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Secrets of a marriage

“But here I am, in the middle of the night,
without fanfare, in a dark house somewhere in the world, sitting with my arms around you and your arms around me".

Days ago I finally saw 'Secrets of a marriage' (2021)remake from the 1973 series of the same name, written and directed by a great in the history of cinema, Ingmar Bergman.

The remake addresses the different phases of the romantic relationship between a quiet university professor named Jonathan (Oscar Isaac) and his wife Mira (Jessica Chastain), an ambitious executive at a renowned technology company.

The miniseries, of just 5 episodes, was brutally honest to me. You feel like you are eavesdropping on the private conversations of a married couple torn between love and hate in the midst of the starkness of their life together.

I collapsed watching the (slow but steady) demolition of the relationship as well as the subsequent attempt to rebuild it.

I got tired because it hurt and pain is sometimes exhausting, and it hurt because I was once there, because some days I am there again, because we all always are.

It is not witnessing “a crisis” or “the end of a marriage.” On the contrary, it is an exercise in introspection, it is about delving into the bases that supported everything that is falling or has fallen, on which, furthermore, we cannot build again... or yes, but with the same risk: a new collapse.

'Secrets of a marriage' shows how couple dynamics, even romantic ones, always contain touches of violence, hide “secrets” and, of course, in All types of relationships (heterosexual or not, closed or open, etc.) the problems are the same.

I don't intend to tell you episode by episode, I'm bad with spoilers, but I do want to leave you with some statements or doubts (especially doubts) about moments that you have probably also experienced and that are very clear in the series:

  • How would you define yourself as a person? What is happiness for you? and love? you love yourself? do you love your partner? Are you able to answer those questions quickly and honestly? It may not be easy. Introspection is an unusual exercise: we are not used to it, it is scary. It is disconcerting to face existential questions that at a certain moment we stop asking ourselves to make way for inertia.
  • In relationships, sometimes we are united by certain similarities: being two passionate about a certain job, a sport, etc. But, at some point, precisely to sustain the link, that changes. In the series, for example, Jonathan claims that being a simple teacher allows him to spend more time at home and take more and better care of his daughter; Meanwhile, Mira is an executive with a much higher salary and a hyper-demanding dynamic: “But we are proud to be like that!”, exclaims Jonathan, with a joy that neither he – nor anyone – believes. This also happens the other way around. In fact, it is the most common thing: women give up being who they were to enter the phase: wife, housewife, mother, etc., and that – even if you love those roles – generates resentment that is difficult to deal with. In the series, the couple has a daughter for whom they are devoted, but they do not idealize motherhood or fatherhood. On the contrary, faced with the possibility of having a new child, Mira states that she is worried about “losing her life again after everything it has cost her to get it back.”
  • Sometimes relationships break down “due to the passage of time.” But, at the center, there is always the same thing: having silenced feelings, the reality that is hidden behind the premise "“What is said is as important as what is not said.”. One day, the contained pain bursts out without measure and serves to make one shout a thousand reproaches with the least tact possible, wanting to destroy the other (even if we are not aware of it). Mostly, we are blinded by pride and the need to be right. That is true for a day or a few, but in demolitions there are also thousands of moments of complicity, decision-making, fun, affection, and concern for children, families, the common. It is precisely that ambivalence that makes saying goodbye so difficult.
  • The years of inertia, combined with certain peak moments (reaching 40 or 50, retirement, etc.), make people feel that “something is missing.” Look, for example, she felt that she was living a lie, she perceived herself as alien to her own actions, she needed a knock on the table, a 'something' that would make her react. One day, the 'something' arrived but she was afraid to follow it; abandon what she had, the safe harbor; Still, she did it and then... she noticed that that 'something' was not what she needed, she needed another 'something' and then another and another, because the lack had nothing to do with the other but with herself.
  • There are also other questions: Is a marriage that ends after years of boredom really a failure? After moving away, can the desire and desire to be together return? Maybe so, right? But how to deal with everything that came after that goodbye (the pain, new relationships, etc.)? How do you recognize that something will never be the same again no matter how much you miss it and try to go back? How to handle rejection from someone you rejected first? How to accept that they no longer love you the same as before?
  • But does a marriage really end? Who governs the length of time a divorce or grief lasts? Post-separation, Jonathan and Mira spend more than four years going back and forth. Your marriage ends, but your divorce seems to be eternal and that can happen, of course it can happen, but no one talks about how difficult it is to separate, even if there is no longer love or passion, no one tells you that it is painful until you sell the sofa you have. you hated so much. The mix of sensations that comes from seeing the other rebuilding her life is also fucked. Then, we shout that the separation hurt one more than the other, although perhaps it was not so.
  • How to define that mutation that turns you from wife to enemy and then to unconditional friend? Why doesn't everyone get to the last part?
  • After some separations, many people claim that “they have never loved like that again” and that's okay, right? Love stories are particular. But what happens when you go through life trying to love “like that” again, to feel what you once felt, without ever achieving it? How can you assume that you will never again feel for another person what you felt for so-and-so without that making you sad? Are there eternal loves or is the love we feel for the memory, for the person we were when we were in love with... eternal?
  • After someone hurts us deeply, how do we preserve kindness? Is it true when they say that someone was good but so-and-so hurt him or could it be that he was “bad” contained by moral precepts that have already been demolished? In the series, after many experiences, Mira mutates positively, she learns to deal with loneliness, discovers the freedom it implies and how positive it can be for her. But, he, who was everything that was good in life, becomes an unscrupulous guy: “I am no longer obsessed with being a good person, being good for you,” says. How to deal with the harm you cause to others?

Anyway, they say that divorce is the second worst pain. The first is the death of a loved one. Watch the series and tell me about it.

By: Jessica dos santos

Tell me your story, write it however you like, together we shape it and share it. In life, spreading the different forms of love is always necessary: lasultimasnoticiasdelamor@gmail.com

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