What Lemonade Means For Men

Beyonce-Lemonade album coverLet’s face it. There is arguably no more popular artist in the world currently than Beyoncé. When she speaks, we all listen. So Saturday night, many of us were tuned into HBO for what we anticipated would be the latest offering from Queen Bey.

The result was Lemonade, which immediately shot to the top of the charts and is estimated to sell over 500,000 units in its first week.

Now, under normal circumstances, I would talk about the marketing genius of this effort, her team’s brilliant artistic concepts and more. However, after watching this piece and sitting with this album, there’s another perspective that I’d like to share…and this one is for the fellas. (Ladies, I’m sure you’ll want to stay connected for this.)

Beyonce-Lemonade image 1As we all watched and listened, there were some very evident themes that screamed from this record. I’d like to focus on perhaps the most glaring theme. That would be infidelity. This takes us to the age old question: Why do men cheat?!

Let’s keep it VERY real in this conversation. When many men think of Beyonce, she is often considered the ideal woman. Beauty and brains. Money and power. So most men would say that if they went home to Beyonce every night, there’s NO chance that they would be unfaithful. So when Beyonce speaks of experiencing infidelity, it makes many scratch their heads.

For many, cheating can be complicated. I do believe though, that we can simplify all cheating to one idea. Here’s the concept. Stick with me on this one.

I remember my first smartphone. I was a proud member of the Blackberry nation. I couldn’t stand the iPhone though in my heart of hearts, I knew it was the best phone. When my beloved Blackberry stopped making calls, I made the transition to the iPhone and never looked back. No matter what other phones have come out, I’ve not been moved by those phones for a simple reason. I have the best!

Beyonce-Lemonade image 2Herein lies the issues with cheating. As men, we are often on this quest to find “the best” and we take that quest into our relationships. When we find ourselves intrinsically believing that there is a better spouse for us, we become interested in entertaining other options.

Think about this. In many areas of our lives, this idea of looking elsewhere while we are still involved in a commitment is celebrated. When you begin getting tired of your job, most don’t quit immediately. Instead, we begin going on our favorite job search engine to see what new opportunities exist. In fact, many of us work to be discreet about applying and even interviewing for these new jobs. It happens with our commitment to cell phone companies and even with our commitment to our local church. Most of us have a tough time with commitment because we are rarely convinced that we are involved in “the best” situation.

Herein lies the issue in relationships. When you first meet that special person, it seems as though they can do no wrong. Yet as you get to know them, their humanity shines and you begin noticing flaws and imperfections. At that point, it’s easy to feel as though you do NOT have “the best”.

Beyonce-Lemonade image 3Newsflash. You will NEVER find the PERFECT person. There will ALWAYS be someone with a slightly better body, a better job, or a better sense of humor than your current spouse. In fact, the person you’re looking at USUALLY has the thing that you feel your spouse lacks. Suddenly, the one you called “the best” now looks “good” or maybe even “average”.

When you make that commitment to love, the commitment is NOT to the “perfect person” as they currently are. Your mate isn’t perfect and neither are you! Instead, when you get married, your commitment is to walk along side that person and their process to become. You’re committing to grow with that person and love them in their varying stages of growth.

Lemonade is an intriguing reminder that infidelity isn’t reserved for a particular race, class, or socioeconomic status. Infidelity can creep into any relationship, regardless of how you look and what you have to offer. So before you choose to enter into a relationship and then step outside of your marriage or commitment, listen to this album. Hear how infidelity impacts women. Hear the pain it causes and the range of emotions it evokes.

Beyonce & Jay-Z

Rarely do most actually consider the impact that infidelity actually has on a person you say you love. The incredibly deceptive aspect of this is the idea of stepping out to get a need met while within the confines of the relationship. If you’re really unhappy, wouldn’t one just leave?

The purpose of this conversation is not to condemn anyone who has ever been unfaithful. Instead, it’s to get to the root of the issue. The root of unfaithfulness is the belief that you don’t already have the best. So, before you step out, consider this: what can you do to make “better” into “best”? Maybe “better” is already “best” but you can’t see it because you’re focused elsewhere.

Consider an antique car. This car is useless to some but valuable to others. The person who values this antique takes the time to restore and work hard to showcase its glory. If you put the time and effort into where you are, you will see its value and work hard to make where you are “the best” it can be.

Men, let’s work hard not to be the cause of the lemons in the lives of our significant others. Be thoughtful. Be caring. Open your eyes to see that you DO have “the best”.

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