While it’s still early days, the Kristen Stewart/Rob Pattinson marriage seems to have ended quite badly. Stewart filed for divorce in February this year, citing irreconcilable differences. She’s since moved out of their $11.8m NYC apartment, with the couple’s twin sons, Brooklyn, 4, and Tennessee, 1, being brought up by Kristen’s parents in England. The actress and director has since been spotted walking the streets alone with her little boys. We don’t know what will happen to the children, but it’s fair to say their lives have changed forever. In this exclusive interview with CNET, the Twilight star opens up about the end of her marriage…
How Did Marriage Go Wrong?
Well, it was an interesting ride. When you’re on the precipice of a major life change, like getting married, having kids, or moving out of your home, there’s bound to be some hiccups along the way. For me, the biggest one was that I didn’t realise how much I actually needed my family around me. I’d gotten so absorbed in my career that I’d forgotten what it was like to be a normal, everyday family man. It wasn’t until I was already in the thick of things that I started to miss my ex-wife Emily’s cooking and my parents’ trips to Disneyland. I realised how much I loved them and needed them. So when I got the opportunity to spend more time with them, I jumped at it.
How is the Transition to Being a Dad Hard?
When you have a child, your life changes forever. I’d always seen my role as a dad as a bit of a given, since I have twin children, and since childhood, I’d always been close to my little brothers and sister. But, having a child means you’re expected to step up as a father, and to be the best possible dad that you can be. It can be a steep learning curve, especially since my ex-wife wasn’t exactly mothering the children the right way. She was too focused on her own insecurities to see that she was hurting them. With the help of an incredible father figure in their lives, my sons are thriving. They’ve been taking English lessons this year, and have really started to enjoy themselves. They love their grandmother’s cooking, and look to her for emotional support. That’s what a father should be, and it’s been a real learning curve for me. Sometimes I catch myself wishing that I could go back and do things differently. But it’s also taught me to be more patient and understanding of my sons’ needs. It’s hard not to feel guilty sometimes, but I know that they’ll end up feeling thankful for the life that they have now.
Are You and Your Ex Still Together?
No! We’re not together. I don’t live with her any more. I did spend a lot of time with her after the divorce, as friends. She’s still a good friend, and I love being around her children. I think she’s a really amazing mother. But, for the sake of my sons, I had to separate myself from the situation. I made the conscious decision that I didn’t want to be a burden on my children, and take them down with me into my mess. In the end, I think it was the best thing for them. It’s sad that her priorities ended up being in the wrong place, but I’m happy to be serving my sons in a better way.
What was the Thinking Behind the Divorce?
We’d been experiencing problems for a while, but we kept putting them off. We both wanted to work through it, but neither of us felt comfortable talking about what the problem was. So we kept bottling up our frustrations, until they became too much to handle. As the twins got older, I started to feel more and more like a secondary parent. My ex-wife was their primary carer, and I started to feel like a burden, since I didn’t have her full attention all the time. It wasn’t just about her needing space, it was about me not feeling like I had a role to play in their lives. Her career had taken off, and we both started to feel as thoughit was mine, as their father, to keep them on track. I also didn’t want to be a hindrance when she came home from work, tired and stressed. So I decided that it was time to put my foot down, and make some demands. I wanted to set some guidelines for our family, and I wanted her to start acting like an adult, with an adult attitude. She needed to quit working all the time, and focus on the kids, so they had someone there for them when they got home from school. She needed to make better decisions, and be more responsible, or else I would. It wasn’t easy, but after a lot of discussion, we finally came to an agreement. She’s doing her best, and I’m happy to be there for her, as much as I can be. The divorce was really amicable. We’re still friends, and talk about the children and our lives regularly. It’s not an easy situation, but we’re handling it as maturely as possible, and I think that’s what’s important right now.
You’ve Been Through a Lot.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been a lot. But I’ve always been a strong person, and I’ve always tried to be there for my family. Having twin boys has been incredible, and I’ve never felt happier or more content. They’ve brought me closer to my parents, and I’ve been able to have lunch and dinner with them, every day this year. It hasn’t always been easy, but then it wouldn’t be if it was easy, would it? Sometimes I catch myself wishing that things could go back to the way they were before all of this. But life doesn’t work like that. You can’t turn back the clock. All you can do is look to the future, and try to be the best father you can be.
What is Your Overall Feelings Towards the Kids’ Mother?
I have mixed feelings about Emily, as I’ve said before. On the one hand, I admire her for being able to step up and be the mother the twins needed and deserved. She’s a wonderful mother, and I’m glad that my sons have such an attentive, caring figure in their lives. On the other hand, I can’t help feeling as though she’s not the best role model for my kids, since she doesn’t seem to have the best track record as a mother. She’s always been very focused on her career, and she’s put herself first, a lot. I wish she could find the balance between being a devoted mother and having a successful career. But until then, my sons will just have to learn to love her for what she is, and not for what she isn’t. She’s made mistakes, and it’s hurt my sons, but they’re still in a better place, now that they have someone looking after them, who they can also learn from. It’s a tough situation, and not one I’d wish on my own children. But they’ll end up feeling grateful, in the long run, for everything that happened, and they have a happy family now, due to Emily’s efforts. It’s all about priorities, I guess.
Has Being a Father Changed You?
Being a father is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. My sons are amazing, and I love being around them. The older one, particularly, has so much spirit and passion. He helps me be the best possible father, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. I feel like I’ve been reborn, having these kids. I’m a different person now, and I think my ex-wife would agree. It’s been a wonderful experience, and one I don’t want to miss out on, ever again.
Do You Think Being a Dad is Harder Than Being a Husband?
I think it’s easier, actually. Having kids gives you a new perspective on things. You realise what matters most in life, and what doesn’t. When you have children, you start to see things in a different way, and that’s what I love about it. It’s not just about you any more. Being a husband is great, but it’s not about you, either. Not all the time, at least. Having kids is awesome, because you get to be a part of this amazing, growing organism. A tiny part, but an important one. It’s been an adjustment getting used to not having my own space any more, but I’m slowly starting to see the benefits.