By Jaime Page
In the world of Real Housewives, divorce is quite common. Difference being, many of the obstacles faced are filmed and aired on television for millions to watch. Try as they may, stars of reality TV can’t seem to keep their divorces private and out of the limelight. Question being, if these divorcing couples could get help to make divorce dealings smoother, would they take it?
Enter Iyanla Vanzant, an inspirational American speaker and author, and star of the reality show, Iyanla Fix My Life. Incomplete. Pieces. Shattered. These are words used to describe the clients that Iyanla offers up her guidance. If you add the word ‘diva’ to the mix, you get an episode surrounding former Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Sheree Whitfield and her ex- husband, Bob Whitfield, a former NFL star. The Whitfield’s’ highly publicized child support battle was a focal point of the four years that Sheree spent on the Bravo reality show.
Iyanla is a no-nonsense, get to the heart of the matter, mediator. The opening of her show, which currently plays on the OWN network, tells a short narration of her building her own life, having it broken to pieces and putting it all back together. As her tagline claims, she “did her work” and is rebuilding her empire. Was this spunky, blunt motivational speaker able to bring peace to the Whitfield family?
In a word: No. In my opinion, Iyanla did her best. She put many truths on the table, which were things that neither party wanted to hear or admit. Iyanla even prefaced the episode by saying that the couple may not like her much at times. Starting with Sheree, the ladies headed over to the work in progress ‘Chateau Sheree’ for a heart to heart. She asked the question that burned through the minds of Real Housewives of Atlanta fans all over: If there was money enough for Chateau Sheree to be built, why would Sheree need to take Bob to court for backed child support?
Iyanla asked this question while sitting across from Sheree, staring at the half complete, towering mansion. Iyanla (and fans) wanted to know, why not take the money put into this monstrosity of a home and use it for the children? Sheree replied, “This is for my children,” to which Iyanla replied, “No, it’s for you.” Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Sheree becomes emotional and begins to discuss how she had hoped marriage and a family would change Bob. In a sense, Sheree’s life became all about keeping up the appearance of having the happy family, while feeling incomplete, the same as her dream chateau stands now.
Iyanla begins her work with Bob overlooking the stadium for his former NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons. As they discuss his whirlwind courtship with Sheree, he admits to marrying Sheree when the couple found out she was pregnant because he wanted to do the honorable thing. Bob admits to feeling boxed in while married, claiming to hide out in his closet of an office while his family had free reign of the 10,000-foot square home. Once again, Iyanla hits the nail on the head, stating, “You never let her into your heart.” It’s tough to hear but Bob does not deny this.
The final meeting between the three felt almost like a Real Housewives reunion. The tension in the air was palpable, with the former lovers barely looking at each other. Sheree started the conversation by telling Iyanla she felt ‘attacked’ during their meeting at Chateau Sheree. In my opinion, attacked was not accurate. Iyanla was getting Sheree to discuss the issues and breaking down her emotional barriers. This was not an ‘attack’. In my opinion, this was Sheree ‘doing her work’. In order for Sheree to move on, Iyanla was trying to help her face the truths about the current situation with her family, as painful as they may be.
In short, not much was resolved at the end. As the gloves came off and the argument became more heated, Iyanla played referee (literally pretending to throw flags down, as they do in a football game). At one point, Iyanla’s hands became so dramatic, it looked like the three were playing an intense game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Although the Whitfields agreed to work on their relationship as far as the kids were concerned, not much else was accomplished. How does this story end? Well, Sheree won the lawsuit for backed child support to the tune of $75,000.00. According to the final analysis, Bob and Sheree are not working on any type of relationship, but things have improved where the children are concerned. In any case, Iyanla has made quite the impression on me. I have every intention of tuning into her show, listening to her sage advice, and loving her over the top hand gestures.
Video:Iyanla believes that Chateau Sheree represents how many parts of Sheree’s life are incomplete. Watch Iyanla’s conversation with Sheree about her unfinished home, failed marriage and how everything in her life is interconnected below.
What’s your opinion about Sheree and Bob?