After Beyoncé chronicled Jay-Z‘s cheating with “Becky With the Good Hair” on her 2016 album Lemonade and the rapper promptly owned up to his infidelities on his own 4:44 in 2017, the musicians’ marriage has seemed stronger than ever — they’re set to go on tour together later this year, and there are lingering rumors of a potential joint album. As strong as the union seems now, however, it took a lot more than just a public airing of their grievances to work through this major bump in the road. As Jay-Z shared in the latest episode of David Letterman’s Netflix talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, he and Bey also had to put in plenty of hours of couples counseling to move forward in their relationship.
Letterman brought up the topic of infidelity by alluding to his own past transgressions, then asking how Jay-Z dealt with the painful thoughts and fears of destroying his family with his actions. “For a lot of us, we don’t have — especially where I grew up and men in general — we don’t have emotional cues from when we’re young. Our emotional cues are ‘Be a man, stand up, don’t cry!'” Jay-Z said, according to The Hollywood Reporter, adding that he didn’t inherently have the “emotional tools” to keep his family together.
“Much like you, I have a beautiful wife who was understanding and who knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done, and who did the hard work of going to therapy. And really, we love each other. We really put in the work,” he said. “For years, this music that I’m making now is a result of things that happened already. Like you, I like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working and communicating and growing.” He added, “I’m proud of the father and the husband that I am today because of all the work that was done.”
Letterman, who once famously admitted to an affair onair after an attempted blackmailing, also confessed that he and wife Regina Lasko also went through therapy after the episode. “I now know I’m a different person and my worst fear is not coming to pass,” said Letterman. The pair then stood up an shook hands.
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