In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss lessons that can be gleamed from Jenny McCarthy’s appearance on Oprah and her declaration: “I am the love of my life.”
First a quick update:
“Stop faking it to win him over”
The suggestion to women to manipulate a man by pretending to be everything he wants seems to have been around a long time. Watch the two-part TV interview I gave to Great Day Houston about being fake in order to win him over. “Find Love Fast – part 1”.
Now, let’s talk about lessons from Jenny McCarthy’s appearance on Oprah and why you are not the love of your life.
Jenny McCarthy, author, autism activist and television personality, has just released a book about her lessons from her “disastrous love life and sex stories”: “Love, Lust and Faking It.”
On the Oprah show, Jenny McCarthy spoke about her split after 4 years with comedian and actor, Jim Carrey. She said that their relationship had run its course because it wasn’t fun anymore. “When it’s not fun anymore, you need to start investigating and do an inquiry into the relationship,” Jenny says. “You usually see fights happening a little bit more frequently.”
Yes, you can measure the quality of a relationship by looking at the amount of arguments you are having, and yes, those arguments are a symptom of a deeper problem in the relationship. And while only Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey know of the real issues in their relationship which led to its ending (there are 3 sides to every story – his, hers and the truth), it is fair to respond to the comments Jenny promotes as advice and lessons about relationships.
When Jenny McCarthy promotes the ending of a relationship based on “it’s not fun anymore”, the underlying message is that relationships are meant to be fun all the time and if they become hard work or not fun, then it is time to get out.
This message feeds into the belief that we live in a disposable world and anything that we do not like can be tossed out; it also encourages instant gratification and narcissism i.e. it is all about me, loyalty, devotion and commitment are insignificant and I am not supposed to make any sacrifices. It also goes against the belief that hard work is a good or necessary thing. While this is a fine principle in a fairy tale -“And they lived happily ever after” – it doesn’t apply nor succeed in real life or a committed relationship.�
In my newsletter from September 15, 2010 “Affair-proofing your marriage” I wrote that a successful relationship requires hard work. In fact, every type of relationship involves that as well. In response to reader’s comments about that article, I also wrote:
“A man’s wife gives birth twice and both times she is in deep post natal depression and she cannot look after the kids for two years. Is that easy or fun? A man loses his job and feels down and there are bills to pay and the wife must work extra hours. Is that easy or fun? What about ill health, emotional downs and other life challenges? Ask anyone that has been happily married for many years and they will tell you that yes, they had to both work hard at their marriage and we cannot expect a relationship to be fun all the time.”
Read the article and comments here.
On Larry King Live, Jenny McCarthy also spoke about her lessons learned following therapy: “I think self-realization and realizing you don’t need a lover in your life to have love in your life was my biggest lesson.” She echoed the same sentiment on Oprah: “I came out of it going, ‘I am the love of my life…Now everybody that comes into my life is just whipped cream, but I come in as the full sundae.”
I teach that one of our biggest obstacles to happiness in life is that we don’t think we are good enough, we think there is something wrong with us, we often don’t like, love or accept ourselves and we find it hard to forgive. But the other extreme end of the scale is to say “I am the love of my life” and I am the most important person. This promotes narcissism – I am the center of the Universe.
And to which love is Jenny McCarthy referring to when she says she doesn’t need a lover to have love in her life: romantic love, unconditional love, brotherly and sisterly love (Agape love – love for fellow human beings) or familial love (for parents, siblings, and children)?
This unfortunately has become one of the tenets of the New Age movement – I don’t need a man (or woman) or a relationship. This came as a result of a response to the extreme cases of people who were codependent in relationships, but the other extreme response of “I am the love of my life” discourages humility and mutual concern and instead encourages people to escape from evolving or facing themselves and their deepest fear – rejection: I can’t be rejected if I don’t commit or enter into a relationship. And yet, it is love and a commitment to another person that truly makes us feel alive.
Lesson 1: Yes, we need to be happy within ourselves and not expect that someone outside us can make us happy, but that doesn’t mean we are an island, that we should cut ourselves off from the world or become egotistical or selfish.
Can a parent appropriately say “I am the love of my life”?
Would you want to enter into a relationship with someone who says that to you? And what happens when two people enter into a relationship with exactly the same belief, each one saying “I am the love of my life”?
When we approach any relationship with the belief “I am the love of my life”, we become self-centered and entitled and thus it is easy to also say I am quitting the relationship because “it is not fun anymore.” Yes, there are times when you must put yourself first, when you must take care of yourself, but that is not equivalent to saying “I am the love of my life.” Our greatest sense of satisfaction and fulfillment comes from serving and helping others and knowing that we have meaning and significance because we are making a difference in other people’s lives and that can never happen when we expect the world to revolve around us.
On Larry King, Jenny McCarthy raised two other points worth noting:
“I had a really big fear of being alone, so much so that I went from boyfriend, like, almost lined up the next one, because I had this deep fear of being alone.”
Yes, being alone is a fear that we all have and one that is more pronounced in women and one that particularly affects women as they get older. We all have an emotional need for love and connection. However, I believe in seeking balance, and again, the answer to neutralizing the fear of being alone is not “I am the love of my life.”
Lesson 2: The fear of being alone can be much better neutralized by learning to express love, by serving and helping other people – not, of course, though, with the intention of manipulating or trying to guilt people to love you back. This brings us to the next point Jenny McCarthy made on Larry King:
“This faking it in my book is about women entering relationships being their authentic self. You know, you meet someone, and there’s this like honeymoon phase where you laugh at everything they say, oh, you want to watch Anderson Cooper, I’m loving it, but secretly they hate it…a woman will manipulate and play this acting game so that they can appear as the most wonderful woman this man has ever met. And usually we can hold out for about two years until we’re going, switch the channel. You know, and I hate your uncle…let’s wake up while we’re doing that, while we’re trying to manipulate our man or being fake and just be real.”
Lesson 3: Yes, being authentic, real and true to yourself from the very beginning are key ingredients to success and longevity in a relationship. I teach “speak your truth with compassion.” Don’t try to be what you think he or she wants you to be because the real you will always come out and real love cannot be experienced when you ask someone to fall in love with something you are not.
Jenny McCarthy told Oprah that she’s now entering relationships as her authentic self. And yes, you cannot begin the relationship by trying to please the other person, thus coming from a place of needy love, nor can you think that you are the center of the Universe. This is the balance – Lesson 4: see the good in you and others will see the good in you – but if the only person you care about is you, then one day you will wake up to find that you are the only one left that cares about you.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.