When Sarah Treem, creator of Showtime’s The Affair, won the Golden Globe for Best Drama in 2015, she became a poster child for “having it all.” But in an essay for Red Online, the mother of two revealed that all is not as it seems.
“As I write this, I’m alone in my house with my 4-year-old son and my 10-month-old daughter. My daughter has some virus that seems to be generating a really terrifying rash on 90 percent of her body,” Treem wrote in the piece, which was published earlier this month. “My lovely pediatrician, who I’ve now seen three times in the last 10 days, isn’t concerned, but she doesn’t have to wake up every 90 minutes to comfort an inconsolable infant. And my son has been waking up nightly as well. He wanders into my room at two or three in the morning, looking for his father. Who isn’t here.” That’s when Treem revealed that she and her husband, Jay Carson, a former press secretary for Hillary Clinton, are getting a divorce after less than three years of marriage.
Treem went on to explain that things started to go awry when she became pregnant while shooting the second season of The Affair. “I’m really, really sick,” she wrote. “The actors are unhappy because the scripts are late. The network is unhappy because the actors are unhappy. I seem unable to give anyone the time or attention they feel they deserve.”
And that included her family. “I want to spoon my husband and talk, but our room is dark and he’s asleep. He’s begun pulling away from me. He’s angry that I’ve disappeared on him. We are only recently married. Now, he’s moved across the country to a city he hates to support my career — and I’m never home,” the 37-year-old showrunner added. “You can argue that I should have seen this coming. What was I thinking, trying to run a TV show, support a new marriage and have two children at the same time? . . . But I don’t think I wanted anything different than a 35-year-old man in my position would want from his life. Two happy children, a happy marriage and a white-hot career. Is that such a crazy thing to strive for?”
Her biggest regret: Not asking for help sooner. “I felt that I needed to prove I could do it on my own. I didn’t want anyone to see me as compromised because I was a woman,” she explained. But that has changed in recent months, since separating from Carson.
“When I finally sent out an SOS call, I learned there is a whole underground railroad of women who are primed and ready to respond. We are all fighting the same fight. But for some reason, we believe we have to endure it all alone,” she noted.
Treem signed off with an important piece of wisdom for working mothers. “Reach out to your friends,” she wrote. “That’s why you let them puke in your car back at university and you didn’t make them get out and walk home. Because one day, they’ll pay you back by sleeping over at your house when the power goes out and you have two small children and you’re afraid to be alone.”
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