During the first session, a client asked me if I had seen “A Marriage Story” on Netflix. I had not even heard of it at the time she asked. She said it was about a couple who were going through a divorce and tried to make mediation work, and it didn’t, and so they ended up with attorneys.
It was an awkward situation, in the movie, because while the parties lived together in New York, a twist of events temporarily brought mom and son to LA, and before husband knew it, he was up against the one fight you never want to be in. Your child MUST remain in a state you do not reside in. It was heartbreaking to watch the process unfold. I think the movie did a great job of showing how easy things can spiral, even when the parties don’t want it to. The shift from an amicable mediated process to a litigious disaster was so subtle and yet, so impactful.
There have been many attempts in the media to show how the process of divorce looks from the inside. I think this movie did one of the best jobs I’ve seen. The director did not fill the film full of crazy drama but instead provided the audience a real peek behind the curtains of an everyday couple, who just grew apart and realized they are not living their best life together. The sadness is genuine.
The fight the couple has in the husband’s shabby LA apartment feels authentic. They tell each other all the resentments they have been holding onto for years. The husband breaks down and falls to his knees, crying. I found myself hoping they would hug, kiss, and get back together, but they didn’t. They usually don’t.
In the end, things seem to be OK, although the husband continued to live a bi-coastal (and likely very expensive) lifestyle. He found a job in LA to keep him there for a while. We do not know how long.
If you find yourself facing a divorce and are on the fence about which process to use to get you through it, I highly recommend watching A Marriage Story. It feels slow in the beginning, but that is the tone of the movie. It is all slow, yet deliberate, which I think is what makes it all feel so authentic.
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(Photo courtesy of The Atlantic
by: Jennifer Segura