Can a relationship that begins amid controversy have a fairytale ending?
It has been just over a week since Gabrielle Union finally wed her beau Dwyane Wade in a lavish ceremony on August 30.
The 41-year-old US actress looked radiant as she hugged her 32-year-old basketball star husband and naturally, both the bride and groom beamed with delight on their big day.
But of course, amongst the comments about Union’s glowing skin, elegant wedding dress and classy up-do hairstyle, were the ones casting aspersions on how long the marriage would last, given the couple’s controversial history.
Union and Wade, who began dating in 2009, got engaged in December of last year. Days later, news emerged that Wade had fathered a baby boy with another woman while he and Union were supposedly “on a break.”
According to reports, Union knew about the child before accepting Wade’s marriage proposal and the couple remained together despite the endless headlines that suggested the NBA star had cheated on the popular actress.
After the news broke about his love child, Wade, who has two sons from his previous marriage, spoke out about his latest child, saying: “I had a time, a part in our break, in our pain and our hurt, a blessing came out of it in my life, having a son that was born healthy.”
Of course, many questioned how the Being Mary Jane star could stay with a man who not only had a sexual liaison with another woman while they were on a temporary break, but was also irresponsible enough to get said woman pregnant in the process.
But comments about Union’s self-esteem were fuelled all the more when she spoke about her brief separation from Wade, seemingly suggesting that the break – and perhaps his sexual indiscretion – was her fault.
“[When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013], it was because of distance and scheduling,” she said in an interview with Glamour magazine. “I finished filming the show [Being Mary Jane], then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn’t take time off and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed.
“Over the summer, I reassessed priorities,” she continued. “I’d always wanted an awesome career with back-to-back projects, but I realized I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my relationship for it. Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family.”
While some felt that Union was simply giving an honest and realistic assessment of the importance of togetherness within a relationship, others felt the actress was blaming herself for her fiancé’s actions. And while the couple stuck it out together and have now made it down the aisle, the controversial saga cast considerable doubt over whether the relationship will last the test of time.
Another relationship that faced no end of scrutiny is that of Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz, real name Kasseem Dean.
With the couple getting together in 2008, while the producer was still married to his now ex-wife Mashonda Tifrere, both Keys and Dean faced huge backlash, with her being accused of ‘stealing’ another woman’s man, and him being slammed for cheating on his wife. (However, the couple always maintained that the Dean was separated from Tifrere when they began their relationship).
Still, Keys and Dean wed in 2010 – a few months after his divorce from Tifrere was finalized. And while many doubted their relationship would last, the pair are still going strong, with one son and another baby on the way.
Considering other ‘controversial’ relationships that didn’t go the distance: Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were widely viewed as an odd pairing, with her being known for her clean cut image, while he was often depicted as an R&B bad boy.
Their marriage did last 15 years, but throughout their turbulent relationship – as it emerged that Houston had become a heavy drug user – Brown was often blamed for the pop starlet’s fall from grace, causing the inevitable cries of ‘I knew it wouldn’t last’.
And then there was Usher and Tameka Foster. When the R&B star began a relationship with and then married Foster in 2007, the stylist faced abuse from many who felt the Confessions hitmaker could do better than a woman who was a) seven years his senior and b) had three children from previous relationships.
The marriage lasted two years and produced two children, but the couple eventually divorced – and again, many weren’t surprised the union didn’t last.
What do you think? Is a relationship that begins amid controversy destined to fail? Or can true love – no matter how it is born – last a lifetime? Tell us what you think.
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