YOU’RE NOT ALONE
Over the recent holiday break, my family and I went on vacation, which involved travel by plane. On the one hand, plane travel allows us to see things and do things our grandparents never dreamed of; but on the other hand, traveling at a reasonable price involves being confined in a metal tube and seated in an uncomfortable and claustrophobic position for hours on end.
For better or for worse, airlines put a small video screen in the back of the seat as “in-flight entertainment.” These screens and the accompanying audio never seem to work 100% correctly, but there is only so much reading you can do on a long flight.
On my recent trip, I decided to watch a few episodes of an HBO series called “Divorce.” I have since learned HBO canceled the series after three seasons. I’m certainly not a television critic, but I found the episodes fascinating because, at least the few I watched, focused on the effects of divorce on the people going through a divorce, not on the lawyers and their decisions and tactics; basically, my world from the other side of the street.
HBO describes “Divorce” as a comedy-drama focusing on one family’s rollercoaster ride through a divorce, which includes two of the wife’s also divorcing friends. The wife, Frances, is played by Sarah Jessica Parker; the husband, Robert, is played by Thomas Haden Church. In the episode I found most poignant, Robert is about to marry his pregnant girlfriend, who is about 25 years his junior. To avoid the whole situation, Frances decides to go to Miami with her hunky Dominican boyfriend. The plan hits a roadblock when Robert and Frances’s teenaged daughter disappears just before the wedding. Dad getting married is more than the daughter can handle. Frances tracks down their daughter, talks her into going to dad’s wedding and everything ends well.
Other themes running through the show are Frances’s under-employment, Robert’s new relationship taking a turn he never expected, both Frances and Robert continue to have feelings for each other, her one friend’s college-aged son who refuses to come home over break because he is sick of being caught in the middle of his parents’ disagreements, and the other friend being forced to live with her over-protective mother because her white-collar criminal husband is in jail and all of the family’s money is gone.
My point in all of this is not deciding if this show is good or not, but these themes and emotions of the characters are things I hear every day from clients. Realized if someone has gone so far as to create a television show about all of this, those concepts, emotions and themes are common for people facing divorce. You’re not alone.