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What Beyoncé’s Lemonade Teaches Us About Infidelity and Divorce

You may not have her amazing voice or sexy dance moves, but after the release of Beyoncé’s sixth album, Lemonade, many women have realized they may have something in common with the artist, after all—the experience of being cheated on.

Is Beyoncé’s new album a thinly veiled discussion of her troubled marriage? The release of the singer’s sixth solo record late last month generated speculation about her relationship with Jay Z, but there’s no indication the pop star is looking for a divorce.

It’s clear, though, that the 12 tracks on Lemonade, which were released along with a short film that knits all the songs together, tackles the themes of infidelity and the strength that emerges when one goes through it. The first song, “Pray You Catch Me,” starts with the lyric, “You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath.” In another song, “Sorry,” Beyoncé makes it even more clear that she’s addressing a cheating partner: “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair.”

Throughout the album, while she explores a variety of musical genres and pays tribute to black women who have experienced trauma, Beyoncé focuses in on emotions. What does a woman feel when she discovers her partner has been unfaithful? If you’ve gone through it, you may recognize the intense emotions that Beyoncé’s music touches on. Betrayal, jealousy, revenge, and anger all come into play.

What Are Your Options After Infidelity?

Infidelity generally has one of two outcomes: reconciliation and forgiveness, or separation and divorce. Neither answer is the perfect one, but from the sound of Beyoncé’s songs, she’s chosen the first.

Lemonade finishes with songs of forgiveness, most notably “Sandcastles,” an emotional ballad that wraps up the angst and reflection of the earlier tracks and “All Night,” a song about healing and resilience through love that clearly shows she’s giving her relationship another chance. The knowledge that beautiful Beyoncé went through the pain of being cheated on and emerged with her relationship intact may help you find the strength to work through your own troubled marriage.

On the other hand, if you think you may choose to end the relationship with your unfaithful partner, rather than reconcile, the tracks on Lemonade may make you upset or uncertain because you don’t feel like taking another chance. That’s okay too. You have every right to leave after your trust has been betrayed, especially if you feel like you could never recover enough to rebuild the relationship. What one person does or is able to do in his or her marriage should provide things to consider, not a blueprint of how you should react in your own struggle.

Why You Need Support—No Matter What You Choose

When you go through a trial like Beyoncé describes in Lemonade, it’s important to find sources for support. You’ll experience emotions similar to the stages of grief you would feel after the death of a loved one, and indeed, the death of a marriage is something to grieve.

You’re not alone as you go though this; 22 percent of married men have committed adultery at least once, and 17 percent of divorces in the U.S. are directly tied to infidelity. My guess is a much higher percentage is tied to infidelity without the other partner even knowing it!

However, it may be a struggle to find sources of support. That’s often because you and your partner share friends, who may not want to take sides or, worse yet, may emotionally distance themselves from you in this tough time. Even family members may not provide the type of unconditional support and assistance that you need.

Your other options? A divorce support group, even if you’re not sure that divorce is the right option yet, can connect you with other people who understand what you’re going through. Although, sometimes surrounding yourself with the bitterness of others who have been cheated on can negatively impact you. Instead, a one-on-one relationship with a divorce coach or therapist who can focus on your individual needs—both practical and emotional—can help you work through your feelings, find resources for support, and help you discover a solution that is right for you.

For help in coping with divorce and finding the resources you need to move through the pain of a troubled marriage, contact us. We can help you navigate through the process and move forward with more confidence into the next phase of your life.



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Celebrating Mother’s Day After Divorce

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and many women are finding themselves facing their first Mother’s Day after a divorce. If this describes you, then you might be feeling unsure about how to celebrate Mother’s Day without a partner to take the lead in planning family outings or helping your children find Mother’s Day cards. Even if it has been a few years, it can still be awkward and and a little sad.

Celebrating Mother’s Day post-divorce often requires finding ways to celebrate yourself, especially if your children are too young to make plans on their own. This might feel uncomfortable or disappointing at first, but it’s important to remember that you deserve to be celebrated for your hard work as a parent.

Teaching Your Kids to Celebrate You…Guilt-Free

If you’re single and have young children, then there’s a good chance you’ll need to make your own plans if you want to celebrate Mother’s Day. Chances are your ex-partner took the lead in planning Mother’s Day activities in the past, and depending on your ex, he may continue to do that moving forward. However, you should not feel uncomfortable about leading the charge in planning your own celebration.

There’s nothing wrong with teaching your children to celebrate you during Mother’s Day. In fact, not only do you deserve to be honored, but actively showing your children how to make Mother’s Day plans is a great way to teach them life skills like respect, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

Helping Children Choose Cards and Gifts

Many children look forward to giving their mothers cards and small gifts on Mother’s Day. However, depending on your children’s ages, they may not be able to provide cards or gifts on their own. If your children are young, you can sit down with them and make homemade Mother’s Day cards together. If you want to join the card-making festivities, but don’t want to make a card for yourself, you can make a Mother’s Day card for a friend, a relative, or your own mother.

If your children are old enough to make small purchases on their own, another option is to give each child a small amount of money and make a family visit to a local gift shop or mall. This way, your children will be able to enjoy surprising you with the gifts that they choose.

Spending Quality Time Together

You may not be getting breakfast in bed this year if your children are still too small to cook, but there are plenty of other Mother’s Day activities that you can do together. Many libraries, community centers, or other organizations offer special Mother’s Day crafting events or brunches. These activities are a great way to spend time with your children, while meeting other mothers in your community. Similarly, you can make reservations to take your children out to eat at a favorite restaurant. If you feel awkward about celebrating yourself on Mother’s Day, another idea is to spend time giving back to the community through a local soup kitchen or another place in need of volunteers. Whatever you do, let it be a fun day for you and the kids!

One of my favorite activities is to take a trip to the local nursery for flowers and herbs that we plant that day. The items we plant that day remain a source of connection through the summer when the kids water the plants and harvesting the herbs all summer to cook together.

Celebrating Mother’s Day on Your Own

There may be some years when custody arrangements or other conflicts mean that you won’t have your children at home on Mother’s Day. This can make it especially difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day after a divorce. Many mothers in this scenario choose to celebrate Mother’s Day earlier or later, depending on their custody schedule.

Another option for celebrating Mother’s Day when the children aren’t home is to find a way to connect with other mothers in your life. For example, is there a way that you can connect with your own mother or aunts on Mother’s Day? Do you have any friends who are in a similar post-divorce situation and who may appreciate your company? If you feel up to it, you could even volunteer to visit a local nursing home to spend time with women whose children or grandchildren may not have been able to visit on Mother’s Day.

Ultimately, Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate you. Parenting post-divorce is difficult, and Mother’s Day is an excellent time to focus on feeling good about your accomplishments.

Are you in search of more support and advice as you move through the divorce process? Please contact us to learn more about how Untangle the Knot can help.