Stop Encouraging People To Stay In Bad Relationships

December 11, 2018  |  

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When Cardi B declared that she had finally had enough of her husband’s affairs, her supporters responded by giving her the worst possible advice. The “Be Careful” rapper announced last week that she plans to get a divorce from Migos star Offset. And though Cardi claimed the split was “nobody’s fault,” it was eventually revealed that she decided to leave Offset after she found out that he was trying to set up a threesome. Suddenly, that random IG post made a lot more sense.

While Cardi never asked for anyone’s marital guidance about the decision to end her marriage, her comments section was littered with fans imploring her to stick with Offset and work things out. People were honestly encouraging the new mom (and newlywed) to stay with a man who clearly has no intention of ever honoring his union with her. They were suggesting she ignore behavior we wouldn’t expect most people to tolerate. It was confusing.

Seeing the reaction to Cardi’s news, one thing became very apparent: we need to stop encouraging people to stay in bad relationships, especially after they have made the tough decision to leave a situation that doesn’t serve them well. We saw this same response when Tiny filed for divorce from T.I., and though fans did get their wish for the pair to stay together (or at least legally married), seeing the way the rapper continues to cheat on and disrespect his wife makes me wonder if this is what people wanted Tiny to stick around for. Is that what they want for Cardi?

Like Tiny, no one can say that Cardi hasn’t done her best to hold her marriage together. The fact that it’s so short-lived actually makes encouraging her to stay much worse. Cardi has stuck by Offset through multiple rounds of cheating allegations; she’s even publicly declared that she’s sticking by him no matter what, despite knowing about his rumored (and confirmed) infidelities. However, it seems even she has her limits. How much should she, or anyone, be expected to ignore in the interest of saving a relationship? Why should we be invested in telling anyone to fight for a relationship that is not worth saving?

Yes, it is preferable for children to grow up in two-parent households, but upholding that ideal should not be the result of perpetuating unhealthy patterns of behavior that will cause kids to see dysfunction as normal. Children benefit much more from seeing their parents in happy, healthy relationships; sometimes those have to occur separately. Taking the child out of the equation, I’m hard pressed to say that anyone should remain with a partner who does not actively protect their relationship. In Cardi’s case, Offset didn’t seem that invested in making sure his relationship with Cardi was taken seriously. He wasn’t even taking it seriously. And his declaration that “Y’all won” when Cardi announced their split, shows he’s also unwilling to take responsibility for the role his actions played in the dissolution of their marriage.

Relationships need both halves of the couple putting in their best effort to make things work. One person can’t keep it afloat and when we encourage someone to stay in a failing relationship, that’s exactly what we’re asking them to do: fail. We’re telling them to stay in a situation where they clearly care more than the other person, and that is emotionally taxing and unhealthy. We’re expecting one person — and it’s no coincidence it is typically the woman — to keep pushing for a relationship that no longer exists, to forgo their own boundaries and common sense just to have a man. That’s got to stop.

What we need to do is let Cardi and other people in her situation see their relationships for what they are, and we need to trust that they know how to make the best decision for themselves. Honestly, if we cared at all for people dealing with similar circumstances, we would tell them to follow her lead.

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