Actor Russel Crowe once famously said: “I didn’t get married to get divorced.” He even complained about “feeling unbalanced” without his wedding ring and the left ring finger being “cold.” This was 4 years after he and his wife had split but had not formally divorced.
Nobody takes vows on their wedding day with divorce in mind. There are many reasons for divorcing, and while some of them are serious and threatening, some are as simple as falling out of love or growing apart or beyond the relationship in some way. A reason doesn't have to be complex to cause pain especially in long term partnerships.
Russel Crowe and his bride knew each other for almost 10 years before their 9 year marriage and each of them has said they will always love the other. The requirements of travel placed on Crowe by his career created some problems for their children as well as their marriage. They felt their kids deserved more stability and a more consistent life with long term friends, something their lifestyle made impossible. The split didn’t change their dedication to their children and they cooperated because they wanted to be good parents, placing the childrens’ needs above their own.
The amazing thing about Russel Crowe is that he’s had many ex partners in and outside of marriage to his wife Danielle including leading ladies like Kim Basinger, Jennifer Connelly, Peta Wilson, Heather Graham and even Nicole Kidman. He still maintains those friendships and has never said anything uncomplimentary about any of them. He said of his first love Meg Ryan, whom he dated before his marriage to Danielle, that she is “a beautiful and courageous woman.” That ethical stance is highly unusual as is being separated for more than 4 years while working out a relationship and parental obligations.
Whether or not a lengthy separation is healthy for divorcing partners is better left to counselors; but what is healthy, is cooperation with an ex-spouse for the sake of the children and being respectful of one’s former love interest for the same reasons. Not everyone can accomplish the work it takes to turn a relationship into a friendship but Russel Crowe is a famous and shining example of how it’s done.