Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique isn’t afraid to speak her mind. In fact, it’s her willingness to be frank about topics like weight loss, relationships, and Hollywood that makes her so relatable to her fans. While the Precious star has spoken about her open marriage in the past, her latest comments about rejecting Western ideals of ownership in relationships has folks talking.
In a new interview with True Exclusives, Mo’Nique says the secret to her 9-year marriage with her bestie Sidney Hicks is honesty.
“When I hear men say ‘I don’t tell my wife everything, you crazy?’ and I hear women say ‘I ain’t telling my husband that, you crazy?’ So you mean you trust somebody else other than the person you lay with every night, you slept with, you cried with, you make love to,” Mo’Nique explains. “So I think those long-lasting things is simply honesty and communication. It’s gotta be your best friend.”
Apparently, Mo’Nique and Hicks talk about everything, including the people they’re attracted. The couple is so committed to their marriage, they’ve even come up with a system to give each other a “pass” if they ever decide to act on their attraction to someone else.
Here’s how Mo breaks it down:
The person that you stood up and you said ‘for better, for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer’ you took those vows in front of the universe. If you don’t live by them, then maybe you shouldn’t have taken them. And when you say ‘a pass to cheat’—see, when you’re with your best friend and you say to your best friend: ‘I’m having these feelings about this person, sexually, and I want to share it with you.’ When you’re best friends, you can have those open and honest conversations. Often times, people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue, and you say we’re just human beings. And all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’?”
She then continued, “Now, if you want to go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you want to sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not going to do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real.”
While many will scoff at her willingness to give her husband a pass to cheat (or her ability to take her own), Mo’Nique says she’s not concerned with Western ideas of ownership in marriage because her roots lie in Africa.
We’ve been taught to have ownership, and that’s the Western way to do it. I’m not sure where you originate from, but I originate from this place called Africa and what I know about African kings—tell me one of them who just had one wife. Do you know any of them? I don’t. That’s where I originate from. So when we came here, we adopted other people’s ways, and that’s called ownership. There was a time when I was owned before. I don’t want to be owned anymore.
Though her stance is commendable, I wonder if Mo’Nique knows that even in some cultures in the Motherland, often times women were seen as property of their husbands.
Check out Mo’Nique’s interview with True Exclusives below.