As a kid, I was one of the few girls who didn’t jump on the Usher bandwagon. And then Confessions happened. While the entire album was amazing, and arguably Usher’s best ever, the title track is what stood out to me. From the vocal performance to the beat change between part one and part two to the amazing storytelling, “Confessions” was perfectly arranged. It drew you in, and whether you had ever experienced the story Usher was telling or not, it evoked emotions from you.
Fast forward ten years and “Confessions” seems to be the theme song of a number of celebrity relationships. In the last week, both Dwyane Wade (why did his mother spell his name like that?) and Ludacris have revealed that they fathered children during “breaks” from their long-term girlfriends, Gabrielle Union and Eudoxie. (TMZ has used the girlfriends’ Instagram page to discredit both “breaks”). Of course the Internets went nuts. Everyone had an opinion of what Gabby and Eudoxie should and shouldn’t do. And while most judged these women, my heart actually broke for them.
It’s easy to judge celebrity relationships without having to admit that what these couples deal with publicly is something that us regular people deal with everyday. Maybe it’s not your personal relationship, but look down your family line far enough and you will find a cousin who was birthed by the side chick, the uncle who knocked up the side chick and/or an aunt who was the side chick. And even if an “outside child” isn’t part of your family lineage, I’m sure infidelity is.
I’ve seen infidelity in more relationships than I haven’t, and I would be a liar if I said infidelity hasn’t been a major fear of mine when it comes to my relationships. The consequence of infidelity are tough on the victim. They’re forced to suffer through a roller coaster of emotions that include shame, insecurity, fear, and distrust. But what petrifies me even more than the emotional baggage that accompanies infidelity is the physical baggage. And while babies are forever and come with an instant enemy in the form of a baby momma, babies aren’t the worst thing that can result from infidelity. Babies can be a blessing in a way that chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and HIV can never be.
I had a brief conversation with one of my male friends about this situation, and I walked away with a new, yet old, revelation. Men are stupid! My subconscious has always told me that if a man cheats, and especially if he fails to use protection when he cheats, it is some type of judgment of how he truly feels about the woman he is cheating on. Not only did he not love and value her enough not to cheat, but he also didn’t love and value her enough to use protection when he cheated, leaving the woman with emotional and possible physical baggage to deal with. But in reality, how can these men be expected to make good decisions for their partners when they can’t even make decent decisions based on their own best interests? Throughout the years, I’ve dealt with my fears surrounding infidelity. And as Gabby and Eudoxie deal, I hope they draw the same conclusion I’ve drawn: that a man’s infidelity really has nothing to do with the woman and everything to do with him and the man he has chosen to be.
Ironically, both Gabrielle and Eudoxie are now Girl Melanie (from The Game. Keep up.), a position I would never want to be in. Girl Melanie was never quite right after Derwin and Jenay had DJ. Even though she chose to stay with Derwin, part of her was broken, part of her never healed. I learned years ago not to make relationship decisions for others. I simply pray that whether they stay or leave, both Gabby and Eudoxie find the healing and wholeness that Girl Melanie failed to find. No one should be a broken shell of themselves, even if that keeps their dream man on their arm.