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A power couple in the self-help world recently announced their divorce.  For some reason, it shocked me.  I read the announcement posted on her social media account several times to make sure it wasn’t a hack.  I don’t even know these people.  Why should it bother me? Maybe it speaks to a larger issue. What happens when our heroes turn out to be human?

The Comments

The next several minutes I spent reading comments. Not all of them because at the writing of this post, it was up 15,000. A majority of her followers reaching out with words of support. There was another common thread I saw.  It was a mixture of sadness, frustration, and even a bit of anger.  Why?  The couple is known for their relationship and personal development brand.  Part of their offerings was a marriage conference.  The word I saw over and over again? “Bamboozeled”.  

A quote posted from a social media site reads "I'm gonna be honest... I feel a little ripped off.  I little lied to.  I wish you well, but I feel bamboozled"

Why does it bother us?

I get it.  Some people feel like they had the wool pulled over their eyes.  Why would this couple continue to promote their healthy relationship when in reality, it was unraveling?  While I understand the question, it was also our choice to consume.  No one made us read the books or read her blog. The more I thought about the anger I read, the more I wondered if people were ticked because it was a reflection of their own humanity.  I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown lately and I found this quote that spoke to a lot of the feelings I experienced when I read the post and the comments:

”Shame corrodes the part of us that believes we are capable of change”. 

Brene Brown

Here’s a couple of things I think we should keep in mind in this situation.  Or, any other time we learn that our heroes someone we hold in high esteem missed their mark

I think we feel shame because we missed the signs. We feel shame because we believed it couldn’t happen to them.   We feel shame because we believed that success, positive daily habits, exercise, and access to therapists could overcome any obstacle. 

* No one is perfect.  

Last time I checked, neither of their names are Jesus Christ.  The greatest of humans have the greatest tragedies.  President John F. Kennedy has been immortalized as one of our nation’s greatest leaders.  Turns out, he was far from a perfect husband.  We want our heroes to be super-humans because then we don’t have to think about them doing normal things like having a bowel movement or halitosis.  

* We don’t have the whole story  

A very wise person I knew once said “There’s his truth, and her truth and the real truth is somewhere in the middle.”  And, we may never have the whole story. I think the truth we should be seeking is the answer to the question, “Why do I really need to know?” Perhaps, it’s simply gawker traffic. Or, is there something deeper? Do we have insecurities in our own relationships that we are trying to dismiss or validate?

A chain of aqua and red paper clips are laying on a concrete slab.  The concrete is gray with brown flecks.  The middle of the chain is broken.  An aqua paperclip is broken into several pieces.

* Don’t diminish your successes

I’ve read her books, attended an online conference, and listened to her podcast.  There’s some good stuff in there.  While it’s not going to work for everyone, her message resonates with a large group of people, especially women.  If you have followed her suggestions and your life has been made better by it.  Great!  Her divorce does not negate your growth.  

* Pray for them

Pray for this very public couple who are likely experiencing a lot of private pain.  We can pray for their kids.  Keep in your prayer those couples, without millions of social media followers, who are experiencing divorce.  Pray for those people that are really sad and angry about a situation they have no control over.  Pray that God will give you the grace to extend to those people who really need it right now. Heroes need prayers too.

Thank you for reading another Mommster Post!

If you have a moment, would you mind sharing your thoughts when you heard the news? Or, are you like “Who the heck are you even talking about?”