By LaTonia Irving:: EEW MAGAZINE MARRIAGE
She is the best thing God has ever given him next to Jesus.
At least that’s what Teddy Campbell, husband of Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell said about his wife in a May 1st birthday tweet with the above photo attached.
But the Late Night with Jay Leno drummer’s kind words about his wife of 13 years and a sweet photograph of him planting a smooch on the mother of 4 of his 5 children’s cheek, is overshadowed by the gasp-inducing headline on the June cover of Ebony Magazine that says, “Tina: How I forgave my husband after his affair.”
Before the publication released the preview of the upcoming issue, along with shocking quotes about Tina’s extreme reaction to her husband’s infidelity, the general public had no idea the two had gone through any such drama.
“Once I became aware [of the affair], I initially wanted to kill my husband,” the outspoken singer told Ebony. “I was considering adjusting the will, the living trust and all that kind of stuff.”
Not only did she want to make changes to any documents making him a financial beneficiary in case of her death, but the scorned wife’s visceral response included an intense verbal tirade.
“I did physically try to stab him, several times,” she said, though she did not mean literally. “I never got to the point of physical harm, not really, but my words…my words hurt.”
The devastating betrayal of adultery the WE tv reality star chose to share, is not unique to her relationship.
Statistics show that more than a third of married men cheat on their wives; nearly a quarter of married women are unfaithful to their husbands; and more than half of marriages are impacted by one spouse going outside the relationship.
That shows us that Tina’s news of her husband’s affair, made public only after she spilled the tea during a national media interview, is similar to what many lesser known women are dealing with privately.
They are also struggling, drowning in a sea of pain and grappling with bitterness because of the injustice.
So then, how can women who are suffering silently do what Tina did and move on? What does it take to truly get past the unfortunate incident, form a renewed bond of love, and trust your husband again after such a breach has occurred?
Bishop T.D. Jakes, who has been married to his wife Serita for more than 30 years, shared marriage advice on the Steve Harvey Show. He says when dealing with offenses, “Unforgiveness is the cancer that will destroy any marriage.”
In other words, Jakes, author of Let It Go, a best-selling book on forgiveness, likens holding a grudge to a malignant cancer that, if left untreated, will metastasize, spread to new areas, and eventually, eat away at the body, causing death in its cancer-ridden host.
No marriage, then, can survive if the root of bitterness is allowed to choke out the love. Not only that, but Jakes believes that every union requires maintenance and upkeep, not just crisis management.
During season 1 of Mary Mary’s self-titled show, Tina and Teddy put some of their personal relationship maintenance on display. Though infidelity was not mentioned in earlier episodes, challenges caused by Tina’s demanding music career were brought up.
“I’m not really that happy. I feel overlooked and you have to change it,” he said on camera, to which Tina replied, “I am always listening to him, because this is the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with. I want him to be happy.”
To ensure his happiness, she dug a little deeper, asking what she could do differently. His answer was essentially, less Mary Mary focus, and more marriage focus.
“It’s a little bit concerning to find out that he’s feeling disconnected,” Tina admitted. “This is going to have to be resolved, ‘cause if Mary Mary don’t go on, I’m still gone be married to Teddy.”
Clearly, from her disposition, viewers recognized her seriousness about fighting for and saving her marriage. Both she and Teddy appear to be willing to talk through the difficult issues and put in the work to fix and make things better.
That is far more important than what caused the breakdown in the first place, because whether the issues are minor or major, if left unaddressed, they will only grow and lead to the dreaded “irreconcilable differences.”
In a gardening metaphor, Jakes described how marriage maintenance cycles function. He compared it to tilling the ground, getting rid of weeds, and turning over old soil, “which enables you to replenish the nutrients depleted in winter, so that new vegetables and flowers can flourish.”
While, just like yard work under the heat of the beaming sun, marriage maintenance may seem exhausting and tedious during certain seasons, he noted, that it's not all work and no play. After the difficult labor is done, Jakes added, “In the summer, only watering is required and fall is harvest time.”
Maybe you have dealt with infidelity in your marriage, or some other challenge. Have you ever struggled with forgiving your spouse? What helped you to let go of the offense and move forward?