Get ready for everyone to be outraged now that Mo'Nique has said her husband is allowed to "cheat." But if more people had open relationships, wouldn't life be a whole lot better?
The word "cheat" comes from today's Gatecrasher column in the Daily News when describing what happens when Mo'Nique's husband, actor Sidney Hicks, sleeps with other women. But the two have an open marriage—and if the wife isn't wronged—why even use the word?
Mo'Nique is one of the interviewees on Barbara Walters' last Oscar special this coming Sunday, and she tells good old Babs, "Let me say this: I have not had sex outside my marriage with Sidney. Could Sid have sex outside of his marriage with me? Yes. That's not a deal-breaker. That's not something that would make us say, 'Pack your things and let's end the marriage.'"
Good for them! They have decided to talk about their relationship and come up with some rules and guidelines that work for them. Know why? Because, like snowflakes and unhappy families, no two relationships are alike, and people who buy into some antiquated Victorian ideal of complete and total monogamy for all time (and only have sex in the missionary position on every Tuesday and Saturday and alternate Thursdays) are setting themselves up for failure. At least if they do so without managing expectations beforehand.
Rather than just accepting what society and your church tells you is the only acceptable way to live, more couples need to go the Mo'Nique route and figure out what works for them. That could mean anything. It could mean the husband cats around and the wife doesn't. It could mean the wife gets to have as much fun as she wants while the man watches, but doesn't touch. It could mean partner-swapping, three-ways, hedonistic vacations, or, as an old boss of mine was fond of saying, "out of town and blow jobs don't count." People with such arrangements have a better chance of survival if only because they are communicating about their needs are and coming to a compromise about acceptable behavior rather than just buying into a notion of what everyone says a marriage is supposed to be. It's the difference between buying a tailored suit and buying one off the rack from Sears. The latter will probably fit good enough, but it won't always and it's going to make you itch.
"I love you and I will always support you and the kids that we eventually have, both financially and emotionally. However, I am going to sleep with a bunch of skanks. I will always wear protection, I will keep it out of your face, and it will never happen in our home, but it's going to happen. If you're fine with that, then let's get married."
It may not have been the right deal for her, sure, and she could have walked. But if they were both honest about their expectations, it wouldn't have been a big deal when she found out, she never would have (allegedly) gone crazy with a golf club, and he'd probably be on his way to some tacky nightclub in Las Vegas to conquer his latest piece of strange right now. How do you think Bill and Hillary Clinton have survived all these years? She had to be in on it!
The public would have probably found out about Tiger and Elin eventually—like they did with Bill and Hill—and it would have been just as big a scandal regardless of whether Elin stood by her man or left him. The problem with these relationships is that when other people find out about them, they react with a knee-jerk disgust. People can't even make these alternative arrangements without people making them feel bad about them. But as long as they are both happy, and everyone is behaving safely and legally, then who cares?
So, congrats, you two crazy kids, and thanks for being the unlikely advocates for sanity. We can't wait to read your relationship guide!