During an interview for a radio show, I was asked about the Antoine Fuqua/Lela Rochon/Nicole Murphy situation, and specifically about the idea that actor Rochon’s weight gain created the opportunity/justification for infidelity. Movie director Fuqua (who as of this post, is still married to Rochon) and Murphy (the former wife of actor and comedian Eddie Murphy) were caught kissing by paparazzi, the photo of which was widely publicized by TMZ. (After initially characterizing the kiss as a “friendly hello,” Murphy later apologized, stating that she does not “condone women kissing or interacting in anyway inappropriately with a married man.”)
A person committed to a lifestyle of fidelity will never see an acceptable reason (including an unhappy marriage) to commit an act of infidelity. However, if a person is uncommitted to a lifestyle of fidelity, any reason for infidelity will do.
Both fidelity and infidelity are lifestyle choices—anyone uncommitted to the former, regardless of their relationship status, is, by definition, open to the latter, and is liable to cheat for any reason, at any time, even if they’ve never cheated before. If a person is not committed to fidelity on general principle—not just under certain terms and conditions—he or she will cheat.
If the success of Rochon’s marriage was dependent on her somehow maintaining the iconic beauty and physique made famous by her roles in “Harlem Nights” and other films, the marital union with Fuqua was doomed from the start. If the key to maintaining a committed relationship is physical appearance (including weight), that relationship will always be in danger of failing. (On the other hand, Murphy herself is living proof that exceptional beauty, a fit physique and sexual desirability is no guaranteed passport to happy, eternal love).
Love—true love, the kind that nurtures relationships and the people committed to them—is a very specific thing, defined by respect, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, fidelity and safety. These are what we call healthy relationship sustainers in the book Loving In The Grown Zone, the “lovers manual” co-authored by me and Zara Green.
However, these are not the things we are taught to look for in our search for love. Instead, in our search for authentic, lasting love, we are taught to look for:
Good looks: The most physically attractive person you can find.
Good living: Someone willing and able to share the lifestyle that you have or aspire to.
Good sex: Someone who fulfills all of your erotic fantasies and sexual needs.