Take My Wife, Please!

In my work as a relationship coach, I’m often reminded of the absurdity of celebrity and the obsession we have with idealizing their every move.

From TMZ to Dish Nation, we see dodgy tabloid headlines of failed celeb marriages that barely get out of the gate. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion, as we line the streets for the Grand Prix of relationship chaos!

I’ve been a licensed therapist and coach in Los Angeles for over 25 years, so you can imagine the marital carnage I’ve witnessed. In the late 90’s I was referred an A-list actor who struggled with extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I managed to get him back up and running and he gratefully referred me a few of his angst-ridden A-lister friends and before you know it I had a reputation for discretely taking care of the rich and famous.

The irony of all of this is that most celebrities, in my experience, are the worst possible examples to serve as mentors for all matters of relationship! Coupled with the new wave of reality stars gracing our small screens today, we’re on a collision course to the sublime wedding the ridiculous, in real time!

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A great example is a couple I worked with who would spend most sessions screaming obscenities at each other and threatening divorce at every turn.

But this was not just any ordinary couple. We’re talking two major movie stars. The classic ticking-clock combo!

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The text conversation you see here is just a small sample of their level of intense blame, projection and vengeance … your typical Hollywood marriage!

As you can see, there is nigh more chilling than the wrath of a scorned wife. I know what you’re thinking, how could any man possibly complain about his stunningly sexy wife wanting too much sex? Well, there’s an old adage that for every beautiful woman out there, there’s a man who’s tired of shtupping her!

Herein lies the problem. Their real issue isn’t sex at all. It rarely is in marriage.

In fact, data shows that the frequency of sex after marriage declines to an average of twice a month after three years! I’ve worked with couples who barely have sex twice a year. If you’re single, you might well be horrified at that image, but for the married, you’re likely relieved to discover you’re not necessarily headed for divorce.

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Back to our Power Couple; Here’s the back story…

For three or four years they had both been traveling the globe building their respective brands, doing blockbusters and print ads. They maybe spent four months out of the year together. So, now you can appreciate her resentment that of the four months a year they’re actually together, he only has the desire and energy for sex every day. The nerve! Yes, she needed it three times a day or she felt deprived of his attention.

Such is the Machiavellian scheming of an insatiably distressed damsel!

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What may not be apparent to the bystander is that they both harbor a dirty secret… Despite her obvious beauty, she struggles with self-loathing, sinking deep into a black hole of torment, only tempered by quickies and multiple orgasms.

He, on the other hand, ripe with narcissistic entitlement (from being over paid millions of dollars for his time) has a deep fear of inadequacy. His inner demons manifest as feeling like a little boy who might be exposed as a phony at any given moment. His resistance to more sex with his demanding wife is merely a symptom of his anxiety at the risk of her discovering his deficiencies as a mature man.

I tend to look at couples with ‘x-ray vision’.

It’s crucial for me to be able to see beyond the layers of defense mechanisms and walls they put up to protect their wounds and traumas in order to truly see who is standing before me.

On the surface we see a relentless, sex-crazed vixen demanding attention from her stoned, distracted movie star icon partner. What I see is two souls who crave connection, to be accepted for who they really are, without having to prove box office worth or sexiest woman of the year.

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And here is the rub. This couple is no different or exceptional than any other couple I’ve worked with over the decades. The notion that the rich and famous have charmed lives replete with all the indulgences and debauchery our fantasies can muster is simply not their true reality. Sure, they fly on private jets and stay in Presidential suites, but the fighting behind closed doors and the mounting challenges of parenting, PTA meetings, soccer practice, piano lessons and T-ball are just like you and I.

At the end of the day, what this couple represents is the crux of all relationship harmony. To be seen, appreciated, trusted, respected and loved for who we really are. Isn’t that what you want from your partner? Would the fantasy of “Sexual Olympics” in the bedroom guarantee all of that? Hardly.

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Relationships are hard work and they don’t get any easier with 7-figured salaries. Actually, there are a lot more pressures to worry about as a celebrity than you and I would want. They can’t even run to the market for a carton of milk without being harangued by paparazzi and looky-loos!

So, take heart from these two brave souls. They worked hard to move past their inner demons and learned to stop projecting unrealistic needs on to each other. Like many couples, they lacked the tools, guidance and mentoring to navigate their way through. Oh, and a little more love their way!

Can they beat the odds and stay together? Will you...?

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Take My Wife, Please! by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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