I'll never drink another glass of lemonade again, mainly because I'm over trying to decode what Beyoncé’s performance was all about. It has led to all kinds of theories and think-pieces, many around one topic: cheating. And it's getting old.
“How could Jay Z do such a thing?” my friends posted on their Facebook walls. “Who the hell are those other bitches pulling one over on Bey?” “It’s Beyoncé, you don’t cheat on Beyoncé!”
I feel like high schoolers will soon ditch their copies of The Scarlet Letter and spend the rest of their English class analyzing Lemonade’s lyrics.
Society gets so riled up when it comes to cheaters, especially when they interfere in the storybook romances of celebrity couples. In a perfect world, the person we choose to be with would stay loyal and true to us forever. There’d be no need for indiscretion because we’d fill the voids they don’t get otherwise.
But time and time again, I watch relationships fall apart because of cheating. I'm beginning to think maybe it’s just time to accept the fact that people cheat and that it’s not going to change.
Infidelity is not some new relationship issue; it’s been happening since the dawn of time. I remember learning in my anthropology class that marriage used to be more of a financial transaction between families, not based on if two people were in love. Back in those days, cheating on your spouse was pretty much a given.
So why are we on this crusade to somehow eradicate cheating? Why can’t we accept that different people fill different needs and that the causes of cheating are deeper than just a desire to have sex with someone else? We need to look past the idea that cheating is explicitly about having sex with someone else and focus more on why it keeps happening. If it’s so awful and disgusting, why do people keep doing it?
One of the best human qualities we possess is our power to change over time. Our emotions are included in that. New experiences make us reevaluate life and what we want from it. We might meet someone else who completely changes our point of view, making us feel reinvigorated. And that’s where things get complicated.
It’s easy to say, “Well then just get a divorce!” Talk to anyone going through a divorce, however, and they’ll tell you it’s no quick process. I’ve watched first-hand the emotional push and pull that sometimes prevents my married friends from cutting the relationship cord. Starting from scratch is really difficult.
I’m not condoning cheating. Respect is something every relationship is entitled to, and cheating is a definite sign of disrespect. But the best way to combat cheating is to acknowledge it exists and understand why it happens in the first place. We’re so quick to say, “Cheating is bad!” but we’ve never really given a reason why, other than some Bible verses.
Beyoncé projects a personality that is beautiful, strong, intelligent, successful, talented and kind. Unless she’s secretly a horrible person, if Jay Z cheated on her like her song lyrics suggest, it wasn’t because she did anything wrong. You could do everything your partner asks and they could still find some reason to feel unfulfilled. Then what?
We feel we’re not vulnerable to cheating, which is why it’s so devastating when it happens to us. But no matter how perfect we think we are for someone else, the chance that they could cheat on us is certainly there. We might not be able to prevent it, but maybe with some more clarity, we can get to a less painful aftermath.
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