The Undoing & Fab February

Welcome to February. Lovely to see you. What a start to 2021. Hope your’s went safely and happily.

During this shut in time Chris and I have had a lot of Netflix binge time. I now belong to three streaming platforms. Truly I never thought I would but there you go.

We certainly enjoyed watching Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman in the HBO television series ‘The Undoing’. A lot happens in six episodes. I won’t spoil anything, only, in the end, there are ‘just desserts’. Warning TV ending different from book ending. Both work well though.

This inspired me to read the book of the same name. A little slow to start but hang in there.

Nicole Kidman plays a clinical psychologist in private practice who’s written a book – ‘You Should Have Known.’ This becomes a prevailing theme. Her character Grace’s self help title is to help people not make relationship mistakes. To get out early before marriage. She believes people tell you who they are and how they operate (so do I).

If we listened we would avoid all the heartbreak of divorce by not falling for a self-centred person, an emotionally abusive spouse or the addictive partner.

What we start to sense is ‘she should have known’.

We see Grace play out her guilt and denial about who her husband really is. Hugh Grant as Jonathon the pediatric oncologist has the perfect amount of charm and solicitousness. Author Jean Hanff Korelitz has selected a doctor to portray a narcissist capable of much duplicity. As Sam Vaknin, Professor of psychology, specializing in narcissism suggests reading as a way of understanding the narcissist and psychology. This book will give you excellent insight.

Grace as Jonathan’s ‘victim’ and wife starts to see her life unravel. It is only with hindsight she learns the true character of her husband. An egotist hides in plain sight. That is often the way we can’t see things as they are often little pieces of the jigsaw.

Her friends are sidelined systematically and she is isolated from outside observer feedback. This is a common tactic of the abusive person. The wolf separates the lamb from the herd.

We see Grace as confident and competent in her couples counseling profession. Yet her personality has a kind caring self, which totally ignored the red flags. Much to her detriment.

I think we the reader can identify. This guy had sort of ‘saved’ her. Her dating days were over. She settled. On paper, Jonathan Sachs looked much like the perfect spouse.

This is a spell she has to break free of. It is a form of trance I see many caring people struggle with. We see the charming superficial parts with explanations and rationalisations for everything. Yet there actions do not match their plays.

Some professions possibly lend themselves to the double life scenario. I recall a friend who’s best friend died in a helicopter crash. He as a fireman, pillar of the community type. His wife was most distressed at his funeral to learn of his second partner and family.

So take your time read the book, a great diversion.

I coach a lot of single men and woman on relationships. I love seeing their growth and healing as they find an equal and loving match.

For February make it fabulous with diversion and entertainment. Love to hear your thoughts on the book or series if you have read it or would recommend others.

Thanks for reading,

Gratefully, Philipa

Trailer of the Undoing

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