I was tempted to title this article, “Miss Congeniality Wins Again,” but I suspect that Sandra Bullock doesn’t really see it that way, and I certainly don’t want to be insensitive or appear disrespectful. What I am is completely impressed and a bit in awe of how she handled herself through her recent personal and family crisis.
When most people hear the words “graceful” and “divorce” in the same sentence, they think to themselves, “Yah, right!” But Sandra Bullock’s handling of her situation is exactly that. She has modeled a “graceful divorce” for the rest of us.
Think about it. She had all the goods she needed on husband Jesse to get her “pound of flesh“ and to “make him pay.” But she didn’t go down that road. Instead, she quietly removed herself from all the spin and did what she needed to do to work through this on her own and with her friends. Despite the unbelievable shock, betrayal, hurt, and anger she must have been feeling, she first took time to get the big picture for herself and what she wanted her life to look like down the road. And she first took time to think about how all of this would impact the children. This is never easy, but it is the first essential step to going through a divorce with grace.
And during this time she obviously worked on the mental challenge of putting her marital relationship in one corner and her relationship as a co-parent in another corner. She was able to separate these two relationships, so that one of them would ultimately end, but the other would continue.
Not only would the other relationship continue, but it would continue with kindness and integrity. At all times she has been clear that she wanted her new son, Louis, to have a relationship with Jesse, and that it was very important to her that she continue to have a significant relationship with his children. At all times she was clear that she thought he was a good father to his children.
And that is what I call grace—when a marital relationship ends, but the husband and wife are able to continue in a positive relationship as parents. It’s never easy. Likely it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, especially when there is such hurt and betrayal as in this celebrity couple. But the truth is a person can be a less than acceptable spouse, but still a fine parent.