Shrink Wrap

What we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships.

Jennifer Lopez: Once Betrayed, Always Betrayed?

If you are once betrayed are you destined to repeat it?

  

J.Lo is back in the news and it isn’t because of her music. Once again it is her love life that is getting attention. The three-time divorced megastar might be having romantic troubles, something she has dealt with many times before, after it was recently revealed that her boyfriend dancer Casper Smart walked into an “exotic massage parlor” and gay porn shop in New York City. Smart said he didn’t mean to go there, that he was lost, but there is talk that his journey – mistaken or otherwise – is already taking a toll on their still relatively-new relationship. Jennifer is not new to betrayal from broken trust around bad behavior, so the question is: if you are once betrayed are you destined to repeat it? Can you learn from a betrayal so it doesn’t keep happening?

 To begin with, you have to understand your own personal limits and boundaries. In order to do that, you must determine for yourself what is forgivable and what isn’t. In My Book How Could You Do This To Me? Learning To Trust After Betrayal, I talk about the fact that there are many nuances to betrayal and what might be perceived as infidelity. For some, a tiny indiscretion such as flirting with or texting someone else might be enough to cause a great rift in a romantic partnership, while for others that might not even rock the boat. Knowing your boyfriend or girlfriend watches Internet porn might not seem like a problem at all to some, while for others it might be a deal-breaker. There are so many scenarios out there, each couple must decide together what is okay and what isn’t, and if one partner exceeds those limits, then that is a betrayal.

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The biggest question between Casper and Jennifer, and between any two people dealing with an issue like this, is what is acceptable and thereby forgivable in their relationship. This answer will be different depending on who you ask. If, in fact, Casper entered that store to satisfy unmet needs, and Jennifer is aware and accepting of those needs, then the tabloids are wrong, it wasn’t a betrayal and this won’t cause the downfall of their relationship. But if she didn’t know about these needs, and he was sneaking around, then it is possible that her readiness to invest trust in her relationship with Casper was not fully warranted.

It is hard to know if Casper has betrayed Jennifer, maybe we’ll learn more as the story unfolds, but if he has then she will benefit from stepping back and taking inventory. So often people who are trustworthy simply believe their partner will be by default. They assume that their partner will put them first, just as they tend to do. Instead, the other person puts their own needs first, and when they are sexual or romantic, inevitably it spells betrayal.

If you are looking to trust someone, you want to base that trust on what your partner does, not on what they say. Pay attention and make sure their actions are consistent with what they are telling you. If Casper has been open and honest and has shared his desires and needs with Jennifer, even if they don’t always include her, they can make it work. In the end, from where we stand, only time will tell for the celebrity couple. In your own relationship, you don’t have to be so passive. If your lover’s actions and words don’t mesh, or if you know they are keeping secrets from you, no matter how much you want it to work, unless you deal with your doubts, you will be at risk of being betrayed.

Please tune in to “Let’s Talk Sex” which streams live on HealthyLife.net every last Tuesday of the month at 2 PM EST, 11 AM Pacific. We look forward to listener call-in questions, dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships, at 1.800.555.5453.

Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.

 

Jane Greer, Ph.D., is a Marriage and Family Therapist, author of What about Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship, and radio host of Doctor on Call.

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