(*Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent)
I’ve had three memorable cheaters in life. In high school there was my thug lover *Taylor, who forgot my team was at the state track meet, before deciding to walked hand in hand with his in-school girlfriend. He tried to duck and ignore me. But I knew that forehead, and yelled it out the stadium.
After college, when I first moved to Brooklyn, there was the writer, *Rob. Super naïve and insecure, the smartest thing I did was suggest we go to the STD clinic when things started getting serious. All my tests came back clean. His? Not so negative. The nurse rolled her eyes, as she gave a prescription to clear up his full blown gonorrhea.
And then there was *James, the promoter and so-called booking agent who spent most of his nights in the club. At the time, he had a brace on his leg and couldn’t beat me to the front door after the second bell rang. I answered to see a tall, beautiful Latino girl, and introduced myself as his girlfriend. Her bottom lip fell apart. “I didn’t know,” she said, eyes filling with tears. Smiling, I answered, “I know. Let’s go upstairs and talk to him.” But I didn’t say much, instead choosing to quietly sit back in a leather chair, cross my legs, and calmly watch a confrontational intervention. She screamed in his face, “You don’t know me?!” James shook his head like she was a stranger. “I didn’t almost have your baby?!” He ignored her again, and she ran out the apartment bawling. He then faced me, limped down on bended knee, and became like Anthony Weiner: Deny, deny, deny, until finally admitting the truth, when he got all choked up, and tried not to cry.
I used to think snooping was crucial to any relationship. My mentality believed that when a bell went off inside the head, it was time to put the PI hat on and work like the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. But after three unforgettable strikes with cheaters, I took time out to be alone. To be with me in a very Iyanla Vanzant “In the Meantime” moment of life. And now, I laugh at how clear retrospect hindsight can be.
If you feel the need to snoop, it’s better to run, not pry. Because either you have issues, or he does, or both, and you’re better off alone – perhaps in therapy. Not all men – be it powerful or modest income – are cheaters. If you think they are, that’s what you’ll get. Besides, each of my three cheats was broke with bad credit. At the time, I didn’t care about their money. I thought love was all that’s needed. We skipped in fields, and birds sang at the sweetness of arrows melting in our hearts. But now I see that’s nothing but dookie brown bullshit through once rosy colored, bi-focal glasses.
Ladies, the signs are always there when your man is cheating. Whether it’s that intuitive, third eye dream you have and shrug off as insecurity. Or that call in the middle of the night that you ignore when he forgot to put his phone on silent. Sometimes it’s just a momentary, half a second, sorta queasy feeling, that comes after you ask a casual question about his whereabouts, and he answers in the strangest illogical way. Something’s not right. You always know. And you miss it, because you don’t trust, or would rather not hear, your God-given sixth sense. But as much you play deaf, blind, immune to emotional signals, all lies come to light in time. The longer you close your eyes, the brighter and more blatant those untruths will be.
The reality is that some of these dudes are not that smooth. Most guys aren’t good at juggling women . We’re emotional wildcards. There’s no way to keep us all in line, all at once, for long. Only the real men are great jugglers. These are the “players” who hate being associated with that term. This breed of guy has game so tight, that each of his women knows they’re not the only chick in his life. And they accept it. Why? Because he’s honest about it. Because he makes time to give each woman their due attention. Maybe these ladies settle. Perhaps. But they do it for this rare type of guy. I know and have worked with several of these men. They’re like Charlie Sheen with his two porn stars at home: They’re winning.
The rest? Losers. Bound to be caught, like slimy fish wiggling from the hook caught in their mouth of mixed up lies. Too bad they don’t have more female DNA. A woman rarely forgets her fibs. She’ll always have an alibi. And when switching to detective mode, she’ll remember the key question asked to find out if her man is stepping out. And then wait weeks to ask that same question again, praying he doesn’t give a different response. She’s like a cat with an agenda, licking its purr nonchalantly, acting as if all is good, until she manicures the claws and springs into action. Of course this is why ladies are better cheaters. We’re more skilled at organizing small, scandalous, calculated, details. If we get caught, it’s probably because we subconsciously want to. Attention seeking divas we can be. Have I ever cheated? Nope. Why? Deny, deny, deny.