I found this phrasing pretty interesting, didn’t you?  I mean, it’s not the boilerplate divorce statement: “best for us to part company, we still care, please respect our privacy at this time”.

They say they’re taking time while they ‘evaluate and work on their marriage’.

There’s no real reason, of course, to think that it’s anything other than a variation in publicist-preference, but somehow I kind of think this is due to the fact that they both know it doesn’t get any better from here.

Is that awful? You know I’m kind of right, though. This isn’t Clooney or Julia (did it, Lainey) out in the world, looking for a new partner, which would produce lineups and prime-time specials. They have children aged 13 and 10. They’ve each kind of established that they’re not without flaws – she’s come out of some fragility and hospital stays seeming rather well, but seems like she now is the woman who says inappropriate things and doesn’t have the social graces we assumed of her when she was younger. Then there’s him and the whole I-have-cancer-because-of-cunnilingus issue and the straight-up truths that his son’s incarceration took a lot out of them both. They’ve both had problems. Nobody’s perfect. Especially not after a long marriage.  

So I kind of respect that neither of them is acting as though they’ll be with someone new tomorrow, nor does this appear to be a case of someone else waiting delicately in the wings. Not least because, depending on who you believe, they are ‘43’ and ‘68’. 

Instead it seems like what it is – two people who are having difficulty and have to decide whether they’re going to be happier together or apart. It feels suspiciously like a conversation from a real marriage, like the one that might happen to all of us somewhere along the way. Which is comforting and terrifying in equal measure.  

Attached: Michael Douglas on vacation last week in Italy.