Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?

“Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split.

Bialik, who is famous for starring in “Blossom” when she was younger, is a huge proponent of attachment parenting and has written a book and has a blog about the parenting choice.

Attachment parenting promotes breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, and wearing babies in slings.

From The Huffington Post:

“Earlier this year, Bialik published a book on the subject called “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.”

“But according to the former “Blossom” star, the nontraditional parenting style did not play a part in her divorce.”

” ‘The hands-on style of parenting we practice played no role in the changes that led to this decision; relationships are complicated no matter what style of parenting you choose,’ Bialik wrote in a post on her parenting blog.”

We also practiced attachment parenting and I could see how if one parent didn’t want the children in bed with them or didn’t want the mom to nurse for 18 months or two years that could cause conflict.  I don’t think it caused our marriage any strife but we do have disagreements as our kids are getting older about handling discipline or problems and I could see how that could drive a wedge between parents if not worked out.

Our biggest disagreement probably when they were younger was about sleep training. I would not let a child cry it out, and Michael was feeling pretty OK about that.

Do you agree or disagree with your spouse about your parenting style? Have there ever been problems because of differences in styles?

103 comments Add your comment

Herpes Butter

November 30th, 2012
1:15 am

For a moment I thought i was in Spain. Turns out it was Portugal.

I know…..It was funny.

[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files for Divorce E! Online'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.com  - Zap2it.com (blog)all 124 news articles » [...]

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[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files for Divorce E! Online'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.com  - Zap2it.com (blog)all 126 news articles » [...]

Big Bang : The Latest Fuzz

November 30th, 2012
4:02 am

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[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files for Divorce E! Online'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.com  - Zap2it.com (blog)all 127 news articles » [...]

FCM

November 30th, 2012
6:54 am

Even though they divorce they will still have to parent together. It is one of the harshest truths about divorcing with children in the mix. You will NEVER be fully rid of the _____________ (insert term for ex spouse here) and will still have to find some way to parent with them Some spouse perpetuate the sterotypes of the divorced parent by using their children as pawns in a really ugly game. It really only hurts the child.

Although it is easier said then done parents even divorced ones have to find ways to support each other and keep the child’s interest at the core. My ex started about a year taking an interest in the lives of our children. We found that communicating by email works for us. We keep it business like..it is still in it’s infancy and we have 7 years to go (only sounds short) before the children are adults. I imagine as that happens our parent will be less “co-parenting” and more as someone (DB I think it was you) once described as advisory to my adult child. Thus they will likely just go the parent they feel like hearing from.

BlondeHoney

November 30th, 2012
7:20 am

FCM, you are right about once when they are adults, they gravitate towards one parent before the other. My boys rarely call my ex for anything and my oldest told me his father recently complained that he never calls him. There’s a reason they don’t call him but he’ll never understand why.

motherjanegoose

November 30th, 2012
7:26 am

Oh yes, our parenting experiences/styles were polar opposites. I grew up with OCD and my husband grew up with Alcholics. We did have to meet somewhere in the middle but since I had taken child psychology classes and had been around lots more children than he had, I usually had more of an input as to what we did.

I watched families and tried to emulate what I saw was a success. I also asked lots of questions to of families I admired. Examples of issues had a vast difference of experience in: a set bed time, education, family meals, hygiene, chores, homework, limits and no TV on during dinner time ( his house had a TV on 24/7), knowing the families of the kids whom ours wanted to spend the night with, and church are just a few. When the kids got older, he told me….” I thought some of those things were crazy but now I see how they were important.” This, when he saw some of the things our kid’s peers did and we then heard about it or when they would come over to visit.

Parenting is touch stuff and not for the faint of heart. It is sad, to me, to see parents who really do not take their job seriously and their children will be the ones to suffer.

motherjanegoose

November 30th, 2012
7:32 am

OOOPS…examples of issues WE and Parent is tough stuff. I need more coffee.

@ BlondeHoney..I have had this discussion with my husband. Once your kids do not need you for much, they will only be in touch with you if they want to be with you. They will not depend on your financial investment but on the demeanor of the visit. If they do not enjoy being with you, they will not stay in touch. We have family members that we are not in touch with ( too often) as the visit is difficult. You make time for the things that are important to you and when things and people are not important, they are eliminated.

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Kat

November 30th, 2012
7:53 am

I would presume that if parenting style were a problem, then a divorce will only exacerbate the problem between them.

Voice of Reason

November 30th, 2012
7:54 am

Enter your comments here

Voice of Reason

November 30th, 2012
7:55 am

What would Amy Farrah Fowler do?

She should marry Sheldon.

Jeff

November 30th, 2012
8:02 am

Of course parenting styles impact relationships. Inflexibility has burned my exes’ bridge to me and we are no longer on speaking terms. She has never once attempted to inculde me in any decisions, either good or bad and has actually taken strides to exclude me from knowing anything that goes on.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from finding out for myself, but it has made the triangle of the relationship (which FCM correctly stated will NEVER go away) very tense.

Showing complete disdain for your partner’s opinions has consequences for the life of your child.

Jeff

November 30th, 2012
8:10 am

On a positive note, my current GF and I have different styles but they compliment each other and we both realize where my strengths are needed and where hers are needed and we use that to enhance our “team”.

Seems so simple it makes me wonder what’s wrong that I’m not noticing. lol.

Roni

November 30th, 2012
8:16 am

Anything extreme, such as attachment parenting, refusal to breastfeed, etc, should really be discussed prior to having children in the first place, because of course differing opinions are going to cause strain on a marriage. That being said, from my observations of friends, attachment parenting in general seems to be more stressful on marriages than other methods. Even if Bialik and her husband both share the philosophy, I fail to see how any marriage could sustain the extremes they took it to.

Chaos

November 30th, 2012
8:17 am

Or you could be like my parents, Mom handled everything kid related and Dad only got involved when shiat got real.

motherjanegoose

November 30th, 2012
8:34 am

@ Roni…I can honestly say that I did not discuss breastfeeding with my now husband before we were married. I even fought with my own Mother about it, as she did not breastfeed us. Do most people discuss breastfeeding? I guess I missed it. We had pre-marital counseling and I do not remember even a mention of it.

Here is a question I have…could we insert the word MONEY for parenting style and also see a cause for divorce? OUR money styles were VERY different and we knew it but LOVE put a blanket over it and then we had some fireworks…haha!

My husband has been a VERY involved parent. It is one of the things I am most proud of him for. His Dad was for finances ( sometimes) and a disciplinarian. He is very different, in that aspect. When mine were small they stayed with their Dad, while I worked. We had opposite schedules. As I began to travel, they were home for days with their Dad. They are all still alive and healthy and they got to do things together that I was not a part of. I am happy for them!

Mayhem

November 30th, 2012
8:36 am

Having babies changes EVERYTHING. You can say this or that prior to the babies arriving, but as soon as they get here ALL BETS ARE OFF. I speak from experience.

Parents must be a united team in front of the children. We are the adults, we make the rules, etc. We must stand together, or the children will see that we aren’t and they will drive a bigger wedge into the relationship. They will learn to play us off each other.

Hubs and I make decisions together. If one of the kids comes to one of us, we tell them, I have to talk to your Dad/Mom first. Of course my kids are in their 20’s now, but it worked when they were growing up. We made decisions together. We stood united in front of the kids.

[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files for Divorce E! Online'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.com  - Zap2it.com (blog)all 129 news articles » [...]

[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files for Divorce E! Online'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.com  - Zap2it.com (blog)all 130 news articles » [...]

motherjanegoose

November 30th, 2012
9:12 am

@ Mayhem…my neighbor once told me, that my daughter told her…” If Mom says NO, I wait until I am home with Dad and then ask him.” She was probably 10 or so. I relayed it to my husband and he was surprised. Unity was not always on board here and that did cause problems.

I am 100% with you: Having babies changes EVERYTHING.

I have often mentioned ( here) that being a parent is VERY different from being around children for years and giving advice. Most anyone who IS a parent agrees and they usually laugh at the ridiculousness of this comment and say YA THINK? Those who are not sometimes disagree. My youngest sister was a nanny for 2 different families, for 5 or 6 years, in her twenties. She managed their houses as they often traveled. She has known my two from the beginning and she agrees that parenting is different than being around children. I am not talking about only birthing the child…I am talking about those who have custody too. 24/7 responsibility is different from being a teacher , I have been both! Of course this is just my opinion, take it or leave it.

I met someone who recently retired and moved out to the country. She is a very nice lady and told me that she has chickens , kind of like living on a farm. I laughed at her and told her that I lived on a working farm and that it is a LOT of work. I will NOT be retiring to the country to raise chickens…been there done that. When you have to work your farm, it is different than hanging out with the chickens.

pws

November 30th, 2012
9:20 am

TWG- I would like to hear how the crowds were at Disneyland. Was it what you expected, better, or worse? That said, I think there are probably more reasons that their parenting style that brought Mayim and her husband to decide to divorce. I imagine that her going back into acting, after being out of it when she met him and married him has had a huge impact as well. I have read her blogs, and from what I gather from her writing, it may be that money has played a part. She talks about being a “tight” person when it comes to money, and now that she is earning big bucks again with BB Theory, husband may have wanted to spend some of it. I’m sure there are always multiple reasons why a relationship ends.

misawa

November 30th, 2012
9:28 am

I really only know one couple that did the attachment parenting thing. Both kids, 11 and 6 (or somewhere around there) still sleep with mom while dad has a separate bedroom/office. While it’s sad for me to even think about, it seems to be working for them.

Or maybe not and they’re just REALLY good at putting on a face about it.

misawa

November 30th, 2012
9:34 am

I will add… a big plus to being married for 9 years before “pulling the goalie” is we had A LOT of time to discuss parenting ideas, philosophies, etc. We even had two names for each sex in case there was a surprise. ;)

[...] Mayim Bialik: Could parenting style differences cause a divorce?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)?Big Bang Theory? star Mayim Bialik announced last week that she and her husband of nine years were getting divorced and of course people began speculating about the split. Bialik, who is famous for starring in ?Blossom? when she was younger, is a huge …Mayim Bialik Files For Divorce Starpulse.com (blog)'The Big Bang Theory' star files for divorce Examiner.comMayim Bialik files for divorce from husband of 9 years; actress seeks joint … Washington Post TMZ.comall 132 news articles » [...]

JennyMama

November 30th, 2012
10:05 am

I did attachment parenting with my daughter. My husband (now my ex-husband) and I discussed what our parenting style would be before she was born. I had a problem with breast-feeding in the beginning but refused to give up and didn’t. I nursed for a year, did the baby-wearing thing, co-sleeping and all. I took to parenting like a duck takes to water. My ex on the other hand was resentful that I didn’t just give up on the whole attachment parenting thing. It was too much work for him and involves putting your child first before yourself, something he would never do. I made all the parenting decisions but not without discussing them with him first and he wouldn’t have an opinion. When I filed for divorce, he held all that against me and tried to claim that I didn’t allow him to do anything. When there’s an infant involved you can’t really wait for someone to figure out how to take care of that infant. My daughter is now 4 1/2 and has figured out that she would rather be with mommy. Mommy attends to her needs…there’s a flow between us that just works. We still co-sleep but she does, will and can sleep in her own bed by herself. At her father’s house she sleeps in her own room and own bed.

Mayhem

November 30th, 2012
10:05 am

Sorry, but my hubby stays in bed with me. We didn’t do “attachment parenting, co-sleeping” The kids were in their own beds. No way will the kids be in bed and hubby’s in another ROOM…..however, once in a while, when they were younger, they could pile into the bed with us. But as soon as they fell asleep, they were moved to their own beds.

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 30th, 2012
10:52 am

I love the way she describes attachment parenting as “hands on” like those of us who didn’t let our kids sleep with us or run in to coddle them at every sneeze, cough, whimper, and crying fit in the middle of the night are somehow not “hands on” parents.

Me

November 30th, 2012
11:00 am

I can see where the attachment parenting could hurt a relationship. After having kids, most couples have less time for each other because of the focus on the child or children. Attachment parenting increases that focus. I can see a husband feeling neglected after a while. Many Many marriages have ended because the spouses lost touch with each other. My child doesn’t sleep with us (although she will get up in the middle of the night and try to sneak in) we feel that our bed is our space. Be it intimate conversation,intimacy, or just enjoying being together watching something stupid on T.V., it is our adult space.

Hmm moment:
I often wonder if some of the people so into attachment parenting have sex with their kids in the bed with them. They say they don’t, but you know some of them probably do. Can you even imagine trying to go at it while your 7 year old is sleeping on the other side of the bed? My luck my kid would wake up and be damaged for life.

Soccer MILF

November 30th, 2012
11:00 am

That girl needs a nose job

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

November 30th, 2012
11:04 am

“Holy Matrimony” is “holy.” Parenting problems only arise when one or both of the parents are not seeking, or appreciative of, divine guidance.

catlady

November 30th, 2012
11:08 am

MJG–it isn’t just the kids that suffer. It is also the others who are around the suffering kids. I have several kids right now who don’t seem to mean dirt to their parents. Many have already been abandoned for the grandparents or others to raise. These kids, desperate for attention, inflict their misery on the other kids they are around, and on the teachers who try to reach them. I can only remember one child like this the first few years I taught, but with each year now the numbers and desperation seems to grow.

Chaos

November 30th, 2012
11:33 am

See also Helicopter parenting….

Denise

November 30th, 2012
12:46 pm

@Me re: your Hmmm moment – I’ve always wondered about that. I am not a parent so I have not been faced with this but my ex-sister-in-law had my niece in the bed every night and my brother slept on the couch. My brother’s new fiance is the one who taught my niece to sleep in her own bed. She was about 3 before she slept in a bed by herself and she screamed bloody murder every night, but the fiance didn’t care. She also kept her bed “sacred” for her and my brother ONLY to sleep in.

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

@Me and Denise….”Can you even imagine trying to go at it”….maybe that is how they get away with it…there is no “going at it” when there is a child in bed with you…there MAY be something that resembles rolling over and/or scratching a back, but “going at it”….I would think (and hope) not. Seems to me that “going at it” is mutually exclusive from attachment parenting. Maybe that’s the difference between us and them…maybe we’re “going at it” kind of folks and the attachment parents have more of a “you don’t mind if I take a little nap while we do this” kind of philosophy!

:-)

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mom2alex&max

November 30th, 2012
2:15 pm

The whole attachment parenting thing never did ring any bells for me. I don’t like “wearing” babies, breastfeeding made me feel like I had a ball and chain (no one else can feed the baby so you never can be away for more than 2 hrs without pumping), and co-sleeping sounds like a nightmare. My husband feels the same way and I think that if one of us would have been determined to do it, it would have caused a SERIOUS rift in our marriage.

I always thought that the best gift you can give a child is a strong marriage. And while we live and die for our children, my husband and I make our marriage a priority. Something that, I am very sorry, but I can’t see how it would work when you are attachment parenting.

Captain Obvious

November 30th, 2012
2:58 pm

How can a parent expect a child to be Independent and contribute positively to society if they spend their first 3-4 years of life attached to your hip?

Isn’t it enough that mother nature had the kid physically attached to you for 9 months? Why extend that beyond what is natural?

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who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

@TWG…..”I don’t think it caused our marriage any strife”….have you ever asked Michael if he thinks it caused any strife?

Denise

November 30th, 2012
5:00 pm

@who knows…Yes, I pray that when I get married we are “go at it” kind of folks! LOL! None of that co-sleeping. HAHAHA!

I also wonder about how a child becomes independent if consistently and constantly with a parent, even in sleep. I will say I wish I had more of a connection to my mother but not to the point where we slept together every night. I have a coworker who still sleeps with her mother when they visit and talks to her mother numerous times a day. I definitely envy the closeness but I do not envy the feeling I get sometimes that her mother has to cosign on her decisions. I don’t know. It’s a 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other, for me…as an adult. But I cannot imagine being the parent that attaches the child to the hip.

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Kat

November 30th, 2012
6:19 pm

@Chaos: Thanks for saying what I was thinking.

missnadine

November 30th, 2012
11:49 pm

I know a lot folks on this blog really like the Elf on the Shelf. I found this article with some funny pictures, and yes, some are PG13. http://hypervocal.com/entertainment/2012/20-creepy-elf-on-the-shelf/

Ann

December 1st, 2012
12:53 am

The percentage of parents practicing attachment parenting is fairly small, and those that practice it to more of an extreme are a tiny minority. The divorce rate is around 50%. To assume or speculate that this particular marriage failed because of attachment parenting or co-sleeping implies that couples who don’t have children sleeping in their bed must have great marriages and no-divorce. The divorce rate would be pretty low if that were the case. There are numerous reasons couples divorce. Money problems is usually high on the list. While parenting styles can cause disagreements, most couples work these things out and compromise, as needed.

For those who wonder about intimacy, I think there is misunderstanding about how co-sleeping often works. Most co-sleepers are kids under age 6. Kids under 6 typically sleep 10-12 hours. American adults average about 6-7 hours. The parents are not sleeping with the kids the entire time the kids are asleep. You put the kids to bed at night, then have plenty of time before you go to sleep. Or, you wake up much earlier in the morning. This leaves 3-6 hours of time each night or morning when couples can have time to themselves in another bedroom or elsewhere. It is easy to have regular intimacy.

I’d be curious to know how many of the people posting comments opposed to co-sleeping with kids co-sleep with their cat or dog?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 1st, 2012
4:03 am

“Mayhem” has it figured out; and, Evil continues to exist in society for a reason.

Elvis slept with his mother until he was twelve or thirteen. Any woman who allows the same practice is perverting her child and subverting her marriage: failing to work out her bad karma from a polygamous or haremic past life or abusive upbringing, with a cheating, “Beta,” or as George W. Bush typifies, closeted (James Guckert/”Jeff Gannon”) “husband.”

The Arc of Civilization says monogamy is received grace from the Creator, with equal, unencumbered male and female as a single voice before their family, sharing in fidelity the literal miracle of sex. When a woman is “a god unto herself” she is no wife. The failed wife’s ejecting her spouse from the marital bower to feed her emotional dysfunction and project the same upon her otherwise Divine Gift is a profanation.

While only G-d is perfect, man and woman should complete and perfect each other, in G-d, and project that holiness through the righteous, sanctified upbringing of their children. In this way society shall abolish Evil.

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[...] For Divorce, Seeks Custody Of Her Two Sons International Business Times OnTheRedCarpet.com  - Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)  - People Magazineall 176 news [...]