Recently, I was watching The View on ABC. The panel was discussing forgiveness when co-host Jenny McCarthy brought up how her views about her Ex had changed. She and her husband, John Asher, had a son, but apparently there were plenty of hard feelings attending the 2005 divorce. McCarthy described a change she recently went through concerning her child’s father. “I think when you have a child,” McCarthy said, “you create a soul contract.” She went on to explain the concept in terms of being there to provide what your child needs. And recently, she said she had started to view the man she had been married to much more as the father of their son, and much less as the former husband with whom she had been in conflict. She was able to love him again, in that parent role, because their son needed his parents to have regard for one another. What was even more impressive was that their son picked up on the change right away, and clearly appreciated it. That concept, that the relationship roles shift during and after divorce, is a hard one to internalize. It can be excruciating to cease regarding a person as an intimate partner (with its attendant pressure to run in the opposite direction) and simply regard a former spouse–and appreciate them–as the Other Parent of your children, but that’s often exactly what your children need.
Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from his third wife is all but final. It seems they reached a settlement agreement that presumably divides their assets and details a parenting schedule for their two children. Who did what to whom? Who is the more capable parent? What is the settlement? What did the reported prenuptial and multiple postnuptial agreements say? We will never know and it is for the best. While the details would have provided entertaining reading about how the other half live, the family will benefit from not having their opinions/positions about each other immortalized in an affidavit or court transcript. While I can only guess what went on behind closed doors, I believe the following quote from their publicist hints that they may have gone into negotiations with a shared goal of dissolving their marriage in a respectful manner, with the needs of their two daughters in the forefront. “We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters,” the Murdoch publicist stated. By not taking a position and sharing an interest, the Murdochs did not have to divulge the details that would have helped a judge to make a decision about their lives, and would have kept people entertained for hours. They took matters into their own hands and figured it out with a common goal, and thereby they were able to keep private matters private. Thus, they gave their daughters the best chance of being happy, as they could go through life without knowing, hopefully, what their parents thought of each other. They are left knowing that their welfare guided their parents discussions and kept the matter out of court, and therefore, confidential.