Actress Gabrielle Union (L) and NBA player Dwayne Wade attend The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for ESPY)
By and large, celebrities are not relationship role models. The sooner we can grasp that notion the better.
Dwyane Wade made back-to-back headlines when he proposed to his girlfriend Gabrielle Union over the holidays and then just days later, he confirmed the November birth of a new son with another woman. Rapper Ludacris finds himself in a similar position with court documents TMZ unearthed which seem to indicate that a woman who is not Luda’s longtime girlfriend Eudoxie gave birth to his child in December.
Wade publicly addressed the issue and noted that he and Union were on a “break” when he impregnated the other woman and that the delicate topic is something he and Union have been working through. Many blogs have run with the idea that Ludacris was on a “break” as well, but the rapper has yet to make a statement about the situation.
Both men have been photographed with their significant others since the new baby news broke, so it seems that at least for now, both ladies are toughing it out with their celeb beaus.
Entertainers not relationship role models
Blogs and social media networks have been ablaze about these Hollywood paternity “scandals.” A good deal of the online chatter is about the idea of being on a “break” from a relationship and how this might start a new trend. I rebuke this notion. If you are an adult and you are taking relationship cues from gossip magazines, there is something very wrong.
The intense, around-the-clock documentation of celebrity life by paparazzi and the over-sharing that many famous (and non-famous) people do online, make us feel like we know these public figures, but we do not. We do not know their off-camera lives and we certainly do not know the intricacies of their relationships. Sure, we can be little Iyanla Vanzants and Dr. Phil Jr.s, spouting off missives about self-esteem, boundaries and honesty, but at the end of the day, we are only experts of our own real-life relationships.
Great dad, “meh” partner?
Wade, who has custody of his two sons and his nephew, has been a proponent of and something of a face of active fatherhood for years. He wrote a book about the subject and was part of President Obama’s fatherhood taskforce. His nasty and very public divorce (which involved his ex-wife making various accusations about Union) and now this new baby he has with another woman all add up to a messy (at best) public perception of Wade as a romantic partner. As I said before, entertainers and athletes should not be relationship role models, however there is no denying that having overlapping relationships with three women is not ideal.
That type of situation adds quite a bit to the dynamics of a relationship. There are children involved and like Wade said himself, a considerable amount of pain. That said, Wade seems to be a doting and very capable dad. Does being a messy partner negatively impact being a parent? I’d say so, but the degree to which the demise of a romantic relationship negatively impacts a child would depend on a number of factors including the age of the child, how the adults act in front of the child, etc. In an ideal world, adults act like adults and kids are allowed to grow up without having to worry about grown-up business.
Should Union and Eudoxie stay with their men? What will the child support payments be like? What do the new moms look like? All of these are silly questions. Will Wade keep playing basketball? Is Luda going to keep making music and acting? Yeah? Cool. That’s all I need to know.