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Real Talk: Is Cheating Ever Acceptable?

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Chrissy Lampkin Love Hip Hop
Unlike 4.6 million other people, I missed Monday night's season finale of "Love & Hip-Hop," which drew the second-highest ratings of the season. But there was no missing the commentary it sparked.

On the episode, Emily Bustamante, the ex-girlfriend of rapper Fabolous and mother of his child, was debating getting back with her man, who had cheated on her rampantly. His ex-assistant advised her to go back to him, but “find a hobby” while he’s out “doing what he’s going to do” -- that is, continue cheating. Still unsure of what to do, Emily turned to her friend and "Love & Hip-Hop" co-star Chrissy Lampkin for advice. Chrissy, who’s engaged to Jim Jones, advised her to be “realistic” when it comes to dating men with high profiles and to accept that “things happen.”  She suggested that Emily should more or less overlook cheating as long as her man remained loyal to the relationship and didn’t let any other-woman drama to reach her front door or phone line.

Er?

It took me an hour to remember where I’d heard this line of thinking before. Is it not the updated version of Shaq talking about “cheating respectfully”? I was all set to offer my usual fired-up outrage over men who cheat and the women who accept it. Recap: My stance is that cheating isn’t just sex; it’s lying, deception, selfishness and a health risk (even if you do not engage in high-risk sexual behaviors that likely lead to HIV and STIs, like having multiple sex partners, if you have sex with someone who does, it’s like the same thing). All these are traits a woman should never ever want in a man. If you want a man who doesn’t cheat, find one and don’t stay with one who does. All men don’t cheat, even if statistically conservative estimates say half do.

I find that every time I write something like that, there’s inevitably a lot of co-signs from women who know their worth and say they have walked or would walk if their partner cheated. But there’s also a not small number of women who think it’s unrealistic to make a big deal about infidelity. They say it’s just kinda what men do, just the way of the world. This time around, that mindset came from Sandra Rose, an uber popular Atlanta-based blogger.

“Chrissy is living in a thing called reality,” she wrote in response to Chrissy’s advice on Monday night’s episode. “She knows that her man might be loyal to her and he loves her, but men are very easily tempted by cunning and crafty tricks and gold diggers. Men are flawed from birth. A man’s ego is designed to be impressed by chicks who show interest in them. They wouldn’t be men if they didn’t respond to the attention from hot broads. I’m not sure why that’s so hard for you women to understand. You’re not being realistic if you don’t comprehend that men cheat.”

That made me wonder: for women who agree with Rose’s outlook, if you think so poorly of men, why do you even want to be with one?
 
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk
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