From CoCo’s Desk
“I smell that fragrance on your Louis knit, boy. Just give my fat ass a big kiss, boy. Tonight I’m fucking up all your shit, boy.” – Queen Beyonce…Yes Yonce girl! I too have felt this rage, being cheated on will run you through every emotion one can experience. I wish I could say my experience allowed me to produce a hit album and HBO special but in complete transparency it only left me hurt with a million questions. The most persistent questions included, why? Am I not enough? Is she better than me? Could I ever forgive him? I wonder if he did the ‘ish I taught him (insert side eye); she better call and at least say “thank you.” There is no real logic behind these questions, but I assume they are normal; seeking understanding, making comparisons, and looking forward. I know many of you are wondering what the juicy details are of the aforementioned infidelity (mine and Beyonce’s), its human nature (and…people are just nosy af) but for now you will have to settle for, it was bigger than sexy text messages but smaller than a new baby mama. For those of you wondering how a girlfriend could be cheated on because you live by the principal of “single until married,” I simply can’t help you. Part of what makes cheating so difficult, is it is difficult to define; for me and in short it is most easily defined as “you’re my man, you know me, so it’s the stuff you know damn well you’re not supposed to do/say,” –Sincerely, management. I fear being too specific ‘cause a fool will look for a loophole with the quickness to avoid prosecution. I can see it playing out now, Him: “baby you told me never to see her again, so I closed my eyes last time I was with her.”
Let’ start breaking this down. It didn’t shock me that monogamy started only in the 16th century, and even at that point men had the liberty to openly engage in extramarital affairs. It wasn’t until the 19th century that we arrived at the current ideals of monogamous relationships in the western world. The battle between the ideals of polygamy and monogamy was an all-out throwdown between the old nobles/kings and the Catholic Church (ah maybe, that’s why my ex was tripping…I used to call him my King and it must’ve REALLY gone to his head, I however, was raised Catholic). Furthermore many believe that polygamy is acting on our natural animal instincts and although I can understand and respect this argument; I could also argue ‘evolution’…are we still amazed by fire and wheels? Now… now…slow down fellas I am not about to man bash I will get to the ladies too but the facts are according to Steven Nock, Phd, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia men do in fact cheat more than women; noting that society is more tolerant of a man’s misbehavior than a woman’s (we all read the Scarlet Letter in high school, right? Only one person was recognized at the adulterer). I am not a part of the camp that “all men cheat,” (although Ashley Madison (a site dedicated to extramarital affairs) was valued at $1B with $115M in revenues in 2014, and 70% male subscribers). I do think a lot of men cheat, but I think when men cheat it is often a disposable relationship that is not emotionally mature (*insert eye roll* I know that doesn’t make it any better and I know some of you are saying “tell me something I don’t know,” right?). The truth still remains that both men and women cheat, but experts confirm for very different reasons. Furthermore there is no singular reason for cheating as no two relationships are the same, but some common reasons men cheat include:
· Lack of sexual satisfaction (maybe you’re not throwing that thang back like you used to, or he just isn’t honest enough to tell you what he really wants)
· Some people just really suck (read: some people are just natural born liars)
· Ego boost, some men just want to know they still got it…the other form this takes is the other woman/man is showing him some level of appreciation that you no longer show (highly recommend reading Love & Respect, discusses the need for men to feel appreciated while women need to feel loved)
· Newness, men will always be enticed by a new opportunity, a new land to conquer. The opportunity to treat the world around them like a Baskin Robbins is likely thrilling (highly recommend you wrap it up ALWAYS, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/)
· He wants out, yes some of it is sabotage and surely a cowardly way of ending a relationship
· He has unreasonable expectations (Yes, the 80/20 rule is real and present, it’s highly unlikely that someone can give you 100% of every little thing you need (80) so when someone comes around that can deliver 20, it looks more like 100 in the short term (if someone is with Halle and doesn’t see 100% lawd I don’t know what to do).
Nevertheless I will not put all of this on the head of my Kings, please don’t believe I am disillusioned into thinking women don’t cheat. Sorry ladies, I have to put us on blast too. Ladies, let’s be honest, although we may cheat less in the physical sense…my goodness… emotionally, some of us live in an emotional brothel! Some of the reasons women cheat include…
· Revenge, “Who the fuck do you think I is? You ain’t married to no average bitch, boy. You can watch my fat ass twist, boy. As I bounce to the next dick, boy” – Queen Yonce
· Loss of attraction/Alpha male dominance, (cue Lawrence Best Buy polo (HBO show: Insecure)), sometimes women just like to know you got it…not simply the financial aspect, but women need the sense of security that our partner can support us in all ways and quite frankly if another man exerts his Alpha male dominance he becomes that much more attractive *insert Kanye shrug*
· Insurance, this could translate to an exit strategy. I read an article recently that described pre 16th century relationships as, polygamous arranged alliances, it was in fact the Catholic church that moved western culture to the current practice of monogamous relationships built on love (please hold while some Catholic men research religions to convert to). The article explained how women would ‘share themselves’ with other men in the event that something should happen to their primary partner, they would still be supported by their secondary partner. In short, she may be exploring her other options because she doesn’t trust that you will always be there (and not because you were killed during a jousting match).
Now, both and men and women will cheat because, well, they can. There is always going to be someone out there willing to cheat with them. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it, so try and control the things you can. Often times when someone steps out on the relationship we place 100% of the blame on them without reflecting on what role we may have had in pushing them away. I think it is important to reflect on what you could have done differently as a partner to ensure satisfaction, emotionally and physically were always met. What really makes cheating so problematic is not the act of being with someone else, see relationships pre 16th century…it’s the issue of broken trust. If both parties want to move forward in a relationship it is crucial to start rebuilding trust. The offender (that’s probably a strong word) has to be completely open and honest with their partner about the what, who, and why. In my opinion the third party has to be completely cut off unless there are ties like a child, etc. Furthermore both parties have to be patient, it takes on average two years for a relationship to recover from infidelity. Understand going into the rebuilding phase if that is what you choose to do, that it will be a long and grueling process, but should your relationship see the light at the end of the tunnel you will likely come out stronger. For those of you like me that will run in full force away from a cheater, don’t be discouraged, in the words of RiRi “Ladies don’t worry cause they got plenty more. Men be falling like the rain so we ain’t running out. Falling like the rain so we ain’t running out. Falling like the rain so we ain’t running out. Oh its raining men girl what you worry ’bout?” you deserve someone who respects and values your fine @$$.
From J’s Desk
I think its important to define cheating if we’re going to keep this post brief but informative. Are we talking about physical cheating? emotional cheating? Flirting?
For the purposes of this post let us focus on emotional and physical cheating.
I don’t claim to speak for all men (note: I have never cheated on any girl I’ve dated, because I love myself too much to ever have a woman say I was unfaithful plus I ain’t missing heaven for no foolishness.) From my perspective and understanding, there are two main reasons why men cheat in relationships:
1. Poor character / Natural Born Cheaters
2. Wishing Wanderers /Ignorant of the 80-20 rule
Natural Born Cheaters
Most men that I know who have cheated, are normally habitual cheaters who can’t keep their hands to themselves. They cheat just because and often it is physical cheating. In almost every situation there was nothing wrong with their girlfriend / relationship to my knowledge. They cheated just because they got bored and because they could.
Men by nature are hunters we go for what we want because we’re told that’s what men are supposed to do. When the thrill of the chase is gone, and you’ve settled into a routine, curiosity slips back in and may get the better of the male libido. Men are visual creatures. So when you see that girl who looks like a “9” from a far , compare her to your girlfriend who you’ve seen at her worst physically, you begin to think maybe you should try and pursue this “9”. Unfortunately, most times that “9” is just a “3” who has used concealer, and spanx to raise her looks to the power of “2”. I’ve seen dudes cheat on their Ivy-educated, gorgeous , gainfully employed girlfriends with well endowed hood rats who are impressed when their date lets them get guacamole on their Chipotle burrito. Then when their girlfriend finds out they cheated , these dudes start crying like Dawson; wishing they could take it all back.
I think it is common / natural for most relationships to get into those lulls and routines which is why it is important for both partners to communicate when the relationship is getting stale and keep each other engaged. Your partner’s interest / sexual desire/ etc is not something you can ever take for granted. Now this doesn’t excuse infidelity but it does help explain why some men are more likely to stray.
Nancy Drew Cheaters
Many men like to deceive themselves and classify emotional cheating as a “women’s thing”. The truth is both men and women have been found guilty of emotional cheating. Whether it’s with the work wife, the high school friend you reconnected with on Instagram, men engage in these not so harmless relationships that often lead to physical cheating or the end of their relationship.
Some guys will cheat on or break up with a perfectly good girl because she just didn’t do this or that or because “I didn’t miss her enough when I was away.” There are normally tell tale signs of this type of person, normally its someone who is always looking for the next best thing or has never completed anything in his life. They’re the type to be afraid to put in the work to make relationships work or fail to communicate their desires in a relationship.
This type of thinking will leave you lonely and chasing the wind. These guys will go out and meet some girl who listens to them, caters to their ego, in a way their girl does not. The infidelity may never turn physical but it is a breach of trust. What makes it even egregious is that often times they have not even expressed their concerns with their current partner, but they are blabbing about it to some random girl they met at the bar or a coworker ( beware of the office Jezebels). What normally happens is that this girlfriend #2 doesnt know she is being used as a salve for a broken relationship. She thinks the guy really digs her (he doesn’t).
Similar to physical cheating, emotional cheating is a reflection of the cheater and not the other person or the relationship. Often times the culprit is insecurity or a false concept of love. I think many people need to come to the conclusion and acceptance that they will “settle” in some shape or form. Nobody is ever going to be 100% of everything you need. If you’re lucky enough to get 80%, make sure it is the right 80%. If you’re chasing perfection, you’ll be looking for a long time and may find nothing. Look for somebody who is willing to work on their weaknesses and still understands that you love them as they are. In addition to being respectful and a good listener, that’s what is important in successful relationships.
The one thing many women need to understand is that often the other woman isn’t even in the same standard deviation interval as the current girlfriend. Guys don’t normally cheat with attractive women. Attractive women are heavily sought after and require more work and effort to woo. The average guys doesn’t have the time or money to please two women at the same time
I remember a few years ago, I was consoling a friend whose boyfriend had cheated on her with a woman who I can only describe as possibly being attractive to someone somewhere. I remember her crying over the phone ” Do you think she’s prettier than me? Why would he do this to me?” Now I’m sure there is probably a certain subset of people who would have found this women more attractive than my friend, but I have yet to meet these individuals. My friend, by the way, is some unique mix of Sanaa Lathan and Vanessa Williams. I remember telling my friend “It has nothing to do with you, some people just suck.”
I don’t care if you look like Beyonce, have the booty of a Serena, cook like Emeril, elegance of Kerry Washington, business mind of Oprah, lips of Scarlett Johansson, and can make a porn star blush. A man without character will cheat on you.
A man is going to do what a man is going to do. The question(s) you should be asking:
· How can I escape this relationship with my dignity?
· How do I find a man with character? (Hint: Future Blog Post)
· Why am I attracted to men without character?
That’s really what it all boils down to. Life happens. We have to roll with the punches and avoid making the same mistakes.