Thought for the Day:
“A relationship is built for two. But apparently, some people don’t know how to count.”
Question for the Day:
Are you accepting infidelity?
Well, we’re approaching Valentine’s Day so the season of balloons, teddy bears, five extra pounds in Walgreen’s chocolate, heartache, piles of snot rags and forlornly chick flicks is upon us. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or not, this is the time of year when we all give greater consideration to our relationships (or the lack thereof) and the happiness of those relationships (or the lack thereof). We’ve all read enough self-help books by now to know that relationships, in general, are complicated. Yet if many of us would just stop betraying the God in us by acting a donkey in the name of love, our relationships wouldn’t be nearly as complicated as we make them. I thought I’d focus the next few weeks on trying to address a few of the more controversial relationship issues and how they impact our sense of self-worth as women.
I’ve written previously on singlehood and marraige and am convinced that tomfoolery in relationships has no regard for marital status. Single women tend to get a bum rap and are made out to be desperate and irrational in their relationship pursuits. This is not only stereotypical and biased but it lets all the crazed and delusional married women off the hook. Jumping the broom has never been the cure for relationship insanity. If you were boo obsessed as a single, your poor husband won’t stand a chance. If your self esteem is on life support, your nuptials won’t revive it. If anything, you’ll flatline in marriage if you’re not healthy going in. Far too many women are willing to compromise their values in exchange for a relationship status upgrade on their social media pages. Don’t be confused, dealing with all manner of foolishness is a game married women play (with skill) everyday. Tolerating abuse, disrespect, and infidelity is often heralded as “standing by your man” but if you ask me, it’s more like you’re standing under him while he wipes his feet on the doormat formally known as your soul. Being a “ride or die chick” doesn’t make you special if you’re mate is doing all the riding and you’re doing all the dying, but recognizing this is often difficult.
Exhibit A: Monique
Several weeks ago, I came across an article about actress and comedienne Monique and I almost strained my optic nerve giving her the side eye. In the article, Monique asserts that she allows her husband to cheat with her permission. She then went on to proudly proclaim that it was her idea as if she was going to earn some extra cool points for this illegitimate brain child. According to Monique, she and her husband are “open to the world” and “open to being honest with each other all the way through.” I agree so long as you are honest about opening the flood gates to all manner of bacterial crud and outside babies. She’s not alone either. I also heard about Toya Wright, ex-wife of Lil Wayne and soon to be ex-wife of producer Mickey “Memphis” Wright. Apparently, Mrs. Wright allowed her husband something like eight “hall passes” per year. Shockingly, that approach to keeping your man satisfied still wasn’t enough for Mr. Wrong, I mean Mr. Wright, and the two are headed for divorce court. Just about every ratchet reality show would have you believe that man sharing and threesomes are the new normal or that one can borrow someone’s spouse as easily as taking a neighbor’s new lawnmower for a spin. Well, if you’re going to try to pass open marriage off as the thing “cool” couples do then fine, but let’s not act like making this kind of choice has no deeper implications. And sorry Monique, but saying it was “your idea” does not erase those implications. Allowing your mate to fertilize the grass in everyone else’s yard will mean it’s ALWAYS going to be greener on the other side of the fence. Most millenials love bragging about how evolved they are. Traditional marriage is archaic and limiting. Monogomy isn’t “natural” and the result of conforming to European standards. Everyone’s on that “new new” and proud of it until a stranger approaches you and wants to spill the tea over your man’s special move when you didn’t even know he was that flexible! Knowing that the most intimate experiences shared in a marriage are not sacred has got to hurt on some level. And if it doesn’t, I’d question what kind of love you really have.
Now, I don’t mean to throw Monique any shade like most of her critics who say that her weight issues have damaged her self-esteem and are likely contributing to this decision. As a woman who is also BMI challenged, I know that being heavier doesn’t necessarily mean you have poor self-esteem. However, I’m not sure why a woman who is rich, famous, talented, and holding basically ALL the cards in her relationship is even putting open marriage on the table as an option. In my opinion, all women deserve monogamy, but when you’re rich and accomplished to boot, how hard should it really be for your man to keep it zipped? If you love your wife, should it be difficult to commit to her when she not only loves you back, but can also make life easy for you? From what I can see, he must feel like the luckiest man on Earth. He has access to all the privileges of his wife’s success without any of the hard work it took to earn it. She runs around pampering him and proclaiming in every interview that she is happy to leave her success at the door and serve him as her king when she gets home. All this and a hall pass to sweeten the deal? What man wouldn’t commit to this situation whether he truly loved his wife or not? If you ask me, Monique has made it very easy for this man to stay with her which makes the therapist in me wonder if she is afraid that if she expects more, she might not get it. A woman with low self-esteem might try to preemptively eliminate all of her man’s struggles to make remaining committed to her as easy as possible. If I just let EVERYTHING be okay, he will never do anything that will force me to have to consider leaving him. Or better yet, he’ll never feel uncomfortable enough to leave on his own accord. A woman as gifted as Monique has the right to expect fidelity from her husband. Did she offer the “hall pass” because she wanted the freedom for herself (as she claimed) or because she was trying to circumvent the pain she might suffer if he cheated on her unknowingly. Maybe it isn’t about her self-esteem and she really thinks it will make for a stronger marriage. Well, let me think. If my husband allowed me a hall pass, I would wonder what that says about his feelings for me. If he’s willing to share me with “the world” then perhaps he’s just not feeling me anymore. In general, folks never lend out what’s valuable. It’s the raggedy stuff you no longer care about that’s easiest to let others borrow. Knowing that my man doesn’t value me any more than a cup of sugar, wouldn’t exactly scream STRONG MARRIAGE OVER HERE!
I don’t know a married woman alive who wants a marriage that is “open to the world.” The world is full of viruses, scorned lovers, keyed up cars, baby mamas in need of child support, and other women who might gladly snatch up your husband and value him enough to officially take him off the market. If you truly love your man, there is no way in the world that the thought of him spooning with another woman after a roll in the sack doesn’t bother you! If you claim to be okay with that then you either don’t love him anymore and are shopping him around to the highest bidder or you’re a glutton for pain and punishment. But trying to pawn the “hall pass” off as the key to contentment in a marriage is anything but honest. You tried it Monique, but apparently you still have some learning to do. It’s time to get back to class ma’am, you’re hall pass has been revoked.
“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.”