News of the difficulties in the marriage of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith has been all over media. It began with a “source” saying the couple were getting a divorce, swiftly followed by a denial, and at the moment there are photographs of the couple out shopping together in what has become known in celebrity world as “a show of unity”.
Time will tell as to the longevity or otherwise of the Smith marriage, but there is another, perhaps more interesting aspect to this story. Will and Jada Smith are friends of David and Victoria Beckham and it seems friendship with the Beckhams is the kiss of death to a relationship. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker? Now divorced. J-Lo and Marc Anthony? Also divorced. Gordon and Tana Ramsay? Their marital troubles have been well documented. And now the Smiths. It rather begs the question: who will the Beckhams stay friends with if the Smiths do split?
This is an all too common problem with divorces; not just for those couples getting divorced, but for friends of the couple. It is rare for friends not to take sides, no matter how neutral they may consider themselves to be, and it is rare for divorcing couples not to look to their friends for support and to feel bitter if they do not receive it. Christmas time, birthday celebrations, dinner parties... all these occasions are difficult for all concerned. Inviting both halves of a now divorced couple is tricky unless they manage to get along splendidly (rare). Inviting only one of the couple usually results in a hissy fit or a lengthy, cold silence. Inviting neither pleases nobody. The Beckhams could always try being blunt, of course. I have one friend who, post divorce, was told she wouldn’t be invited to any of her so-called friend’s dinner parties because as a single woman she would ruin the placement.
If the Smiths do indeed break up and join the ever increasing numbers of the ‘divorced and friends of the Beckhams’ club’, then David and Victoria are going to require the diplomatic skills of a Middle East peace envoy to negotiate their way through the minefield of social situations that await them.