'I don't mind sharing him'

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, April 23, 2018

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IN affairs of the heart they say three is a crowd, but even this ideology seems to be disappearing with more women becoming tolerant of their partners sporting — though mostly privately — mistresses. In fact, Torrei Hart, ex-wife of American comedian Kevin Hart (who cheated on her with his current wife then cheated on his current wife while she was pregnant) recently voiced what many people have come to believe: that all men cheat, and many women are OK with them having women on the side.

In a video interview aired on Radio One Atlanta, the 40-year-old Hart said that she appreciated religions promoting polygamy, and called for men to be upfront about cheating.

“Men need to start just being men and say this is what I'm going to do, either you're going to deal with it or not, and I think most women would probably deal with it,” she said, adding that she appreciated the role of the mistress, who fills a void the wife doesn't.

How widespread are her views? All Woman spoke to a few other women who acknowledged that they have no problem at all with sharing a man. They share the pros and cons of these arrangements below.

Sherone, 27, bartender:

Well, I'd rather know that my man is cheating rather than hear from other people. When a man is hiding it's too much work and stress for me so I'd rather know. I don't mind sharing because it is less work for me and on my body and since she helps to watch my kids and thing, I don't mind. On the not so bright side though, I think my self-esteem is not always “up there” because sometimes I wonder if it is something that I am short of, and of course I don't want people all over my property and I'm not sure what kind of things they do together so it can make me lose every vibe to be sexual with my man when he comes home.

Sharna, 30, cashier:

I always say that I'd rather know than not know. Every man cheats, that is the first thing, so it's either you are going to be a fool and pretend that it is not happening or know and be able to protect yourself. First of all, I make sure that no man ever gets all my heart, and knowing he has someone else too puts me on my guard that he can get up and leave anytime. I also protect myself sexually and even though I am the main woman, he has to use condoms because I don't know who else the other girl is fooling around with. I would say though that even though he makes sure the kids and I are good, whatever he's spending on that girl could go towards something positive like finishing our house or saving for the kids' schooling. Sometimes I know that other women, including the girl and her friends, might be making jokes about me and it bothers me a little bit, even though I don't know if I am just overthinking.

Kez, 27, unemployed:

I don't mind being the woman on the side. Once the man is taking care of me, I'm good. Sometimes when you settle down with a man he gets too comfortable. He barely wants to give you anything but wants you to complete all the house duties. As the side chick you get nice hair, good quality clothes, outings, anything you want really.

Marie, 33, small business owner:

I couldn't care less what Mr John wants to do because I know that I am not being short-changed. If it doesn't come into my house and he keeps it away from me, I am fine with it, which is the case now. The only problem I have with sharing is that every year I have to do a HIV test because sometimes I will get caught in the moment and don't use a condom, and I don't know the other woman he is with. Then, also, I am in constant fear that one day he will tell me that he made a baby outside — because I think that would be the end of us.

But while it would seem that the above is the new standard for relationships, and while some women seem to be okay playing the role of either main woman or mistress, fully cognisant of the fact that their men are with other women, relationship counsellor Wayne Powell cautions that this is more the exception than the rule.

He argues that there has always been three types of women — women who will never have knowledge of an affair and continue a relationship; women who are completely fine with being the other woman or side chick; and women who have a mutual understanding with their partners that they will engage other women, usually for the sole purpose of sex. He said in the third category, while the courtesy is rarely reciprocated to the woman, she will make some general rules about the outside relationship, such as that condoms should always be used for sex.

Powell said that while none of the three situations is new, he has seen where more people are following trends and making bold statements about this third type of agreement which is traditionally frowned upon. In these situations the women would justify the men's actions by saying, “A so man stay”, and this position assumes that the man is driven by his animalistic instincts and not his ability to think and behave rationally, which is a falsehood.

Powell said this is never acceptable behaviour in a romantic relationship, and while many women wear masks, they generally do it to make their partners happy, to keep their relationships going, for the sake of children, or because they are dependent on the men.

Importantly, he said, this relationship type is also a common feature of relationships in which the women suffer from low self-esteem, have been or are being manipulated, or are fearful of their partners because of abusive tendencies.

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