"Dear Michael": A Fictitious Letter Addressing Family Trust


"Dear Michael":  A Fictitious Letter Addressing Family Trust
In my teaching we often use celebrity situations to examine why marriages and family life fail.....

A note to those who read my blog:  When one elects to become famous, the scrutiny of his or her life is intrusive and invasive.  But the events disclosed do provide Teachable Moments in what makes a family succeed and what choices, if continued, will erode trust and destroy family health. In my teaching, students learn as much from discussing choices and directions of those who are famous as they do from text books. And so for this purpose, the following fictitious letter from Catherine Zeta-Jones to her husband, Michael Douglas ......I welcome your thoughts on this and more important, I hope you will discuss the questions at the conclusion of my post with family and friends. 

Dear thoughtless Michael,


Your recent Guardian interview shows a horrific violation of trust and mutual respect, necessary in every successful family.  Your irresponsible words have shamed me, us, our family.  They violate the marriage vowels we have taken.  Your lack of judgment makes me feel that I should stay in the hospital, under the covers  (and perhaps even under the bed) indefinitely.  It also makes me see the kind of thoughtless, immature behavior that could cause your ex wife, Diandra, to have acted so vindictively toward you.  

Sure, it is no sin to like oral sex.  What modern gal doesn't.  But I would prefer when I am seen or photographed that there are no thoughts or headlines, such as "Getting Dolled Up for Cunnilingus." Or even worse! For you have implied to the world that I carry the HPV virus.  Remember I am a person who went to court when the press got hold of private photos which I thought made me look fat.  How cruel and thoughtless can one be! 

Interestingly, you neglected to speak of the HPV dangers when engaging in fellatio, singling out cunnilingus; (and the dangers of this transmission in both acts are rare).  When asked if years of booze and drugs contributed to your throat cancer,  it would have been menshy and mature to use this golden opportunity to show remorse for your years of drinking and drugs, as well as infidelities.   Then you would have been a terrific role model.  Instead,  you childishly deflect responsibility, blaming me for what we share for my pleasure.

There is a tape of precisely what you said.  And no, I will not consider appearing with you on a Barbara Walters Special to show that you were misquoted and I can overlook your devastating lack of judgement.  

As you well know, I had a horrid time living with you all dressed up as Liberace.  Yes, we are both actors.  But you had no understanding of how unsettling it was to hear your voice in an on target depiction of a man, who though very talented and capable of kindness (in order to get what he wanted), was actually a self centered monster.  It hit too close to home and actually stung when you said you had comfort in character during angry scenes because you have been married. I have never viewed our private and personal marital conflicts to be based on manipulation and a callous disregard for another's privacy, individuality and vulnerabilities.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

SaraKay Smullens


I look forward to your thoughts and sharing with you.

To be continued,

SaraKay Smullens, MSW, BCD, LCSW, ACSW, CFLE, CGP 

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Credentials: BCD, MSW
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