Friday, November 19, 2010

Reality Check: No one knows what goes on behind closed doors


Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Closed doors. Read and learn...

So Eva Longoria and Tony Parker announced that they were getting divorced this week. Almost immediately the  media, the twitterverse and blogosphere started going in. Speculation went wild. Some of the less tactful comments went like this: "He finally got tired of that annoying little diva." "She wasn't satisfying him in bed." "I didn't think it would last that long." "She was never that hot to begin with."

Really people? By the time the story started leaking that he was (allegedly) unfaithful; folks had already called her everything from a gold-digger to a cupcake who should have quit her job and stayed by her man.

Let's be real... nobody but Tony and Eva knows what went on in their marriage. And all the malicious almost gleeful dissection of the relationship's demise set my teeth on edge.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday. She met a man and they were having some phone conversations. He disclosed that he was divorced. When she asked what happened he said they grew apart. Then he asked if she had ever been married and she said yes but was now divorced. He asked, "So what did you do?" She told him they had irreconcilable differences and he kept prodding and joking saying she must have caused the break up. So when she explained to him that her ex tried to strangle her (literally) and she escaped with her life, he felt like shiggity and apologized.

She shouldn't have to explain all of that. Saying irreconcilable differences should cover it. I know I dislike having the "so what happened with your last relationship" discussion. It's enough to say it ended and here we are now... isn't it? Even if I gave you every detail, you weren't there, didn't live it, so you'll never truly get it even if you empathize. As some writer once said, "Your blues ain't like mine."

Eva Longoria shouldn't have to sit on Access Hollywood saying her husband cheated. Folks don't know if she was serving up the cocoa twice a day with extra whipped cream. Maybe they stopped communicating, maybe they fell out of love. Who knows? I personally don't care. I so wish others felt the same.

Seriously, how much do you really need to know about a potential S.O.'s prior break-ups? With the exception of needing to know about police reports and restraining orders, does it really matter? The way someone is with someone else is not necessarily the way they are going to be with you - do you agree? Or are prior bad acts an indicator of future relationship crimes? (Once a cheater, always a cheater?) Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors? Do we want to? The floor is yours...

76 comments:

Michele said...

I don't want to know. Period. As you said, unless there are restraining orders and police reports involved, I don't care. I've learned not to bring my past into the present and that includes explaining in detail why my last relationship didn't succeed. It just didn't! Dang.

andrew said...

Any proof of this media beat-down? I believe its the opposite. Searching for #evalongoria on twitter shows a stream of people denouncing Tony Parker.

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

As someone with a nice guy image who happens to be going to divorce, I take great pains to admit to my mistakes in conversations with people about it. Its rather discomfiting to have women jump on the "I can't believe someone let you get away" meme while I am face to face with my own failures as a Husband.

It should be noted that a woman can NEVER be so fine that men ever wonder what the man did. Sure they may wonder that aloud...but deep down, they think she screwed it up. You question me? I submit to you Halle Berry.

GrownAzzMan said...

I don't want to know much. Whatever happened in that relationship has not bearing on what we are doing as long as it is actually over, and she is over him.

NoNotPinkett said...

Other people relationships? Don't know & can't speculate--well, maybe privately, among friends. My own relationships? I try to be as transparent as possible, so I expect the same. I want to make my own decisions based on the info important to me--though I'm open to discussing what's important--and my partner should have the same courtesy, no matter how embarrassing/unflattering the truth is. What matters to me is the distance b/t then & now, & what a person's done to learn & grow.

rochee said...

In my current relationship I know A LOT about my S.O's past relationships because we were friends first. Knowing all of that information can negatively color how you perceive your S.O. or how you deal with certain situations. It can also be helpful in allowing you to avoid certain issues in the relationship. I would rather err on the side of full disclosure so that I can avoid certain land mines. I want to go into a dating situation knowing if you have dealt with traumatic situations (e.g. your husband trying to strangle you) or other issues. I don't like surprises.

As it regards the Eva Longoria-Tony Parker Situation, our society is actually incredibly sexist. Men are coveted and women are disposable and interchangeable. When a man strays or when a relationship fails it has to be the woman's fault. Women are supposed to everything to please and keep her man. Women are portrayed as being demanding and sexually stingy. Men are somehow being forced into the institution of marriage, so as a woman you should do everything to provide an incentive for him to stay. It is all backwards. Who knows what happened in their relationship? I was surprised by the fact that it fell apart, but we aren't privy to what goes on behind closed doors.

kimberly billups said...

People do seem to get pleased with the demise of high profile and some low pro relationships. Too much time on their hands. I will comment that through the entire relationship, Eva stay putting their info in the media! Same with the divorce. IMO, she just wants public sympathy. They both had probably checked out of the marriage awhile ago.

CaliGirlED said...

Did you just tie in "Double Standard" with "Reality Check"? Great comment!

Sarah said...

I don't pay attention to celebrity gossip except as it breezes by on the news page or on the covers of the magazines I can't help but see at the grocery checkout. I agree. You never know what is going on.

When I was younger, I would have said I didn't want to know about past loves, but now I think that the way someone talks about previous relationships tells you a lot about them. And what happened in those relationships even if you only hear it through the filter of one side has a big impact on how the current relationship goes. For example, apparently in two of his previous relationships the last boyfriend walked in on his girlfriend and another man exchanging hot chocolate. I noticed that there were times when he would come over to my apartment or come home to our apartment the short while we lived together and storm in the door and stalk around the apartment looking in all the rooms. If I hadn't know about his previous experience, I would have been really insulted instead I gave him the opened eyed 'happy now' look and continued with whatever it was I was doing.

CaliGirlED said...

I think there needs to be some disclosure about past experiences in general. Maybe not full blow by blow details, but some insight as to where a person has been, and what they learned (or didn't) from these experiences. I feel that it is equally important that the receiver of said disclosures to be fair and realistic in how they process the information. Once a cheater always a cheater? Not necesarily. But I would take that info and open up a discussion as to what has changed for them. Not judge them, but talk about it. People do change, for good and bad. I think what matters is how that person is when you're dealing with them. If they appear to have not changed or learned from the past, you may need to move on.

As for what goes on in other people's relationships, you never reallyknow enough to make judgements. Short of one or both being in danger, it's best not to say much, listen and advise as to what that person needs to work on themselves. Aw the reality check that can break up friendships! I once told a friend, "Don't tell me anymore about him, I can't take it!" I believe that was enough for her to know what I felt without me saying, "You need to leave him!"

BlackButterfly said...

In regards to "celebrity" relationships it has always amazed me how emotionally invested people can be in why these people choose "I Do" or "I Don't Anymore". The public can be brutal on dissecting who has done wrong. It does seem that the female whether celebrity or not is subjected to the most brutal character attacks based on her "not doing enough" to keep said male interested.

Those who have either private or public lives that choose to keep their dealings private between them and theirs seems most beneficial to all involved. Spilling the dirt on what did or didn't happen seems pointless unless it is something that could do harm to others if they remained silent.

I don't believe in dragging the past pains forward to new relationships. There is always a time lapse between my relationships because I never go new until I have completely purged myself of the old.

rozb said...

Honestly - once I know the prior relationship is over, I am cool with that. I don't need his or her side, unless, like you mentioned, there was some shiggity that required police reports, insurance claims, and hospital visits.

I will never know what happened in Eva Longoria's marriage. I do not know her, her life does not help my bills get paid, and frankly, there is enough interesting things happening in my own life to care about someone else's. Now, when you are a public figure, you don't always get to control what info in your private life gets revealed, and that is sad. I just SMH when I see the paparazzi so thirsty for that one tidbit of info or telling picture. Then there are the peripheral folks - you know the "girlfriends", groupies, and skin tags that like to be just enough on the inside and will sell that information for a few grand (or a few hundred grand) to Star, Globe, or Enquirer.

Celebrities live a life based on public perception, because if you fall out of favor, your show may tank, your endorsement offers may shrivel up, and you could just end up as a lounge singer in some seedy old 70's-era casino on the outskirts of Reno singing old disco to retirees with fanny packs.

Do I read tabloid rags? Hell yes! Do I take it seriously? Hell no! These "publications" are good for chilling in the tub, or leaving in the bathroom for guests. I don't run my life by them, and I wish more people didn't believe everything they read there. The info is hit or miss, mostly miss (I think about 98.9% of the time. Sorry John Edwards!) and I usually forget it once I leave the rag wherever it lands.

Point is, I mind what's mine, and hopefully Eva will do the same. And since her life doesn't affect mine, I think I will leave her alone.

Mykeia said...

No one ever really knows what happens...people often present themselves very well and can/are hiding so much. I live by the statement: There are three sides to every story, his side, her side and the truth.
I also believe that everyone has the potential to be a little bit crazy, so always be careful.
Eva and Tony, well who knows...she could have been threating him everyday and vice versa, really it's their business and they have to heal. Will the Spurs make it to the playoffs this year, we'll see.
Great post again wrapping up the week OneChele!

Shahlex said...

I may be the only one who didn't even know who Eva was married too ... I heard them talk about the break up on the radio & I was like, oh, ok, whoever that is ...

As for knowing the deal on SO's past, I don't need the details ... I do listen to how he speaks about her and, as mentioned in a previous post, to see if there has been any reflection or growth from the prior experiences. I listen to see if there is a trend in the past that I find disturbing. Can people change and do they treat one person differently than another? Yes to both. However, I do not believe that the majority of abusers change, so if that is a person's issue, I am not believing that much has changed fundamentally. It is possible with extensive introspection and work, but not probable. Would an abuser tell you that he or she is this way? Not directly but it will come out if one keeps their ears and eyes open.

michaeldavis said...

My life is semi-public because of what I do politically. When my ex and I divorced people e-mailed, texted, DM'd me and told me to my face that they were so hurt and some said and I quote "man we are hurt I never believed y'all would break up" and "y'all were so in love-I have no faith in marriage now"

Oh how could forget the clincher ... "we thought y'all would be our Barack and Michelle one day"

*record scratch* REALLY THOUGH?? Just b/c a dude is somewhat political they gotta be Prez O and First Lady? I usually just replied with one or two words instead of being like dude on "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong."

A few people know what happened, and most don't. But the speculation and gossip was ridiculous. It really made me rethink how I look at commenting on other people's marriages.

David Chase said...

My whole thing is NOT to drag other people's baggage to comingle with mine. MIne takes up enough space. Like you said, with absence of police report or commitment papers - I'll work with the rest.

Carey Jackson said...

I do admit to being curious if dude is a serial cheaty mccheaterson but chances are he's not going to disclose it anyway. So yes, beyond figuring out if he has exes buried in the backyard, okay let me probe a little as we go forward.

And yes, I greatly wish that people would mind their own.

OneChele said...

Yep, once the 'cheating allegations' dropped before that - not pretty. You can google it and scan all 3077 articles, blogs and commentaries. Either way. Who really knows? Which was kinda my point.

OneChele said...

There you go!

OneChele said...

I started to bring up Halle and Jennifer Aniston but decided to skip it. Great examples of this type of speculative nonsense.

OneChele said...

You hit in the key - as long as the past is really the past (for everybody), let's keep it moving.

OneChele said...

I think (partially because I've been dating since Methuselah's days) that I don't attempt total transparency any more. I share the important stuff boiled down to least common denominator. I've adopted a "take me as I am" attitude.

OneChele said...

I also think we underestimate how someone's past relationships can continue to impact them. Even if they are over the person, they may not be over the issues that came along with the relationship. <~~Excellent point.

OneChele said...

I always think it's sad when relationships don't work out but personal experience tells me that some people just cannot WAIT to crow over the demise. Quite unfortunate.

As for celebs, everyone should adopt the Bey/Jay, Oprah/Steadman philosophy from the late great Billie Holiday: Ain't nobody's business if I do.

OneChele said...

Good point. I always tell potential S.O.'s (when it looks like it's getting serious) that drama and infidelity are my sensitive points. It's a way to warn them without dragging all the skeletons out of the closet.

OneChele said...

And unfortunately, you never know an outside person's motivation for telling you about your current SO. Do they have your best interests at heart or are they stirring up mess? Misery loves company? Sometimes it's hard to call.

OneChele said...

I never go new until I have completely purged myself of the old. <~~ A talent I have not mastered yet.

OneChele said...

I told somebody the other day - Eva and Tony are not worried about me so I'm not worried about them. Carry on.

OneChele said...

Thanks Mykeia! It was a tough week to write. I'll have to go back to writing about bad TV and over the top politics, all this introspection is exhausting ;-)

OneChele said...

True! Seriously, who is going to admit "I whipped my S.O.'s ass and stole $7500 from their bank account"? At some point, you're going to have to activate your spidey senses to see what's what.

OneChele said...

The first time a man told me, "I don't know how he let you get away!" I knew I would not be using that phrase ever again. The presumptions and assumptions are a little much. Better to assume "it didn't work out" and keep my eyes open for issues that are dealbreakers for me.

OneChele said...

Co-sign sir.

OneChele said...

Exactly.

thinklikeRiley said...

Yeah umm. Riley need da 411. If girlie gonna send me side-eyes over some shiggity last ninja did, might as well tell it. Forewarned = Forearmed. Plus I'm nosy like dat.

Grace said...

One time I decided I wanted to know everything. Me and potential SO sat down and swapped war story after war story. WORST. IDEA. EVER. It was like opening Pandora's Box and now you can't shove all that back in again and pretend you never heard it.

cocoaeyecandy said...

I don't want all my former stuff spilling out the closet so I most definitely don't want to hear his. And I hate (HATE) when other people sit in judgment "Why did you let that good man get away?' Really? Y'all don't EVEN know.

Janna said...

It's a monster that is fed on both end. If people would keep their business private, less people would be interested. If less people were interested, more people would keep their personal lives private.

I don't tell people intimate details about my marriage, no matter how curious the person asking is, if they were supposed to know, I'd be married to them and not my husband.

~Janna

All Honey said...

Great couple of weeks though. Really enjoying it!

Janna said...

"People do seem to get pleased with the demise of high profile and some low pro relationships."

The German language actually has a word for this. Schadenfreude. It's satisfaction or pleasure obtained from the misfortune or trouble of others. Personally I think the attitude is Sociopathic.

~Janna

All Honey said...

Tabernacle!

Jesse said...

The only thin I wanna know about Tony Parker is how is his jumper this year?
As for my past relationships. They are past.

I Am Me said...

Call me a romantic at heart, I want to walk into the new relationship feeling like this is unchartered territory. Sure I know she has history but I'm not trying to hear all that.

ASmith said...

I don't usually quiz about the deets of the last relationship, mostly because I'm not trying to talk about mine.

However, one guy I was getting to know, I did quiz. He was 26 (at the time) and in the process of getting a divorce. I mean, c'mon... tell me you don't want to know what happened. I told him all about my last one, in exchange.

On the whole, though, I don't think it's necessary to know the gritty details unless, like you say, Chele, homeboy/girl got arrested at some point or has a tendency for violence.

One of my friends had an issue with his new girl because she just HAD to know why he broke up with the last chick. He wouldn't tell her (it was a really complicated situation and it needed to be left alone) so she came to me asking. I understood why he wouldn't say and tried to let her know she didn't want to know but she wasn't having it. She's hated me ever since. I guess some folks just need the reassurance (what reassurance you ask? I have no idea).

ASmith said...

This was everything.

YES YES YES.

It doesn't matter what you get told, because we tell stories in our own favor anyway. Let's not waste time.

michaeldavis said...

dang Roz....Reno, not even Vegas. And the outskirts of Reno at that. That's a long fall right there.

michaeldavis said...

side note: Is there any way to remove the Malik Turner post from the right hand column? Why you ask? Malik Turner. that is all

CorettaJG said...

I agree. I need some disclosure even if it's not a blow by blow. I want to know what they have learned because I know my marriage opened my eyes to a number of things about relationships and about me. I definitely want to know if they have cheated before. My ex-husband and another ex spoke to me openly about those issues in their past and I appreciated (needed) that level of full disclosure. I guess I'm of a mind that I need someone to err on the side of disclosure (organically as the relationship progresses), and I'll let them know when to stop.

OneChele said...

Le Sigh. Done.

rochee said...

I find it interesting that so many people (based on the comments) typically avoid discussing their S.O.'s relationship history. I wonder if people asked more questions and learned more about each other's past, would be able to avoid mistakes and awful relationships to begin with? I think that it just doesn't make sense to me that people don't share more of their relationship history. Aren't your relationships a huge part of your past. If you date someone for 2, 3, or 4 plus years , wouldn't that play a huge role in the person you are today?

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

First: I would have slapped the taste out of the mouth of your friends date. He had the nerve to say that he and his ex just grew apart, but then badgered her because SHE must have done something wrong? I bet dollars to donuts that kneegrow cheated, stopped taking care of home, and was an entitled douchecanoe, and I would have told him bout himself as he was picking his scattered tastebuds off of the floor.

Now, I ask about past relationships, not so much because i want a blow by blow account of the ghosts of cocoa past, but because I need to know what type of man I am dealing with. Has he been in committed relationships? What type of woman has he dealt with? How does he describe those relationships? I've found if a man can describe the end of a relationship respectfully, then he is more likely to be at a place where he can be a good relationship partner to me. I don't need all the nitty gritty, but I need to know how he has grown, what he has taken responsibility for, and what he learned. If a man lays it all at the feet of his prior women, if he is prone to descibing exes as crazy or not listening, if it is all everyone else's fault, then something in his milk ain't clean and he can't contaminate my life with that foolishness.

I think people can grow and change, but people are more likely to be who/what they are regardless. After the zha zha zhu has worn off, they go to their natural set point, and I need to know what that is. You can't get a full picture when asking about past relationships, but you can get a preview. And sometimes a preview is all you need to avoid a catastrophe.

We never know what is going on behind closed doors, so you just have to sit back and gather information as it is revealed.

Mykeia said...

Ahhh, Riley, you always bring in the blunt honesty.
Forewarned = Forearmed. <-- co-sign and love it.

BlackButterfly said...

Yeah it can take some time to master but it is completely worth it once you do.

Mykeia said...

That's what I'm sayin' about Tony! Playoff bound? Please, divorce is rough...

michaeldavis said...

^made my day. ...well this and yesterday's post

Mykeia said...

The time line does make a difference...yes being with a person for a long time does shape the person that you become. With that said, sometimes the past needs to just stay there especially if you needed to shake some drama, bad energy, bad credit mistakes, dv, etc. If you have purged all of the past relationships then let them stay there no need to bring the problems from the 90's into the 2000's like the song says...

poker tips said...

Well---I wish people would listen when it came to this relationship. I used to work at a nice hotel in SA that Eva would stay at when she was in town. I would see Eva, Parker, and Timberlake on multiple occurrences. This relationship was destined to end long before it even started....

on a side note, I do not agree with how the media badgers celebrities. let them live their lives :/

CaliGirlED said...

That's shadenfreude!...Gonna try to remember that.

CaliGirlED said...

Yep cause I have seen situations where the negative comments stemmed from jealousy. But on the flip, I had a friend encourage me to stay with someone that I clearly did not need to be with. Damn was she really trying to keep me in misery? Tripped me out when I realized it!

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah infidelity is one that I like to know about, but my biggest thing really is abuse. I need to know that we have an understanding, read Don't.hit.me!

CaliGirlED said...

"...end up as a lounge singer in some seedy old 70's-era casino on the outskirts of Reno singing old disco to retirees with fanny packs." Where do you get this stuff? LOL

I just told one of my brokers today, I have too much of my own business to be worried about yours. Gon give me something to scan and tell me not to read it. Scan it yo-damn-self then!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Also: don't verbally tear me down, emotionally denigrate or manipulate me, down use your words at weapons, don't try to abuse my emotions to get me to stay with you (threatening suicide, saying you can't/won't live without me, etc). A lot of times abuse happens without a man (or in rarer instances, woman) lifting a hand.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Chele, I know you've been through Dr. Jayme's Relationship Jump Start Boot Camp like I have and she gives a series of questions that get at past relationship issues without getting into actual "Who Shot John?" type of detail. And she also gets couples to try and learn from what might of gone wrong in the past so can avoid the repeat.

CaliGirlED said...

Off topic: Today I told an ex "potential" S.O. that I didn't want him to contact me anymore. Damn I feel like I just stopping seeing him all over again. Le Huge Sigh.

jake said...

I don't care what went on with Eva and Tony but if your last man cheated and you have trust issues, tell me that so I know why I'm getting the side-eye.

rozb said...

When you release it the real healing begins. Don't leave the door open a "crack". Just shut it, latch it, double-bolt it, and set the alarm. It goes a long way to you seeking out healthy new relationships without that dangling old S.O. over your head. Besides, he was probably counting on being able to call you every now and then...

rozb said...

"Scan it yo-damn-self then!" I can picture this being said like Dave Chappelle as Rick James messing up Eddie Murphy's couch - "F#%k yo' scanner!"

CaliGirlED said...

LOL! You just don't know how bad I wanted to say that to him!

CaliGirlED said...

"Besides, he was probably counting on being able to call you every now and then..." Yeah and that's why I did it, boarded that door right up! Since I felt uneasy after yesterday's "pleasant" conversation, I knew I hadn't fully healed. And the last thing I need is to be caught unhealed and vulnerable.

CaliGirlED said...

Agreed.

Mr. Sable said...

I must say I love the term "Serving up the cocoa"! I will have to adopt that one.

GrownAzzMan said...

"(partially because I've been dating since Methuselah's days)" With you there. No one needs or has time for my whole history. I give sportcenter highlights and that's about it.

GrownAzzMan said...

Does CaliGirl seem to have a lot of free time lately or is it just me?

Angela Deruise Roby said...

I tend to blank out when it come too foolishness in the news...last I heard was maybe.

LA said...

It is not necessary to share ALL the deets on your past relationships. Though the stuff that affects the new SO is absolutely necessary. If I'm walking around with baggage and still punishing new suitors for old dude's mess, then an explanation is in order. If I've moved on and old dude isn't even in my most distant thoughts anymore, why do I need to mess up a good thing by rehashing dirty laundry?

It's inevitable when you're with a person a long time some info will drop about your past but there shouldn't be an obligation to tell it. If it's in the context of the discussion and some tidbits come out fine, but too much info isn't always a good thing. As long as neither of our pasts enters the present, it can stay buried, IMO. My husband and I like to say that life didnt begin until we came into each other's life. ;-) And I like it that way.

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

Hmmm...neither Tony nor Eva invited me to the wedding, nor did they drop seats or a box at Staples on me for a game, invite me to Wisteria Lane (thank heavens) or even cover the tab at Bes0 (her restaurant here in LA) - guess that means I don't need to be playing Inspector No-zee all up in their business. The same rag mags that are hustling for the 'REAL inside story' are the same ones making stars out of the Grizzly from Wasilla (you betcha) - next!

As for how much is enough disclosure: if it was a good breakup the new person wouldn't want to hear about it for hours, so what would make a less than positive split that more enlightening conversation? Judgement, discernment and common sense have to be used in deciding if you're ready for the next relationship, if you're comfortable with the other (don't think warning vibes are that smooth jazz on the radio in the background) and what's appropriate to ask/answer about the past. But as for the gent who pressed the lady about her having done something to bring about the end of the marriage - I'd be doing a 'Great, bye' to his mortified apology because his needling would have been a lesser but nonetheless second assault that I just wouldn't need to contend with. Send him to the corner with a dunce cap and a zipped lip!

Natahu77 said...

If you don't want to talk about your past relationships at all, I'm sorry but I'm giving you a hard side-eye.
You can learn a lot about a person by just listening to how they describe their relationship failures and successes, is your glass half-full or empty? Do you hold grudges? Do you look for the silver linings? These questions usually aren't going to be accurately answered by asking them directly.

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