THE BLOG

Crystal and Hugh: Is It For Real?

12/04/2012 06:02 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2013
  • Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. Sex and relationship expert; Psychotherapist; Author of The New Monogamy and Getting the Sex You Want; International speaker

The wedding of Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunny girlfriend Crystal Harris is allegedly on again (the couple split last year after Harris called off the wedding). But is anything different this time? Why has Hugh Hefner decided to marry someone less than half his age when he can have any "bunny" that he wants? And will he be able to trust that Crystal will go through with the wedding this time? It was her decision to end the engagement in 2011.

It makes sense that Hugh Hefner would want to marry Crystal Harris. He's 86 and she's 26. Although one has to wonder what their financial arrangements will be, (can you say "pre-nup"?) I'm sure many of you are wondering, "Is she marrying him for his money?" If not, why is Crystal marrying someone more than half a century her senior? Apparently Crystal wondered that as well, back in 2011. Less than a week before they were to get married, Crystal changed her mind. She reportedly wanted more independence and wasn't sure about her decision. Now, after almost a year and half, she has had time to contemplate the big move. Will she make it down the aisle this time?

Hard to say what's going through either of their minds. We can guess and make assumptions, but the reality is that Hugh says he loves Crystal and wants to marry her. Reports say that he is tying the knot only because it will make Crystal more comfortable with their arrangement. However, his Playboy bunny girlfriends assume that his multiple-partner sex life may still continue, even after the wedding. Crystal's hesitation to marry could be based on her fears around Hef's potential for monogamy. It may not be possible after all this time for him to change his stripes -- engaging in group sex with various women, often -- even if he marries Crystal. On the other hand, because he is now in his late 80s, maybe he is finally ready to settle down.

Can he trust Crystal not to leave again? Can Crystal trust Hef to stay true to her, and to change his poly-sexual lifestyle? This marriage could challenge both of them to really learn to communicate and to negotiate their monogamy in open discussions that center around some of their biggest fears. If both of them can create a relationship where trust means that no matter what happens they can believe that the other is telling them the truth, it would make sense that they could each grow and develop from this marriage. If they keep secrets and hide their deepest discomforts from one another, the relationship is doomed to fail.

One thing is for sure, Crystal will outlive Hefner. She will be famous for being the one-time wife of Hugh Hefner. Whatever her ambitions are for her future, this may help to align her with a modeling career or something in the spotlight, where she seems comfortable. For Hugh, perhaps he has found the one woman he wants to spend the rest of his life trying to please, and trying to keep down on the farm. The bunny farm, that is.

Dr. Tammy Nelson is a sex and relationship expert and the author of "The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship after Infidelity."