What To Do With a High-Profile Divorce

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years MacKenzie announced their companionable divorce in January, the friendly language surrounding it wasn’t much of a surprise. 

That’s because, more and more, celebrities are announcing “amicable” divorces.  

There are many issues tied up in this concept that I want to unpack. First, there’s the notion that it is easy for couples with means to divorce amicably. After all, one of the most contentious points of divorce – and of marriage! – is money.

Couples who struggle financially are likely to battle about finances when they separate. Couples who don’t need to worry about money won’t worry about it in any state. Financial solvency truly paves an amicable path. 

Sure, it’s easy for celebrities and millionaires to brag about how wonderful their divorce is – just like Lean In Lady Sheryl Sandberg had the luxury of taking a year off from work to grieve the death of her husband. These are luxuries most people cannot afford. 

Is 25 Years a Success?

On the other hand, I do love when people talk about “after 25 years of marriage, if we could do it all again, we would.”

When a couple divorces after more than two decades of marriage, they can honestly say that they gave it a good run, they are grateful for the years they were together, and they can maturely go their separate ways. 

That’s what maturity does to people. It gives you perspective, which is empowering. Perspective puts divorce in the proper context. 

A 25-year marriage, like the one the Bezos’ had, cannot be considered a failure. Many of those years were surely good.  

There is wisdom in this statement that 25 years of marriage is a “success.” Generations ago, a 25-year marriage might have been all a couple expected, with shorter life expectancy rates.

Today, however, as people are living longer and healthier, 25 years is one period of time. Who knows what the next period holds? 

Finally, when you come from a family of divorce, you have even more perspective on how you might want to live your own. 

For whatever reason, we’re seeing a growing trend of amicable divorces, which can’t be a bad thing. Perhaps we can take this wisdom from the divorces of celebrity couples and apply it to our own. 

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