You basically have to be living under a rock to have avoided Beyonce’s new album, Lemonade. It documents the details of cheating, betrayal, forgiveness, and strength in painstaking detail on top of some damn good beats. But the album isn’t just something to dance to — it can also teach us a whole lot about love.
- It’s OK to feel jealous or “crazy.” Women get called crazy all the time, but usually by guys who don’t want to take responsibility for their own BS and instead are trying to cast off blame. In “Hold Up,” Beyonce questions what’s worse — being jealous or crazy? She’d rather be “crazy,” and she’s got a point. You have a right to react when someone does you dirty. Don’t let an idiotic label shame you into feeling guilty for being reasonably angry.
- Cheating also hurts the cheater. In the angry rock song “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” we hear Bey point out that all of the hurtful things the cheater is doing is not just hurting his partner, but himself too. When you lie, you have to continually lie to everyone in order to cover your tracks. That also means lying to yourself, which can backfire. Maybe the cheater is lying about being happy, or wanting to be in the relationship. Stay truthful to yourself so you can actually be happy instead of faking it.
- Never feel sorry for calling out someone who does you wrong. You might aspire to be a kind, sympathetic and understanding person, but there are times when you’ve got to set manners aside and call someone on their stuff. In “Sorry,” Beyonce talks about not feeling sorry for leaving the man who did her wrong behind. She takes time to heal herself and ignore this man’s calls. You might feel guilty for icing a guy out, but remember to take care of yourself so you can move on to someone who actually appreciates you.
- Strive to break the cycle of broken relationships in your family. We often learn about love and relationships from our parents, and given the number of broken relationships/marriages, sometimes those lessons aren’t so positive. So are we destined to have the same fate? In “Daddy Lessons,” Beyonce talks openly about her father telling her to look out for men like him and to not be tricked by them. Even if your parents weren’t able to show you what a healthy and lasting marriage looks like, learn what doesn’t work from them so you can break the cycle.
- Cheating isn’t about your faults, it’s about your partner’s faults. In “Love Drought,” Beyonce is desperate to know what she did wrong to make her partner feel like he had to go somewhere else. We often want to feel like we can control whether someone will cheat on us, but we can’t. She later acknowledges in “All Night” that it was her partner’s pride that was getting in the way of their love. Don’t blame yourself for someone else’s infidelity.
- You can recover from infidelity if you’re open and truthful. Is it possible to recover from cheating? Many say no, but in “Sandcastles,” we hear Beyonce tell the cheater to show her his scars and she won’t walk away. This means being open about all the dirt in order to heal and move on. Cheating can’t just be wiped away by a simple “sorry.” There’s a lot of hard work to gain back what was lost, and even then, it might not really be possible — but if you dedicated and you want it, it’s possible.