4:43– The Suspicion
“Something don’t feel right, especially coming up after midnight/ I smell your secrets and I’m not too perfect to ever feel this worthless/ How did it come down to this, going through your call list?/ I don’t wanna lose my pride but I’ma f*ck me up a b*tch” (2016 “Lemonade” – Beyoncé)
You think back to all of the advice that you gave your annoying friend about her sleezebag boyfriend Tyrone who got exposed for having sexual relations with his newly discovered side chick. You think about how harsh the DELIVERY of your advice was. You didn’t show her any sympathy as the words rolled right off your tongue, easily and without hesitation. “Girl just leave him already. You can do better,” you said in between huffing your breath and rolling your eyes. Remember? You said that’s what you would do. You would just leave and NEVER think twice about hearing a cheater out. Once a cheater, always a cheater. You didn’t take into consideration that it wasn’t that easy for her to pick up and leave a man that she brought into her family. This was the same man that had grown to be your friend’s best friend and confidante. He was the same man she had poured her trust, faith, and years of love into. They struggled together. They grew together. For all she knew, he was the one she’d marry but you dismissed all of their history and urged her to drop those feelings overnight. You were brick. You were stone wall cold. “Move on. There’s more fish in the sea sis.”
And just maybe you were right. Maybe she should move on but where was your compassion?
What’s it to you though? You have no worries. See YOUR man is not like Tyrone or any of those other bums. Nah, your man is a GOOD man. He’s the type to flaunt “us-ies” of you two on his social media sites for all of the world to drool over and praise as “couple goals”. He’s the type to take you home to momma and proclaim he’s found his Proverbs 31 woman. He’s the type to parade you around all of his friends just so you can have a sense of belonging not just in his life, but in the lives of those that mean the most to him. You give him all he needs: affection, support, encouragement, and plenty of good s…. Your hair and nails stay slayed, your body stays fit and tight, and your hygiene is never slacking. Why window shop when he owns this?
I guess that’s why it knocked you off of your feet, when YOUR man came home later than usual from work one night smelling like another woman. It threw you off when he started trying to quickly end phone calls instead of answering them in front of you like he used to. All of sudden he was taking his phone into the bathroom with him. It really confused you when he started to press the need for more alone time with the bros and less time with you.
Whether we openly admit it or not for fear of embarrassment, many of us have been there - - unexpected victims of cheating. One day your relationship is thriving and then the next day you notice your partner’s normal routine begin to shift. You can’t quite put your finger on it. You have no facts to support your belief. All you have is suspicion… and what’s worse than knowing something is going on is not really knowing at all.
Suspicion can turn you into a person you never thought you were capable of being. You may find yourself turning into a lead investigator, tracking everything from your partner’s text messages to their car mileage - - searching for an inkling of validation for your wondering thoughts.
Intuition or insecurity?
4:44 – The Confirmation
“Look, I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born / See through a woman’s eyes/ Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles.” … “Said: ‘Don’t embarrass me,’ instead of ‘Be mine’ / That was my proposal for us to go steady /That was your 21st birthday, you mature faster than me / I wasn’t ready, so I apologize / I’ve seen the innocence leave your eyes / I still mourn this death, I apologize for all the stillborns / ‘Cause I wasn’t present, your body wouldn’t accept it” (2017 “4:44” – Jay Z)
It’s ironic how all you want to do is sleep but your thoughts won’t even let you close your eyes for a night’s rest. You wake up the next day completely abandoning your usual regimen to get dressed up for the day. For what? Your motivation has all but vanished and all you want to do is lay in bed. Your appetite is down so much that one skipped meal turns into a whole day of no food. You operate robotically - - almost lifelessly - - at work. Though you try to keep business running per usual, a part of you is missing. The smile you put on may fool the world, but inside you are in shambles.
Life as you knew it has been replaced with anger, hurt, confusion, and a bit of self-blame. What did you do wrong? Better yet, what did you NOT do right enough?
You finally got it - - the confirmation. You finally know for a fact that your partner has been less than faithful.
Whether someone “came to you as a woman/man” or you found that message of validation in your partner’s phone, there’s no real win in the situation. The confirmation doesn’t make you feel any more or any less about the cheating. What joy is there in finally knowing that the person you made a commitment with has violated grounds of monogamy?
In actuality, you would’ve rather been wrong about your suspicions and found that you had done all of that crazy investigation for no darn reason.
The thing about a cheating partner is that very seldom does he/she admit the truth unless the evidence is stacked so high that there’s no way to make a lie out of it. But what happens after the offender finally DOES admit their guilt?
One thing you can almost always count on after the offender finally opens up about everything is countless apologies, repeated promises to never repeat the behavior again, and multiple professions of their undying love. The question is: Where do you go from here?
Is there really hope after infidelity?
4:45 – The Aftermath
“Ten times out of nine, I know you're lying /
But nine times outta ten, I know you're trying.” (2016 “Lemonade” – Beyonce)
Coretta Scott King.
What do they all have in common?
All beautiful. All successful. All well-known. All ambitious… yet EVEN THEY were allegedly betrayed by their husbands. Vows before God didn’t protect them from being victims of infidelity. Being a fine woman sure didn’t mean a damn thing and being of high status didn’t shield them from being hurt like any other average woman.
While I’m sure that men are not the only ones that cheat, I focus mainly on women because society and the media often push the same narrative. From the highly popularized shows like VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop whose juiciest story lines almost always include some guy having an affair to the A-list celebrities who publicly cheat on their trophy wives, the story is repeated over and over: He cheats with