Our psychologist says Jesse's public apology is a good first step.
Dr. Michelle Golland: I must admit, I love Sandra Bullock. She is talented, smart and funny, and she chose the bad boy and made it look like a good, solid choice. It added to her superpower quality in my eyes. It is the classic story of the cheerleader dating the bad boy in high school. The bad boy never believes he can get the cheerleader, and the rebellious bad boy on campus often intrigues the cheerleader. I have strolled on the "wrong side of the tracks" and have dated many a bad boy, especially in my youth. (I must admit I was a cheerleader.) I chose differently, though: I chose a good guy who could be bad if required (at least in my eyes) -- not a bad boy who needs to learn to be good.
After five years of marriage, it seems Jesse James may not have given up all of his bad-boy ways. His cheating on Sandra Bullock doesn't surprise me, given all the scoundrels in the media right now. As moms, we loved how hard Sandra fought for Jesse's children last year, given their biological mother's emotional and legal issues. The fact that Sandra had taken on his children as her own showed her tenacity, compassion and her deep love for Jesse James. His betrayal must be devastating not only for Sandra but for his children, Chandler, Jesse Jr. and Sunny -- who have been shuffled around for most of their lives (especially Sunny). Sandra and Jesse were often seen at the kids' sporting events in Huntington Beach. They all had become a nice, big blended family.
Sunny's mother is a porn star, and seeing whom Jesse has chosen to be unfaithful with, it seems clear he still likes to walk on the wild side with the "bad" girl. He may have never felt good enough for Sandra. In the beginning of their marriage, Jesse was quoted saying that she made him a better man, and that he felt like Superman being married to her. I am curious if his ego had been wounded lately over Sandra's major success in Hollywood -- the million- dollar golden girl now has an Oscar. He may have never felt he deserved such a smart, strong and classy woman. Jesse may be in fact be proving to all of us he is not worthy of such a prize.
When dealing with couples struggling with infidelity in my practice, I've found the most important thing to be honesty on the part of the cheater, with them taking full and total responsibility for stepping out of the marriage. The fact that Jesse is not trying to deny (although he seems unwilling to own all that is being reported) bodes well for their ability to recover from this affair.
|Dr. Michelle Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults and teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Michelle Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and FOXNews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|