I have been cheated on and cheated with, and what I have learned in both instances is that men can cheat on you even if they really love you. A lot of times, when this almost inevitable event occurs in a woman’s life, we tend to personalize the indiscretion, when in fact it has nothing to do with us. Men cheat for a variety of reasons and most of the time it’s simply because they want to sample something new and there is always a woman willing to participate, knowingly or unknowingly. These women fall into the category of either ‘mistress’ or ‘jump-off.’ The two play similar roles, however the mistress is most often compensated in some way. While the jump-off, for the lack of a better phrase, is simply a semen receptacle in the mind of a married man.

The role of a mistress is an interesting one. The mistress often plays the role of the therapist, among other things. Many husbands use her to vent about their marital problems, listen to the mundane occurrences that happened throughout the course of their day, or share dreams that their wives do not support. The rendezvous between the mistress and husband usually occur on a scheduled basis. Many mistresses make do with the precarious arrangement of being a part-time lover because their bills are being paid, and they only have to devote a small portion of their time, while the wife deals with the everyday nuisances that come along with marriage.  It is not always the case that the mistress is the insecure woman, who wants to wreck a home. In fact, the mistress has n vested interest in the wife not finding out, lest her flow of money or other forms of compensation be cut off. Being a part time lover to some women who play this role pays because they are crafty enough to compartmentalize their emotions, much like tainted Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s mistress, Ginger. She was quoted in the press saying that she never loved Herman Cain, and that often when he was on top of her, she would be thinking about going to the grocery store.

Cain admitted to assisting Ginger over the years, and like most married men who participate in these affairs, his compensation was a form of hush money . The narcissistic and frugal among married men who stray run a huge risk of being caught by not giving some form of recompense.  Exhibit A: Tiger Woods. Some married men who engage in extra-marital affairs naively trust the ‘other woman’ with precious secrets, and would even go so far as to letting the other woman into the marital bed, which is the ultimate form of disrespect. Their narcissm would not even allow them to consider that, if they end things or miss a payment, this woman has the ability to throw a huge monkey wrench into the delicate fabric of their family life, and in fact probably has been collecting and cataloguing data involving their indiscretions.

The other kind of woman that married men cheat with are ‘jump-offs.’ Jump-offs are women who won’t admit, or are naively in the dark about their function in a man’s life. These are the women who have never been to who they think is their man’s place of residence. And he only calls at certain times, usually in the wee hours of the night or early morning. They don’t know any of his friends or family, and when they do actually have sex it’s in a car, a hotel, or at their own home. Most likely in these instances he utilizes the choice that cost the least. Jump off’s don’t get quality time outside of getting their backs banged out. No quiet dinners in chic restaurants, no shopping trips, no anniversary getaways. Nada. This is the woman that my grandmother says one should be least concerned about, quipping, “Honey if she wants to lay on her back for free that’s her business.”

Then there is the wife who is probably aware, even without empirical evidence, that her husband is cheating. Perhaps it’s a nudging, or what is called women’s intuition, but she knows. One girlfriend explained about her marital situation, “It is just as easy to fall in love with a rich man than with a poor man. They’re all going to fuck up, but at least if he’s rich, your apology gifts are a hell of a lot nicer!” Wealth aside, the almost inevitable reality of facing infidelity in your adult life comes with choices. For many, it is not a deal breaker all together. Many married couples come to an ‘understanding,’ as the old folks call it. I am sure you have heard the stories about your granddaddies or Uncles having kids who live across town, but somehow their marriage with their spouses managed to last 40 years.

No matter how bad we are, how successful in our careers, how banging our bodies may be, none among us have vaginas that are dipped in gold, neither do we nut diamonds. Halle Berry, Lisa Raye, Garcelle Beauvais experienced high profile incidents of their husbands cheating on them, hence being beautiful and famous, and highly sought after does not make one exempt. But if/when you find yourself in that unenviable situation, what side of the coin are you on. Are you the mistress, the jump-off, or the wife?

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