Red Flags For Beyoncé And Jay-Z's Relationship

Together, Beyoncé and Jay-Z form a pretty powerful couple. At this point in their careers, their combined talent and influence in the entertainment industry have made them music royalty. Because of this, the stars are always in the spotlight, though perhaps not always for the best reasons. Their tumultuous history includes a string of relationship-ending experiences (at least for many other relationships), including infidelity, fans speculating about relationship grooming, and a string of heartbreaking miscarriages.


Despite living in the limelight, the "Drunk in Love" performers remain adamant about keeping their personal lives away from the press whenever possible (and we can't say we blame them for that). However, that hasn't stopped fans from digging around in the past and shedding light on some relationship red flags, which include concerns over their age gap, cheating scandals, and familial conflict. It's safe to say that although this iconic Hollywood couple may be #relationshipgoals, it hasn't always been smooth sailing.

Beyoncé met Jay-Z at 18

Bey and Jay-Z revealed their relationship to the world in 2004. However, they first met several years earlier in 2000. At the time, Beyoncé was 18, and Jay-Z was 31. "I was 18 when we first met, 19 when we first started dating," Beyoncé told Seventeen in 2008 (via HuffPost). "I really don't believe that you will love the same thing when you're 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: Before the age of 25, I would never get married."


Therefore, from the very beginning, there have been concerns about potential power imbalances due to their age gap. Although they didn't officially date until she was 19, the 12-year gap is concerning to many. In fact, some fans wonder if the singer was groomed by Jay-Z, fueled by a resurfaced video that dates back to 2006. The video captures a speech given by Beyoncé to celebrate Jay-Z's birthday. "You've taught me so many things. I was 20 years old when we first started dating. You taught me how to be a woman, you taught me how to live. You taught me how to be a friend," she said. "You've given me so much in life, and ... this is — It's not enough. It's not enough I can give you..." Needless to say, this has incited mixed reactions. Some believe the tribute to be heartwarming, while others find it unsettling.


Beyoncé and Jay-Z have had to grapple with infidelity

In a 2017 interview with T: Style Magazine, Jay-Z admitted to cheating on Beyoncé, touching on the reasoning behind his actions and the couple's revealing lyrics, which both hint at infidelity. "You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something 'cause most people can't see themselves," Jay-Z told the outlet. "The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone's face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself." 


The 2017 release of Jay-Z's "4:44" record, which followed Bey's explosive "Lemonade" album from 2016, essentially amounted to a public apology. Several tracks on "Lemonade" allude to infidelity and the singer's experience with processing anger and betrayal. What's more, the guilty parties' identities involved in the cheating scandal have never been revealed. Of the many individuals fans suspect, only fashion designer Rachel Roy has publicly denied allegations. 

That said, Jay-Z's candid interview confession with David Letterman proves he's willing to make up for past mistakes by expressing post-cheating remorse. "We did the hard work of going to therapy," Jay-Z told Letterman on an episode of Netflix's "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction." "We love each other, so we really put in the work for years." The couple then followed up with a collaborative album ("Everything Is Love") under the name The Carters in 2018.


Behind Beyoncé and Jay-Z's unconventional dynamic

In light of everything, Beyoncé has changed how she conducts business in some ways. For instance, a source told Hollywood Life in 2016, "Rihanna is a person she's suspicious of, there have been so many rumors over the years about her and Jay it's hard to know what to believe. At this point, Beyoncé keeps a very close eye on Jay and Rihanna but he's not banned from working with her, not yet at least."


Moreover, airing your dirty laundry to the public by singing about Jay-Z's infidelity was understandably cathartic, but could it have also overstepped certain boundaries? Writing songs as a form of therapy is a longstanding tradition for artists, but it doesn't mean it's necessarily the healthiest way to reconcile your relationship. In fact, one could argue that recording an album to vent your frustrations is one of the top things not to do if your partner cheated. Not only are these albums now a permanent and irreversible fixture in their discographies but the lyrics are also hardly private or nuanced enough to prevent their children from hearing and understanding them. 

Did they fall into the Band-Aid baby trap?

The term "Band-Aid baby" refers to a situation in which a child helps repair and save a struggling relationship, intentionally or otherwise. After rumors circulated about the rapper's infidelity, some began to speculate about the timing of Beyoncé's pregnancy with Blue Ivy. "If it wasn't for Blue Ivy, they might not be together. It took them years to get to the point where they are now," a source told People. "It was very rough for them to stay married. It took Beyoncé a long time to trust again. She was struggling to move on and forgive. But keeping her family together was very important."


Relying on children to fill the cracks in the relationship isn't a green flag, but could it work? In the title track of his "4:44" album, Jay-Z appears to mention infidelity and how his twins, Rumi and Sir, happened to join the family at a precarious point in his and Bey's relationship: "I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born / See through a woman's eyes / Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song / I don't deserve you." Ultimately, no matter how much one cares about their family, sharing children may not be enough to sustain the relationship, but we also can't deny that it could help for some.

Tension between family members

A partner who doesn't get along with your friends and family is a common — and very serious — relationship red flag. In this couple's case, the red flag boiled over and manifested as a physical altercation between Jay-Z and Beyoncé's sister, Solange. According to a 2014 TMZ video, the altercation occurred the night of the Met Gala. In an elevator at an afterparty, Solange yelled, kicked, and lashed out at Jay-Z before a bodyguard intervened. Meanwhile, the "Halo" singer stood calmly to the side and didn't get involved.


After the video went viral, the trio released a statement to The Associated Press to clear the air, which read: "The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false. At the end of the day, families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same."

Ultimately, the star couple has experienced its fair share of relationship troubles. However, their legendary love for one another has sustained them, and the couple's relationship is still going strong despite its rocky history.