Doctor Says Managing the Anger Will Be Key in Maria’s Emotional Recovery
Maria Shriver went old school on soon-to-be-former husband Arnold Schwarzenegger this week by doing what every wronged female celebrity in America has done for 25 years.
She went on Oprah.
After the shocking announcement that her 25 year marriage is over because of an illegitimate love child, Shriver took a verbal dig at “The Governator” on Winfrey’s final show. Shriver told Winfrey, her friend of 30 years, “You’ve shown love, support, wisdom, and most of all…the truth.” The pause before the final words jabbing at her cheating husband sent the crowd of 15,000 fans and A-List stars into an eruption of sympathetic applause.
But was that a cheap shot, or just subtle enough not to be harmful to Shriver’s kids?
Dr. Gregory Jantz, author of Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger (drgregoryjantz.com) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, believes that Shriver needs to step lightly around the infidelity that caused her break-up around her children.
“The anger and hurt from the actions of a cheating spouse can consume you if allowed,” says Dr. Jantz. He stresses, “The road to true emotional recovery can be filled with detours if the resentment isn’t dealt with properly. One potential pitfall is showing that resentment and anger around her children. She is their mother, but Schwarzenegger doesn’t stop being their father despite his adultery. His actions complicate his children’s’ relationships with him enough without Shriver giving in to the temptation to bash him openly around them. It’s probably true enough that Schwarzenegger doesn’t deserve any kind consideration at this point, but her children do. They need the freedom to decide what shape their relationships with their father will take without feeling like they are somehow betraying their mother if they should choose to offer him the opportunity to make amends to them for his actions.”
Behind closed doors, however, is a different matter, according to Dr. Jantz.
“Anger is a dangerous thing,” he added. “It can build up inside someone and eat away at the stable elements of their lives without them even knowing it. Shriver needs to choose a careful course in which she can balance expressing that anger and releasing it, but she must do so in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on her life. It’s difficult for women in Shriver’s situation to prevent allowing an event like this to cast a pall over the rest of their lives and any future romantic relationships they may have. My advice to Shriver is to cling to her inner strength and her resolve to move forward, and not to punish any future romantic partners for Schwarzenegger’s crimes. There is life beyond infidelity, and she needs to remember that and keep hope alive in her heart.”