All Articles Tagged "Jeff Gardere"
Something I’ve been thinking about since Monday night’s episode of “Love & Hip-Hop” is a statement Dr. Jeff Gardere made while Mimi and Stevie J were in therapy. The practicing PhD-holding psychologist (I know some of you weren’t so sure after he made that “so you’ve been hittin’ it all along” comment), told Mimi plainly that a man only cheats because a woman lets him. Initially I snapped back from the TV, with my “what you talkin’ bout Willis” face thinking way to go putting the onus of a relationship fail completely on women. But after close examination of his statement, I think I have to agree.
The truth of Dr. Gardere’s statement is all in the tense. I imagine, like me, most of the tweeters who twit-chatted with us during the show and took issue with his statement didn’t look at the implication of the word cheats. Cheats infers that it’s a current, ongoing, habitual, and repetitive behavior that one continuously allows. When you look at it that way it makes perfect sense why he said this to Mimi doesn’t it?
Had Dr. Gardere said a man will only cheat if you let him, then we would have been having an entirely different discussion. At one point, and unfortunately some people still think this way, blaming women for why a man stayed or strayed was the popular thing to do. Books, magazine articles, and even lecture series were advising women on how to stop their man from cheating and applauding those who did all the “right” things on a regular basis to keep their man satisfied at home—and faithful. Ironically, I have to thank men for finally speaking up and saying that most times their cheating has nothing to do with what they are or are not getting at home and that essentially all the ingredients needed for cheating are space, time, and opportunity. Thanks to that admission, the tired woman-blaming school of thought eventually subsided; and though many probably felt like Dr. Gardere revived it during his couple’s therapy session we witnessed the other night, he really didn’t.
A man only cheats if you let him because you tolerated the behavior. Of course there are those instances we’ve all heard of where a man has kept up an affair up for years and the wife never knew. I don’t doubt that these spouses didn’t know for sure that their husband was cheating but I would be surprised to find that he didn’t drop the ball in some other way that left the wife unhappy during his affair and yet she still stayed. Men aren’t exactly known for their ability to multi-task and it would be awfully difficult to be a devoted husband and father to your family while still carrying on extramarital relationships—even if they were only sexual in nature. At some point the wife would complain that he travels too much, or stays out too late without calling, or can’t explain his whereabouts, or is antsy, or argumentative, or distracted. At some point, all of her needs as his wife would not have been met and if she stayed through that for a significant period of time without demanding more, then in some ways she allowed the residuals of cheating, which she may not have even known was going on, to happen to her. Does that mean it’s our fault when our husbands/boyfriends are unfaithful? Absolutely not. Does it mean we should be more vocal about our own needs, wants, and expectations in relationships when they aren’t being satisfied? Absolutely.
There is only one person’s actions we are all responsible for on this earth and that is our own. You can’t make anyone do anything just like you can’t make someone not do something. No amount of love, care, attention, affection, or support can prevent a man from straying if he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time and so there is no way to make yourself completely foolproof to infidelity, other than choosing a man who you believe has integrity and values your relationship and will honor his commitment to you—and even temptation sometimes gets the best of those men. What you absolutely can do, though, is stop a man from cheating on you over and over again. That isn’t to say that once a man is unfaithful you have to end the relationship—although that is one surefire way to make sure that particular man doesn’t creep again—what that means is it’s up to you to establish your expectations for your partner’s role in your relationship and hold him accountable to it.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you accept his transgression, but turning a blind eye to it (and your suspicions) and not demanding better from him does, and therefore your partner will continue to do him at your expense because there are no consequences to his actions. At the end of the day you have to look out for self and be real about what’s acceptable to you, not run yourself ragged trying to explain why someone else has commitment issues or try to fix them by being superwife/girlfriend. We’ve all been blindsided and hit with things we never thought we’d encounter in a million years, including being cheated on, and lived to tell about it. Things happen that are sometimes out of our control, but if you don’t see and stop that very same thing when it starts to come around a second time, it’s because you didn’t want to or don’t value yourself enough to nip it in the bud.
What do you think about Jeff Gardere’s statement on why a man cheats? Do you agree or disagree?
More on Madame Noire!
- Where Are They Now: The Men of “I Love New York 1 & 2″
- The Duality of the Emcee or Why I Don’t Like Wale Anymore
- When Famous Stars Play Famous People: Who Killed It On-Screen And Who Was A Mess?
- Brown Girls In The Nude: Neutral Lipstick Shades for Us
- When Did “Candy Rain” Become Old School??? How I Realized I Was Getting Too Old For The Club
- Komon Ou Ye? 9 Of Our Favorite Celebs of Haitian Descent (And A Few Surprises Of Course!)
- Cute Kid Alert: The Bosh Family Do It Big In Italy, Anthony Hamilton’s Newborn, and Much More!