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?
I’ve written previously about 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 sometimes made out to be desperate and irrational in pursuit of relationships. This is not only stereotypical and biased but it also lets all the crazed and delusional married women off the hook. Jumping the broom has never been the cure for relationship drama. If you were boo obsessed 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. Sadly, far too many women are willing to compromise their morals, values, and self respect if it means calling themselves somebody’s “wife.” Don’t be confused, dealing with all manner of foolishness is a game plenty of married women play with skill everyday. Tolerating abuse, disrespect, and dishing out “hall passes” to a husband who refuses to keep it home is often heralded as “standing by your man.” Yet, 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 your mate is doing all the riding and you’re doing all the dying, but recognizing this is often difficult.
Exhibit A: Monique
Several years 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. 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. 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 doesn’t have 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 millennials love to brag about how evolved they are. Traditional marriage is archaic and limiting. Monogamy is “unnatural” 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 compare notes on 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’m certainly not throwing Monique shade like some 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 BMI challenged myself, 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 basically holding 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 wealthy 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, Monique’s husband 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? Monique has made it very easy for her husband 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 be uncomfortable enough to leave on his own accord.
Exhibit B: Will and Jada
Well, thanks to Will and Jada Smith and the most cringe worthy episode of Jada’s Red Table Talk ever, the word “entanglement” has earned a spot in CC’s Expanded Dictionary.
Cited from CC’s Expanded Dictionary: Entanglement, n. code word for sexual intercourse between a married person and an outside party that was consented to during the course of a marriage unbeknownst to the entangled person’s spouse. Used in place of “let him hit,” “knockin’ boots,” or “hittin’ the skins” when a full admission of the transgression might result in the guilty party “catching them hands.” Ex: “It was around the time that you kept complaining about my cooking that I became entangled with the UPS driver.”
As someone who worked in Hollywood for a period, I was aware of rumors surrounding Will and Jada but without proof and in the face of a carefully crafted public image, the Smiths appeared to be, for most of Black America, #lovegoals. That is, until their open relationship was put on front street by an “entangled” August Alsina who spilled the tea all over Jada’s Red Table. During an interview with the Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, he told the entire world that Jada let him have a taste with Will’s consent. Now, maybe that would have been permissible under open marriage bylaws, but then August had to go and come all the way out of pocket by falling deeply in love with her and professing his love on social media. Clearly sprung, 27 year old “Aug” as Will affectionately calls him, shamelessly took to Instagram and called Jada “a little piece of heaven here on earth, the fortune in his cookie, and the vet to his rookie.” Whew chile, where’s my water…… Anyway, as sweet as that was, the fact remained that Jada was a 40 plus grown married woman with kids who should have known better than to toy with this youngin’ especially when business with her husband was still unfinished.
Hollywood folks are always trying to come up with new rules. It’s like they accommodate for the fact that being famous gives them multiple options and somehow discipline in relationships is no longer expected. No, being a celebrity, rich or attractive doesn’t make monogamy a disability. Folks like Will and Jada end up learning the hard way that even when you try to design a relationship without boundaries to prevent conflicts, you’re still dealing with human hearts that hurt when someone you care about loves someone else. Deciding that sex with other people is okay in a relationship doesn’t guarantee that it will feel okay in the end. Will can try to play it cool, but knowing that his wife was bedded down by some 20 something year old whipper snapper is, quite frankly, a bad look. Him and Jada might try to laugh it off and joke about having a “bad marriage for life,” but as a person who’s still working hard at maintaining a marriage the old fashioned way, I’m not here for it.
Will Smith taught us that open marriages don’t always swing in the man’s favor but typically their existence generally benefits undisciplined men who try to skirt fidelity by pressuring the women who love them into making concessions. I simply don’t buy that this is an arrangement that any woman who truly loves her man would want. 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 partner, there is no way in the world that the thought of him/her spooning with someone else after a roll in the sack doesn’t bother you! If you claim to be okay with that then either you don’t love your partner anymore and are shopping him or her 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. Monique, Will and Jada all tried it, but apparently they still have some learning to do. It’s time to get back to class kids, you’re hall passes have been revoked.
“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.”