TODAY | December 21, 2012
>>> end in divorce, a growing trend shows many exes actually continue to live under the same roof, sometimes for years. new msnbc documentary series explores what being divorced and still living together really looks like n this series, michelle lorantz is a mediator. she is the author of "the good karma divorce." good morning. good to have you here.
>> thank you. nice to be here.
>> the couple we just saw in this first episode of the documentary, they actually are divorced, but they're still living together as we heard many couples are. you say you see this every day in divorce court , people who just can't seem to make the final split.
>> well, there's a lot of reasons for not being able to make the final split. it looks like, in the couple we talk about and in real life you think that the story is that it's the economy. you think it's a living arrangement.
>> or the kids.
>> it's a lot more than that. when you do the crime scene investigation on this couple and the other couples that we talk about, you see it's a lot more than just living together.
>> what is it? is it that they're so co-dependent on each other they kind of prop each other up? you did the -- as you call it, crime scene investigation . what do we find out?
>> we find out that people are stuck for a lot of reasons. you're stuck when you think for you to be happy the other person has to change. you're stuck when you look for answers in places that have never given you answers. you're stuck when you take a blame victim stance or when you use all your energy reacting to how somebody treats you.
>> at the end of the episode, the couple actually does separate. there's very good news. although it was a very painful separation, moving off to new apartments and new settings. what will make it possible then for them to succeed in their next life away from each other?
>> well, once we were able to crack the code, nothing else could really stay the same. people are very attracted, seduced by the negative cycle. it's tempting. it's very familiar. it's very hard to give up. when you understand how life depleting it can be, it changes everything. we thought it was just a living arrangement problem. it turned out to be more than that.
>> more and more couples are finding themselves trapped in this way. judge michelle lowr aance, thank you so much. good luck to the series called "chained to my ex." p premieres sunday, 9:00 pm eastern december 23rd on msnbc.