Posts Tagged ‘cheating


Terry McMillan’s Message on Forgiveness

If you’re a SIS who has gone through a bad breakup or two, then you’ve likely had a “Waiting to Exhale” Bernadine moment and at least contemplated torching a car, shredding some clothes or even pulling back a shower curtain while wielding a knife. (OK, that last one wasn’t from the aforementioned star-studded flick, but I think it still applies.)

While we’re on the topic of “Exhale,” I recently attended a book signing featuring author Terry McMillan, a woman scorned who ended up in a court battle with her ex-husband whose questionable affinity toward lip gloss served as an obvious indicator to many that something was amiss.

By her own admission, McMillan’s very public romance (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) and subsequent dramatic breakup left her just a bit angry and bitter. However, she has also been vocal about her ability to finally forgive her ex for what she endured once he finally admitted his homosexuality.

How has she been able to move past that anger and pain? McMillan told her fans at the book signing that she started to focus on the good times she had with her ex and stopped dwelling on the bad.

I definitely know a SIS or two who are still focusing on the negatives of their past relationships. Of course, you don’t want to completely forget what went wrong because (1) you don’t want to relive past mistakes and (2) you want to remember why he wasn’t good for you. However, I agree with McMillan that it’s a lot healthier to reminisce about the summer BBQs, weekend trips and family game nights than it is to keep mentally replaying that day you found a random pair of red undies in his sofa cushions and had to quickly determine whether you knew enough about forensic science to get away with premeditated homicide.

Ideally, we’d probably prefer not to think of past, failed relationships at all, but if we must walk down memory lane, why not walk on the sunlit side instead of in the shade?

Everyone’s situation is different, but if this “look on the bright side” mentality worked for someone who endured the betrayal and public spectacle that resulted from McMillan’s breakup, then maybe it’ll work for those of us who experienced less harsh ends to our relationships.

Besides, the whole murderous shower scene thing has been done to death.


For Colored Girls Who Aren’t Defined By Relationships

“Tyler Perry hates black men.” That’s how a random dude responded when I told him that the images of brothers in Perry’s “For Colored Girls…” were less than flattering.

I previously shared that I think Lifetime Movies do nothing for healthy male-female relationships. 90% of the men in the made-for-TV movies are murderers, abusers, polygamists or embezzlers.

“For Colored Girls…” was no different, but I’m not going to beat that dead horse again.

What else struck me about “For Colored Girls…” was that Perry created each character and interpreted each poem to focus on how men shaped these women’s lives.

Why don’t TV, film and other media offer more stories about women outside of the realm of romantic relationships? Black women don’t always have to be defined by their relationships with men. Now, that I think about it, this is probably what initially irked me about being labeled “single.” I am more than who I date, or who I choose not to date.

True, Perry’s adaptation reflects the topics of Ntozake Shange’s poems, which deal with abortion and domestic abuse. One can’t ignore the male presence and responsibility when these issues arise.

However, in “For Colored Girls…” there was only one character who didn’t have a man (or men) in her life, and hers was the least developed storyline. One could argue that Phylicia Rashad’s unwed character’s weak development results because she was not represented in Shange’s original poems, but if you’re going to take creative license, use that freedom to offer something more balanced and positive.

I guess I should be pleased that the most well-adjusted woman on the screen was single (actually, she was widowed), but she lived right next door the promiscuous SIS who was mistaken for a prostitute by a married man she picked up at a bar.

For a movie Perry said would leave me “lifted,” I was anything but. What’s uplifting about women who endure abuse and disrespect in the name of love? That’s not inspiring. OK. So, they kind of, sort of come out of it in the end, but not to a point where you feel they’ve won. They lost so much in the first two hours of the movie that you doubt they’ll ever really be able to rebound, let alone soar.

For me, if there was any silver lining to the film, it’s that it reminds women not to be so desperate for relationships or intimacy that they accept anything that comes their way. As the movie suggests, being with the wrong man usually doesn’t solve anyone’s problems. So if you are a SIS feeling empty, find ways to fill up that don’t depend on romantic relationships. Who knows? Once you’re full, you might realize that what really makes you happy was in your grasp all along, and you didn’t have to endure abuse or misogyny to find it.


Is the Down Low Fear Justified?

Most of the time, the paranoia seems irrational. Of course the guy you’re dating is heterosexual, if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have asked you out. It’s obvious that you’re all woman. You’re not the least bit masculine. OK, sometimes you have to bleach your upper lip, but if your significant other is a fan of facial hair, he’d just date men. Right?

The year is 2010, and same-sex relationships are not as taboo as they were a decade ago. Some would argue that society is finally accepting of homosexuals. Lafayette on “True Blood” is everyone’s favorite character. E. Lynn Harris’ novels continue to fly off shelves. Miss Jay’s runway walk is half of the reason we watch “America’s Next Top Model,” and who doesn’t at least respect RuPaul for his transformative abilities?

So, why are there sistahs out there who turn up the power on their gaydars when they meet new men?

Bishop Eddie Long was recently accused of having sex with men. This is an example of why many women remain skeptical when they meet a guy who doesn’t quite fit all their preconceived ideas of masculinity.

I have a friend who stopped dating a man when she found out he wore a thong. Another SIS ended it with a brother who frequented gyms – often considered the bath houses of the new millennium. Is their paranoia ridiculous? Maybe not.

I don’t know whether Bishop Long is guilty of having sex with men or not, but just the idea that a “good,” God-fearing man could possibly be so deceptive and secretive, fuels the fires for women who are a little more suspicious. If a seemingly upstanding clergyman like Long could be on the down low, then why can’t the womanizer down the street with the pretty eyelashes and skinny jeans be right down there with him?

The fear might be irrational, but it’s real.

Some might suggest that betrayal is betrayal. Heterosexual people cheat on their significant others all the time. Is it so much worse for a down low brother to cheat on his girlfriend?

I’m gonna answer that question in the affirmative. If a heterosexual man cheats on his girl, she’ll likely still feel hurt and betrayed, but she may have the comfort of remembering the good times. However, if a woman learns that the entire relationship was a sham concocted by someone in major denial, I think that’s a devastation of a whole different kind.

Is there a way for sistahs to know for sure that their men actually like women? I guess each SIS has to just trust her own instincts and hope that the truth comes out, even if he refuses to.


Would You Break Up a Union?

I was at the hair salon for about 10 hours last night, and at one point, the drama between Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade and his soon-to-be ex-wife Siohvaughn, whose name is easier to write than it is to pronounce, became a hot topic.

I know, based on last night’s conversation, that my opinion on this matter is not the popular one. According to his statement, Wade would disagree with me, too. In his response to his wife’s lawsuit against Union for “emotional distress,” he referred to Union as “innocent.”

For the record, I don’t have anything against Union (except for her role in “Meet Dave”), and I understand that Wade carries the majority of the responsibility for the end of his marriage since he’s the one who broke vows. However, as a single woman, I would not consider myself blameless for engaging in a romantic relationship with another woman’s husband.

I don’t want to be judgmental. I know things happen. I have friends who have found themselves in relationships with men who go home to wives at night. It’s not anything my friends ever took lightly and most of them were looking for a way out – at least by the time I learned about it.

I’ve also heard of strong relationships that started out as affairs and are now the stuff fairy tales are made of.

However, I strongly believe that if there weren’t so many mistresses around, there might be a decrease in the divorce rate in our community. I’m not being sexist. I believe this goes both ways.

We often hear statistics about the breakdown of the black family, and a SIS dating a married man is more so being part of the problem, not the solution.

The argument I usually hear is that the marriage was circling the bowl even before a third party was introduced. That may be true, but from what husbands and wives have expressed to me about marriage, hard times aren’t uncommon. I think things have a better chance of working out if there isn’t someone waiting in the wings.

Personally, I feel it is my responsibility to turn away the men with gold bands. If I decide not to do that, then I am partly at fault for whatever happens to that wife and her children as a result of my decision.

If she wants to sue me, I can’t really be angry about that.

I’ve been approached by a few married guys. At least one of them made it clear to me that cheating on his wife had become normal for him. We’re no longer on speaking terms; although, we’d been platonic friends for years as teens before reconnecting as adults. I’m thankful he let me know exactly where he was coming from.

As far as I know, he and his wife are still together, for better or worse. If they do end up divorced, I know I don’t have to worry about any lawsuits.


Is Cheating Just Par for the Course?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be jaded. I’m aware that I’m a bit of a cynic, but after the public’s reaction to Tiger Woods’ infidelity, I think my lack of faith in folks might be an extreme case.

When the news first broke about Tiger’s affairs – and I didn’t use “alleged,” since he publicly admitted to them – I wasn’t shocked. It’s not that I expected for Tiger to cheat, but why would I assume that he wouldn’t?

He’s a wealthy, powerful, attractive man with lots of money. It’s not right, but I’m sure he gets plenty of offers from a plethora of women with a variety of motives. Is there some reason he was expected not to go where thousands – possibly millions – of men in his same situation have gone?

I won’t go so far as to call it “typical,” and I’m sure it’s devastated those close to him, but the idea that random folk on the street are grasping their pearls, baffles me.

However, the more I think about it, the more I worry about my apathy.

Shouldn’t I be shocked and appalled by a family man’s cheating? Shouldn’t infidelity always be met with indignation? What does it say about me that the whole thing doesn’t rouse more than a shrug of my shoulders?

Have my expectations that people keep the vows made in front of family and friends – and in some cases God – been lowered to the point that such offenses are par for the course?

I’m afraid the answer might be, “yes,” but like Tiger trying to perfect his golf swing, I’m going to work on this. I’d like to believe that most people in committed relationships are faithful. If marriage is in my future, I don’t want to walk into it expecting the vows to be broken. That’s a recipe for failure.

I don’t really know how to “fix” this particular lack of faith. Maybe I should spend more time with happily married couples. I could join in the discussions of outraged Woods’ haters. What’s the first step? Well, I’ll consider this a start.

July 2018
« Feb