TMZ.com dared to say something today that I think many people do not really want to think about as a possibility. "Believe it or not, it seems that the Fed-Ex may actually have been at least a steadying influence on Britney, even though he's hardly a paragon of upright citizenship himself." Of course they had to tack the last part on, but perhaps it's not completely unfair. I don't think Kevin cheated on Britney, I don't think he spent lots of her money, and I don't believe he's ever tried to blackmail her in any way, shape or form, but that doesn't mean he's a perfect individual. That being said he has come across as devoted to his children (with Shar to back him up), and he always sounded devoted to Britney right up until she filed for divorce. Is it possible that Kevin was good for Britney? Here's a couple of quotes to consider:
Laura Lynne at the wedding in Chaotic:
"I've known Britney my entire life. We grew up together, we're first cousins, our moms are sisters. Well at first we were like are you being serious, are you really getting married? I met him in New York and I could just tell that he loved her so much, and he was so complimentary, he was so encouraging to her. But he also could put her in her place, and that's something that not a lot of people can do with Britney."
September, 2006 GQ:
Federline tells me about the stormy early days in his relationship with Britney. "She thought she could play me," he says, and goes on in what I think is an unintentional little rap. "She was playing games, testing me to see where my head is at, see if she could get away with this or that." When I ask what made him stick it out, he says, "She did. We talked and got over it, and that was that. I let her know where I stood. It was needed, I think, for my relationship, for her to know that I didn't care about all this. I don't care that you're Britney Spears, that the world loves who you are. I don't care about that shit."
I was also reading a speculation today about why Britney might be behaving the way she is. It was from a devoted Britney fan who I respect very much. He thought maybe it was post-partum depression, a manic-depressive personality, or an effort to show control and show she could sabotage things if she wanted to. While I agree that she does seem to be acting in a self-destructive way that could very well indicate depression, I think he's left out a very big part of what she might have to be depressed about. Perhaps he, like many others, does not want to think about what an important person Kevin was to Britney, and what this divorce could be doing to her.
According to DivorceInfo.com, divorce is the second most stressful life event, second only to the death of a spouse. It is more stressful than a jail term or being fired from work. It is even rated more stressful than the death of close family member who is not your spouse. From the site:
Why Does It Hurt So Much?
The great untold story of divorce is how much it hurts - and not just the spouse who's left behind but also even the spouse who's doing the leaving. Many people who have gone through divorce remember that it feels -- it feels like having a piece of yourself ripped away. Ellen put it this way, a year after separation: "This year it's just a dull ache. Last year it hurt to breathe."
People who haven't been through divorce usually can't understand how deep, how searing, and how debilitating the pain is. Try if you want to explain it to them; they probably just won't get it.
At some point in the past, sometimes the very recent past, you felt the sensual, ecstatic thrill of total trust and intimacy with this person. Now this same person is your adversary. You feel betrayed. Of course it's going to hurt.
Another reason it hurts so much is that most people who are going through divorce are having to deal with so many losses all at the same time. You're hurting for a broken relationship, of course. And often at the same time, you're hurting because of that feeling of being betrayed by your spouse. Or maybe you feel betrayed by somebody in your spouse's family.
And often at the same time, you're also hurting over the changes in your life. And there are so many changes connected with divorce. Sometimes you have to change where you live, how you spend your day, what you can afford to do, how much time you spend with your children and on what schedule, and how you can plan for the future, all while you're trying to deal with a whole new world of lawyers, judges, pleadings, and court dates.
And whether we like to admit it or not, there's still a sense of shame connected with divorce. People who are going through divorce feel like failures.
This of course applies to both Kevin and Britney, but for now I'm focusing on Britney's current behavior. Besides all of the above reasons for feeling bad, I'd like to suggest there could be one more for Britney, and that could be guilt. Not many people see a huge, televised, audience of people laugh as their newly-divorced spouse gets made fun of and then dumped in the ocean. This person, who she had just broken a promise with to love and support for the rest of their lives. The truth is Britney really did handle the divorce badly. By building a publicity stunt around the divorce she cheapened the whole marriage. It basically says that her career was more important than her marriage, and perhaps there really is some truth to that. Based on when and how the divorce took place, I am not the only person who has speculated that part of the reason why she filed for divorce was because Kevin was a threat to her career. And that is not a good reason to divorce someone. Again I'm not saying Kevin is perfect, but I am questioning some of Britney's decisions. Some people might be able to do it without blinking an eye, and for the first couple of weeks it seemed like Britney might be one of them. It's almost a relief for me to see that she's isn't that cold and unfeeling. It has softened some of my bad feelings towards her, though I'm still not at a point where I feel cheering for her once again, and maybe I'll never get there.
So what now? Unfortunately this divorce is going to go on for awhile, which is going to be stressful for everyone. Britney really needs to pull out of this self-destructive phase as soon as possible. Though understandable to a point, she's got two babies who need her to be strong. She needs to buy a house soon and get settled for both her and her children's sake, since she doesn't want to live in her old home anymore. She really should suck it up and live there for now anyway, since it's familiar to her kids and they could use as much of that as possible. In other words, the kids need to come first, no matter how bad their parents may be feeling right now. Britney, forget "rebellion" and think "responsibility."
And so we wait to see what will happen next...