Shrink Wrap With Dr. Jane Greer

One thing the world’s most famous playboy probably never expected was to be blindsided by a bunny. But that is exactly what happened recently when five days before Hugh Hefner’s third wedding his 25-year-old fiancée Playmate Crystal Harris called off the nuptials saying she was uncomfortable with his lifestyle. It goes to show that no matter how successful you are, you’re not immune to betrayal. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.

To be fair, Hefner and Harris were not a perfect match. They had their differences and possible issues from the start. To begin with, Hefner is 60 years older than Harris. There were rumors that Harris was having an affair with Dr. Phil’s son Jordan McGraw, a music producer, though she has denied those allegations, saying they are simply good friends. In addition, Harris is at the beginning of her career while Hefner has to be near the end of his. There was also talk that she wanted a certain amount of money for her personal living expenses that he refused to give her. Even considering all of this, Hefner evidently thought he had the love game won and was continuing in route to the altar, how did he not see it coming?

If he had been paying attention, he might have. The reason people are surprised by betrayal is because their own needs are so strong they interfere with their ability to see how powerful their partner’s needs are. In Hefner’s case, his desire to be married might have obscured his capacity to recognize how consuming his fiancée’s desire for money was. This reminds me of the chapter called “I’ll make you pay” in my book How Could You Do This To Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. Harris seems to be so opportunistic, and given her actions to also be angry and an unhappy camper, that she may have decided she would make Hefner pay up one way or another – either with real money or through humiliation. Fame and fortune seem to be her driving needs so his not agreeing to give the amount she wanted might have been the catalyst that made her take action through calling off the wedding.

Hefner might have been buying into the trust factor which has four basic truths that really allow all of us to move forward in a relationship. They include the idea that your partner will be there for you physically and emotionally, that your relationship will last, that your partner will be honest and that he or she will protect you. Most of us operate under the notion that our partner has our best interest at heart and will not hurt us. As a result of this, people are willing to give their partner the benefit of the doubt, ignoring the truth and pushing away the deceit.

Is that what Hefner did even though he had not only been married twice but had numerous girlfriends and even navigated the rough seas of his own relationships from the other side? Probably. His wives and girlfriends had done this for him, maybe he was holding on to that same belief that everything would work out in the end. Maybe as he got older he let his guard down. Maybe feeling safe and protected through marriage became important to him at this time in his life, even if, in the end, it was an illusion.

A better question, though, might be could he have stopped this from happening? If some of the other rumors are true, that Harris considered leaving him at the altar to create a set-up for a reality show and earn a lot of money, then probably no. The idea that she is “cashing” in on the publicity, and that the timing coincides with the release of her pop single, makes me wonder about her motivation and how much it actually had to do with loving or not loving Hefner. If so, then he was going to pay the price for her needs and greed no matter what.

So what should Hefner have looked for, and what can you look for, to avoid or bounce back from betrayal when trusting anyone, including yourself, becomes difficult? From here on out, pay attention to things your partner asks of you and take them seriously, because if their needs are not being met it might become the trigger that leads to dishonest and even unfaithful behavior. If you have doubts heed them, address them, and try to resolve them instead of letting your partner off the hook around them. In that way you can buffer yourself from betrayal.

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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.