By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.
Yesterday, Bruce and Kris Jenner announced that they're separating after 22 years of marriage. "We are living separately and we are much happier this way. But we will always have much love and respect for each other. Even though we are separated, we will always remain best friends and, as always, our family will remain our number one priority," the couple said in a statement to E! News. It's a common refrain to hear when couples announce a split, but what does it really mean?
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"Separation is a Band-Aid," says Rachel DeAlto, a relationship expert and the author of Flirt Fearless. "At times, people are not ready to commit to a complete dissolution of the marriage, and a separation gives them time to think about the relationship and if it's worth saving." And while any form of separation has a negative impact on children, it's important to note the Jenner's promise to keep their family their number one priority. "Exposure to a toxic relationship-which comes with anger, resentment, and constant battling-could have a larger impact on children," DeAlto says. "The benefits of being in a separate-yet-peaceful home outweighs separation."
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It's easy to speculate as to what made Kris and Bruce drift apart-the couple is in the public eye on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and their relationship is a tabloid fixture. People notes that "when they wed, Bruce was the star in the family, but after they scored a reality show in 2007, momager Kris took the lead in the relationship." Still, ambition shouldn't be enough to cause a separation. "It may not be that she became too ambitions, it may be that Bruce signed up for a different kind of relationship," DeAlto notes.
When the Kardashians were on our cover in 2011, Kris told us that, "Bruce has learned, like many other men, that sometimes it's just not worth the battle. He doesn't care what's going on as long as I'm happy." Both partners do care, though, and should have a say. "Constant open communication is key. Taking a state of the union with each other on a regular basis to ensure you are in tune with your partner's current needs and where he or she wants to change and grow," DeAlto advises.
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Where does the couple go from here? In the case of any split, DeAlto says that, "Happiness must be your priority, and it also benefits your children. There are always opportunities to find love, but take time to evaluate the course of your past relationships."
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By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.