Newsflash: Divorce Isn’t Entertainment

Sometimes—okay, most of the time—I feel like I’m a teeny, tiny voice shouting into the wind tunnel of American life, begging people to reconsider how they think about divorce.

Yes, more and more couples are seeking out mediation instead of backing into a corner and lawyering up; yes, we can all name couples who are co-parenting with good humor and grace (most of the time); yes, we are starting to understand that not every divorce story has a villain in it.

But this also means that suddenly divorce has become interesting. And in our entertainment-crazed culture, that can mean only one thing: bring on a bottom-feeding TV show. So enter The Divorce Wars, CNBC’s new show (set to debut March 23), which promises to show us how big, multi-million-dollar-net-worth divorces aren’t all about the money. Maybe it’s about betrayal, hurt feelings, loss, and heartbreak—but believe me, they’re fighting about the money, because the money is all that’s left to fight over.

I’m sorry that this show will continue to make people feel that the only way to react to the awful, awful shock of the end of your marriage is to fight like hell. Because anyone who’s been through divorce knows: nobody wins.

4 thoughts on “Newsflash: Divorce Isn’t Entertainment

  1. The reason why I agreed to do this show — and it was the ONLY interview I agreed to do re: my divorce — was because I liked the producer a lot and her intentions seemed sound. It might have been a misjudgment on my part, admittedly, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to actually watch it. But not all discussion about divorce has to be vengeful or angry, or harmful to the kids, even if it is public (and when it goes public, it’s public, whether you want it that way or not, and all you can do is try to at least control the tone of your message about it). And maybe open discussions about divorce will lead to a more honest and realistic appraisal of marriage in place of how the culture sells it to us, and some of us, at least, won’t skip into it so merrily with such a naive and romantic idea of what a marital relationship actually is, and the power negotiations that are always — always — involved.

    “they’re fighting about the money because the money is all that’s left to fight over”

    But money is rarely just money; it’s always symbolic of other things: love, power, control, respect or lack of, betrayal, etc.

    all best.

  2. Amen — I couldn’t agree more with Caroline and Susan. I haven’t seen the show but having always had such respect for the CNBC brand, I’m really disappointed to hear this is their next effort.

  3. America loves a good train wreck, from divorce shows to television stars becoming unhinged practically live before our eyes. What does that say about our society? Are we that miserable in our own lives that we need the distraction of watching someone who may be worse off? Yee gads!

  4. Yes, one of the best parts of my divorce was that we did not have children or much money. I can see the money becoming the revenge factor for many high stakes divorces. And no, if I were one of those people, I would not want it all out there for public consumption.

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