HomeCelebrityJay-Z Opens Up About How Therapy Saved His Marriage in Intimate Interview
Jay-Z Opens Up About How Therapy Saved His Marriage in Intimate Interview
Nov 30, 2017
Jay-Z and Beyonce are the ultimate power couple. They are both super successful, and make each other moreso, and they seem to have a super cool and stable marriage, even though there have been a couple rocky spots (WHAT REALLY WENT DOWN IN THAT ELEVATOR?). Despite being one of the most famous couples to exist, they’ve managed to keep their relationship very private. That is, until Bey dropped Lemonade. Giving people a very intimate glimpse into the couple’s relationship (and also the black woman’s experience, which is the most incredibly powerful aspect of the album).
Lemonade. HBO premiered the Lemonade visual album on April 23, 2016. Interwoven between each track were powerful poems by writer Warsan Shire. They helped to tell Beyonce’s side of the story, providing more intimate insight into her head than her fans have ever experienced.
Becky With the Good Hair. When the song “Sorry” ended with the line, “He better call Becky with the good hair,” people knew it was true. No spokesperson for Bey or Jay needed to confirm anything. There was another woman.
Reflecting. The album ended on a positive note, reflecting on the mutual love and respect the two had for each other despite the infidelity. The couple would do everything in their power to make it work.
4:44. About a year after the release of Lemonade, Jay decided to release his own album. Rumors surrounding the 4:44 indicated that he was going to tell his side of the story. While never officially confirming it, Jay dropped hints that he had been unfaithful in his marriage. In the song 4:44, he made a callback to Becky: “Yeah, I'll f*ck up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky.”
Interview. For the New York Times’ T Magazine, Jay officially confirmed to journalist Dean Baquet that he had cheated on Beyonce. He also discussed how the couple’s marriage was saved by going to therapy.
Shut Down. Jay opened up about how he fought his emotions because he was worried that people would see his pain and how vulnerable he was at times. He had learned to build up a tough shell as a defense mechanism. “You shut down all emotions. So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect… In my case, like it’s, it’s deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity.”
Vulnerable. Teaching himself to learn, connect, and be vulnerable made him realize that sometimes it’s better to face the pain and weather the storm. “You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself.”
Eye-Opening. Jay found the therapy sessions to be an eye-opening experience. He learned a lot about himself and ways in which he could grow and become a better person and partner. “I grew so much from the experience. But I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a ... you're at such an advantage.”
Softer Landing. He continued, “You know, you realize that if someone's racist toward you, it ain't about you. It's about their upbringing and what happened to them, and how that led them to this point. You know, most bullies bully. It just happen. Oh, you got bullied as a kid so you trying to bully me. I understand. And once I understand that, instead of reacting to that with anger, I can provide a softer landing and maybe, ‘Aw, man, is you O.K.?’”
Joint Album. Before Lemonade was released, the couple had started working on a joint album together. That plan was put on the backburner because Bey’s album was pretty far along in the production process. “So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became.”
Pain. The music they had each created was so unrelentingly honest that it was painful at times. It added to the air of tenseness they were experiencing in their marriage at the time. “And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. You know. [I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another's craft. I think she's amazing.”
Kids. Jay also opened up a bit about his kids, 5-year-old Blue Ivy and the 5-month-old twins Sir and Rumi. “...you have to educate your children on the world as it exists today and how it got to that space, but my child doesn't need the same tools that I needed growing up. I needed certain tools to survive my area that my child doesn't need. They're growing up in a different environment. But also they have to know their history. Have a sense of what it took to get to this place. And have compassion for others.”
Compassion. “The most important thing I think out of all this is to teach compassion and to identify with everyone's struggle and to know these people made these sacrifices for us to be where we are and to push that forward — for us,” he explained. “I believe that's the most important thing to show them, because they don't have to know things that I knew growing up. Like being tough.”
Mom. Jay also talked a bit about his mom, who has recently come out as lesbian. He admitted that it was something he had known about since he was a teen, but was never spoken about. A line about it was included on the track “Smile” on his album 4:44: “Momma had four kids, but she's a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian.”
Be Her. “...Now we start having these beautiful conversations, and just really getting to know each other. We were always good friends but now we're really great friends. You know. And we were just talking as friends. And then she was sharing that she was in love. She can be herself [now]. She doesn't have to hide for her kids or feel like she's embarrassing her kids. It was a much different time then. [Now] she can just live her full life, her whole life, and be her.”