able to run the pics of the thirteen year old boy fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger, so too the general blogger gossip reports quieted for the celebrity couple once she stopped being seen in all the usual places and started showing up where expected only when ready to deal with the press. No more bad pics of her picking her teeth in public or looking gaunt and scarecrow-ish have surfaced. Lots of happy moments have now been documented by the press showing her eating right, being a good mom, and learning to live her life as a single heiress once again.
Divorced women listen up. Everyone in Maria Shriver’s world felt both sympathy and empathy for her when news of their split shook the celebrity couples foundation of Hollywood. But Maria Shriver has pulled herself through the mire and seems to be coming up looking bright, shiny, and new. Think of her life’s experience being equated to have been forced to take a proverbial mud bath. While she might not have looked great on the outside while in the middle of it, once she moves forward in her life the grime will rinse off. Why? Because the mess Arnold created for himself was not truly hers to deal with — and by the grace of god and with the help of good friends, she does not seem to be internalizing his personal moral crisis. At no point has she tried to fix him — she’s simply been willing to let the shame of the scandal be his.
Thanks to going through the process, she will ultimately feel better in her own skin — and look like a new person once she’s finished dealing with the emotional drama caused by him. As such, she’s been one of the most interesting women to watch in 2011 — and thus far has become an inspirational role model for all divorcing women.
What do you think — should she ever take him back if he tries to win her heart again or is she better off without him? Tell other readers what you think about the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver divorce in the comments section below.