New love commandments 

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“This is an open letter to bae. I feel the world might be diverting you on how our relationship should be. Society condones so much nonsense these days; your mistresses are glorified and given catchy phrases like ‘side chick’, while I’m expected to walk with pride as your ‘main chick’. I dare share my concerns about you cheating on me – people will say I’m overreacting. I also hate you being so active on Instagram. Yes, it’s a great platform to share your life with friends and family, but it also encourages you to feast your eyes on porn stars. I don’t like you having female friends either; and while we’re at it: why is your baby momma always calling you? I acknowledge that we both need lives outside our relationship but our relationship seems to be last on your list of priorities. As you can clearly tell, I’ve got so many concerns about us and that’s why I’m writing you this letter, where I spell out my grievances and new rules to follow when it comes to our relationship.”

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Thou Shalt Not Have Side Chicks

Research proves that from the brain’s perspective, cheating is the same as the case of a drug abuser who no longer receives the drug. It explains that at first, you fall in love with your spouse, then you get used to the feeling of having them around. “The neuronal networks in your brain have been modified in such a way that the idea of your spouse being part of your life has been literally integrated into your mind. When your spouse is cheating on you, your brain is experiencing a conflict: It can no longer maintain the neuronal network structure that is responsible for the feelings of love and trust towards your wife,” it states. So you see how serious it is to me when you cheat on me? It’s not about me forgiving you and moving on as if nothing ever happened. Relationship coach Dudu Nhlabathi also emphasises  this point. You have no right to  call me bitter or psycho when the effects of your infidelity take their toll on me. “If a woman chooses to stay after being betrayed, the journey to trusting their partner again can be emotionally taxing.

Being cheated on can lead to paranoia. To the outside world, your actions will be perceived as psychotic. Being cheated on also makes you second guess yourself and eats away at your self-esteem. You start comparing yourself to the women they cheated on you with, and some even go to the extent of trying to mould their image to try and appear like the ‘other’ woman, in an effort to keep the man from straying. Such desperate acts to keep a man can make you question your own dignity,” Nhlabathi explains. Maybe I’m the fool that loves you too much and keeps letting you back into my life. If I’m doing something wrong, tell me. With that said, you also can’t put the blame entirely on me.

Thou Shalt Not Put your Baby Momma Before Me

I understand that your child is important, and I applaud your enthusiasm in being part of their life. But your obedience to your baby momma hurts me. She’s taking advantage of your kindness, using the child as a weapon to lure you back. ?“The women caught up in this triangle are fighting for relevance in this man’s life. When people are trying to assert a place in a man’s life, they’ll pull all sorts of gimmicks in order to hold on to their positions. The solution to this drama is to establish boundaries early. Everyone must know what you will or will not put up with, and what degree of interaction you’re comfortable with in regards to him and baby mama. He  must then put those boundaries in place. The same needs to apply with baby mama; if she has any boundaries to put in place, she needs to take this up with the man –  not you,” says Nhlabathi. She also says women on the receiving end of the drama fail to assert their needs with their partners. So, my love, you have to take responsibility. It’s up to you and me to sort this situation we find ourselves in.

Thou Shalt Not Overshare About Us On Social Media

I’m finding having our relationship in this era of social media tricky. I’ll admit when we were in our butterfly stage, I almost expected you to post about me and make me your #WomanCrush every Wednesday. But it’s been two years and our relationship has since grown into a mature phase. I’m no longer comfortable with the #LoveLivesHere and #coupleGoals posts. They put pressure on our relationship. We need to come to a compromise on a comfort-zone. The reality is social media is here to stay, and our relationship needs to co-exist with it. I also feel you compare your friends’ relationships with ours based on what they share. “A simple liking of a post by an ex can raise questions and the degree to which your partner interacts with the opposite sex can make you uncomfortable. It all boils down to trust,” says Nhlabathi.

Thou Shalt not befriend your Ex

On the topic, Steve Harvey says in an interview with CNN, “A man being friends with a woman is really a façade because the man silently hopes that one day there’ll be a crack in the door, and romantic sparks will fly.” I believe Harvey. Clinical psychologist Mthetho Tshemese also echoes saying, “It’s healthy to be cordial with a former lover. However, if there are unresolved feelings between them it’s not advisable to be close as they may blur the boundaries and this also may make it difficult for them to move on.” Because of this, my love, I think it’s best we both not be friends with our exes as it’s evident how quickly such friendships may lead to #loveback situations.

Thou Shalt Not Have Unrealistic Expectations

Relationships expert Dr. Phil says, ?“The one major reason why marriages fail is if people don’t prepare themselves for the hard work that’s required. The good news is you can still get on the same page. But to do that, you have to be realistic about what a marriage is. If you’re sitting there thinking that it’s supposed to be date nights and rose petals all over the bed,  you’re bound to be seriously disappointed.” I’m not superwoman. I don’t have a flat tummy, big booty, or unrealistic perky breasts. I can’t cook and clean every single day for you while also having a career of my own. My body is riddled with stretchmarks because I carried two babies for you. You expecting me to look like a goddess every day is not fair. So while I’m prepared to put in the work for this relationship to succeed, you have to meet me halfway.

So, my dear king, I hope you consider my concerns, take them to heart and understand where I’m coming from. I have other issues, but for now I want us to iron out these pressing ones.

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