People change, lives go in different directions, and sometimes it's inevitable that partners split. If you're in this predicament, you could do worse than follow the six-part example of actress Hilary Swank, who's splitting from husband Chad Lowe and handling it in the dignified way actors handle these painful, private things -- by spilling her guts to Vanity Fair.
1) Marginalize him. Getting, say, an Oscar? Thank everybody from your manager to your gardener, and "forget" to mention the man you've been involved with since you were 18.
2) Twist the knife. Getting, say, another Oscar? Ostentatiously remember to acknowledge your husband, turning it (and him) into an awkward punch line. Then sit back and enjoy as the cameras find him squirming in his seat!
3) Out him. If your spouse is, let's say, struggling to maintain sobriety after a difficult period of substance abuse, by all means feel free to disclose that fact in a major magazine cover story. The timing of this step is crucial: Let just enough time elapse that readers of the tabs will have forgotten your initial statement that you "continue to be friends." A month should do it.
4) Undermine, undermine, undermine: "(Drug addiction is) an enormous obstacle to overcome, and he's doing it," Swank tells Vanity Fair. "He's living a sober life. I know how difficult it is... " And I would be the first one to feel terrible, Swank could have but probably didn't add, if the shock of public betrayal were to send him hurrying back to the dope. But ultimately that would be his problem, although I would continue to be proud of him for struggling to overcome it. Again.
5) Remember: Other people's problems are all about you, and your only defense is your own acuity. "I knew something was happening, but I didn't know what. When I found out, it was such a shock because I never thought he'd keep something from me. And yet, on another level, it was a confirmation of something I was feeling that was keeping us from being completely solid." So, you know: Phew. That worked out pretty well for her.
And finally, 6) Assume responsibility. A leeeeeetle bit of responsibility. "It takes two to make something work or not work," Swank tells Vanity Fair, proving that in some cases actors can do math in their heads. But, she adds in the last delicious little soupcon of malice: "Would I say that his substance-abuse problem helped us? Absolutely not." Bonus points here for answering the ridiculous rhetorical question that even Vanity Fair wasn't craven enough to pose.
Hey, here's an idea: When Vanity Fair hits the newsstands later this month, what do you say we all just kinda... go spend our money on something else?