The only thing worse than going through a divorce is going through a divorce in public. One feels a kind of remorse peering into the collapsed fibers and haphazard restitching taking place between two adults with six children suspended on the line.
The world was rocked a few months ago, when Hollywood super-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced they were filing for divorce. Rumours spread quickly that Pitt’s histrionics on a plane was the final straw for Jolie, who feared for her children’s safety – after Pitt apparently argued with the couple’s eldest son Maddox.
Now though, fans might be in luck, as the couple’s divorce process has apparently slowed in recent weeks.
“The divorce is off,” said a source to US Weekly. “They haven’t done anything to move it forward in several months and no one thinks they are ever going to.”
If that’s the case, then that’s good for them, and their family. But what right, really, do fans have to insert themselves in this process? Pitt, 53, and Jolie, 42, are both at ages where a divorce is tantamount to one’s entire life being ripped apart, their most important decision, the one that rooted their family, gone wrong. Even coming so close to divorce is itself traumatic.
Two different narratives have formed in the wake of the divorce. For Brad Pitt, the image is of the lonely unshaven man derived of his family. Of course, whichever parent retains custody after the divorce will ultimately be the happiest. There is no way to smooth over the pain of moving out of your family home and living away from your children.
Jolie, comparatively, has received more support from the media, while a series of questionable stories unrelated to the divorce have surfaced to create chinks in her public image.
Also according to a US Weekly source, Jolie, in the immediate wake of the divorce, was considering “running a smear campaign” against Pitt that involved accusing him of cheating and being physically abusive. Jolie has since come to “regret her decisions”, but the thought that the truth about Brad Pitt was contingent upon a person’s feelings about him is still unsettling.
Pitt himself has said he lacked as a father. He said to GQ:
“I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality—the father is all-powerful, super strong—instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it.”
It seems that Jolie and Pitt both have their demons, and this has led them to approach the ledge of separation, only to double-back and agree to work through it together.
It’s inspiring if true, but we also can’t let ourselves get hung up on this. What if, in another two months, the pair finds that they can’t solve their differences, and the atmosphere is destructive to their children?
The family is going through a lot right now, and the persistence of interviews, articles, Tweets and eyes bearing down upon them only magnifies the differences. The media cycle, surely, is for strangers. Pitt and Jolie would be fools to Google themselves.
Brad Pitt has ditched alcohol altogether, and the divorce proceedings have frozen in their tracks. Let’s hope for the best for them, and for their children, who in adulthood will probably wish for nothing more than some peace and quiet (or become mega-stars like Jayden Smith and command our childrens’ social media for 50 years).