By Ashley Peterson:: EEW MAGAZINE SINGLES
When I read news stories about female R&B singers like Ciara and Rihanna, and wives or girlfriends of popular male entertainers like Monyetta Shaw (singer/producer Neyo’s baby’s mother), and Eudoxie (rapper Ludacris’s girlfriend), “making it rain” in the strip club, I feel sad for them.
Making it rain essentially means showering strippers with cash, until it seems to be literally “raining” dollar bills.
This perverted practice these days is viewed on the street as an acceptable statement of status, or an announcement that said rapper or entertainer has money to burn. The ultimate way to show that they are supposedly balling out of control is by taking the rubber band off of their fat wad of dough and “tricking it off” on exotic dancers.
I cannot speak on behalf of the women who appear to be happy in photos showing them on their own or with their guy, stuffing money into other ladies’ G-strings (I doubt they really are.), but I know how I felt when I made compromises back in the day.
In an effort to keep my man from straying and to appear to be “down with whatever,” I used to tag along to strip clubs, watch XXX movies with him, and do other things that made me really uncomfortable.
To understand why I went down that road, I have to explain to you the psychology of it all. From around my way, the women who had relationships with smooth-talking, fast-living, and quick-to-stray types, told me to just go along with what he wanted in order to keep him. Otherwise, they would say, he would find “a chick that was willing to do what I wasn’t.” Even if he was unfaithful, they would make excuses and say, “You know who he’s coming home to, though. And that’s all that matters.”
I cannot count how many times I heard that crazy—yes, absolutely insane—rationale that a lot of beautiful women who don’t know their worth, accept as true.
Being that I was insecure, young, foolish, and didn’t have a clue about who I was at the time, I listened. I’m not proud of it, of course, but that’s just where I was back then. I degraded myself in more ways than one and looked the other way, just like they told me to, when I knew my man of the moment was doing dirt.
So sad, I know.
No matter how compliant or accommodating of his shady ways I was, though, every single person I have ever dated who wanted to be unfaithful still did his thing on the side. Me degrading myself and pretending that I liked watching him enjoy the physique of other women with me sitting right there—although it actually hurt my esteem and made me feel stupid—still led to the same thing.
He kept a chick on the side and then came home to me at night. He bought me expensive presents (At least the ones who could afford to, did.) to cover up the fact that he was no good and dogging me behind my back.
Now that I have been there, made my mistakes, and wised up by the grace of God, I tell ladies this: if your mate does not want to be loyal, he won’t, plain and simple.
You can try everything in the book. If his heart wants to stray, there is nothing you can do to prevent that from happening. Believe me, I know firsthand. I have pretty much done it all and still have experienced the same hurt, pain and loss. Not just loss of him, but myself and my dignity.
I don’t want to see anyone else go through that level of degradation and shame.
That’s why I cringe when I hear other women say do this or that if you want to keep him. No matter what you do, a person’s character is what it is.
That doesn’t mean relationships don’t take a reasonable amount of maintenance and effort. They do.
Even still, you can work out all day to keep your body tight; spend money to keep your hair done, nails manicured, and toes polished; be sexually free and acquiescent to what he wants to do, within reason; cook, clean and keep home in order; work hard to earn your own money and contribute to the household, and on and on.
You can do all that. I did all that. But your actions, despite how good or well-intentioned they are, cannot control his actions, if he wants to be a playboy. He is who he is.
You cannot change a man who doesn’t want to be different. That is one of the single most important pieces of advice I would give to any woman.
It took a long time for me to get that, but once I learned it, girl, it set me free from beating myself up and wondering, what’s wrong with me that made them stray?
I now realize I was asking the wrong question. I needed to find out, what’s wrong with me that I keep choosing men who want to stray no matter what I do?
As God worked on me and got my mind straight, I could see a player coming from a mile away. If you embrace this truth, you will too.
You won’t fall for the same foolishness and you certainly won’t make compromises against your faith and commitment to both God and yourself, in order to keep a man that doesn’t want to be kept in the first place.
You are a beautiful person and a wonderful woman. You don’t need to settle for anyone who cannot see that you are worth loving, cherishing, and being true to. And if you have settled before, you don’t have to make that same mistake.
Be free of the guilt, shame, and feelings of obligation to someone who is only interested in their selfish desires and lusts.
God has better for you. But He cannot give it to you until you see that you actually deserve better, and refuse to settle for less.
Have you ever struggled with compromise in the past in an effort to keep a man who didn’t want to be kept? If so, how did you finally overcome?