A superstition is something we believe in spite of the evidence, because we like the way it makes us feel.
Do you remember the movie, Four Christmases, the Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn Christmas movie from 2008? The premise of this movie is that Reese and Vince have 4 Christmases: one with each one of their divorced and remarried parents. I wrote a column about this film when it came out.
Popular culture has a way of reflecting the anxieties and ambiguities of our age, sometimes without quite meaning to. Christmas 2008’s bit of holiday eye candy, Four Christmases, illustrates the anxiety around insecure relationships, across the generations. The title comes from the visits that a happily unmarried yuppie couple must make to their two sets of divorced parents. But the movie could be called The Superstitions of Divorce. It strips away the lies we tell ourselves to justify our rejection of one another….
Not a one of these first three parents has learned a thing from their divorces. Boyfriend and Girlfriend are not deceived by their parents’ efforts to absolve themselves: They still have the same problems and crazy behavior. The new love interest doesn’t solve their problems.
Another superstition: “The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy. Kids are resilient.”
Social science can now tell us for certain that this is untrue, as can millions of children of divorce who are now old enough to speak for Read more…