It’s unclear as to whether Demi Moore is going to file for divorce from Ashton Kutcher after he allegedly cheated on their sixth wedding anniversary. At least, that’s what the Vancouver Sun and other media outlets are reporting. Though both parties have declined to confirm the split, it’s certainly apparent that this is a difficult time for both of them.
It’s no surprise that many marriages crumble when there is a serious betrayal. For most Americans, marriage remains the highest expression of commitment that they can imagine. Most also believe it’s unacceptable to cheat, lie, or keep secrets in a marriage–and that number has continued to fall over the past 40 years, according to Stephanie Coontz, the author of the article The Origins of Modern Divorce.
While the difficulty of this situation cannot be overstated, Demi has navigated this terrain before with grace and poise. If she handles a divorce from Ashton like she did her divorce from Bruce Willis, we can expect the couple to stay friends and find happiness amidst the devastation. So, what can we learn from this actress?
1. Keep it classy. Demi has yet to talk about her situation with Ashton in a public way. Until a final decision is made, she’s probably going to keep quiet about it. She and Bruce were models of restraint during their divorce and continued to build each other up even as they separated.
2. Remember that love conquers all. Somehow, Demi and Bruce continued to love each other while no longer remaining “in love” with each other. Bruce told Vanity Fair Magazine in 2007: “It’s hard to understand, but we go on holidays together. We still raise our kids together–we still have that bond. . . . I love Demi, and I know she loves me.” We can expect Demi to go through a grieving process, but then come out on top–choosing love and forgiveness over bitterness and acrimony.
3. Put the kids first. In 2007, Demi stated: “I’m the product of divorced parents, and my brother and I were the pawns in my parents’ game. I never wanted that for my kids.” She explained, saying: “You know, I didn’t get married and have children so I could get a divorce, get remarried, and get along with my ex-husband. But since that is what happened, I am grateful it turned out this way.” Ashton has been a father figure to Demi’s children for years, so Demi will most likely continue to support that relationship.
Divorce is certainly difficult. Many of us know that from personal experience. But if anyone can handle a public divorce in a classy way and continue to find the good in her relationships, it’s Demi Moore.
Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D. is a faculty associate at Arizona State University, where she teaches Communication and English classes. She is the publisher of Sourced Media Books and co-author of Hope After Divorce and Full Bloom: Cultivating Success. Amy and her husband, Jeff, have five children and look forward to welcoming baby #6 in April 2012. For more information about Amy, please visit amyosmondcook.com.