Ending a relationship comes with its own special set of challenges. Whether you have a sordid history with your former lover, have children together or have started professional ventures with each other, breakups can be hard. But what happens when you still have to work together? Things can get really awkward around the office. And there’s always the possibility that your ex could show up at the company party with his/her new significant other, which is never fun. Of course, if there are still feelings there, you may dread going to work for a while as you put on a brave face and try to pretend that everything’s fine. But if there are millions of dollars on the line, you may just find the strength to push through this difficult time.
If you and your former lover have managed to be cordial or even friendly throughout the breakup, you may not see too much of a problem working together after you’ve ended your relationship. While this could make for some less than comfortable moments, if you and your ex are committed to your careers, you can make it work. Here are 10 couples who still made it work professionally once they were no longer a romantic item.
10. Jack and Meg White
This couple formed the band The White Stripes. They initially told fans and the media that they were brother and sister, so that their romance wouldn’t be the focus of their fame. However, Meg and Jack were actually married. They became husband and wife in 1996, and Jack even took Meg’s last name (his last name was Gillis). They were married for four years and made beautiful pop/rock music together. But just before they really hit it big, The Whites decided to end their relationship. The two continued to work together for more than ten years before The White Stripes disbanded.
9. Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson
Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes starred in Dawson’s Creek together. The once-popular show was thought to be one of the first soap operas for teens, and there were lots of dramatic story lines to get you hooked. In 1998, Holmes and Jackson got into a relationship. Katie even referred to Joshua as her first love. In a 1998 Rolling Stone article, Holmes stated that she had a “really wonderful, amazing experience” when referring to her romance with Jackson. Their romantic relationship didn’t last very long. But that didn’t stop the writers of Dawson’s Creek from making Holmes and Jackson’s characters fall deeper in love. Reportedly, the two remain close friends in real life. It’s been said that when Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise ended their marriage, she called Joshua for some moral support.
8. Michael Vartan and Jennifer Garner
When Jennifer Garner and her former co-star, Scott Foley got divorced in 2003, Garner found solace in the arms of Michael Vartan. Vartan was her co-star on the popular drama Alias, which made Jennifer Garner a household name. Garner and Vartan only dated for a year, but Alias was on the air for six years. This means things were likely a little weird at the office, at least some days. Some reports indicated that while Vartan still had feelings for Garner, she clearly moved on pretty quickly. During the last season of the show, Garner was actually pregnant with her daughter and first child with current husband, Ben Affleck.
7. Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray
The former husband and wife met while starring on One Tree Hill, in 2003. Two years later, they tied the knot. But after just five months of wedded bliss, the two decided to annul their marriage. Some say that the marriage ended because Chad had an affair with Paris Hilton. This most likely made for quite an unpleasant work environment. The two had to continue to be a romantic couple on the show. Sources also say that Bush had to watch Murray get in and out of relationships with other actresses on the show, which was probably hurtful, angering and a little strange, to say the least. Chad Michael Murray left the show in its seventh season. That was likely good news for Bush.
6. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco
On the hit show The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki play a couple who took a while to get together, but (SPOILER ALERT) are now engaged. Offscreen, the two were an item for a while. In 2010, they revealed that they were a couple in real life, but shared this news after their relationship had already ended. Galecki and Cuoco stated that they didn’t want the perception of their characters on the show to change, which is why they kept their romance a secret. The actors state that they’re still good friends, even though they have both moved on. Kaley Cuoco is married to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting and Johnny Galecki is dating actress Kelli Garner.
5. Penn Badgley and Blake Lively
Blake Lively and Penn Badgley were co-stars on the hit show Gossip Girl, and were in a relationship from 2007 to 2010. However, the show didn’t end until 2012. By the time Gossip Girl was coming to a close, Lively and Badgley’s characters, Serena and Dan, were married. But in real life, Lively had just tied the knot with actor Ryan Reynolds. In a 2013 interview, Penn Badgley admitted that he and Blake weren’t exactly the best of friends after the breakup. He stated that the two remained professional, which indicates that they were at least cordial. However, he wasn’t invited to the Blake Reynolds wedding, and didn’t send a gift.
4. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson
Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson became a couple after they met on the set of The O.C., in 2003. The two actors, who played Seth and Summer, were an on-screen couple as well. Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody dated for three years in real life, but their show was still on the air for one more year after their split. Their characters even ended up living happily ever after on the show. In an interview a few years later, Rachel stated that working with her ex was very uncomfortable. She stated that she had “no idea” that being on the show and having a relationship with Adam would be so “invasive”.
3. Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani
The relationship between Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal is the stuff No Doubt is made of. Sure, the band was established before the two started dating, but the songs about the couple’s seven-year relationship and emotionally layered breakup brought us some of the hits we know and love from No Doubt. The two knew each other as teenagers, started a successful band together, and even managed to keep working together after ending their romance. It seems they made a decision to become award-winning rock superstars despite the uncomfortable rides on the tour bus and the long nights of rehearsal. Stefani went on to marry Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, and the couple have three sons together.
2. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
These two Twilight stars played lovers in the film series, and the romance transferred into real life. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson apparently found it easy to fall in love while exploring the romantic connection between their two characters. Things seemed to be going great, and Twilight fans all over the world were even more motivated to see the film after finding out about Robert and Kristen’s real-life relationship. However, the love came to a screeching halt when Stewart had an affair with the director of Snow White and the Huntsman, another movie she was starring in. Even though Pattinson and Stewart had already finished filming the last of the Twilight movies, they were contractually obligated to promote the film together. Since they were marketing the finale of the Twilight saga, they likely spent lots of time together. Awkward!
1. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez separated in 2011, after being married for seven years. They have twins, Max and Emme together, and seem to be getting along pretty well as far as ex spouses go. The two started working on a reality show/talent competition before ending their marriage called Q’Viva! The Chosen. The show focuses on Latin singers and dancers and served as a way to give these entertainers exposure. They continued working on the show after their split. The show even displays the two traveling together as they search for the next Latin star. The former couple’s competition only lasted for a year, but there may not be any negative reports about the two disagreeing or arguing since their divorce. Lopez has even stated in interviews that Anthony is a “great guy,” and even referred to him as “sexy”.
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