Shrink Wrap With Dr. Jane Greer

What We Can Learn From The Trials And Triumphs Of Celebrity Relationships

Before Jennifer Lopez married Marc Anthony she was in the white hot spotlight of television, music and movies. She was a huge star and, as often happens, she attracted the boys – especially the bad ones who had a reputation with the ladies. After two divorces and one near-miss, Lopez wanted to be grounded, and was willing to give up her professional high life because her personal love life had hit a low. Anthony, who was her friend even before he was her lover, offered her the stability and support that had been missing from her life. With that, she was finally able to make the shift from a “me” out there on her own to a “we” as a couple. All of that makes it even more surprising that the pair announced last week that they were ending their seven-year union.

What a “we” they became. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony appeared to embody what marriage is all about. They recorded music together, performed together, started a family together – they have three-year-old twins. Even as recently as this spring, she brought Anthony on to American Idol, having him share his expertise with the contestants and performing a sultry number together on stage during the show’s finale. It seems that Lopez accepted Anthony’s pull toward their Latin heritage and embraced it with him. As she settled into family life, she shifted her priorities, stepping away from her solo career and being content enough for a period of time to instead focus on her family.

This year that changed. Suddenly, once again, her professional fire ignited and she was everywhere. She was a judge on American Idol, recorded a solo album, was dubbed by People magazine as the world’s most beautiful woman, was a L’Oreal cosmetic model and appeared in television commercials. It seems that she and Anthony found themselves in that ongoing struggle so many couples face: whose career is more important? Who gets to be out in the world more, while the other partner holds down the fort at home or, if not that, who stands in the shadow of the more successful spouse? This pull between the “me” and the “we” is something I talk extensively about in my book What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. There is no easy answer, but success requires a delicate and crucial balance between not losing yourself and not turning your back on your partner to achieve your own needs. The key words are compromise and teamwork. Did Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony lose their footing in this intricate dance? Maybe Lopez wanted more, if the work she had been doing until recently just wasn’t satisfying enough. Or maybe Anthony felt threatened by her renewed mega-star success and tried to control her in some way, perhaps by asking her to give up what was important to her. Did staying married at the expense of her solo career start to feel more like a sacrifice and loss rather than a choice to continue to share her career with her husband? What I do know is that to the public eye this balance, or lack of it, is the only thing that changed between the couple who as recently as last year renewed their vows.

So, to borrow the words from one of Lopez’s songs, is it true that love don’t cost a thing? Depending on how you look at it, either there is a price for Anthony’s love, and that might be giving up some of her own limelight, or, maybe the love is free but the career demands a huge price – the loss of their marriage.

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© Copyright 2013 Jane Greer, Ph.D., All rights Reserved.
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Dr. Jane Greer is a nationally renowned relationship expert, marriage and family therapist, author, blogger, and radio host. She is creator of “Shrink Wrap with Dr. Jane Greer,” a media commentary on what we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships as seen on on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Metro, Galtime, and Cupid’s Pulse. Dr. Greer has appeared on many popular television shows offering relationship advice, including Oprah, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN News, Anderson Cooper 360, Dateline NBC, 20/20, Good Day New York, and The View. Dr. Greer’s live weekly radio hour Doctor on Call features conversations on health, life and love with actors, authors, bloggers, scientists, doctors, relationship experts and more and airs every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. ET (11 a.m.-12 p.m. PT) at The second Tuesday of each month is devoted to HuffPost on Call, a new monthly show including fascinating conversations with Huffington Post lifestyle editors and bloggers. The last Tuesday of the month, Dr. Greer invites other sex experts to Doctor on Call for Let’s Talk Sex, a popular call-in show focused on cutting-edge conversations about sex and intimacy. Dr. Greer’s newest book, What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, is available nationwide. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, and follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.