Crazy, Stupid, Love — this is what divorce looks like?

Crazy, Stupid, Love” is a journey through heartbreak and restoration. When marriages crumble, it’s always comforting to have a character like Ryan Gosling to help you stand back up, isn’t it? Well, that’s the crux of every newly divorced man’s dream. The portrayal of divorce in this film, with an exceptional cast including Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, matches closely with reality. This is according to Deborah Moskovitch, a Toronto-based divorce consultant and author of “The Smart Divorce.”

Does a middle-aged man wearing running shoes on a romantic date with his wife equate to a divorce train waiting at the station?

It’s not an immediate divorce ticket, but it could certainly benefit him to seek fashion advice from a stylist at Harry Rosen.

So, what’s a divorce consultant?

What sets me apart from a family lawyer or therapist is my ability to help people comprehend both the emotional and legal aspects of divorce without dispensing legal advice or posing as a therapist.

Is it wise to avoid car rides with your spouse after declaring a desire for divorce, to avoid instances like Carell’s character’s dramatic exit in the film?

If your goal is a smart divorce over a nasty one, it’s inadvisable to have that conversation in a car. Adequate planning is crucial. You must consider the consequences. Divorce always hurts someone. Many of my clients are unsure how to break the news to their partner, so I often recommend seeing a therapist.

In the movie, Carell’s character blurts out the divorce news to one of the kids, unintentionally. That’s not the best approach, correct?

It’s probably the worst scenario. Such a revelation is shattering for a child. Kids need reassurance that they aren’t at fault for the divorce and that your love for them remains unshakeable. It’s crucial to ensure their feeling of security. Both parents should sit down together, explain the reasons for the divorce, propose a moving-out plan, and address the questions kids are likely to ask.

When word spreads about Carell and Moore’s divorce, one couple informs Carell that they’ve chosen to stay friends with Moore. How can you ensure that your friends choose you when deciding who they want to remain friends with post-divorce?

It’s not something you have much control over. Some couples part ways amicably, reducing the need for friends to take sides. However, I’ve encountered situations where people have told their friend, “If you’re friends with her, then we can’t be friends anymore.” There’s a sense of loyalty at play, and some feel that maintaining ties with their friend’s ex breaks that bond.

Should every newly single man undergoing divorce aspire for a Ryan Gosling-like mentor to guide them through the dating maze and possibly help them rekindle their love?

The issue runs deeper. Carell’s character may have neglected his appearance and allowed complacency to set into the relationship. He stopped investing in himself as he did during the early dating days. Though clothes don’t make a man, it’s essential to avoid falling into a routine or disregarding the relationship.

No Gosling-like mentors then?

People often struggle with their identity post-divorce. It’s necessary to rediscover oneself as an individual. This could include hitting the gym, upgrading wardrobe, or generally taking better care of oneself.

Julianne Moore’s character indulges in an affair. Is this often a precursor to divorce?

Some resort to what’s known as an ‘exit affair’. They’ve decided to leave the marriage, and the affair serves as justification. The left-behind partner typically blames the affair without considering the factors that led the marriage to this point.

How does one know that a marriage is beyond salvation?

Loss of trust and respect is a huge hurdle. Everyone has a unique breaking point, however. For my clients who are unsure, I advise them to consult a therapist to ensure they’re making the right decision. Because once you step onto the divorce path, there’s no turning back.

As a professional in this field, what aspects of the film resonated with you, and which didn’t?

The movie did an excellent job of depicting the anguish of divorce. What I didn’t appreciate was the protagonist’s too-quick transformation into a womanizer. But overall, I found little to criticize. It may not be a profound film, but it accurately portrays the intelligence of children and the mistakes parents can make.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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