Shrink Wrap

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

Halle Barry: Can You Get Past The Anger?

The relationship is over but the rage can live on.

It seems not everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Oscar winner and Cloud Atlas star Halle Berry probably hoped to spend a quiet day with her fiancé Olivier Martinez and her daughter Nahla. Instead, she was reminded why things didn’t work out with her ex-boyfriend and Nahla’s father Gabriel Aubry. He and Martinez had an argument and ended up brawling in Berry’s driveway, though there is some question over when and how the fight began.

 Some reports say that Aubry became angered and tried to punch Martinez, but missed and got his shoulder instead. Martinez fought back and gave the male model a black eye. The squabble continued and the two pinned each other to the ground until police came. Both were taken to the hospital. Berry was reportedly furious with Aubry for being unable to control his temper in front of their daughter, and for the time being has requested an extension on the restraining order currently issued against him.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

 When a relationship ends in anger, it is typical to think that once the split has taken place the couple will then be able to get along better. The reality, though, is that frequently the anger simply spills over into the next phase of your interaction. In other words, your union may be over but the fury can live on, especially when the two people are no longer even attempting to work as a team.

When children are involved, it is harder. Those negative feelings of rage can ignite further when dealing with custody arrangements. Depending on what is agreed upon, it is likely that each parent will have some time away from the child or children. During that time, the absent parent might worry about their well-being, whether it has to do with food, clothes or safety. While the child is in the other parent’s care, they must give up control. With that in mind, it is not surprising that the acrimony can reach a boiling point. Another issue might be gaining access to the child. For some time now, Berry has sought permission to move to France with Nahla and Olivier Martinez, to get away from the aggressive American paparazzi. But a judge hasn’t allowed it as it would limit Aubry’s ability to see Nahla.

So what can you do to make a hard situation a little easier? First of all, accept the fact that the reason you are no longer together is that you were never able to problem solve and reconcile your differences. Knowing that can help you shift your expectations that you will now get along, so that you won’t be surprised again and again that that your ex isn’t more accommodating.

However when you share children, you do need to work together on some level. The challenge is to be able to promote the children’s relationships with both parents. Avoid badmouthing your ex in front of the children. Also, create a formal custody agreement that clearly works out the details of your arrangement and stick to it. People mistakenly think they can be casual – calling their ex to see if he or she can pick up the kids if they are running behind. Try, instead, to put other support systems in place so you won’t have to do that.

Nobody wants to reach the point where Berry and Aubry now stand. She recently told the New York Times Style magazine that she suffered from a broken “picker” that renders her unable to choose the right men. But maybe now, with an active restraining order in place, she’ll be able to get some space, find some peace, and hopefully have controls in place so everyone can stay out of danger.

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.

more...

Subscribe to Shrink Wrap

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.