In the wake of his death at the beginning of this year, the inimitable David Bowie has left behind a legacy of incredible music, films, and the larger-than-life, fearless personality that fans came to know and love. But for all of his work as a singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, fashionista, and so on, he also managed to maintain a happy marriage to supermodel Iman for more than 24 years.
Where so many others in the spotlight of fame have rocky, highly publicized relationships that fall apart in full view of the cameras, David and Iman – both superstars – managed to stay together through ups and downs, big changes in their respective careers, parenthood, and of course, the watchful eye of the media!
What was their secret?
In a recent interview with Oprah, Iman opened up about what helped keep their marriage on track over the years, and it stems – first and foremost – from an approach that may seem uncharacteristic of the stylish couple…
“We both understood the difference between person and persona. When we are home, we are just Iman and David. We’re not anybody else.” Iman said – and this is a HUGE lesson we can all take something away from. While their public lives may have been very glamorous, they made a point to check their egos and “personas” at the door – and just be themselves.
Even for those of us that aren’t celebrities, this is a reminder that we don’t need to put on a show or be anyone but our authentic selves. We can leave or jobs, our stresses, any posturing or “character” you might play throughout the day, any “persona” you’ve adopted… We can leave it all behind when we get home, and just be ourselves with our spouses. That’s where true connection comes from.
Additionally, Iman spoke to Oprah about priorities, saying that, “You have to be at the right time in your life that you’re ready for an ever-lasting relationship, that it becomes first, a priority in your life.”
They understood that, even with extremely busy careers, a child, traveling the world, and so on, that if they wanted their relationship to last, they had to put time and effort into it – and the same is true for you. It simply has to be a priority if it’s going to stand the test of time.
Even a legendary entertainer like David Bowie, a man of many talents and seemingly unlimited “cool,” had to put the same time and energy into maintaining his marriage as any of us do, and just like the rest of us, he had to keep his sense of “persona” in check to be vulnerable and open enough to built a meaningful connection with his wife.
Let this be a lesson that you can do the same!