She’s an actress and a neuroscientist, a mother of two and now divorced for the first time. Mayim Bialik had a private marriage, but an outspoken divorce. And unlike many other divorcees, she even had to go through the ordeal twice to be divorced just once. Will she even get married again?
Divorce was finalized in May 2013
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Nine years married
Mayim Bialik married Michael Stone in a Victorian-themed ceremony on August 31, 2003, with everyone decked out in traditional Jewish costumes. Though born into a Mormon family, Stone converted to Judaism. During their marriage, the couple had two sons, one born in 2005, the other following in 2008.
Given that their marriage lasted nine years, it would have had to have been successful for a good portion of it. They raised their children in accordance with the attachment method, which takes a lot of commitment to the children and to each other. Private time for the parents is a rather rare occurrence, which can certainly take its toll on the relationship.
Attachment parenting as a reason for divorce?
But Mayim made it clear in her initial statement announcing the couple’s divorce that their parenting approach had no part in their decision to divorce. Since she chose to raise the subject, however, others chose to pounce on it, trying to explain what role attachment parenting might have played in the divorce after all.
When your children are your main focus, to a point that they share their parent’s bed or, as Mayim once acknowledged, the parents each sleeping with one of the children, then the relationship between husband and wife cannot but suffer. Eventually, the closeness to your children supersedes that to your significant other, which does not sound like a great way to lead your marriage.
With only two people inside of a marriage, who really knows why they’re divorcing and what ultimately led to it, everyone outside of it can speculate as much as they want. Mayim and Michael led a private marriage. Mayim, though a successful actress, was never a celebrity. She left the limelight to pursue a neuroscience degree and likely spent enough time in privacy to come to cherish it, especially growing up as a child actress.
When she announced in November 2012 that they were set to divorce, she acknowledged the painfulness of a divorce but stressed how privacy had always been important to her and Michael, and that it would continue to be.
If attachment parenting played a role or not, the two are now most definitely divorced and one is inclined to wonder if the strong attachment they pursued with their children did not result in a detachment of the parents.
Getting divorce not once but twice
Mayim ended up blogging about her experience going through this divorce, but not so much to dish on private details or their marriage. It was more about the process they had to go through. Being legally divorced and recognized as such by the state of California did not mean they were also divorced through their faith. As Jews they also had to go through a religious process, thousands of years old, called ‘get’, something Mayim called a cathartic and emotional experience.
A ‘get’ actually refers to the divorce document, which is written by a scribe and handed by the husband to the wife before witnesses. The ceremony is absolutely necessary for a Jewish couple to divorce, no matter whether the civil divorce has already been finalized or not. If a ‘get’ has not been performed, a Jewish couple would still be considered married under Jewish law and would not be allowed to re-marry a different partner, if ever they wished to do so.
However painful a divorce might already be, having to go through it twice, via two different processes, certainly means that you are serious about the divorce.
And yet, whilst a ‘get’ specifically expresses the intention of divorce and the severance of all ties between husband and wife, Mayim and her ex-husband Michael are far from severing all ties. In August 2018 Mayim posted a video to her vlog talking about the aftermath of the divorce. She was focussing on how she and Michael managed to co-parent their still young children even three years after the divorce was finalized.
Considering that they had chosen the attachment method, to begin with, it would have been an unlikely move to completely alter their parenting method. The two still spend lots of time together as a family with their sons. They make sure not to talk badly about each other either in front of their children or when they’re each alone with their children.
And they still talk to each other’s families. Mayim called a divorce the end of the ‘nuclear family’, but not the end of the family as such. She admitted that things that annoyed her about her ex-husband when they were still married annoy her still, but she won’t hold them against him. After all, they are no longer married.
She also said that it is best not to dwell on the past and simply move on for the sake of giving their children a safe and loving environment to grow up in. They want to lead by example and it sounds as if they’re doing just that.
Whatever led to the divorce, this ex-couple at least did it right. They didn’t drag the proceedings out unnecessarily, no dirty laundry was pulled out, their children remained their primary focus throughout, and all assets were split in half, with each of them getting one of the two family homes.
It is Mayim’s stated hope that her sons will continue to grow and be cherished in two loving homes from here on in. The ex-couple has certainly laid a good foundation for that to be the case. And now that they’ve made it through the first three years, they may just make it through the next 10 and more years that it will still take to raise their sons.
The only thing that could complicate matters is if one or both of them find new partners and wish to get married again. Not everyone is happy for their future spouse to have a good or even close relationship with their ex-partners. For now, we don’t know that Mayim is actually dating anyone or even has the intention or wish to ever get married again. She’s 40 years old and that leaves plenty of time for her to find a new partner. But that’s all down the line and it sounds as if they’ll approach that situation, if ever it comes to pass, with the same maturity that they’ve approached their divorce and co-parenting their sons.