Saturday, 7 December 2019

How Love Turns To Loathing

Updated: October 6, 2016 3:35 pm

Hollywood and the world, indeed, was stunned when reports came  that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were divorcing after two years of marriage and 12 years as a couple. According to one of the most shocking, Hollywood’s TMZ reports in recent memory, Jolie filed for divorce, citing the oft-used “irreconcilable differences.” She is also reportedly asking for physical custody of the couple’s six children, and asking a judge to grant Pitt visitation, but, TMZ notes, not joint physical custody, a potential sign that things have gone sour between the one-time super-couple.

Significantly, Jolie is not asking for spousal support (a move only the most major of power couples can manage—even among married celebrities, one party tends to request spousal support from the other) and she is being represented by renowned celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser, the woman who helped Heidi Klum separate from Seal, Kim Kardashian West from Kris Humphries, and Ryan Reynolds from Scarlett Johansson.

Brad had left the famous Friends TV serial star Jennifer Aniston after seven years living as a couple for Jolie. It was headline news the world over. Brad left one of the world’s most well-known woman for an equally famous one—-so many young wished they had even a quarter of Brad’s luck.

The love birds, called power couple of Hollywood are now, obviously no longer in love. How does this transition happen. One can understand physical attraction fading, but what about emotion. How does that dry up?   One develops emotion for one’s pets, and that does not dry up.

Divorce has nothing to do with emotion said one Monsieur Pierre while sipping a glass of chardonnay, on the pavement. The road was so narrow  that we could touch cars passing by. Pierre was a veteran, he had gone through five divorcees, which cost him a villa in Nice, two racing cars and a yacht. At the present he was without a wife or a companion.

“I believe that every divorce leaves a scar. I have five of them. I feel sad that I have married somebody and then left her. Its not that I had any uncomfortable marriage. I am a free bird, this phase is so perfect. But from time to time I remember one of them. And that’s when I curse myself why I married so many times. Its obvious that I have emotion for all of them.

“In fact I have heard that my third ex-wife has recently divorced, if she agreed I would remarry her. My villa would come back too.”

Well only Pitt and Jolie can explain about the emotion. How the two bodies and one soul couple, drift so much that its come to divorce. One hears that  Brad had shouted at one of his children and the police is investigating. Is it then Jolie wants out because Brad is abusive? One can understand then why love turn into loathing.

In their case the real fight will be over the custody of the children, not money. Both have earned millions while they were together.

During this period, which overlaps with the litigation stage and typically ranges for about one to two years after the separation, the spouses experience feelings of chaos and irrationality. It has been described by one author as “crazy time”.

If a divorce proceeding begins gentle there is a good chance that it will end amicable and constructive. The key is in understanding the emotional positions of the parties at the beginning, when one of the partners first states that he /she wants a divorce.

The most important psychodynamic of the divorce is the issue of mutuality and how it develops. In very few divorces do the two partners mutually decide on a divorce at the same time. Invariably, after some long period of reflection and consideration, one of the partners will decide that she can’t take the discomfort of the marriage anymore and is determined to end the marriage. Such decisions are not made lightly or impulsively.

The other partner, who we call the “non-initiator” may be anywhere on a continuum from resigned acceptance to utter shock and surprise. To the extent that the two partners are nearly equal the divorce can begin more easily. .

If the decision to divorce is mutual or nearly mutual the non-initiator probably has also thought of the potential improvement in life, or if  he hasn’t yet will quickly be able to do so. But for the non-initiator who is surprised or who doesn’t want the divorce there has been no opportunity to grieve the marriage, to make plans, to develop alternate scenarios or to prepare to be single there is nothing but loss and fear. And until the non-initiator has time to think things through and to come to emotional terms with the divorce he or she will not be ready to engage in reasonable discussions about how the partners should go about separating their lives.

If good divorce is possible only when both are ready to negotiate the burden of timing falls on the initiator.

by Vijay Dutt      

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