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 Did Reese Witherspoon's Success Really Doom Her Marriage? 
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Post Did Reese Witherspoon's Success Really Doom Her Marriage?
Did Reese Witherspoon's Success Really Doom Her Marriage?
by: Terry Hernon MacDonald

Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon have separated, and the media clamors to know whether the split is due to the fact that Ryan's considerable success has been overshadowed by his wife's. You may remember that Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2005 for her performance in Walk the Line.

The Successful Wife Equals Marital Doom theory just won't die. The Connecticut Post ran a story (first published in the Sacramento Bee) about it recently. Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer discussed it on Today, and so did the women on The View.

It's another form of the "a girl should always let the boy win" rule that our less-enlightened mothers taught us when we were children. The idea is that if you out-earn (or outshine) a man, he will dump you (or cheat on you, or just make your life generally miserable).

But hiding your light under a bushel to make a man feel good about himself is dangerous for two reasons: You'll never reach your own potential. And you will likely attract men who need to control you to feel good about themselves.

While that may seem like a small thing when your romance is new and exciting, trust me, after a mortgage and a couple of kids, it could kill you. A very good friend of mine is married to a man who is threatened by her smallest successes (a longtime stay-at-home mother, she recently attempted to start a homebased business). Her husband's response was to tell her that "nobody will want that ______." On occasion, he has hit her.

As a result, she's depressed and drinks too much (this is a woman who, as a girl, scored as "brilliant" on standardized tests). Instead of getting her into AA or rehab, he brings home cases of beer. She's easy to control when she's been drinking. (In case you're wondering what kind of man I'm talking about, he's a VP with a major corporation.)

I don't know Reese Witherspoon or Ryan Phillippe, and I do hope the media have it wrong about the cause of the demise of their relationship. I hope their difficulties have nothing to do with her success, and that they can overcome them.

As for me, I'd rather be alone than spend my life with a man who didn't want what's best for me and who let his insecurities get in the way of my well-being. I hope you will not ever diminish yourself in your efforts to attract a man. The men who deserve you want you as you are. They will encourage your success. In fact, they'll rejoice in it.

You deserve nothing less.

About The Author

Terry Hernon MacDonald is the happily married author of "How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams." Check out her f*ree "Attracting True Love Holiday Action Plan" at Sign up for free dating tips at

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This article was posted by permission.

Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:33 am
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