One of the most important yet underappreciated parts of a happy, fulfilling relationship is emotional strength — but what does that really mean? Research shows that emotional strength primarily comes down to maintaining a healthy perspective, a trait that’s ever more important within the context of romantic relationships, where opportunities for miscommunication and unhealthy habits can be plentiful.
These six celebrities offer insightful lessons on emotional strength that we can all apply to our own relationships. Read on to gain a stronger perspective and greater resilience.
George Clooney keeps a humble perspective
Reformed bachelor George Clooney has been quoted in Harper’s Bazaar Arabiaon how he doesn’t let his marriage to human rights attorney Amal Clooney go to his head. “I don’t think of us as a power couple, because I don’t know what that means. I think we’re just a couple with a great interest in the human condition. I don’t think of that as particularly powerful; I just think of it as our responsibility as people on the planet.” Considering how easy it is to become swept up in a sense of invincibility — especially in the emotional highs of a new relationship — this framing is a reality check we could all use.
Denise Richards embraces positive lessons from her divorce
Actress and model Denise Richards recently opened up to People about the unexpected upsides of her turbulent divorce from Charlie Sheen. “I was never bitter about my divorce. Going through everything, it changed me. But I love life and I’m a glass-half-full kind of person. And I did my best to rise above it.” This resilience led to her happily remarrying actor Aaron Phypers, though still with Sheen as a part of her life — an amicable dynamic reminiscent of recent news about Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos. “No matter what happens, Charlie can call me at any point. I don’t see our relationship as a failure. It’s a journey. It went a different way than we anticipated, but that’s okay. And I will always be a good friend to him.”
Priyanka Chopra Jonas stays true to her own identity
In conversation with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show,” Chopra shared what went into her decision to take the last name of her husband, Nick Jonas. “I always wanted to add his name to mine, because I feel like we’re becoming family — I’m a little traditional and old school like that. But I don’t take away my identity. He gets added to who I am.” Her emotionally mature perspective is a compelling case study in acknowledging the new shared identity that a marriage brings, without letting it consuming her own sense of agency.
Neil Patrick Harris stays steady through highs and lows
There’s a lot of value to unpack from this dual op-ed from Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, actor and chef David Burtka, in Out, but one of NPH’s most impactful thoughts is on keeping a marriage strong and healthy through the inevitable dark patches. “I don’t want to paint our relationship like we met and it’s been happy family fantastic-ness ever since. What defines a relationship is the work that’s involved to maintain it, and it’s constantly changing. Sometimes I’m deeply in love with David and head-over-heels, and sometimes I question whether it’s going to work out and is meant to be. It’s like a business relationship, as well as a personal one; we have a business together and that’s maintaining our love for one another,” he said.
Gina Rodriguez lets her own light shine
The “Jane the Virgin” star revealed in Cosmopolitan a paradigm shift in how she approaches her relationship with her fiancé, actor Joe LoCicero. “Dating Joe was a new experience for me because I put myself first. For so long, I put every man in front of me. As a successful woman, it is so hard because of our cultural norms that the man has to be the breadwinner! And the man has to be the more powerful one. It was so difficult for me to find a man who didn’t want me to dim my light for his ego.” Her candid journey in shifting this deeply ingrained mindset is bound to inspire so many women who feel held back in their own relationships.
Karlie Kloss has a strong foundation from which to thrive
Model Karlie Kloss reflects on how her marriage to Joshua Kushner feels like “home base” in Elite Daily. “I’m sure everyone is juggling 10 things that you wouldn’t even realize,” she continued. “For me, like every woman, [I’m] just figuring out how to continue to grow my career and balance my personal and professional life. I feel really grateful that I have a partner, my husband, who’s an incredible support to me and wants to help me accomplish my dreams no matter what they are.” This sense of comfort, trust, and rootedness is a hallmark of an emotionally strong relationship, and one that allows us to truly thrive.