The song, "I'm so Happy I Can't Stop Crying" by Sting illustrates the feelings and emotions during the time of a couples divorce. The song tells the story of a man whose wife leaves him, and takes their kids with her. In the beginning of the song, the father is very cynical and bitter. Lines such as "She shows her face to ask me how I am" and "Maybe I could come and baby-sit sometime" paints a picture of a man who is still smarting from the blow of his wife leaving him. The lines "I'm so happy that I can't stop crying / I'm so happy I'm laughing through my tears" are said in a sarcastic way, as the speaker feels the exact opposite. The second verse continues with this attitude, as the speaker finds out through a friend that his ex-wife has gotten into another relationship, while there is no indication of the speaker moving on. The speaker calls his lawyer "Mr. Good News" in a very ridiculing way, explaining "He got me joint custody and legal separation / I'm so happy that I can't stop crying." All of this implies that the father feels that inside he can never really be happy.
While walking one night the speaker begins to feel that he has a better understanding of the way things work. He says "I looked up at the stars / To try and find an answer in my life / I chose a star for me / I chose a star for him / I chose two stars for my kids and one star for my wife." In these lines the speaker is illustrating how one night, suddenly he began to understand his situation. He makes a "wish" in a way by choosing a star for his kids, his former wife, and he shows his unselfishness and understanding by choosing a star for his wife's new significant other. The speaker explains, "Something made me smile / Something seemed to ease the pain / Something about the universe and how it's all connected." He has a revelation about his life, and he gains comfort in it by realizing that even though he is divorced from his wife and kids, he is still connected to them. That fact is enough to allow him to leave his bitter feelings behind. In the last verse the speaker illustrates a scene in the lines, "The park is full of Sunday fathers and melted ice cream / We try to do the best within the given time." In these lines the speaker tells of his discovery that he isn't alone in his situation and that many fathers like him are trying to make do with what they have. When the speaker encounters the same friend that informed him of his wife's new boyfriend, the friend says, "You look different somehow." To this the speaker makes the reply, "Everybody's got to leave the darkness sometime" In this statement the speaker is explaining that he would rather except things as the are, and move on then get caught in the vicious cycle of anger, hurt, revenge and hurt. In this last verse, the speaker actually means it when he says, "I'm so happy that I can't stop crying / I'm laughing through my tears." The speaker gains an understanding of life, relationships and himself in the course of this song.
The same journey to understanding is made in the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer" This time Joanna Kramer is the ex-wife of Ted Kramer. Joanna leaves Ted in the beginning of the film, and in doing so she leaves their son Billy with Ted claiming "He's better off without me." Ted is then left with the responsibilities of raising their son. Time passes and Joanna returns claiming that she has "found herself" and she wants to have custody of Billy. In a way she seems almost bitter that Ted and Billy have developed such a great relationship, as it was her who was Billy's main influence before the divorce. During the trial, Joanna makes the comment "I was his mother for 5 ½ years, Ted just took over for 18 months." This statement alone illustrates her vengefulness toward Ted and their past relationship. Then when Ted gets on the stand, he says "We built a life together and we love each other, if you destroy that it might be irrefutable." This statement effects Joanna, and when her lawyer badgers Ted she suddenly feels bad about the way he gets treated. Possibly for the first time since the divorce, she sees what Ted and Billy mean to each other. She tries to apologize, but it is no use. The court then decides that Joanna will receive custody of Billy and Ted will be allowed to visit. The day comes for Joanna to pick Billy up and instead she asks to see Ted. She explains to him, "I came here to take my son home, but he already is home." In this statement Joanna tells Ted that she has realized what is best for Billy, and for them. She has decided not to play into the hurt and mistrust that could arise from this situation.
Like the song "I'm so Happy I Can't Stop Crying", "Kramer vs. Kramer" tells the story of a journey through pain and bitterness to a new level of understanding and acceptance. These two stories, although not related to each other, tell of a universal feeling and emotion. Through these two examples we have come to know that divorce and relationships in general do not have to end in bitterness and despair, but can come to have a new understanding.