Unless you have been meditating in a cave this past month, undoubtedly you and your family have been exposed to the Tiger Woods avalanche. “Thirty mistresses, Elin without her wedding ring in public, Tiger’s retirement from professional golf, the Department of Child Services visiting their home”. The headlines have held our world captivated week after week. As a society, celebrities such as Tiger Woods serve a role for our collective unconscious. They are our modern mythological Roman gods, symbolically acting out all of our fantasies and desires, yet often the victim of their own fatal flaws. They are our biblical figures, living their lives often as fables, with morals at the end of the story that we can retell to future generations. These dramas serve a purpose for humanity and unite us through lively discussions where we can express our opinions, reinvent who we are in this moment, explore our values, and be distracted from our own pain.
Of course these public figures, who we have designated our role models, never volunteered to be the poster-children for mental health and squeaky clean morality. Yes, they have signed up to have every fragment of their lives scrutinized and dissected. Yes, it is the price of fame. Yes, we are held captivated and spellbound watching the train wrecks. Perhaps it soothes our own narcissistic wounds watching those deemed more “special” fall from grace. There is something satisfying in our populist times about watching the playing field even out for all. Even powerful, rich, celebrities with all of their money and fame have problems. Alas, we all suffer. No one lives a completely charmed life.
Even though the mass media tries to package and market the belief that superficial success equates with internal happiness and fulfilling relationships, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that the message is just plain wrong. With so many celebrities’ pubic scandals, many people question their own relationships. If a celebrity with all the power, money, fame, hired help and luxuries can not have a healthy relationship, how can the average person, stressed and struggling to make ends meet possibly succeed? The answer is that not everyone can or should stay together. Sometimes things are broken beyond repair, or some factors such as abuse or addictions come into play that make relationships dangerous and toxic. Yet, for most couples, there are good times and bad times.
There are four simple rules we can all follow to avoid our own relationship pitfalls, ride out the bad times, and learn the lessons from Tiger’s mistakes. Although all relationships will be challenged at some point, these rules are our best defense against infidelity. As with the 4 c’s used to calculate the value of a diamond, we must apply 4 c’s to our most precious commodity of all, our partners, to have a rock solid diamond relationship.
1. Commitment: Webster’s defines as, “A pledge, promise, or obligation.” Of course we live in a world of bigger, better and faster. Yet, whether you are married or monogamously involved, this is the foundation for your entire relationship. With two willing partners who want to stay together, mountains can move. Commitment is not about the good days. Notice Webster’s did not use the word love in the definition. Commitment is about deciding to turn around after you just walked out the door in the middle of a horrible argument. Commitment is about maturity, responsibility, and character. Commitment is about staying true to your word and not giving up when the going gets tough. Commitment is about living your life as a “we”, not an “I”. Recommit to your partner everyday by actively remembering how you saw your partner when you first fell in love and decide to focus on their qualities that you love, instead of what you hate.