Dave and Rachel Hollis are divorcing and here’s why I think they’ll get back together.
Motivation and workout gurus Dave and Rachel Hollis just announced that their marriage “has run its course.“
As the comments of shock and dismay poured in from their followers, I looked at my husband sadly and said, “I’ve been waiting for this.”
Dave and Rachel Hollis have been a sort of case study for me as I have listened to their podcast and their daily morning banter streamed every weekday across social media. For a few years now they have teamed up together in the wake of Rachel’s momentum toward guru status after her first New York Times best-seller, Girl Wash Your Face. Her book launched 3 years ago which is when the problems apparently started in their marriage full force.
I tuned in sometimes enjoying a wave of motivation from their unabashed encouragement to the entrepreneurial hustler. But, mostly, I was interested in the subtleties that indicated a major train wreck beneath their faux fairy tale. I guess counselors like me have a morbid curiosity.
For the past decade I have been helping couples overcome betrayal, particularly the betrayal of infidelity. And while I truly doubt an affair is why Dave and Rae are ending their marriage, it’s clear that there has been one giant betrayal.
Their joint podcast, Rise Together is replete with marriage how to’s and best advice for couples in various scenarios such as Covid quarantine.
Dave’s Instagram is chock full of beautiful photos of his wife posted with messages of admiration for her beauty and her ability to do it all.
Together, the Hollis’ have generated thousands of hours of freestyle content about their matrimony including their recipe for a good sex life outlined in their Sexy September challenge.
It’s clear this beloved couple has zeroed in on the truth that vulnerability is prized by the public.
At least the curated kind.
While virtually every one of Rachel’s Instagram followers knows what even her bathroom looks like, they were not let in on the giant secret that the marriage was verging on divorce, despite all of their “do what we do” relationship advice.
When I tuned in, I noticed a pattern where Rachel would routinely interrupt or cut off her husband. Dave’s usual response was to graciously sip his drink and act unbothered as he tagged along with her new direction.
I imagine these moments were indicative of how things were at home, too.
In their documentary, Made for More, an entire segment features Dave talking about a time where he tried to dissuade Rachel from an idea she had and how it was completely the wrong thing to do. Rachel echoes his sentiment making it clear that she only follows her own heart.
Rachel is the persuasive one and Dave is the one who concedes.
I found myself cringing in these moments which were plentiful throughout nearly every morning show or podcast. I wondered, how can she be attracted to him when he so easily flattens beneath her bulldozing?
To many admirers, this seemed like a perfect marriage partnership, but the contemptuous feelings that stir up for both individuals in a dynamic like this lead to big problems. Problems such as not feeling equal, not feeling prioritized, not feeling respected, and sadly, not feeling like a good match anymore. The crazy part is that the person doing the steamrolling feels an entitled sense that the other partner is not enough – not strong enough, smart enough, funny enough, quick enough. And things begin to fester.
In Dave and Rachel’s case my observation is that they never noticed their need to step away from their seat of irony. Their consistent presentation of false pretenses to the public ended up becoming a menacing shard of glass stuck in an open wound. Hunky dory morning shows and explosive conferences for entrepreneurs; beautiful photo shoots and constantly writing books… this was the priority.
And this was the betrayal.
When a couple has a dynamic that threatens their marriage but they don’t extract the menacing shard that keeps them from doing the repair work needed on both sides – well, divorce can happen.
Dave and Rachel Hollis were #marriagegoals and they showcased the heck out of their relationship until the grand show became the other woman.
But here’s why I think they’ll get back together:
They have made statements that they plan to continue co-parenting and co-operating their business even though they are divorcing. But seeing each other at work everyday is no recipe for moving on.
They will have sex in the bathrooms.
They will tire of being famous content creators.
And they will remember their love for each other.
This is when I hope they will set aside the mogul image they have built at their family’s expense and do the repair work on both sides without the distraction of portraying perfection. I truly believe they can delight in a marriage better than they ever had before – a satisfied life that isn’t constantly reaching for more.
And the funny thing is, if they get there, they probably won’t feel the need to tell us about it.