Loyalty or Stupidity? Don't Be a Prisoner of the Latter
Nicole tossed and turned in her pitch-black bedroom on a tear-drenched pillow. She reached over, feeling for her phone in the dark. She tapped it to see the time, 2:24 a.m., and then rolled back over. Sleep evaded her as her mind raced the entire night. “How could Michael do this to me again? I’ve given him chance after chance, and now this?” She began sobbing again.
Michael and Nicole had been together for 5 years. He had cheated on her with various women over the years, and each time she forgave him. This time was different because Michael had gotten his newest sidepiece, Erica, pregnant.
Nicole sat up in bed and grabbed her phone. It illuminated the dark space, as she scrolled to find and launch her Pandora app. Music always soothed her, helped her to calm down, and to think. She listened to several songs by popular artists about cheating, forgiveness, and reconciliation. As she listened, she looked at articles that featured some of her favorite celebrities who had taken cheating significant others back; even some cases where children resulted from the affairs. She viewed it as being loyal to the ones that they loved, and thought to herself “if they can stick through it, so can I.” These things, in a sense, empowered Nicole to continue to stand by her man despite his latest transgression.
Society and the stars that many fawn over, have attempted and, sadly, succeeded in making dysfunction, lowering your standards, and overlooking bad behavior the norm. We are now living, dating, and loving in a time where people are giving the green light for you to relentlessly give your time, love, care, and honesty, only for it to return to you void, all in the name of loyalty. This “ride or die” narrative is laughable and absurd, and is only in place to glamorize a false representation of what it means to be loyal, as well as to pacify the crash dummy going along for the ride. Sounds harsh? Well, it’s not. There are a plethora of songs, memes, and real life situations that try to uplift those who unnecessarily and continually stick around for horrible situations at their own expense. I implore you not to drink this tainted Kool-Aid that is heavily mixed with ridiculousness. This mentality has led those on the “dying” end of “ride or die” to live lives filled with sadness, paranoia, and lowered self-worth, where their mates have absolutely no respect for them.
If you are a woman or a man who sticks and stays with someone who devalues you, which shows in his or her repeated mistreatment of you, you are not a powerless victim. You are, in fact, an accomplice in the crime of your own broken heart and prolonged unhappiness. You don’t owe loyalty to people just because, and regardless of how they treat you. Loyalty and stupidity are in no way, shape, form or fashion, synonymous. Devote your loyalty to those who know how valuable you are that treat you accordingly. Understand that your loyalty to others should never compromise your self-respect and self-esteem. Your loyalty should, first and foremost, lie with yourself.