The news that Courteney Cox and David Arquette were separating after 11 years of marriage sent ripples of distress throughout America's tabloid-reading community and beyond. Really? thought many, surprised by personal sadness over public figures' private lives. The dissolution of this marriage hit home for many Americans perhaps because, despite the celebrity characters, the story is infinitely relatable.
"A lot of people are going through stuff like that, and it just helps to kind of hear a celebrity that's experiencing the same kind of things," said Arquette, who has been doing his part to keep the public informed. (Going on Howard Stern to reveal his post-split tear-inducing bad sex while simultaneously admitting he's still "in love with my wife" is one way to go about it.)
More from YourTango: I Took Nora Ephron's Love Advice, And It Saved Me
And from Courteney we have the admission, "Sometimes you just realize, 'Wow, we actually have grown apart." Who hasn't experienced that feeling?
Despite their differences, Courteney says they're not getting divorced. "I don't know what will happen, but this is not like we're getting divorced. This is a separation and I think that takes a lot of courage . . . Whatever is supposed to happen will be the best thing for us."
Deciding To Separate
More from YourTango: The Most Epic F*ck You Breakup Letter Of All Time
Sometimes having space "really is about finding out if the grass is greener," says YourTango expert Julie Spira. "Quite often it is not [greener]. Unless your spouse has done something illegal or immoral that you cannot forgive, separation is a way to figure out if the relationship is worth saving."
According to YourTango Expert Doris Helge, a trial separation is one way to say, "I'm willing to separate myself from my emotional pain long enough to take an objective look at our drama."