If there are two things we’ve seen a lot of this year, it’s polyamory and infidelity – which, though it should go without saying, are two very different things. Stars like Jidenna, Nick Cannon, and Toronto musical duo DVSN have all spoken out about their experiences with polyamory, while women like Behati Prinsloo, Nia Long, Ne-yo’s wife Crystal Renay, and the partners of Amy Robach and TJ Holmes have all been through very public cheating scandals.


But a story like the one Violent Night actress Beverly D’Angelo recently shared with PEOPLE about her marriage to Italian Duke Lorenzo Salviati might just take the cake for the relationship story of the year.

Beverly recalled falling in love with Al Pacino in the 1990s when she was still married to Salviati. According to D’Angelo, she and Salviati had an agreement. They could go off and have their own fun and would come back together if there was a crisis or something. In other words, they had an open relationship.

"I always thought the guys that I was with thought it was great that I was married because they knew 'no responsibility here!' But when I met Al Pacino and told him about my little deal, he said, 'Well, that's crazy,'" she recalled.

But when she caught herself falling in love with Al, she had to break the news to Lorenzo. 

"I said, 'I'm in love.' He goes, 'Oh, Beverly, who is it this time?' And I said, 'Well, it's an actor.' He went, 'An actor? No, no, not an actor.' And I said, 'I really love him and we're talking about having kids and he thinks it's crazy that I'm married and now I'm thinking it is too,'" she said to the outlet. "He went, 'Oh, that's ridiculous. Who thinks this is crazy, this perfect relationship? Who is this actor?' I said, 'Well, it's Al Pacino.' He goes, 'Al Pacino, he's fantastic. I love him. We divorce!'"


The couple’s divorce was amicable and uncontested, and very shortly after, when she was 49, she and Al welcomed twins Anton and Olivia. They didn’t stay together for very long, but Beverly expressed gratitude over the fact that through that relationship, she became a mother. And to this day, she regards Lorenzo as her soulmate, despite no longer being together.

When I think about all the messy cheating scandals we’ve seen play out this year, all the conversations had about polyamory, and this remarkable story about a couple’s willingness to end their marriage in pursuit of something that might bring more happiness, the differentiating factor is transparency.

People tend to turn their noses up at things that don’t make sense to them. And it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people that a couple might get together, sometimes get as far as exchanging vows, only to go and be with other people. But marriage as an institution is changing, and so are our views toward it. And I think that’s why we’re seeing more and more people either not get married at all or take the approach of marrying on their own terms and redefining what marriage means and looks like to them. That’s exactly what Beverly and Lorenzo were doing – it just happened to be at a time when it wasn’t very popular, or at least not talked about widely.


Recently, when Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict announced their divorce after 14 years and two children together, it took the internet by storm. But what shook the internet even more was Tia’s remarks about longevity not being equivalent to a successful marriage.

On the TODAY show, Tia said: “When people look at marriage; success equals longevity. But, no, at the end of the day, are they happy? Are they thriving? Are they growing? I feel like that is what is most important. It’s not about staying in something because however long you are in that situation, that equals success. It’s about, really, again, are you happy? Because life is short.”

At the time, someone tweeted that such a message had the potential to save lives:


It went viral with nearly 200,000 likes and over 30,000 retweets. The idea of someone expressing sentiments on their marriage and ultimate divorce having the power to “save lives” might seem hyperbolic, but I don’t think the person who tweeted that meant it in a life or death way. I think she meant people might hear that and finally feel permission to relieve themselves of the stress and pressure they endure on a daily basis in an attempt to keep up appearances and make something that’s not working work.

Will and Jada had to do that – but they took an entirely different route. Rather than giving up on their marriage altogether, they opened their relationship up. Of course, it didn’t make sense to people. They became the laughing stock of Hollywood, with entanglement memes popping up everywhere and Rebel Wilson taking jabs at them at the BAFTAs. A source close to the family described the situation, saying:

“Their love is deeply rooted and it goes to the core and neither one is going anywhere. But just because that love is present does not mean that every need is necessarily met within the marriage. An outside experience is occasionally desired or, one would say, needed.”

Do I think open relationships are the solution to a lot of the marital woes we see today? Not at all. But do I think open minds, open hearts and open communication can be the key to solving a lot of problems? Yes! And people who are polyamorous, people who are in open relationships have to master the art of honesty and open communication in order to maintain the relationship. There is no one way to do marriage, and the belief that there is often drives the sense of guilt, fear and shame that can come from people being honest about what they might really want. 

As someone who has been cheated on before, I can’t tell you the amount of heartache it would have saved me if those men had just come to me and had an honest conversation about where they were at, what they were needing, and whether it was something we could’ve approached as a couple, or whether we needed to part ways. But in an attempt to, I don’t know, not hurt my feelings - guess what happened? You guessed it!

I agree with Tia. Despite my fair share of infidelity, I’ve had some amazing relationships. They didn’t pan out for one reason or another but I often look back with gratitude and fondness and celebrate the lessons I learned through being with that person and sharing that love. And when Beverly says she still considers Lorenzo her soulmate, despite the two of them divorcing, it breathes life into Tia’s claim that longevity isn’t the only indicator of success. 


Yesterday, Toni Collette announced her divorce from her husband Dave Galafassi after 20 years of marriage. The announcement came one day after photos (released by the Daily Mail, of course) were published of Dave and another woman making out at a beach in Sydney, Australia. Despite the couple already being estranged, after seeing the photos myself, I imagine it was painful for Toni to see someone she spent 20 years with locking lips with someone else. And I wonder if during their estrangement, Toni was holding onto the idea that they might be able to get past it and make it work. But in the same way that tweet may have worked for people, seeing those photos may have been the final straw, the permission she needed to relieve herself of the stress she was enduring trying to make something that’s not working work.

Just as much as I commend Beverly, Al and Lorenzo and Will and Jada for being open about their needs and doing marriage on their own terms despite the side-eye such arrangements might get from society, my heart breaks for the countless people who endured infidelity this year. My heart breaks for the relationships, the marriages, but most of all the love that was lost in 2022.

In 2023, I hope that people get brutally honest about what their needs are. I hope they do an honest assessment about whether their current partners can meet those needs, and have the tough conversations about what their ideal relationship looks like, what they’re willing to do to make their partners happy, and reimagine love and marriage, if they so desire it, on their own terms.