Putting emotions aside.
As we all know, there have been mixed reactions from fans as Song Hye Kyo, recently divorced from Song Joong Ki, has made it a point to appear and act normally in public. At her first appearance post-divorce for Korean cosmetics company Sulwhasoo in China, a brand for which she’s the spokesperson, the actress was seen laughing at antics from her fans. She then flew to Monaco for a Chaumet jewellery exhibition with fellow celebrities Natalie Portman and Natalia Vodianova. While some fans have been encouraging, like Krismaeonesa, who commented: “Beautiful as ever. This is how you move on even when other people, especially those whom you thought are closest to you, try to bring you down,” there has also been a tirade of negative comments coming from Korean fans. One fan said: “Such a strong mentality~this isn’t the time for her to be smiling right now…” while another commented, “Gives me goosebumps to think she can smile in a situation like this.”
Hye Kyo’s actions and the resulting public reactions have led us to question: Is there an etiquette to observe after a divorce? Marie Claire Malaysia reached out to renowned divorce lawyer Dato’ Dr Arunan Selvaraj, an expert on Family Law, Civil and Criminal Litigation – for advice.
“My opinion in regards to divorce etiquette would be that one should simply focus on moving forward with life. Upon hearing about your divorce, most people would expect you to look, feel and be sad. However, in recent times, divorce parties have become a growing culture in countries such as Japan and America. Therefore the idea of how a divorcee should behave in public really is subjective. Some people are able to go on with their lives as if nothing ever happened, and that is okay, while some would need more time, and that is okay as well. However you feel about your divorce, it is important to strike a balance with your emotions. Never be overly emotional, whether you are celebrating your divorce or mourning it.
“I think that a divorcee should be most mindful of how he or she reacts and behaves in front of the children. The children will feel the effects of your divorce most and the way you speak to them as well as the things you say to them are impactful. Ensure that the children understand what is going on and handle it positively. Never use them to communicate with your ex-spouse and maintain a degree of respect for your ex-spouse when you speak about them to your children or anyone for that matter,” he says.
Meanwhile, fans are speculating that ex-husband Joong Ki was the wronged party as he was the one who called for the divorce and has been lying low for now. We asked Dato Dr. Arunan if it is right to assume that the wronged party would initiate the divorce? “It is not necessarily true that the wronged party would be the one to file for the divorce. Couples decide to get a divorce for many different reasons and most of the time, both parties agree to a divorce because they want to move on as they find that their differences are irreconcilable. Also, in a lot of cases, there is really no right or wrong party.
“With everything being said, it’s important for everyone to be more understanding. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions without any facts,” he replies.
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