What 'RHOA' Star Porsha Stewart's Divorce Can Teach Us

Reality show star or not, there are three things you can do to avoid getting divorced.

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Sure we could chalk up the Stewart's impending divorce as another casualty of the reality show curse, but in truth their short lived marriage provides something powerful we can all learn from. Whether you appear on a reality show or not, when it comes to creating a successful marriage you must design and define your relationship, which is something Kordell and Porsha appear to have missed.

Despite usually having to admit that we never really know what goes on behind closed doors when a couple splits, sadly, in the case of Kordell and Porsha Stewart, we saw the issues reveal themselves and witnessed their marriage unravelling right before our eyes. From the moment Porsha lit up the screen with her beautiful bright smile and well intentioned spirit, her naiveté about what was required to be Kordell's wife was as apparent as her adoration of their seemingly picture perfect life. Likewise, Kordell's inexperience off the field showed most through his visible expectation that his young wife would easily and willingly choose to embrace the spoken and unspoken rules he had defined as necessary for a fulfilling marriage and family life.


This is where designing and defining your relationship is so vital, and you can do so in three simple steps:

1. Design your ideal relationship. We're often encouraged to imagine the relationships we want, which is incredibly advantageous if we then use what we envision to design what we want. By using what you've learned about your desires to design your relationship, you develop a blueprint that you can follow. You can then approach your dates with curiosity as to how the person relates, fits or conflicts with enjoying the relationship you want. You'll gain more information and be able to discern whether you need to compromise or sacrifice in order to make the relationship work. It also makes you an active dater instead of a passive one who can easily get caught up trying to catch and keep a mate you're better off releasing.


2. Clarify the specifics of your roles with regard to careers and raising children. While castmates were concerned that control issues were to blame for Porsha averting the strip club in Las Vegas, it was clearly her discussion with Kordell about having children that raised the biggest red flag for Porsha. We all saw Porsha's complete surprise when Kordell revealed that he wasn't in support of hiring a nanny. She appeared even more shocked when Kordell expressed expectations that she be primarily responsible for caring for their children when he traveled, thus she needed to choose between having a career and motherhood. Sadly this was even more evident during her therapy session when Porsha expressed grief over the baby she’d lost coupled with fear of what would be required of her as a mother in light of Kordell's statements.

There's nothing wrong with any man wanting his wife to raise their children rather than having a nanny just as there's nothing wrong with a woman wanting to raise children and engage in a career with the help of one. Instead of getting distracted with personal preferences, we need to recognize that these are simply different desires and neither side should be vilified for their stance on the issue. What we need to recognize is how easy it is to assume that we have the same picture as someone we love when in fact the parameters we wish to set may be quite different from each other. Make the time to talk; clarify the specifics of your intentions and desires with each other to be sure your expectations are indeed aligned.

3. Define your desired roles within your overall relationship. Porsha adored her husband's leadership, supportive demeanor as well as his traditional views. However, the word traditional can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways. For instance, Porsha assumed their lifestyle meant Kordell would hire a nanny only to realize that his perspective negated the option. This is a perfect example of why it's so important to define basic descriptive terms specifically with your partner.

Granted, you can't control or predict everything that could arise during a marriage, defining your roles greatly increases your ability to determine if you're compatible in the necessary ways that will make your relationship work for both of you long term.


More divorce advice from YourTango:

What do you want and need from him? What does he want and need from you? What makes him feel most like the man he wants to feel like in your relationship? What makes you feel most like the woman you want to feel like in your relationship? What do you want your individual roles to be comprised of? Are you happy and willing to give each other what you each want and need from each other so you are both fulfilled within the relationship? You need to know what such things look like and discuss them clearly in order to best answer those questions.

The bottom line is that we often refrain from asking the tough questions as our relationships develop for fear that we'll lose them. However, the only way to set your relationship up for true success is to ask and clarify your positions. Don't get caught up in what other people think or do in their relationships either. They can have their opinions, but what matters most is your happiness, and we all have different requirements.


Use what you've envisioned along with what you've learned in your past relationships as a blueprint for designing the relationship you know you want. I show you exactly how to do so in my book Thank Goodness You Dumped His Ass. Design the relationship you know will fulfill you, and use it as a compass. Then define the relationships you're emotionally investing in to be sure that all expectations and parameters are spoken, understood and agreed upon as best you can. Cheers to your best relationship ever!