Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not personally familiar with Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, or any of Ms. Lopez’s ex-husbands. I also don’t follow the lives of stars. I do follow lives, however. Specifically, I'm concerned about the lives of couples on the brink of divorce. I am particularly concerned with the way emotional abuse can stealthily seep into and corrode marriages.
Nevertheless, marriages like that of Ms. Lopez and Mr. Anthony can be healed.
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By the end of Jennifer Lopez’s marriage to Marc Anthony, US Weekly reported a source saying that Ms. Lopez could no longer take the amount of control her husband was having over every detail in her life including her wardrobe, her business projects, and with whom she worked. Yet, it was this very quality—taking control—that the same story reports attracted her to Mr. Anthony in the first place. One source said that in the beginning of the relationship Ms. Lopez was happy to get a “break” from always being in charge; she wanted someone else to take the lead.
The phenomenon of a woman being happy to relinquish control to a man who steps in and makes life “easier” for her by making many decisions is a red flag for emotional abuse. As we will see, it may have duplicated a toxic element in her childhood home.
Ms. Lopez’s previous choices of men were also poor. Her first husband, Ojani Noa, with whom she was married in 1997 for under a year, subsequently tried to sell “racy” videos of the actress from their marriage.
Ms. Lopez’s next relationship was to rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs who was arrested along with Ms. Lopez after fleeing a nightclub in which Combs’s party became involved in a gunfight with another group. This, Ms. Lopez, comments, was the lowest point in her life although the Daily News in 1999 reported that the relationship was already rocky by then. Later on, the rapper confessed that he had cheated on Ms. Lopez.
Two short relationships followed: an eight-month marriage to Cris Judd, and an engagement to Ben Affleck. There were rumors of extra-marital dalliances surrounding both men.
A history like this is astonishing when you consider Ms. Lopez’s keen business sense and huge financial success. How can an otherwise savvy person make such poor choices in partners? US Weekly in August, 2011 quoted a friend as saying that Ms. Lopez is “insecure.” How could such an acclaimed, chart-topping actress-musician-dancer-producer named the most beautiful woman in the world be insecure?
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For reasons only lately being uncovered by neuroscientists, what we perceive to be truth as children tends to outweigh evidence to the contrary in adulthood. That is why otherwise-successful people who were put down in childhood might be insecure. But Ms. Lopez surely was not put down in childhood, or was she?
The July 11, 2011 Daily News and Analysis of London quoted Ms. Lopez as attributing to her mother her love of music, clean living, hard work, and vision for the future. In 2006, she said her father was the best man she knew. Elsewhere, Ms. Lopez commented that she grew up with strong family ties and would like to replicate that in a life partner.