As upsetting as it might be to watch a couple like Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock in a public divorce, Clarkson herself says their split is ultimately for the greater good of their family. This is a conclusion she came to after reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle, who was recently a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show. In the interview that aired on Tuesday, the two talked about the fact that sometimes parents should break up because of their kids.
“It’s horrible,” Clarskon said of her divorce while speaking with Doyle and her other guest, Alicia Keys. “There are so many hard parts. The hardest for me is the kids. … As women, we’re trained … to take it all on and you can deal with it and you’re fine, but it’s your babies you worry about.”
In Untamed, Doyle writes of how she had stayed in a failing marriage for years, mostly for the sake of her children.
“We’re trained to believe that what we have to avoid at all costs a broken family, and that a broken family is a divorce,” Doyle said on Clarkson’s show. “I stayed in a broken marriage for my children, and one day I was looking at my daughter, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I am staying in this marriage for her. But would I want this marriage for her? If I would not want this marriage for her, why am I modeling bad love and calling that good mothering?'”
During this time, Doyle met and fell in love with soccer star Abby Wambach. She finally realized that the best thing for her children was not to see their mother suffering.
“We’ve all been trained to believe a good mother is a martyr,” she said. “That what a mother does is just slowly dies, hides her ambition and buries her feelings, and buries her sexuality and her dreams in honor of her children. And we know that that’s the worst legacy we can pass on to our kids, which is why Carl Jung said there is no greater burden on a child than the unlived life of a parent. Not a divorce! I didn’t leave a marriage in spite of being a mother. I left because I am a good mother. A good mother is a model not a martyr.”
Clarkson said that this revelation in the book is actually part of what spurred her to file for divorce from Blackstock, to whom she’s been married for six years.
“It was that thing I needed to see to make a step in my life, and not just for me but also for my current husband,” Clarkson said. “I’m like, ‘This isn’t happiness … Both of us deserve better. And neither one of us would want this for our children.’ Reading that line so hit home for me, and not selfishly, but for the family. It was just such a powerful piece of knowledge that seems so logical, but it’s never been worded like that to me.”
Clarkson is likely holding on hard to those words as her split gets more difficult. This week, we also learned that Blackstock is asking her for an annual sum of $5 million for support, while she currently has physical custody of their kids.