I sat bewildered in front of my television screen last Monday evening entranced in an episode of VH1’s Basketball Wives. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch the show weekly, but when I saw many young, well-versed, educated women of color on my Twitter timeline discussing the antics of the show’s breakout star Evelyn Lozada I immediately tuned in. I thought I’d find her fighting someone yet again, but what I saw was a woman deeply in love pleading with her fiancée Chad Ochocinco to keep it real about sleeping with other women.
“I want you to be 100 with me,” Evelyn cried. “I’d rather know. Tell me, I want to know. Go to the pharmacy and get condoms. I’m going to be sick like a mother—-er, but what can I do but respect you and know that you’re telling me the truth rather than hide it. At the end the day you don’t have to tell me nothing. I don’t want to have to babysit you, but I’d rather you be real with me because Lord knows what could happen.”
My first thought was disappointment. Disappointment that yet another woman of color was on national television sending a horrible message to the millions of young women who tune in every week to watch the show. I cringed at the thought of some woman out there accepting that her man’s going to cheat here and there, and she’s just supposed to deal with it the best way she knows how.
“He’s a ball player, so Evelyn already knows what the situation is,” one of my good guy friends casually explained to me. “She can either deal with it or be gone, because he’s going to cheat.”
Deal with it or be gone? Is that the only option? That can’t be the only option.
While ballplayers and extremely successful men are known to be more prone to step-out on their women, they certainly aren’t the only one’s. According to a recent study, about 70% of married men admitted to cheating on their wives. It is also estimated that roughly 30% to 60% of all married couples will engage in some form of infidelity at some point during the course of their marriage.
“We live in different times,” one of my close girlfriends assured me. “More than likely you will get cheated on. Many men keep options on the side and women too. Even if you’re not sleeping with that person, most never completely cut strings of old flames or new one’s.” And to my surprise a number of my girlfriends agreed with her.
Maybe I’m old fashioned or in serious denial of the times, but whatever happened to being “enough” for your significant other? While we’re all human and there’s no question that temptation from the opposite sex is there, is it naïve to think that in today’s twenty-four hour world of new technology and immediate gratification, that monogamy is no longer an option ?
Yes, it does seem that faithfulness is not winning these days, with cheating scandals always in the news, constantly the center of attention on top rated reality shows, continuously discussed on social networks and even the topic of conversation at our dinner tables. Still, looking at strong couples of color like Kimora Lee and Dijimon Hounsou, Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Spike Lee and Tonya Lee, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Grant and Tamia Hill, President Barack and Michelle Obama and more importantly my parents and grandparents show me that faithfulness in a relationship should not only be an option, it should be a priority.
I refuse to give in and believe that I can’t be “good enough” for the man that loves me. I KNOW I’m good enough, matter of fact, I’m great enough and you are too!