Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Split

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Monday was a day of unexpected news that left both movie-watching and political news-watching crowd dumbfounded. The bombshell is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s 25-year-long marriage is dissolved.

The news was broken in a joint official statement that said the split was amicable, the decision arrived at “after a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion, and prayer.” The dissolution is said to be the result of a period of personal and professional shifts they had been going through for some time.

For the time being Schwarzenegger and Shriver are separated. The Associated Press reported that Shriver is no longer residing in the estate they had been sharing in the Brentwood neighborhood, L.A. Outwardly the separated couple maintain congenial relationship, getting together on April 26 to celebrate their 25 years of marriage and treating their children to a brunch in Santa Monica on May 8. (Schwarzenegger and Shriver’s mutual children are Katherine, 21, and three teenagers: Christina, Patrick, and Christopher.)

Their marriage was a bit of a surprise at the time: Maria Shriver, 55, is an offspring of the most influential political Democratic family, the Kennedys (her mother, Eunice Shriver, an NBC journalist, was niece to President John F. Kennedy), while her 63-year-old husband, a bodybuilder of Austrian background who built an outstanding Hollywood career, dropped out of the movie business to become a politician. Now he seems to weigh the chances of resuming his former profession after his spell as a Republican governor of California had come to an end.

Likewise, Shriver’s life is taking a sharp turn as she vacated the position of California’s First Lady – an office she hadn’t been too fond of in the first place and for which she had to relinquish her journalistic career. Besides, the death in the family came as a shock for her as her father Sargent Shriver, Peace Corp founder, breathed his last in January.

Shriver is also remembered for standing by her husband when in 2003 the Los Angeles Times published stories told by six women to the effect that the beefy movie star couldn’t keep his hands off them during shootings for nearly thirty years.

The couple’s joint statement ends in an assurance that they are mapping out a future relationship. Meanwhile, Shriver had a message uploaded on YouTube where she invites people to share their experiences of handling major life shifts. She admits that such transitions are “stressful” because one doesn’t know what life has in store, and it’s not easy to talk about it when people start to ask questions.

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