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by Shari Wright

Last night on Love & Hip Hop ATL, Mimi told Stevie J that she had to take some responsibility in their turbulent relationship because she had allowed it to go on. After seven or so episodes of using her child as the reason to want to work it out with Stevie, Mimi finally admitted to the world(and prayerfully herself) that their two-year old daughter was not the reason for the continuous acceptance of unfaithfulness and pseudo-commitment for more than 13 years. No. Mimi alone kept herself in that situation. However, she is not alone when it comes making horrible emotional concessions in one’s relationships, just to have a significant other. It is possibly something we all have done at some juncture in our lives, whether as a stint in time or a staple over many moons.

To be clear, there is no single definition for how two people should decide to live through their connection; still, there are certain components that are a given. Relationships are built on trust, they require healthy communication, and are forged with compromises, like: where to live; weekly budget; marriage- now, later or never; two kids or four; Nationwide or State Farm; not how or how much cheating is allowed. Unless we are in an open relationship(and for the sake of this particular article we are not) I can not fathom why there would be a point where my partner and I are bending the confines of exclusivity. If you do not wish to live monogamous, don’t be in a monogamous relationship. Simple? No? Yes, compromise is a big part of being with someone, but I do not think this is what it means to compromise in an exclusive arrangement, especially when you have to leverage your comfort and bargain your trust.

We have seen variations of Mimis in the different reality shows bombarding us today, from Housewives to Basketball Wives ( read: Evelyn Lozada). I cringe at the thought of Evelyn telling Chad on last season’s BBW that she understood he would be away from home most of the time and that she preferred he told her if he was going to cheat and further instructed him about condoms for the affair. (This is in no way victim blaming/shaming for their current situation, I believe domestic violence is low and vile. I am speaking on that one conversation only.) You would rather he use protection than to just find a man willing to forgo cheating all together??

You do not have to settle. We should negotiate prices, not commitment.

When you tell yourself things like, “all I know is what he tells me,” you are settling. When you tell yourself you are in this for the baby, and remain in a hurtful, dishonest place, you are settling. When you say “we don’t care for titles, they complicate stuff,” and in fact you are partial to having stated claims…yes, you are settling. When you have to speak through tears about the fatiguing accommodations you have made because this is the first person you’ve felt ever truly cared for you…you have indeed, settled.

We take vows to promise our best to another person, I believe we may need to start taking vows of self-preservation; we need to promise not to offer ourselves at minimum value…ever…for anyone.


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