We Should Have Seen the Signs

The rumors that there have been marital problems between Beyoncé and Jay Z have been going strong since even before the two left on their On the Run Tour, but their relationship seems just as solid as it has always been so it's easy to ignore. Beyoncé even encourages us to look the other way by posting lots of cute family pictures on her Instagram, the same way she did to get us all over the now infamous Elevatorgate incident. Granted, we're still getting all kinds of tales, from Beyoncé house hunting alone to Jay Z and Beyoncé lacking stage chemistry on their last On the Run Tour show. All those things combined make it kind of hard to know what to think in terms of what's going on between Beyoncé and Jay Z right now.

When you really think about it, it's entirely possible that there were signs that we could have picked up on before. Beyoncé and Jay Z have always seemed happy, but no couple is without their issues and they were probably just better at hiding it than most. If you truly take a moment to reflect on their relationship from when they got married in 2008 to the 2014 divorce rumors then you start to notice little things that indicate all wasn't well between them. Here are at least six things that lend a lot of credibility to the gossip mill.

1. Beyoncé took a career break to focus on her family.

Beyoncé and Jay Z had been married for nearly two years in 2010 when Beyoncé announced that she would be taking a career hiatus. At the time, there was no real reason to think that Beyoncé and Jay Z were having any issues — especially since Beyoncé shared with USA Today that she had thrown Jay Z a big party for his birthday that year — but taking a break after her wildly successful album I Am... Sasha Fierce, her movie roles, and her ten Grammy nominations could have been necessary for any number of reasons.

Between Beyoncé's projects and Jay Z's tours, it's quite likely that the couple didn't have as much free time to spend with one another as they would have liked and that could have been an early sign of strain in their relationship.

2. Beyoncé and Jay Z began to make their private life public.

The birth of Blue Ivy in 2012 shifted something in Beyoncé and Jay Z's relationship. They went from being the couple who got married in secret and announced Beyoncé's pregnancy by having her silently hold her baby bump to being the couple who shared their own family and baby pictures on social media networks. For some reason, Blue Ivy's presence gave us more access to Jay Z and Beyoncé's life than we had ever had before — and that could have been part of the problem. Maybe by putting their love on display they were giving themselves the incentive to make it work no matter what. They had fans they didn't want to disappoint, after all, and a daughter to think about.

3. Jay Z was rumored to be cheating all the time.

In 2013, Holly Hagan tweeted an accusation that Rita Ora was having an affair with Jay Z, who was her mentor at the time. Ora denied it then and continues to deny it to this day. Then Mya had to deny a Jay Z affair on Instagram in July 2014. In fact, if there are rumors of trouble in paradise swirling for Jay Z and Beyoncé, it's always with regards to Jay Z cheating on Beyoncé rather than the other way around or rather than any other issue a married couple could possibly have. It could have been a real life interpretation of Beyoncé's numerous "woman scorned" songs, but if the rumors ever had any truth to them then Beyoncé and Jay Z sure weren't going to admit to anything.

4. Elevatorgate happened.

We still have no idea what exactly caused Elevatorgate, but one of the enduring stories about the causes of the Solange and Jay Z elevator fight was that Solange was defending Beyoncé from Jay Z and another one of his many rumored paramours, Rachel Roy. While that provided a great explanation for why Beyoncé saw no need to get involved in the fight at all, even to try and stop it, the Knowles-Carter family decided that we didn't need to know for sure what the fight was about because it was all behind them now.

However, in light of the cheating and divorce rumors, is it possible that Solange was just violently defending her sister after all? Could Elevatorgate have been our first real sign that there was serious trouble in Bey and Jay paradise?

5. They went on a joint tour.

As if in defiance of the Elevatorgate scandal, Beyoncé and Jay Z took everyone's mind off that by declaring that they would be going on a joint tour together for the first time. If we believe at this point that Jay Z had cheated on Beyoncé, then there are two ways to take their decision to go on a joint tour. It's either that they were genuinely hoping that getting to spend more time together instead of being apart on their various tours would help put the spark back in their relationship or the On the Run Tour is their way of saying goodbye to what they used to have.

There's evidence to support both theories, especially considering how affectionate and open with each other and the audience Beyoncé and Jay Z were on the tour. The rumor that they were in marriage counseling the whole time only makes it more murky. Are they overcompensating or celebrating the end of an era? Or both?

6. Beyoncé changed the lyrics to "Resentment".

The rumors of their marital troubles really gained steam when Beyoncé changed the lyrics to "Resentment" to fit her and Jay Z's relationship better than the vague narrator's relationship, simply by singing "been ridin’ with you for 12 years" instead of "been ridin' with you for six years". Since the song as a whole is about a woman whose man left her for someone who is presumably more attractive, that was as huge a warning sign as any. It might not have been like Beyoncé to put her business on the streets like that, but maybe that was the whole point. It isn't like Beyoncé and that says it all.

Image: beyonce/Instagram; Getty Images; Beyonce.com