Even if former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are done with each other, a pro-marriage organization isn't done with them.
The California Healthy Marriages Coalition, which receives $2.4 million annually in federal funding, is criticizing Schwarzenegger and Shriver for giving up after 25 years of marriage and announcing they will divorce.
In a statement issued yesterday, Dennis Stoica, president of the coalition, urged the celebrity couple to stay together and try to work things out. "Every relationship has conflicts," he said. "But in most cases, divorce isn't necessary. I would love to see our former governor and first lady do whatever it takes to step up as models of commitment and perseverance for other couples."
Patty Howell, a spokeswoman for the coalition, told us today that Schwarzenegger and Shriver's decision to call it quits should prompt other couples to learn techniques for keeping the magic alive.
The organization offers classes on how to preserve a healthy union, such as "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage." Schwarzenegger and Shriver would probably need a class on how to let your wife wear pants whenever she wants to.
"For me, the takeaway is that this is a high-profile couple that really has a lot going for them, and, like many couples, haven't done the hard work along the way to keep the relationship really satisfying," she said. "And that's a tragedy." Howell acknowledged that she was not personally familiar with the troubles that drove the couple apart.
Was it the cheating? The much-anticipated cartoon Schwarzengger never told his wife she was in? We're guessing it might just be tough for Shriver to look in the mirror every morning and know she is the spouse of the bizarre real-life figure who starred in Pumping Iron.
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