Maintaining a friendly relationship with an ex can be challenging, but it can also be a crucial part of prioritizing the well-being of a child you co-parent, as well as a worthwhile way to move on from past difficulties and stresses.
Here’s how former couples like Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, and many more have made efforts to heal old wounds, and embody ex-goals that we can all look to.
Jennifer Aniston’s exes helped her celebrate her birthday
Aniston’s other ex-husband, Justin Theroux, also sent her sweet birthday wishes on Instagram, posting a photo of her with the caption, “Happy Birthday to this fierce Woman. Fiercely loving. Fiercely kind. ….and fiercely funny.” While he and Aniston announced that they were going their separate ways in February 2018, Theroux has a history of speaking positively about their relationship. “Neither one of us is looking to throw hatchets at each other,” he told The New York Times. “It’s more like, it’s amicable. It’s boring, but, you know, we respected each other enough that it was as painless as it could be.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin celebrate holidays together
“You know, divorce is terrible — it was very painful. It was really hard and I think we really genuinely wanted our kids to be as unscathed as possible,” the actress said of her split with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “And we thought if we could really maintain the family, even though we weren’t a couple, that was kind of the goal.”
Even though Paltrow and Martin have begun new romantic relationships (the actress re-married last year), they made a point of continuing to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving together.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos plan to stay friends
When the former couple announced their impending divorce in a joint statement on Twitter, they said they’d remain friends. “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other,” the tweet reads. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.” They acknowledge that not every marriage has to last forever in order to be a productive, meaningful, and valuable experience.
Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet befriend each other’s new partners
Bonet is now married to actor Jason Momoa, but Momoa is also good friends with Bonet’s ex-husband, musician Lenny Kravitz (which their now-adult daughter Zoë Kravitz appreciates). The group even celebrates Thanksgiving as a family, proving once again that it’s possible to enjoy the holidays as a blended family after ending a marriage.
Anna Faris and Chris Pratt put their son first
After deciding to end their marriage, Faris and Pratt prioritized their son. “There’s so much friendship and love. And we surround Jack with love and funny, kind, happy people,” Faris told Extra of her relationship with ex-husband and fellow actor Pratt.
The pair officially divorced in October 2018, but their initial announcement made it clear that they still value their relationship: “Our son has two parents who love him very much and for this sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still love each other and will always cherish our time together.”
As Faris and Pratt attest, there are many ways to raise happy children after divorce, including hearing them out, communicating with your former partner, and putting their well-being first.
Seal and Heidi Klum pledged to “remain civil”
The singer spoke out about his split from the model on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “The thing that you quickly realize when you are married and become a parent is that you do the best that you can…The thing that I’m most proud about this great woman who I married — and I really do mean that from the bottom of my heart… is that together she’s given me four incredible gifts, four beautiful children,” Seal said. “She’s still, in my opinion, the most wonderful woman in the world… I think our priority was to remain civil and do this thing with dignity, and we still very much love each other.”
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony still have each other’s backs
“I’m, always going to be there for him, he’s always going to be there for me. We share something very special in the kids and we know that we’re there for them and that’s the main thing,” Lopez said on Live with Kelly.
Divorce doesn’t always have to spell the end of a loving relationship. Whether you settle down with someone new or embrace the single life in your next chapter, there are still healthy ways to keep moving forward with your former partner, to co-parent, and to maintain a relationship that is meaningful for the two of you.
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