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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. 

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  • Prof. Genie

    I was very critical at first. I have to take steps back when Monique says things. She is so assertive & vocal with what she says that she just brings something out in us.

    But wow! The restraint I need. I just have to remember that Monique’s brother abused her sexually. The fam was defensive of him on Oprah. That show was something. She wasn’t even there and I wanted to cry for her.

    So, she likes to be seen as strong. She appears strong. Part of her is strong. But, part of her, is broken.

  • Queen Ekuba

    I really hate it when black folks use ‘Africa’ as an excuse for misogyny. & yes, imo, a situation where a man gets a pass to sleep around while the woman remains faithful- is misogyny. There are so many flaws in the “it’s done in Africa so I’ll do it too” argument. First, it’s often based on a flawed understanding of Africa. Not ALL kings in Africa had several wives & several African Kings today have one wife example: both the Ashanti King & the Buganda King have one wife. Second, it pretends that certain practices were peculiar to Africa when they were actually practised around the world. This feeds into the racist narrative of a ‘primitive Africa’ or Africa as ‘the other’. Most human societies, including several in Europe for example, have practised polygamy. It’s not special to Africa. Finally, it assumes that once something is done in Africa it’s right. Africa has several awesome customs & as an African I’m super proud of my culture but Africa, like all other societies, has negative practices too. Is Monique saying that she is ready to undergo female genital mutilation also since that is practised in certain African communities? Ridiculous.

    • Mico

      Thank you.

  • paintgurl40

    This sounds like a bunch of horseshit. So in other words you want advance notice if your partner is going to cheat. The other person is NEVER going to announce that they’re cheating. “Naw honey, I can’t take your mother to the doctor’s Tuesday because I was planning to chase some ass on that day. Maybe I can take your mother next week?” PLEASE! People can try to put all these loopholes in their marriage all they want, but when the significant other goes and does it, that feeling of betrayal is still going to be the same.

    So what I want to know from Mo’nique and Toya is this: Are YOU allowed some cheat passes as well? Did you cash them in yet and how did the hubby take it? Why even bother to get married? Just do you all the time, and do him a few times a week.

  • This whole ideology that people cheat because they aren’t getting what they want and that being justification for offering a “hall pass” is nonsensical. Why marry a person if you know they aren’t going to give you what you want/need? Why marry someone who’s needs and wants you already know you can’t/won’t fulfill? STDs and babies and hurt feelings and drive-bys by jealous lovers are too real to be playing these stupid games.

  • beabrezzy91

    and that too! there’s just all kinds of holes in her excuse.