Shrink Wrap

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

Andrew Dice Clay: Can You End To Begin Anew?

A novel approach.

Andrew Dice Clay, self-proclaimed as "America's most controversial and outrageous comic of all time," has filed for divorce despite having plans to be with his wife, Valerie (Vasquez) Silverstein, for the rest of his life. Not only does it sound confusing, but the idea seems to have caught a lot of people by surprise. There is no question that he has always done his own thing, and this is yet another example of that. The reason behind the unconventional decision is that Andrew felt that the word "marriage" had begun to place an unnecessary pressure on their relationship. He claims they've been more in love and had more respect for each other than ever before since they filed, and they later "celebrated" their divorce together at Craig's, an upscale West Hollywood restaurant. Andrew and Valerie’s action raises the question if fixing a relationship is a valid reason for divorce, and is breaking apart sometimes necessary to help come back even stronger than before?

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At first glance, ending a marriage to improve a relationship seems like the opposite of what we would expect. Really, the last thing in the world one would imagine a divorce to be about is saving a marriage. By all reports it seems that Andrew and Valerie are and were very much in love, which points to the idea that when they got married it was the real deal and they entered into it with a firm commitment. That said, marriage in and of itself can carry weighty assumptions about what each partner expects from the other person, and that can sometimes create resentment and disappointment if one or the other partner is not living up to them. What starts out as a choice with you wanting to please your partner can turn into a demand with you feeling like you have to, and it can feel like an obligation which can add extra stress. It seems that what Andrew and Valerie did speaks directly to these notions and hopes people carry with themselves surrounding marriage that can, over time, become burdens. With that in mind, it seems that whatever marriage means to them it is clearly separate from their loving each other and choosing to continue to stay involved in a relationship together.

While marriage remains the traditional path, it is not the only one. What matters most is how devoted and bonded you are to your partner and that you continue to choose to be with him or her. Ending to start fresh is such a really out of the box action that goes against the usual flow, and something to only consider as an option if you are really struggling with the shared responsibilities of marriage to the point where it is potentially destroying your relationship despite remaining in love with your partner. Another option is to seek help to learn how to overhaul your expectations to make them more realistic so you are better equipped to deal with them, taking the heat out of the marriage and being able to remain husband and wife.

Filing for divorce is what Andrew and Valerie needed to do to save their marriage. Before considering going down that road yourself, instead look at what you can do to redefine the push and pull between you so the distress doesn’t overwhelm you, and if necessary, get support. With the right communication and limits in place, as well as helpful support, you can avoid the drastic measure of ending your marriage to save it, so that you won’t have to say “I don’t” to stay together.

 

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.

For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.

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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