We’re sitting there, the homie and I, on one of our typical ”it’s friday let’s take a 2 hour lunch at Pappadeaux” excursions. As i’m thouroughly fucking up the crab and spinach dip, I tell him ”honestly, the best advice I can give you is to not start cheating at all” and then it clicked. Just how uncommon that solitary piece of advice is.
For me, it made sense to tell him that in that moment because I could tell him from personal perspective, how easy it is to get lost in that cycle of not getting caught. It’s like how people rob one bank and just continue to do it becuase, well, it’s easy and you don’t get caught until you get caught.
In my 34 years of living and however many of interacting on a romantic level, no man has ever told me not to take that step in those shoes. The 99.9999% of married men all share the same advice, “the key to happiness is to cheat your way through it“ or something along those lines. I’ve been in weddings where both parties were or quickly began to pursue outside interests. I’ve been the counsel, or mediator if you will, in which both parties quickly pursued outside interests. I even took the time to seek advice from what was once a close friend on how to “stay” happy inside a relationship. Guess what he told me? “Your happiness doesn’t matter, just cheat. Why do you think I take trips all the time?” That was easily the most disgusting piece of advice I’ve received on that matter. Happiness is paramount on both ends of the spectrum in a relationship because if not, then what are we in this for?
Don’t take my stance here as a “holier than thou” outlook, I’ve been a royal piece of shit in some spaces. What I am saying though, is that there’s a serious problem if everyone is resorting to the same means of escape and it’s practically the “norm” now. In some twisted way, I view doing the dirt as boyfriend/girlfriend as seemingly better than doing it as husband/wife. Because usually in the latter union, there’s a commitment before God, the government, and all your friends and family, that THIS is where you want to be and who you want to be with for the rest of your life. Yet it seems that people rush out to prove all these collectives wrong. Probably why I’ve prolonged my step into holy matrimony, my own fear of getting it wrong just as everyone else has before me. Truth be told, I can’t say I know 2 happily married couples. I know of one, and their dynamic is beautiful…but aside from that, yeah nah. Taking his advice, he told me that it’s not that what I’m doing is wrong, it’s just that I sign the wrong contract initially and then go on to breach the contract. So to correct it, sign the right contract, dickhead. (I added that last part for flare, he didn’t say that)
To spin the block, as the kids say, I’m in the conversation giving top tier advice on how he should navigate his relationship for a better outcome and that he should NOT FAFO (fuck around and find out) just how easy it is to join the club. I also further go on to explain the dynamic of how is slowly chips away at your conscience over time, that is if you have one. At one point I thought my conscience was bulletproof, that was up until sometime last year where I was staring down my own shortcomings and how they affected the women around me, most importantly the mothers of my children and how they were made to feel during the period of times they were carrying my legacy. I can’t say that I placed them in optimal conditions for bringing new life into the world. There were some high moments there and there were some unbelievable lows that I carried them through in thinking for the “now” and not for the “later”. I’ll revisit this at some point, not now though.
Also I blessed him with this subtle gem of information, and how ideally should he cheat, at least cheat with a mf that has something to lose. Specifically, someone in another long term relationship or a marriage with a little wiggle room. Perfect scenario right? You need something, she does too and you both are committed. Get together, do your thing, and go home to your spouse. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. Remember that bulletproof conscience I told you about? I found out that it couldn’t handle a .223 round let alone a .22. So seemingly, all the dirt I had done was coming back to haunt me in the form of trust issues. Here‘s how.
There was one particular ongoing “fling” with an ex of mine that really made me take a different look at how I handled women that belonged to other men. For a large part of my run, I didn’t care who she may have belonged to, if you‘re offering me yourself for the night then I had to oblige. Especially if I knew who she was with and we had a little “problem”. I’ve knocked off sisters, aunties, cousins, best friends, wives, baby mamas, and so on. I’m not sure if there’s a mama in there anywhere…welp nope, never mind. I am sure, one was pregnant with another dudes kid. Yes I’m equally disgusted in myself. Long story short, I didn’t care who you belonged to. But this particular one belonged to me first, see she was my first girlfriend in 7th grade, we had a very long on again and wayyyy off again thing. Much of our experience together, she was with someone else. She actively belonged to me for maybe a few months if that.
When she was with her first boyfriend, she’d text me as an alert that she’d be with him for the day and let me know when she left him as to not cause any interference. I remember seeing them together in public one day and having to keep it smooth and act like we didn’t know each other. As we passed, I took a look back and she was waving at me behind her back. Women are absolutely the best at what they do, which is why they rarely ever get caught. She carried that relationship on for a while until it really didn‘t fit anymore. We eventually became official after some time while I was living in Houston, and fizzled out also. I remember her telling me that she actually liked it better when I lived out there, we seemed to connect and work out better than when I was home, probably because she was able to “spread her wings” while I was gone lol.
On again, off again, on again, off again…then she popped up married. Which was cool, I never approached her in that manner, out of respect for what I thought was a healthy relationship. We caught dinner a time or two, somehow in conversation it came out that she wanted to “repay” me for dinner. Which in turn came out to be nature’s method of payment. All great and fun. Somewhere during the meetups in the church parking lot, her leaving her daughter in the car, and one particular night of absolute filth, it clicked. On this particular night I reviewed all these encounters, went in the mirror and had a hard time looking at myself. In the middle of telling myself “bruh you gotta stop this shit” I realized she was someone’s wife, someone’s mother. What would you feel like if it was your wife? There’s some level of ego and disconnect there that allowed me to believe that “my wife would never” but truth be told, I have no control over that. I ran at a certain mix of oblivion and ego that kept me somewhat protected all those years. ”My girl would never and even if she did, so what I can’t do nothing about it”. That logic is gently nestled between my feeling I don’t deserve someone who won’t hurt me (thanks first love) and my understanding that before they are my spouse, they are human first, and humans will do what serves them in that moment.
So in those moments I was doing what served me, and she was doing what served her, but what about everyone else involved. We never thought that far. Somewhere though, in being exposed to so much wrongdoing and taking part in so much of it, I realized that I handed myself my own trust issues because I know just what fuckry I’m capable of, and I know how far some women are willing to go to participate in it and feel “something”, just some sliver of appreciation or escape if only just for a few moments before they go back to the madness that‘s called regular life.