By now, dear ones, you have read a piece of my reaction to this Lela-Antoine-Nicole debacle on Runitback Friday on The Ideal Firestarter. Here now, I am going to lean in a little more.
I want to look at the something I believe that is missed in all of this. Hear me out.
Lela Rochon is a gorgeous woman, married to a man that does not seem to value her. She has raised children, has a career and is struggling with a chronic illness: Lupus. According to gossip sources, her husband, Antoine Fuqua, has fathered two children outside of their relationship. Now, this here would be enough for me to leave. Flat out. But, I am not Lela; Lela doesn’t know me. But I do know how hard it is to be married, my dude. Especially to someone that seems to get off on how bad they can treat you.
With that said, I remember how gorgeous she was when she was a younger woman. For me, the greatest thing we as women can do is age. In that aging, we can either welcome it or dread it. However, Nicole Murphy, like Lela Rochon, is in her 50’s. For the blessing of money and melanin, they are aging well. But, let me remind you that the cosmetics industry is a billion dollar business.
As a woman, if you have a flaw (real, imagined or manufactured), there is a procedure, cream or camouflage for it. Women are in the constant pursuit of pretty–it’s a consequence of capitalism and patriarchy. However, with that said, the onus of this situation is not Nicole Murphy. I blame Antoine!
Why do I blame him?
Antoine is the one married to Lela. Antoine is the one that decided to marry her. Antoine wanted to life with her. Have children with her. He wanted to be with her. He decided he wanted more, and wanted all those that would throw drawls at him! I don’t know the extent of the relationship beyond this kiss seen by more than half the English-speaking planet, but I have been a woman for a while now. I have been a wife, a side-chick, the scorned wife, and the girlfriend who tried to become a wife. So, let me see what that swath of experience can and will add.
First, you cannot make any one love you.
Second, you cannot make anyone stay with you.
Third, more sex doesn’t always alleviate or solve problems within a relationship.
Fourth, more sex with other people doesn’t solve problems you have within yourself.
Fifth, you can be inside someone–or in their very presence–and not have you.
Sixth, people do what they deem important.
Seventh, people do what you let them do.
Eighth, being beautiful does not exempt you from heartache, loneliness or loss.
Ninth, marriage is not for everyone.
Tenth, if you do not value yourself, no one else will.
I have been Nicole.
I have been Lela.
I have dated men like Antoine, and married one.
These things may seem simple or even mundane, but I have been the wife that was cheated on. I was the girlfriend that held on to a man that didn’t know what he wanted. I’ve been the wife that tried to hold it all other while being broken and bleeding! I have been the girl who was texted in the middle of the night, or met in secret places. I have been the one that texted in the middle of the night. I have heard the conversations men in my life had when they thought no one was listening.
I have heard how some of these men said how they didn’t like how their wives or girlfriends’ bodies changed. They didn’t like how nothing ‘snapped back’ right away. How they wished they hadn’t had kids, or they didn’t ‘know’ their bodies would ‘change like that.’
Is Nicole Murphy blameless? No, of course not. However, what I see is a woman that still has her own issues she is dealing with. That she is striving to fill in the most pleasurable way known. The need to be desired, wanted and touched is normal. Nicole is not the first woman to feel an ache with a man–and she shant be the last. With that said, it is easy to call her the harlot, the whore or Jezebel. The expectation among women is that there this code that other people’s husbands are off limits! Especially, if these are women you know.
But what must be understood, is Antoine knew he was married when he kissed this woman. The fact of this matter is–he didn’t care. You cannot reason with that. In the age of Black presidents and Black Girl Magic, we still are holding women to a standard that men seem to be exempt from.
I wish Lela all the love and light God can give, because at some point? You have to choose you, and love you, more than another person.