I had no desire to ever watch Marriage Story because I didn’t want to relive the feelings I had going through my own divorce but since it was nominated for Best Picture for the Academy Awards I decided to check it out. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it . It didn’t have the feel of a Netflix Original Film. It felt like a movie that would have premiered at an indie film festival and Netflix just happened to pick it up.
I wasn’t sure of the emotions I would have while watching the movie but I felt them all. With all the main characters I liked and disliked them at the same time. At end of the movie I started tearing because the main characters, Nicole and Charlie, finally seemed happy/content with their choices and were ready to start their new life cycle.
And while this is a fictional movie, the emotions and problems were very real and too relatable. So of course, I had to share my thoughts on what I feel can make or break a marriage.
This should be an easy “Duh(!) of course communication is important.” but how many of us actually tell our partners how we feel? Really tell them? Even the little things? The scene where Nicole and Charlie are at his apartment and they lash out at each other and bring up every single thing that has ever made them mad about the next person was all too familiar. I remember there were things my ex used to do that would drive me crazy but I would tell myself “Oh, this is what marriage is – compromise and not letting the little things bother me” Then you go and speak to someone else and you’re both joking about what your “Silly husbands(!)” did while y’all share a laugh that’s a little too high and a smile that’s a little too forced (Misery + Company) . Then you go on about your day. And the same issue continues to happen again and again and again. One day you snap and are having a a colossal argument about why one person has more space on the bathroom sink than the other (yep, this was an actual argument) and then every little thing that has ever bothered you about the other person is used as a weapon. The movie plays around with “Well, maybe they could get back together” but I knew that wasn’t happening and this scene confirmed it for me. And if you get to this point like Nicole and Charlie (or like myself and ex), it is going to be hard as hell to try to save the marriage. Sticks, stones, and words hurt. It all hurts.
“Selfish” is another word that gets a bad reputation. But I believe you have to put yourself first before anyone. In the movie, Nicole mentions how she felt like she gave up opportunities she wanted because she wanted to make Charlie happy. She started to doubt her wants and opinions. This led to Charlie not taking her wants seriously.
If there is something you want to do, then do it. Find the time to do it. Keep part of you for yourself and yourself only. A few nights ago, I wanted to sew and finish up a jumpsuit I was making for myself. So while I sewed, I had Big Brother help his Little Brother with reading and homework. And hell no(!) I don’t feel bad about it. I was able to finish my jumpsuit. Besides, they were bouncing off the walls and needed to calm the f*ck down.
Don’t stay in it for the kids.
There were times when we would try to tolerate each other (which was being the same room and not really acknowledging/speaking to each other) and my oldest would say something like “Ah, look at the whole family together!” while a big smile beamed from his face. I can still see that smile and it hurts it was taken away but I knew the damage that would eventually happen if Mommy and Daddy continued to sleep in separate places and have colossal arguments. I would have ruined him and his brother. Now, I feel like I am a better mother because I am a happier person. There was a heavy feeling on me for so long and now that it’s gone I can give them my love and happiness unconditionally.
And let’s have a really honest moment right here: If I had stayed in it for the boys, I wouldn’t have stayed.
Do you understand what I am saying?
The boys wouldn’t have a Mommy. Mommy would be gone.
Take what you want and leave the rest.