A moment of truth, acceptance, and realization, made Arnold Schwarzenegger understand the value of his ex-wife Maria Shriver.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver got together, they created a huge rumble in Hollywood being the unlikely pair they were. Schwarzenegger was a handsome hulk from Austria who was still trying to make his mark in Hollywood, while Shriver, born in the Kennedy family, was climbing up the ladder of her journalism career.
According to History, when the two were introduced by TV newsman Tom Brokaw, at the annual Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Forest Hills, New York, the chemistry between them was undeniable and soon, the two love birds were already sailing on the boat of their bi-coastal relationship. On April 26, 1986, the couple tied the knot and marked the beginning of their journey together in sickness and health. But, one mistake ruined their beautiful bond. He had an extramarital affair.
In his autobiography Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, the actor opened up about Shriver's reaction to his infidelity and how she confronted him to come clean. It was June 4, 2011, the day after Schwarzenegger's term as the governor of California came to an end.
"The minute we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said, 'Maria wanted to come here today and to ask about a child -- whether you fathered a child with your housekeeper Mildred.'... I told the therapist, 'It's true,'" the actor said, reported the ABC News.
The US Weekly reported him admitting that his split with Maria Shriver was the lowest point in his life. In an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show, he said, "I had personal setbacks, but this was, without any doubt, the biggest setback and the biggest failure." He continued, "Without any doubt. Not only failure, but you feel like, 'I'm to blame for it. It was me that screwed up.' And you can't point the finger at anyone else. So yeah, I was disappointed in it."
In a trailer for his Fox News show, OBJECTified, he confessed, "I don’t need any time to reflect when I know it was a major, major screw-up," reported Daily Mail.
When Shriver was asked for a statement on the situation after their divorce, she said, "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect, and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal."
It's not a secret that, when Schwarzenegger was accused of sexual misconduct in the fall of 2003, also the time when he had just begun his run as the governor of California, Shriver had come to his defense in a speech to a Republican women's group in Orange County. "You can listen to all the negativity, and you can listen to people who have never met Arnold, or who met him for five seconds 30 years ago. Or you can listen to me," reported CNN.
Her trust and dedication in her relationship with Schwarzenegger were so much that she had taken a break from TV correspondence to help with his campaign. She made her point very clear to anyone who was doubting their marriage by saying, "I wouldn't be standing here if this man weren't an A-plus human being. ... I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't believe in this man."
Unfortunately, the personal and public revelation of her husband's betrayal left Shriver heartbroken and shattered. Everyone hoped that the estranged couple would work things out but she had already made her mind to move out of their family home. After 25 years of marriage, Shriver filed for a divorce in July 2011.
The actor revealed that even after ending things with Shriver, she has always been there as his support system. She helped him reconnect with his kids after they felt betrayed by their father. He explained, "It has worked out really so well with the help of Maria," he said, reported US Weekly. The two share four kids, sons Patrick and Christopher, and daughters Katherine and Christina. Schwarzenegger fathered another son, Joseph, who he shares with Mildred Baena, the housekeeper.
Talking to Howard Stern about his kids dealing with the news, the Terminator star said, "It’s a very tough situation for my kids. Very tough situation for my family. It was tough for everybody. But it has happened and now we have to figure it out, right?"
Even though the couple had parted ways citing "irreconcilable differences" they still share a close bond with each other. Schwarzenegger, 72, is super proud of his kids. The US Weekly reported him saying, "My kids are a straight 10. I am so proud of them. I'm so in love with them."
He added that he was surprised by their gesture while promoting the Terminator reboot in Germany in 2019. "I walk into the room and I see the room full of balloons… It was from all four kids and from my wife. There was a note — 'You're the greatest dad, the greatest man, we love you dad' — Each one sent a card. Each one sent a gift. That's the relationship we have." he shared.