Ray Ray Armstrong Shot by John Balzola

So I had the pleasure of reading Derrick Jaxn’s book, ‘A Cheating Mans Heart,’ and was pleasantly surprised by the candidness the author gave in describing the levels and depictions of thoughts that generally go through a mans mind when dealing with women.

In the book the main character, Shawn Fletcher, goes through a series of do’s and don’ts as it pertains to dating multiple women, not getting attached and what happens when he finally falls in love with a woman who chose not to pressure him for a relationship but in the end possibly cheated on him.

The book was an excellent read and left me hanging for its part two which brings me to part two of the Ray Ray Armstrong interview. If you haven’t read it click here—-> (http://setmagazine.com/is-monogamy-fact-of-fiction/)

Ray Ray, a young successful NFL star who plays for the San Francisco 49ers offered up his opinion to one of the most controversial topics, monogamy. Almost as controversial as politics and religion which equally generate heavy emotions, differing of opinions and ugly truths.

On this mission to understanding a mans mind behind a cheating heart, I have been pondering many questions in an effort to try to get answers to the “why men cheat” question and why is it so widely accepted. Are there different levels of cheating that should be forgiven and some that shouldn’t? Are there tiers of forgiveness and which levels are the ones that a woman should walk away from? Is there a difference in cheating while in relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend versus cheating while married? Question, Questions, Questions and gratefully Ray Ray Armstrong shared his candid truths.

In part one of this interview he says that he felt that there was a difference in women cheating versus men. He said that men were able to be physically involved with a woman and move on as oppose to women. He says that if a woman were to cheat she is not only physically cheating, but emotionally cheating as well. He also added that he felt that cheating is not the same for men and women because womens feelings get involved and that with those feelings the cheating would possibly continue. Whereas men can move on from a woman without having any attachments. Thoughts?

So I asked, if a woman becomes emotionally involved, what about the women that are being moved on from? Don’t they have feelings too? Or are woman opening the door even more to men cheating by claiming that they are, “able to be involved with no strings attached,” knowing that these men have significant others? So I ask Ray Ray what the levels were?

“It wasn’t like I was doing the same things I did for her,” speaking of his girlfriend at the time. “I wasn’t going on dates with other women or buying them things like I did for her. But then again, I was still physically involved with them just not like how I was with her.”

I get it. I think. I question myself. Do I understand, maybe from his point of view? Is this the difference in cheating on one level versus another? Is it right or is that morally wrong? I’m a single woman asking myself these questions, not only for the story but for perspective.

So see, I was looking forward to writing this story because I’d really like to understand where mens minds are. Is it a cultural thing? Is it wide spread across many cultures? While its my job to remain neutral, I’m not here to bash men nor am I here to say all meant cheat, but the ones that do or have, I’d like to know why.

I refuse to believe it’s because men lack self control. I believe men do what they want and what they are allowed to do. I believe that no woman can change a man unless he wants to change. I also believe that men also only do what they know and/or choose to mimic, what they have bore witness to in their lives. So I take the chance and ask.

“Ray Ray have you ever been cheated on?”

“I have,” followed by a very uncomfortable silence.

“By one woman or several,” I ask hesitantly pushing.

“I mean,” he stammers.  His answer implies more than once. “… I just felt like I couldn’t fully trust. I mean I was hearing things here and there that I didn’t have evidence of myself, but that changed I ended up getting a lil proof,” he says with finality.  He then knew he had been cheated on.

Ok, so not wanting to make this about his past relationships and more so about his ideology on monogamy I change directions and asked him if he even thought monogamy was realistic.

“In dealing with one woman,” he asks?

“Yes, one woman.” I say. “I’m talking not dealing with a no-strings-attached situations, nothing.”

“I feel like men could do that, it’s just that he has be ready for it. It’s something that he has to want to do. I feel like its possible and there are men out there that are. Again he would just have to be ready for it,”

“What do you mean by being ready for it, Ray Ray. What does that mean?”

“I mean like he really gotta know what he is giving up. You gotta fight the temptation. He has to know that he cant’ deal with no other females period. But I feel like that takes time and that comes with age.”

After thinking about his answer for a bit I somehow found myself respecting this complete stranger more and more. I mean here I am asking this young man who is in the public eye very personal questions hoping to get honesty and not only is he giving that, but I am appreciative.

“So Ray Ray if you ever found yourself in another committed relationship and you stepped out of it and you got caught. What would you respect more? Her leaving you or her staying ‘down’ giving you the opportunity to redeem yourself?”

“What would make me respect her more?”

“Yes,” I say.

“I’d respect her more if she was to leave me. If she just accept me back I’d feel like I could do it again,” he says.

“So when women stay and they accept it and they take you back and forgive are you saying guys look at that like since she forgave me this time I can do it again because she is going go to keep taking me back?”

“No. I mean then again.” he says and stops. “That’s a tough one,” he says out loud to himself. “I feel like if he recognizes that he really made a mistake,” he stops again. “That’s really hard,” he says with a deep sigh. “If he knows and realizes that there aren’t anymore chances,” he fades again. “I don’t know, thats a tough one.” Silence.

That is a tough one. Sensing that I had reached a stopping point with him I wrapped it up and thanked him for his time and I thought deeply about his answers. I was left with a need for more. How do you want her to take you back, but leave you just long enough to know that she means business and that there isn’t going to be a second time, but don’t forgive you enough for you to respect her but forgive you enough to make it work again. It’s tough for me to comprehend and equally tough I’m sure for many other women and men out there in relationships.

So how important is influence? When in relationships is it important to have your inner circle of friends be in relationships and marriages? If you are in a relationship should couples have separate single friends? More complicated questions, I’m sure will garner complicated answers. LOL!

As we continue down this journey on Monogamy – Fact or Fiction, for ‘Real Talk Tuesday,’ we will strive to get real answers from real people. No judgement just truth. This isn’t about blaming its about communicating and understanding a very controversial topic that has become accepted and promoted in todays society. Let talk…..

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