You have sung my life. For years you knew everything I was going through and helped me heal. . .at least for the moment. I relate to you in a way I cannot relate to my best friend. I too, am in love with a man who cheats. I too, have stayed. I loved him too much, yet somehow, it was never enough.
I’ve packed his shit with “Irreplaceable” blasting in the background. I’ve smashed his car with a softball bat while “Lost Yo Mind” was in the distance. “Resentment” was on repeat for weeks and I felt every single word and found myself overcome with emotion. “Poison” stung, I knew he was my poison, I knew he wasn’t good for me, but I kept coming back, wanting more. I justified staying with “Ring The Alarm” because there was no way in hell I was going to let any other bitch have him. Not on my watch, not when I have invested years of my life into this man. I was also, “Crazy In Love” with him. With each album you released, I listened to you sing the story of my life.
I have spent over 10 years with a man who loves me in the best way, the only way, he knows how to love, but he cheats. He is irretrievably broken. He is incapable of real love, his childhood, his parents, destroyed him. I thought the love of a good woman could change him, and it did, but not for long. The changes were always temporary and eventually, the bliss would fade and he would be on the hunt for a new “Becky”. I have dealt with far too many “Becky’s” although his “Becky’s”, in my opinion, didn’t have the “good hair”.
I knew Jay-Z cheated on you and sadly, this made me feel better about staying in my relationship. I used you to justify staying with a man who cheats on me. . . because in my mind, Jay-z cheats on Beyoncé and she is Beyoncé! She is one of the most beautiful and successful women in the world and she stays! This made it ok for me to stay. I thought of this constantly. See, I have my own Jay-Z at home. They are exactly the same. The only notable difference is their bank accounts, but. . . besides this, they are alike. In every single way. The childhood, the upbringing, the street life, getting out of the hood, the struggle, the women. . .the never-ending “Becky’s”.
I woke up one day, and decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want to live this life, I was tired of being cheated on. I was tired of the late nights, waiting for him to get home. I was tired of the lies, I was tired of pretending to be happy. I grew to hate him. But, I could not stop loving him. . . I never knew it was possible to despise someone so much, yet, love them at the same time. But I did, and still do. . .
My phone rang at 5am the day Lemonade was released. My girlfriend called me and screamed “omg, you have to watch this right now”. I was sleeping, but when I woke up, I went to see what all the stir was about. I watched Lemonade, I couldn’t stop watching Lemonade”. I listened to every single word and was in disbelief. Beyoncé has done it again, she is singing my life. I was only half way through the album, but I was invigorated! Yes, she is right here with me! She is tired of the cheating, tired of the lies! Hold Up, Don’t Hurt Yourself, Sorry!! YES, YES, YES!! This was exactly what I needed! You inspired me, you made it “ok” to leave and be angry. You justified your anger and rage, I was in awe, felt on top of the word, I was dancing in my living room. I was a new woman. . .you gave me a voice! I couldn’t wait to finish this album. . . “my heaven was going to be a love without betrayal.” I could do this, I could let him go. I continued to listen, and then you broke me. . .
I read many of the blogs, the news, read the way they attempted to dissect Lemonade. But they didn’t get it. I heard what so many didn’t hear. “I left a note in the hallway, by the time you read it I’ll be far away, I’m far away, but I ain’t fucking with nobody.” You left. . .but you had to reassure him, even though you left, you are not with another man. Oh Beyoncé, I do this! I leave or throw him out but I feel the need to let him know I will not be with any one else! We do this because we know they could never handle it. It is such a double standard, I know, but we know this would break them and they are already far too broken. We love too hard, too deep and they are incapable of giving the same love in return. You are right. . .”What’s worse, lookin’ jealous or crazy? Jealous and crazy? Or like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately. I’d rather be crazy. Hold up they don’t love you like I love you.” This is how I felt when I was in my stages of anger. I told him for years; I love you, and no one else could handle you the way I do. No one will love you the way I do. I felt every word. . . I was jealous and crazy! I’ve smashed the car with a bat and felt alive again as the anger slowly left my body with each swing. I felt the need to remind him over and over again that no one will ever love you like I do. . .and then it hit me. Has it hit you yet?
They know this, and this is why they cheat! Because they know we love them to the core, they know we may not accept their cheating, but we tolerate it. And they also know, or at least they think we will NEVER leave them. Or at least I believe mine thought this. . .but I did leave. We have been separated for two months now but am I really gone? He is no longer in our home, we are no longer together. . .but did I really leave? No. . .and I think he knows this.
I was on top of the world with Lemonade until I reached Sandcastles. I was no longer invigorated, I was no longer dancing in my living room. I was overcome with a deep sadness, and I cried. Sandcastles killed me. . .I found myself listening to this on repeat. Your deep throaty vocals stung me to the core. I found myself questioning my own decisions. Did I make the wrong decision? Should I have stayed? Did I act too quickly? Did I not think this through? “And although I promised that I couldn’t stay, every promise, don’t turn out that way. What is it about you, that I can’t erase baby, but every promise don’t work out that way.” I promised I was done, I swore to myself this was it, it was over. . .I mean, it is over, right?!?! . .but now I wonder about the future. Can I forgive again? Can I heal for the moment? Because the truth is, he will cheat again. . .The likelihood of him changing is. . .well, he will never change. I know this, I have accepted this. . . this is something that has taken me over ten years to accept. Or at least I thought I accepted it. . .but with Sandcastles, you gave me a distant glimmer of hope. This scares me. . .I do NOT want a glimmer of hope. I have been through too much. I am too broken, he did this, he broke me, he destroyed me. . .
I wondered to myself , am I stronger than Beyoncé or is Beyoncé stronger than me? You made the decision to heal, to start again. . . How can you do this? How can the woman in doubt truly disappear? Do you believe this time will be different? I went through this. . .I thought every time would be the “last time”. Even now, he is gone and I find myself wondering if I would’ve given him one more chance, would he have changed? I torture myself with thoughts of what if. . .
You made me question my decision to end the relationship with the love of my life. Because regardless of what people think, regardless of what has happened, he is and always will be the love of my life. . .No one knows our truths, no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. I know he “loves me”, more than he will ever love another woman. People think I am crazy when I say this because of all he has put me through, but I know him. I know him better than he knows himself. . .
I don’t know who is the stronger one. It takes an incredible amount of strength to leave, but it also takes an incredible amount of strength to stay. I don’t think people realize this. People are too quick to judge a woman for staying after infidelity. What may be the right decision for one person, may not be the right decision for the another person. . .Only YOU know your marriage, only YOU know the right decision, only YOU know your husband. . .And at the end of the day, only YOU have to deal with the outcome.
As for me, I am still here, he is still gone, but I am left wondering. . .what if? Could I have found healing where it did not live? Was the antidote in my own kitchen? Could I have broken the curse with my own two hands?
I don’t have the answers. . .I only have the thoughts of what if.