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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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