Recently the news headlines have been on fire with the latest celebrity couple infidelity scandals. Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, Singer Adam Levine, and Chicago Bulls basketball player Tristan Thomas are just a few of a long list of influential people whose scandals overshadowed their talents.
According to the American Psychological Association, 20% to 40% of divorces are linked to cheating. Traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for years, and views on family life have significantly shifted.
One has to ask why someone chooses to cheat in a relationship if being single was an option from the beginning. If you are in a relationship with a partner who has cheated and you’ve shared assets, liabilities and business endeavors, how can you maintain a professional or amicable relationship after personal betrayal?
Love and business experts Demetrius and Dhayany Walker say it is possible. The Walkers are known for their “Lovepreneur” platform that teaches entrepreneurial couples the importance of having both “net worth and love worth.”
Since 2007, they have created a community to support couples in maintaining business through personal conflicts and other strategies to strengthen relationships. The duo spoke with the Defender to share their advice.
Defender: How did the launching of “Lovepreneur” begin?
Dhayany Walker: It was birth through pain and lack of information out there. My husband and I in 2007 decided to go into business with each other. He has been an entrepreneur for 20-plus years. I, on the other hand, when into corporate. When we decided to take our friendship to a romantic level, I realized that his life was more interesting than mine. Mine was cookie-cutter. He laughed when I asked if he could teach me what he knew. I believe that from the corporate side, I can maybe bring some value to the business side. At the time, I didn’t understand his language, and he didn’t understand the corporate side. There was a clash between the two worlds. We didn’t have anywhere to go or who to talk to about our love and business issues. So, we decided to create a community called “Lovepreneur.” Through case studies, counseling, and hundreds of couples later, we realized there are 12 secrets to this thing. We wanted to find ways to develop healthier relationships for couples in business together.
Defender: Why do people choose to take a risk such as an infidelity, especially when they are in positions of power and influence, which could threaten their livelihoods?
Dhayany: There was an actual study that said couples who decide to support each other’s visions and goals were their main focus in the relationship, and their personal net worth increased by 77%. Men like the ones mentioned often choose to cheat because they don’t understand the return on investment in their relationship. Counseling is critical because it allows you to cope with what’s happening and understand the triggers that lead you to believe your relationship isn’t valuable.
Demetrius Walker: We’ve all heard that the grass is greener on the other side. A lot of couples come together and see the result of what it looks like to have green grass, but they don’t have the instructions on what it takes to keep your grass green. So they are always looking for new grass to try.
DN: Trouble in paradise? Check out these tips to strengthen your love life and business
Defender: When a married couple says they are “taking a break,” what does that mean? Is that a thing?
Demetrius: When couples get bored with each other, or they’ve been in each other’s space for too long, you have to have a mission or something in your relationship that you can connect to greater than love. Love doesn’t last. Love doesn’t show up all the time. My wife and I have businesses together, so regardless if we’re in a rough patch, we still have meetings together. There are contracts to be taken care of and staff that needs to be served. So when you have a couple with no mission, it’s very easy to throw in the towel.
I can’t stress the importance of counseling. My wife and I today were different 10 years ago. We learn about each other every day. Having a tribe is equally essential. Success isn’t built alone, and finding your village helps ease the processes of communicating challenges in the business or relationship.
What are your top 5 tips to keep it professional amid infidelity?
1. Teachable and trainable moments count
Anything that we go through in life should teach us a lesson. It’s up to the couple to view the situation from a positive or negative lens. Our lessons turn into blessings, and our blessings turn into profit. To get to your destiny, you must face those difficulties. Study patterns no matter if you’re single or in a relationship. It tells you a lot about a person.
2. Counseling is a lifestyle
Counseling needs to be a lifestyle. A lot can happen in one year or 10. Many couples start earning more and have more exposure, influence and power. How do you deal with that if you’ve never had it before? Both sides need to understand what it takes to strengthen their relationship at different milestones in life.
3. Commitment lasts longer in the community
In Lovepreneur, we get with each other and talk on a weekly basis on membership calls. We talk about relationship issues, infidelity, how to move on and how to stay accountable to one another. You want to be in a place where you can safely express your thoughts and emotions.
4. The mission is bigger than the intermission
There probably was a pattern of betrayal before infidelity in the situation with Nia Long and her partner. Some things can cause the same amount of pain cheating causes. Ultimately, is the mission bigger than the intermission? Nia Long will have to make that decision. Do they have a mission in common? Same values that can get over this hurdle?
5. Forgive and let go
You have to be adults. Focus on positive thoughts. If I do forgive, can I control your emotions? Can I move on and trust when he is going to a meeting and not assume he will cheat? Can I genuinely see forgiveness? Can he be patient enough with me so that I can forgive on my own terms? Turn the mirror back on yourself and ask, “Am I handling this the way I would want it taken if the shoe were on the other foot?”
Founders: @dhayany and @meettheemperor