Elizabeth Lyn Vargas thought that she would be the perfect star for the Orange County franchise of the Real Housewives. An interview reveals that Vargas thought that she brought with her a backstory that was worth reality television gold: a “miserable”, passionless marriage, a childhood in a Missouri cult, and a history of abusive relationships.
But her sparkling visions of what she expected to be a dream job in the entertainment industry alongside a star-studded female cast was smashed by the realities of fame, which came with unexpected bullying from both castmates and fans.
Neither fame nor marriage is always as romantic as they seem. In fact, fame can mirror the dynamic of an abusive, love-hate relationship. Moreover, there is a parallel of feeling as one has been used as a pawn to satisfy the ulterior motives and greed of others.
Orange County’s Newport Beach is home to some of the richest households in California. The trouble with wealth is that it raises the stakes of conflict in marriage and divorce. The higher the value of divisible assets, the more aggressive each party is in negotiating settlement terms that aren’t always mutually exclusive. Litigation can be rife with tension and hurdles for divorces of couples of any income bracket. As such, many are opting for Divorce Mediation for calmer legal separations in the privacy of a mediator’s office, outside of the courts. While each state varies in divorce laws, mediation has quickly become normalized in California.
Most modern relationships are not fairytales. In fact, some are truly terrifying, with an endless number of bizarre cases of people taking drastic measures to get what they want. Vargas was reportedly held captive in her Newport Beach home by her ex-boyfriend. The man had allegedly barricaded himself inside the home. Newport Beach police charged him with “assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and extortion.”
Vargas and Bernt Bodal had married in 2000, breaking up almost two decades later in 2017. However, their divorce wasn’t finalized until July 2020.
“20 years total of my life and I’m happy but it’s a failure. … I paid an arm and a leg to get divorced and to get what I thought I needed … and here we are transitioning to a new phase in my life and I’m excited.”— Elizabeth Lyn Vargas via Instagram, US Weekly
Divorce proceedings can be both lengthy and costly, but they do not have to be. In many cases, the financial and emotional toll of divorce can be avoided through mediation, where a neutral third party facilitates the settlement of mutual terms. Family mediation is a stark contrast to the Hollywood depiction of nasty divorces with each spouse plotting and scheming with their respective legal teams.
Mediation is often far less costly than litigation because it gives the couple an opportunity to be more efficient in prioritizing what truly matters in the separation. Mediation is like a lens that brings important matters into focus so that the boiling of emotions can be left to simmer down rather than overflow in unproductive ways.