Every relationship is different. Every relationship also has limits and boundaries that can sometimes surpass our initial expectations. For me, I prefer the monogamous type of love. You got me; I got you. Our love is a monument that reins supreme. I also respect relationships that are different from mine. For instance, in New York, polyamorous relationships are on the rise. As much as I can respect one’s right to choose freely, that kind of set up is too rich for my blood. But what if you have a marriage where the husband and wife have been married for so long, the love and romance has now turned into an “arrangement”. A marriage where two people are there for each other and there is a mutual respect where both individuals have grown (apart). In fact, I know a man who’s married to a woman that who compromised her original vows and reestablished new ones just to be with the man she loves.
If you know Ron, he can easily be identified as a silver fox with a teddy bear quality. You can latch onto him effortlessly. He swag, his voice, the way he touches his concubines with a gentle caress…you could easily become lost in the fray. But, the one thing Ron is absolutely clear on, is where you fall in his life. He is direct and immensely clear you must be comfortable and acknowledgeable with playing your position as a side piece. And who can’t respect that? If it’s one thing I hear a lot of when it comes to men is they don’t feel many guys are straight up with them. They feel as if they don’t have any empathy when it comes to getting the truth from someone. But Ron’s truth come in an abrupt and unadulterated fashion. Having drinks one evening, I asked, “So how is it going with you and the little homie?” Ron replied in a frank, yet subtle manner, “Oh, we’re fine. We’re just friends.”. “He seems like such a good kid. So adorable. He seems like he’d make an excellent ‘Atlanta Housewife.’”, I joked. After a couple inquiries, Ron felt the need to be very clear about his stance. “Look, let me just be very clear with you. I’m married, OK.”, Ron confessed. “OK!!! SAY WHAT?!”, I responded in utter shock. Ron quickly dismissed my expressive demeanor, “OK NOW! You don’t have to act like that!”. “No! No No!! It’s not like that! It’s just…I didn’t know!! You gotta give me a second to digest this, Ron. You can’t just lay this out on me. Damn.”, I responded as I quickly tried to gather my thoughts and my disposition. The truth is, Ron and I were establishing our friendship. Although he wore a decorative ring on his “Single Ladies” finger, I had NO idea this brotha was married. I mean DAMN…YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW THESE BROTHAS!
For a moment, my head circled around to the conversations about the brothas who felt men couldn’t be straight up with them. Although, Ron and I were strictly working on our friendship, I felt like I was truly starting to discover who he really was. Peeling back the layers was like opening Pandora’s Box while standing in “Kandi’s Sex Dungeon”. I gotta at admit, it was something that took me by surprise and I am a hard one to shock. A few days later, Ron and I met for brunch. It was a quaint French Bistro in Dallas’ trendy uptown neighborhood. “So how it is going? You get enough sleep last night?”, I asked. “Yeah. It was aiight. I apologize for being late. I had to go run by this trade’s apartment after we left the club the other night. You know I like ‘em young right?”, he joked. “Yes, YOU DO!”, I laughed. After seeing my sarcasm, Ron instinctively felt the need to explain his marital arrangement. “OK. Let me explain something to you. I should have said this when we were hanging out the other night. But you know you and your facial expressions always do me in. I’ve been married for over 20 years and I love my wife. But she knows I have an appetite for men. Does she like it? No, but she loves me more than my attraction for men.”, he says. “What did she say when you told her?”, I interrupted. “Oh, she was furious! She was DAMN furious. But we talked about it. We really talked about it. (long pause) I think she told me she could overcome her grief. But then, we looked at our love and how long we’ve been together. We just see our marriage as something different…something stronger than sex. She told me, ‘don’t ever bring that shit around me and we won’t have a problem!’ And I haven’t. I have no intentions of doing it. Now don’t you sit in that chair and judge me!”, he says as he ended his passioned story with a quick witted joke. “I would never do that. And as you know, judging people is not my style. I’ll leave that to the Christians.”, I replied jokingly. We both ended that conversation in a sigh of relief, but not before asking whom he was going out with next.
In life, we find we run across paths with people who are intricately different from us. They have beliefs and morals that challenge who we are and what we are willing to tolerate. After meeting Ron, I found I have a new respect for a level of tolerance I may not have exercised in the past. I would have debated and pleaded with him to reconsider his infidelity. I would have exercised “God’s plan” for a marriage I was clueless about and the vows between two perfectly capable grown ass people. Judgment is something no one wants to be at the receiving end of. But tolerance and respect will always build bridges where potential and opportunity lies for the right circumstances. Going back to the men and the disdain for lies other men tell, I can’t help but wonder…are these lies being told as a way to build a wall between them and us? After all, lies are a way of protecting ourselves from a truth yet to be told. In order to get to it, I’ve discovered it is best to make yourself open to the unadulterated truth—even if you think you are unable to handle it. As painful as the truth can be, not opening yourself to the truth is the nail in the coffin for your life. As for Ron, he’s still in a good place. Still running around, chasing Dallas’ most eligible 20 something bachelors. And as for his wife, time will only tell what she’s brewing. For his sake, I hope it isn’t a pot of grits.
…To be continued