Husband & Wife Articles


Beyond Beyoncé

Lessons from celebrity spouses for our own marriages

By Mary Rose Somarriba

Recently Beyoncé was honored as the 2014 Video Vanguard recipient at the MTV Video Music Awards. If you caught only the last part of her performance, you might have felt refreshed to see family values spotlighted on-stage, with husband, wife and daughter in a three-way hug. However, if you watched the whole performance – a collage of images from her sexually explicit video album – you might be a bit more confused about the intended message.

Considering this performance comes amid tabloid rumors that Beyoncé and her husband, Jay-Z, are having marital problems, many people are wondering: Is the performance proof of their solid relationship, or is it just a show to cover up deeper problems?

No one really knows what a married couple is going through except the spouses themselves and God. Nonetheless, we can learn from their situation to avoid some pitfalls that challenge all marriages. Here are four observations:

1. Some things should be kept just between spouses.
When Beyoncé released her self-titled fifth album, she said she wanted to prove that having a baby doesn’t mean the end of sexy. A married woman I know praised Beyoncé and Jay Z’s explicit duet “Drunk in Love” as a happy reminder that marriage can be sexy. But married couples should be careful not to invite the world into their intimate sphere. For one, public displays by definition cease to be intimate. Such exhibitionist behavior accepts our culture’s false image of sexiness and fails to tell the truth about the exclusive union of husband and wife, in which sex is cherished within the context of mutual respect and self-giving.

2. The world’s standards aren’t solid foundations for a good marriage.
Beyoncé’s latest album and MTV performance may be an attempt to show she’s still got sex appeal. But whether she’s trying to convince the world, her husband or herself, it is sad that she feels the need to convince anyone. As women grow older, we should try to take care of our bodies and stay healthy, but we can’t judge ourselves by the world’s standards. There will always be a younger, sexier woman out there, at least in the eyes of the world; the husband leaving his wife for a younger woman is a stereotype for a reason. But this is why a good marriage is built on a more solid foundation of true love and total commitment.

3. Never take good communication for granted.
Hollywood gossips are saying that even if Beyoncé and Jay Z are having problems, they don’t have time for marriage counseling. Yet spouses should make room daily for quality time as a couple and avoid excuses that they’re too busy. Being committed means fitting your schedule around your marriage, not your marriage around your schedule.

4. Avoid infidelity in its many forms.
We commonly think of infidelity as a sexual affair with another person, but affairs can occur just as easily with one’s work, money or status—anything that spouses let get in the way of time together and faithfulness to one another. Celebrity couples experience additional pressures of fame, fortune and fans. But if they want a strong relationship, they might consider taking a break from the limelight. Being on a world tour together doesn’t count as quality time.

Just as we should examine our conscience regularly to keep our souls in good health, spouses should examine their behavior to see if it is keeping with their marriage vows. Look at your spouse today and say, “There is no one more precious.”

Mary Rose Somarriba is executive editor and culture editor of Verily Magazine. She and her husband Gabriel live in Northern Texas with their two children.

ENGAGE AND INTERACT: What ways can you keep your marriage precious with your spouse today?