Yesterday, TMZ broke the news that La La and Carmelo Anthony are separated. The pair has been together for over 12 years, married for seven, and they share 10-year-old son Kiyan. This is the kind of news that makes people want to swear off love, because “if they couldn’t make it work, there is no hope for any of us.” However, TMZ is also reporting that the couple split amicably. Even though La La is already living separately, they’re still doing things like attending their son’s birthday party together. That their breakup was a mutual decision feels refreshingly hopeful. In fact, I think that La La is the perfect person to school us on breaking up responsibly.
When relationships end, especially famous ones, an instinctive assumption is that one party must be at fault. We want to know what wrong was done to caused the breakup. Who slept with the nanny? Who was the abuser? Who was more concerned with their career than their relationship? Who had anger or drug issues? Already rumors are swirling that Carmelo has impregnated another woman. This could be true, but the idea that all breakups include a villain and a scorned lover left in their wake is just as much of a fairy tale as a princess being rescued by Prince Charming.
Out here in the real world, couples grow apart. Things like money, careers, health, and kids cause the kind of stress that make it hard to also be someone’s partner. In this case, the report suggests that it was Carmelo’s job that put a strain on their relationship. It happens.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m not worried about La La Anthony. She has her own very successful career and a gaggle of friends that can help her transition into this new phase in her life. This is the same woman who literally wrote a playbook on love. If you don’t think she understands that loss is sometimes the end result of even the best games, then you haven’t been paying attention. I think she is more than capable of figuring out what’s next for her and her family, and I'm pretty certain that her world isn’t going to come crumbling down around her.
Obviously, breaking up — with anything and anyone: friends, lovers, your apartment — is hard. I would never suggest that La La or Carmelo aren’t experiencing any pain as a result of their separation. There have probably been tears and a lot of curse words from both parties. They may file for divorce. They might get back together. Either way, this change in their relationship is a pretty normal part of being human and moving on.