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When it comes to sustaining a lasting relationship, Mo’Nique says that honesty is key—even if that means admitting that you have sexual feelings for a person other than your spouse. According to the Academy Award-winning actress, the relationship becomes “real” when partners can reach that level of trust.

“Honesty. That’s it. When I hear men say ‘I don’t tell my wife everything, you crazy?’ and I hear women say ‘I ain’t telling my husband that, you crazy?’ So you mean you trust somebody else other than the person you lay with every night, you slept with, you cried with, you make love to?” she said during a recent interview with True Exclusives. “So I think those long lasting things is simply honesty and communication. It’s got to be your best friend. You’re laying with this person every night. If you can’t tell that person how you feel, then you’re in a bad way.”

Mo, who has openly admitted to having an open relationship with her husband in the past, seemingly expressed that she experienced a change of heart concerning this arrangement during a 2013 interview. However, it seems that she’s still standing in agreement with those who prefer that lifestyle.

“The person that you stood up and you said ‘for better, for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer’ you took those vows in front of the universe. If you don’t live by them, then maybe you shouldn’t have taken them. And when you say ‘a pass to cheat’—see, when you’re with your best friend and you say to your best friend: ‘I’m having these feelings about this person, sexually, and I want to share it with you.’ When you’re best friends, you can have those open and honest conversations. Often times, people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue, and you say we’re just human beings.  And all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’?”

She went on to say that should her partner come to her with these feelings, she’d try to understand where he’s coming from and investigate what it is about the other person that is drawing him in. And if the other person can provide something that she’s not willing to give, she says that she won’t stand in the way of her guy getting what he wants.

“Now, if you want to go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you want to sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not going to do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”

The 47-year-old wrapped the conversation by explaining that she feels that people who approach relationships with the idea that infidelity means “the end” have adopted a Western mentality.

“We’ve been taught to have ownership, and that’s the Western way to do it. I’m not sure where you originate from, but I originate from this place called Africa and what I know about African kings—tell me one of them who just had one wife. Do you know any of them? I don’t. That’s where I originate from. So when we came here, we adopted other people’s ways, and that’s called ownership. There was a time when I was owned before. I don’t want to be owned anymore. I just want to love you so much that I don’t want to be taken by anyone else. I don’t want to have ownership over anyone. We have been taught and conditioned to believe that if you sleep with anyone else, ‘that’s the end, that’s the sin, that’s adultery, that’s the most horrible thing ever.’ We’re human guys; that’s all.”

Listen to her full interview on the next page. Thoughts?

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