Arnold and Maria (Part II): A Wildly Successful Relationship

Tuesday, May. 24th 2011 10:48 PM

News on the former first couple of California just keeps coming – *the latest being that Schwarzenegger fathered a “love child” with one of his housekeepers more than a decade ago. Though many aspects of this couple’s relationship have been discussed in great detail recently, no one is talking about the ways in which their relationship was successful. Divorce or no divorce, talk about being goal-oriented!

First, let’s dispel any notion that Maria Shriver did not know about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “love child” until recently. This woman is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author of several books – the type of woman who is curious, intuitive, and capable of putting two and two together. And we are to believe that she didn’t know her husband had a child with a member of her household staff? Not likely.

I am not suggesting that she was happy about it, or that the situation was ever OK with her. I have no way of knowing how she felt about it. But she was not upset enough to leave her husband while he had a bright political career ahead of him, which means that she, too, was getting something out of his political success. That prestige and power was clearly more valuable to her than leaving the man to whom she no longer wanted to be married (assuming the rumors we are hearing about their unhappy marriage are true). The bottom line: This marriage served both of their goals, or it wouldn’t have lasted this long. Therefore, it was successful by their definition – even if not by yours or mine.

Let’s face it. You were played … like a flute. In last week’s blog, “Arnold and Maria: Does Their Split Really Concern You?,” I wrote that we want political couples to appear happy and stable – especially a beloved actor and a member of one of the most glamorous political families in U.S. history. Well, you wanted it, and you got it. They gave us nothing. Yes, there were rumors, but none of us had anything substantial to go on. The first couple kept the facts quiet as long as they needed us to buy their story. Now, he is no longer governor of California, and it seems unlikely that Congress will change the law prohibiting foreign-born citizens from running for president – at least in the near future. There is no longer any need for them to prioritize politics over marital bliss, so they’re calling it quits.

To most of us, the unraveling of this marriage and all its skeletons seem to suggest that their relationship was not a successful one. I disagree. If a goal of their marriage was to have a powerful political career – something that their combined names, reputations and likeability helped them accomplish – they were successful. While they may not have turned out to be the All-American couple they led us to believe they were, they certainly understand the “American Dream.” They set a goal and they reached it.

To many, the idea of getting (or staying) married for political reasons may seem disingenuous or disrespectful of the sanctity of marriage. But no two marriages are the same – and neither are the reasons we get into them. Some people get married because of love, some because of friendship, and others because they want a family. People stay in unhappy marriages because of children, religious beliefs, family pressure and even politics. The list of motivations goes on and on, but at the end of the day, everyone has their reasons, and they are all legitimate in that they serve our individual purposes. Otherwise, we would leave.

Arnold and Maria had their reasons to get married, had their reasons to stay in that marriage for 25 years, and have their reasons to change it in whatever way they decide now … just like everyone else.

Understanding that success is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to relationships, is yet another way to be a more Powerful Person in a Partnership.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

www.FrankLove.com

 

*This blog was written before allegations of Schwarzenegger fathering other children outside of his marriage being made public.

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How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

15 Comments on “Arnold and Maria (Part II): A Wildly Successful Relationship”

  1. LT Says:

    Frank:

    I couldn’t agree more. My FB status elicited heated responses about love and truth. My only point is when are we going to stop reacting? Further, when are we going to stop imposing a traditional marriage model on everyone else. It is NOT working.

    The season is over for them and it’s okay. NO harm no foul.

  2. Ann Burton Says:

    Frank,
    I must disagree with you on one (and only one) point. Maria may or may not have known about the child. While the drive for success and reasons for a long relationship are personal and individual, so is the power of denial. In fact, I would assert that the greater the investment in the relationship, the greater the need to deny that which would destroy the dream, family, success, money, and fame. We all have our blinders to keep our lives on keel–no one wants to deal with life-changing/damaging issues every day.

    Maria is smart, educated and a journalist, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t just as human as the rest of us. I’ll bet Arnold was whispering his ever dying love to her regularly and what would any woman want to believe.

  3. Rosie Grant Ridley Says:

    I am a recent window. My husband died from cancer, but one thing I always remember, that in our thirty two year relationship, the most important thing in our marriage or a committed relationship is communication. It’s greater than love and trust. Just think for a minute, if they had constant communication in their marriage, I know they could have prevented what has happened. You should tell your partner what’s worrying or upsetting you. If he or she is doing something you don’t like talk it out. The same goes for decisions in the home. It was the key to my successful marriage. Try it. It works. Love and trust is also important…communication first please. Love and trust will follow.

  4. Rosie Grant Ridley Says:

    Arnold and Maria lacked communication in their marriage, hence the outcome. Ladies and gentlemen please ladies and gentlemen please don’t make the same mistake as they did. You will save yourself a great deal of suffering. Stay focused and communicate with your mate.

  5. Barbara Sellers Says:

    I believe Frank made some logical and interesting points that make perfect sense. However, I disagree that Maria Shriver already knew about Arnold’s love child. Arnold is an actor, and a very good one. He certainly had the ability to fool and cover up his actions. I’m an award-winning journalist, too, but I was fooled twice by two different cheating husbands. If you choose to trust your husband, you are not going to even suspect that your loving spouse would be capable of such deceptive and hurtful actions. I believe Maria Shriver was the last to know. Why would she suspect it when she was pregnant at the same time as the household staff, and why would she believe that a staff member who pretended to be her friend, would be capable of such desception. Maria is the kind of woman who, no doubt, looked for the best in everyone. No, I do NOT believe she knew about her husbandj’s love child until just recently, shortly before the rest of us found out. I do NOT believe she would have been able to defend Arnold’s honor so sincerely, unless she actually believed he had been true blue to her. Maria is a journalist, but she is not an actress.

  6. Linda Diaz Says:

    I agree with what you said but hate the name Love Child though it is not the Childs fault it should not be elevated and I hope the woman is sued! Consequences!!!!
    Same with Stupid Edwards Cheating Woman! No Honor! I keep an eye on mine!

  7. Silverback Says:

    First, I must address on the title of this blog. “a wildly successful relationship” Though success is measured in many ways, I don’t see how anyone can say that the marriage served both of their goals. Historically, the Terminator has been known for his ‘PREDATOR and ‘Commando’ like behavior when it comes to women. I ask, is Maria’s definition of a successful marriage one where her man is mustering up every piece of …he can? Nope. I bet if you ask ‘Ahnold’ he would say he was not getting what he needed, thus the communication breakdown continues. As a man, I believe that once you ask a woman to be your wife, you must end the mercenary behavior, albeit harder for some to do than others. Folks, all relationships have some dysfunction, but let this example of high level dysfunction serve as yet another reason why Premarital Counseling is critical in this kind of relationship building, lest you find yourself with one on those, Down low brothers or some other confused soul. Frank, none of us are perfect…but I hope you do better with the next topic. You fell asleep behind the wheel on this one. There is nothing successful in this marriage other than their careers and I would hope we all realize that a career should not be defining marriage. Lastly, let’s not redefine marriage because of a lack of discipline on some’s part. Are we now a society that let’s the WEAK set the pace? We didn’t come this far with that kind of mentality. Frank, refocus…you missed it…

  8. SILVERBACK Says:

    My previous retort was deleted, thus begging the question..Are differing opinions not allowed on this website? I know this message may not reach the group. What kind of blog is this? Is this a site where we just want people to agree with Frank Love or are we allowed to hhave open minds and think for ourselves?

  9. Merri Says:

    I agree with Barbara and Silverback. Though, premarital counseling didn’t reveal the alcoholism, debt and future betrayal that my husband had waiting for me. He hid a secret life of self-indulgence, lies, irresponsible behavior and addictions from day 1. All while professing to be a Christian. Their is denial, there is trust betrayed and then there are people who are pathological liars, keeping their addictions and lies hidden at all costs while the rest of us believe in them and the stories that they chose to show us. Having been betrayed in the most unimaginable way (the murder of my daughter), believe me, I was cautious, curious, a researcher and investigator. It doesn’t matter how successful or intelligent or cautious a person is. I don’t believe that Maria knew until Arnold finally told her just recently. Betrayers are good at what they do.

  10. Janis Evans, M.Ed.,LPC Says:

    I agree with Barbara, Silverback, and Merri. Frank, I found your “Part II” to be curious. I disagree that the marriage was successful because clearly, the unit failed. I also do not believe she knew, denial or otherwise.

    The couple, in the strictest sense of the word, didn’t make it, regardless of the “perceived” 25-year duration of the union. Maybe they did manage to look good, have great children, and achieve personal, professional, and political goals. But pooling the benefits of individual successes DOES NOT a marriage make, especially when trust, communication, fidelity, and commitment are broken. If my spouse and I were married fifty years, raised successful children, acquired all kinds of property, made lucrative investments, and reciprocated support for each others careers, AND THEN . . .I cheated on him in year 49? . . . the marriage failed.

    Sorry, Frank, in my opinion, your position sounds like it is based on a self-centered, “if we don’t make it, oh well” type of mentality, lacking true commitment to the marriage vow. I believe that this laissez-faire attitude can jeopardize the longevity of a healthy and truthful marriage. I’m just sayin . . .

  11. Massander Says:

    Because I am willing to make some assumptions about the truth of what they really wanted, I agree with your suggestion that their relationship was “successful.” They got what mattered to them most. If the fantasy marriage was really what they were committed to then their relationship would have been checked and cleaned up a long time ago. Denial is a beast. Imagine if they both came forward and said, “we like the idea of the fantasy marriage, but what mattered most to us was…” Imagine what all of us who depend on the fantasy would do!?!

    One thing I disagree with you on is the conviction that Maria really knew all along. I doubt she really knew.

  12. Ramesh chandra shukl g Says:

    Success is not in the eyes but in the heart,Rely your heart more than your eyes,swami shukla.

  13. Khari Says:

    As much as I try not to be TOO critical about how people prioritize their values, I must say that being goal oriented is a problem in and of itself. Goal oriented behavior reduces the likelihood that one will evolve organically and appreciate the journey for all that it offers. It also causes people to be self-absorbed and fail to intuit and derive meaning from experiences, particularly but not limited to adverse ones.

    Of course, everyone has the liberty to leave any relationship for any reason and no one should try to make anyone stay in a relationship. We do live in America, afterall, and all of our value systems are laced with the suggestions of things that would cause us to make choices that challenge our integrity. These suggestions often fall into a default category of being acceptable (within our own psyches) and operate within our subconscious, becoming more firmly rooted each and every single day, until we experience something that bring the issues to the forefront of our sphere of awareness. More than likely, when they appear, all we have to draw from is our unelightened will to act. If people spent more time gaining understanding of themselves instead of putting on the blinders of selfish and often misguided (as determined by the ultimate outcome) ambition, they would be able to explore more deeply the drivers of the choices they make. I’d say that this would apply to both Arnold and Maria.

    Yes, I guess on some level their relationship could be viewed as a successful one, providing the person making such a discernment has elevated their perspective to the cosmic level. The same should be said for the suggestion that the relationship was a failure. The fact is, if a relationship is going to endure, the participants have got to be willing to hang in there. Until someone develops such a firm resolve, it’s probably best not to allow yourself to be defined by the relationship you are in. Without such resolve, poor conduct will probably be catalyst to its demise. Afterall, if you are attracting a reflection of yourself, one choice that threatens the stability of the relationship will more than likely be met with a decision that perpetuates more of the same. Let’s try not to look at it as a success or a failure. Being “Goal Oriented” is not as positive as people think it is.

  14. Nick Arrizza M.D. Says:

    You may find these articles on the Ideal Relationship (which is based on Heart Centeredness) interesting and enlightening:

    The Ideal Relationship
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Relationships—The-Ideal-Relationship&id=148155

    Ten Steps To The Ideal Relationship
    http://www.ilumine-ao.com/2010/12/06/ten-steps-to-an-ideal-relationship-by-nick-arrizza-m-d/

    Thanks

    Nick

  15. Who Says I Have to be Happy? | Frank Love on Relationships Says:

    […] same goes for relationships. People get into long-term relationships for a plethora of reasons – love, status, companionship, parenting, politics, etc. And we stay in or leave our […]

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