Can you be civil during a divorce? Seal can!

You may have heard that Seal and Heidi Klum will be separating. Seal recently spoke on the Tavis Smiley show and said that everything “will be handled civilly for the benefit of their kids.”

From TMZ:
“Tavis asked Seal how he and Heidi can avoid the ugly break-up that has become prevalent among celebs, and he said, ‘We’re just not those kind of people.’ ”

“Seal said, ‘What one has to do in this situation is to remain civil, to retain one’s dignity, to be professional, and to understand that we are not the only people on this planet that are going through this.’ ”

“Seal’s conversation with Tavis Smiley on PBS airs this Friday, January 27 on PBS.”

Earlier in the week, TMZ reported that Heidi Klum was allegedly separating from Seal because of his temper.

Is it possible to be civil during a divorce? Is the civility just in front of the kids? Does it reflect a lack of anger, a lack of passion, a lack of care or just a person working really, really hard to control their emotions?

25 comments Add your comment


January 24th, 2012
12:38 pm

Well this isn’t likely to open a can of worms.


January 24th, 2012
12:53 pm

I think it’s possible, especially if the separation and/or divorce is something that both parties agree is necessary. I have a friend who divorced her first husband more than 15 years ago (he was physically abusive at the time). They had one child together and since then both have remarried and each has another child (their child together is now a young adult). All three children consider themselves siblings and the parents are (now) friends. It’s not at all unusual for the girls (11 and 9) to have sleepovers and ex-hubby and new wife took friend’s daughter to new wife’s family reunion in TX last year.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 24th, 2012
1:43 pm

We have one friend divorcing now and we are amazed at the civility. But I think one party is just really exercising some tremendous self control. I would want to go freaking off.


January 24th, 2012
2:11 pm

I think it’s easier when you are both rich and famous and don’t have to worry about things like, will he pay child support or will we starve? Will I find a job that will let me keep the house or will we end up in a homeless shelter? Instead is more, which summer home will you keep Seal? Oh I think I’ll keep the one in South Hampton, you can have the one in the Bahamas Heidi. And how many nannies do you want Seal? Oh Heidi, it’s ok I’ll just take 2 you can keep the other 3. *eye roll*

I haven’t really seen a civil divorce. Not sure such animal exists.

Soccer MILF

January 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

It can be civil as long as I get the house, the SUV and enough money to keep up my lifestyle.


January 24th, 2012
2:48 pm

It’s absolutely possible to be civil during a divorce. Both of you just have to realize that you’re doing this to improve your situations and there’s no reason to act like a couple of hateful wild animals to each other. It’s so much easier not to hate your former spouse.


January 24th, 2012
2:50 pm

And I speak from experience. My ex-husband and I knew that we weren’t right for each other and that divorcing would let us find the people that would make us happy. We speak once or twice a year just to catch up with each other. After all, this was a man that at one point was the most important person in the world to me. Hating him just because our marriage didn’t work out wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Working Mom

January 24th, 2012
3:28 pm

I’m a grown adult, with parents who divorced several years ago. Their divorce is anything but civil. I don’t appreciate my father speaking badly about my mother. At the end of the day, I’m still their child. I don’t need to hear him speak negatively about her. This has been going on for years, and I no longer see my dad the way I did before. I have a really hard time, even speaking to him. We actually don’t speak right now because I couldn’t take it anymore

It doesn’t matter how old your children are, but you need to be civil in front of your children. My relationship with my dad has forever changed because of his actions.


January 24th, 2012
3:33 pm

Possible perhaps, not very likely to happen though. It’s hard for both sides to be civil, usually someone is bitter or upset about it. My divorce was as civil as I could make it. Probably to my detriment but for me it was more important to get it over with then to fight about the little things.


January 24th, 2012
3:33 pm

I think if you can be incredibly civil in a divorce, you should stay together and try to work it out.


January 24th, 2012
3:36 pm


Well once he got over my proving he was cheating etc…..

Yeah we had a civil day in court


January 24th, 2012
4:01 pm

My ex-wife and I are civil. She works here and I see her occasionally and we catch up. I stay in touch with her Mom. We just found different paths. We didn’t have kids, which I think could have spun things differently but I can’t say for sure.

I’m remarried with two boys. Things have a way of sorting out, I suppose.

Of course, I did get mad at the judge when he starting asking my ex-wife if she wanted any money or anything from me…

K's mom

January 24th, 2012
4:46 pm

My husband’s ex is the poster child for incivility. I came along years after the divorce and she has said unspeakable things about me at their daughter’s school amongst other things. I really tried to act with great respect toward her in the beginning and I have now just removed my self from all communication and association. I hate that my husband has to deal with her hateful and mean behavior alone, but he was married to her. If I had caused the divorce it would be different. I have had several other “better wives,” that is what my second wife friends call themselves when the first wife ditched the marriage (in our case she found husband #2 and his bank account), tell me I should write a book and I am considering it.

I think if you have children with someone and you divorce them, you should go to the ends of the earth to act respectfully and civilly toward your ex and their new spouse. It is unfortunate that too many people refuse to take this route and go the way of tacky.


January 24th, 2012
4:53 pm

@K I actually like the kid’s step-mom better than I like their dad. She is a sweet person and takes good care of my kids. I don’t think she is a “better wife” just maybe the right one for him?

It awful that either 1st or anyone later cannot find a way to be civil to each other.


January 24th, 2012
5:00 pm

That is a great question. I really like it. I had a problem finding the new location for this column. Maintain ing civility during a divorce. All depends on the individual. The wife[usually] thinks she has made too large an investment in the relationship to be civil. Others see divorce as an epithany, being led out of the desert to a more glorious fulfilling life.
The way to avoid hard feelings is what I call { a one year marriage contract] lets each of the parties have a little idea what a permanent arrangement would be like. It would fly.

Soccer MILF

January 24th, 2012
5:13 pm

Why would Heidi go out with Seal to begin with. He looks like he shaves with sand paper. I guess if Seal can get a girl like Heidi he can end it peacefully. he obviously has Jedi mind powers


January 24th, 2012
5:29 pm

Who is Heidi Klum and why would she marry a Seal? Isn’t that illegal in ALL civilized Countries?

@ Soccer MILF

January 24th, 2012
5:35 pm

Seal has facial scars because of lupus.

K's mom

January 24th, 2012
5:38 pm

@FCM, when we married, I asked myself what it would be like to send my kid to a stranger’s home every other weekend and I decided I would hate it (I have no kids from before our marriage and this was my first marriage). I have pages of emails trying to establish lines of communication, dignity and respect and I was met with being called an adulturer and when I got pregnant she told her own kid that I would not love her at all since I was having my own kid…classy!

“Better Wife” is not a term I would use for a lot of second wives, but a friend coined the phrase and for our small, but dignified, group it fits. There are men out there who get the shaft in divorces and their second families pay for it financially and the kids from their first marriage pay for it by being used as pawns in a never ending war…


January 24th, 2012
5:43 pm

It depends on the situation. My ex-husband had an affair with my step-sister which caused the divorce – so you can imagine that it wasn’t too civil in the beginning. It took some time to be civil with one another, however, we have both grown and changed and he’s no longer married to her. Our children are grown and we can all be in the same place at the same time with no fussing or fighting. My parents hated each other when they divorced and I felt like I was the rope they both tugged on and I always said if that ever happened to me, I would never do that to my children. Your relationship with the other parent doesn’t end when the child turns 18. They have other special moments in their lives that you both need to be a part of.


January 24th, 2012
6:34 pm

I think it really, really depends. I can tell you right now, if adultery was involved, civil would be the LAST thing on my mind! But for two adults who have both decided to live their lives apart — well, why not be civil?

The most civil divorce I’ve ever seen was last year with a friend of mine. They were so civil that when the wife went shopping for a condo, she found one that wasn’t just right for her, but she called her soon-to-be-ex and told him that she had just seen a condo that she thought would be perfect for him. He ended up buying it. She commented that she will always love her ex and the life they made together, but life has changed, and they both wanted different things at this point. I’m still a bit flummoxed, because they are both lovely people, but you just never know what a marriage is really like.


January 25th, 2012
10:38 am

@K I do understand. I have emails (b/c they were given to the judge) that show he was in constant communication with the woman who is now the step-mom through out our marriage. Unbeknown to me they were engaged at one point before I met him, and had been broken up for about a year….I was the rebound. We had 2 kids I never did find out exactly who (or the several who) he was with, but he never denied having the affair. There was pleanty of evidence that it was going on.

I am sorry that 1st wife in your situation is so classless. Sure, when I first heard (officially) they were back together it hurt like hell to me. However, I eventually realized that I could make myself–and everyone else–miserable or I could accept and move on. I will never forget her face the first time she came to my home with him to drop the kids back to me. She came around the corner and stopped short with her arm around my daughter. She really had no idea how to approach me…my good friend was in my house for moral support, and I asked her in. Later when they left I had 2 glasses of wine.

It is now about 3 years later and I talk to her more than him. For one thing she doesn’t treat me as ugly as he does.

I understand that this not the case for some(many? most?) people who are in a “blended” family situation. However, I wish it were. I also understand about the financial shaft, because I hear it all the time from my ex. In almost 10 years I have never asked for a support increase…he has never had the money to repay his half of their medical bills or to contribute to any “extras” like soccer, art, music, school events…..and I have never pressured him on it….I fulfill what the court told me too I let him know of the expense. I document it so he acknowledges along. Then I find a way to make it happen if we can out of the budget–which does include what he does pay in support.

Again, I get there are pleanty of ex wives (first wives club?) out there who don’t do it. There are pleanty of current wives out there too. However, I do wish for the kids (and the wives sanity) they could find a way to move forward in a better way.


January 25th, 2012
7:27 pm

@FCM…I thought it was me writing your comments! The cheating spouse, civil day in court, I like the new wife better than him, ect. I could have written the very same things right down to the child support. However, it has been a long time for us. I’ve been happily remarried for 18 years and he is divorced from the “new wife”. She and I are still friends. He and I are now friends and speak often as we have a child (well, he’s 21) in college. Someone else said it really doesn’t end when they are 18 and they are so right. There are so many other things they should be included in. It is nice that my son sees his dad for what he is (or isn’t) and is able to love him anyway. My son is also very close to my husband so we consider ourselves lucky!

K's Mom

January 25th, 2012
9:26 pm

@FCM and newblogger can you guys be my husband’s ex ;o)? My husband had been divorced for 3 years when we met and I very naively thought since I had nothing to do with the divorce that we could all get along. You guys should be commended and I am sure that your kids’ step mom appreciates your reating her with dignity, I know I would. I can rest at night because I have tried, but our situation could be so much easier.


January 26th, 2012
2:12 pm