The two rappers are extremely popular in today's music, with Cardi breaking multiple records recently and Offset being a member of the hottest rap group out, so of course, they're the entertainment businesses' 'IT' couple. The internet went wild when they announced their engagement and many people claim them to be “couple goals." The majority of hip-hop fans, from young tweens to middle-aged women, seem to be rooting for the success of their relationship, claiming them to be the last living testament to true love.
Yeah, it's a no from me. I'm not feeling this relationship whatsoever — and not because I'm a hater, but because their relationship embodies the majority of the characteristics of a toxic partnership. By promoting their relationship as an apotheosis of love and healthy commitment, we're sending a flawed and damaging message to the youth (and impressionable older people). A healthy relationship is built on trust, respect, and commitment; in addition to each person in the relationship maintaining their individual autonomy. In the case of Cardi B and Offset, all of those qualities are nonexistent.
Obviously, it's not like I, or any of us, have the ability to ask Cardi B herself whether she trusts Offset, but if I had to make an inference I would say it's a no. From personal experience, (a shared personal experience because I'm sure we've all been through it) once someone cheats on you — or does anything that can be perceived as a betrayal — you immediately become suspicious or doubtful of their every action. Of course, you can overcome a betrayal and restore that trust, but it will never be the same. Offset has cheated on Cardi B, not once, but twice, and both instances were close in chronological proximity.
Cheating on someone is the ultimate form of disloyalty and a complete disregard of the trust your partner has stored in you. To cheat on someone is a complete neglect of that person's feelings and confidence. For Cardi specifically, to be betrayed and promptly betrayed again after her partner promised to change is like a slap in the face — which brings me to my next point…
Maybe by hood nigga standards, Offset has the utmost respect for Cardi. By normal standards, he has absolutely none. Exhibit A: he's a serial cheater. I'm not going to pretend like cheating is this uncommon, disturbing activity that barely any men (or women) participate in. Almost everyone will be cheated on once in their life and it's not a secret that the majority of men cheat (I don't care how sexist or biased that sounded — it's true!). So, my main problem is not with Offset's cheating — even though I'm disappointed — my problem is that his cheating was so obvious. As a celebrity, your private life is never private, so you have to take extra precautions to safeguard any instance that may be embarrassing or emotionally-damaging if it were made public. In the words of our famous "bald head scallywag" (Amber Rose), “all men will cheat, but if he loves you enough he'll make sure you never find out."
I'm a realist — I expect the majority of men to cheat, but for those who do, I expect them to also take every single precaution to make sure that whomever they love will never find out or be publicly embarrassed. The fact that Offset recorded himself cheating just shows that he felt absolutely no shame for his behavior, nor did he give one thought about his significant other. He wanted to keep a memory of his tryst — which is disgustingly disrespectful (aside from the obvious cheating).
Any man that feels comfortable documenting his infidelity is not a man that any woman should desire to be with. Men like that premeditate their cheating, meaning they've never had any intentions to be monogamous in the first place. On a more depressing note, we have to question Cardi's respect for herself. She was publicly embarrassed and betrayed twice, but doesn't feel the need to leave him in order to save an inch of her dignity. Women (and men) that stay with serial cheaters usually tend to have some form of low self-esteem or self-worth (or dependency issues). If she can't love herself, then how does she expect to love someone else?
He did propose to her, so there is an agreement between the two that they do want to spend the rest of their lives with one another; however, the two definitions for commitment state that it is “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc." and “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action." Commitment in a relationship, then, must mean that both parties are dedicated to one another, and restrict some of their actions in order to show their dedication. If Offset can't even restrain himself from banging random groupies, what other kinds of activities do you think he will be able to refrain from?
Men love to throw around the term “model wife", so let's ponder what a “model husband" would look like. A model husband should — at the least — be someone that a) doesn't spend the majority of his time partying or going to the strip club, b) doesn't spend all of his money on jewelry, clothes, and cars instead of investing and saving for the future (yes, he's very wealthy now, but if you don't save or double your money, it can dissipate quickly), and c) exhibits maturity and decorum (aka not getting into fights at award shows). Does it seem like he'll be changing any of those behaviors soon?
Even worse, Cardi doesn't even seem to think there's anything wrong with the behavior. Marriage gets real, real quick. They're both very young and don't seem to be making any changes anytime soon (which they shouldn't!), but herein lies the problem: marriage requires sacrifice because it is a commitment. Pretty soon, Cardi will get tired of him running the streets, and he may get tired of her always ranting on twitter. Once you get someone to dedicate their life to you, you expect them to start acting differently; and if both parties don't want to do that, the marriage will fail.
4. Individual Autonomy
I've never seen someone so obsessed with their significant other. There's a thin line between adoring your partner and worshipping them — and I'm not exactly sure where Cardi B falls on that line. She has mentioned his name in multiple songs and talks about him all the time (she feels the need to insert herself into every single aspect of his life, even defending him for cheating). Aside from him tattooing her name on his neck, Offset, for the most part, does not fawn over Cardi like she does for him.
I fear that she is falling into the 'Cassie' trap — a dreaded circumstance where a woman is most notable for who they're dating. Cardi will always be more relevant than Cassie -- she actually has made history and truly established herself as a talented artist — but with her devoting so much time into her relationship and gassing up her fiancé, his name will constantly be attached to her's. When we think of Cardi B, we also think of Offset, which in our already sexist society is unacceptable. It's hard enough for women to step out of the shadow of their partner — Cardi is basking in his. Rihanna and Chris Brown were an "IT" couple for a while, but that never stopped Rihanna from having her own shine.
I'm pretty sure the only time Rihanna was asked excessively about Chris Brown was after he beat her (which I'm still pissed about). Recently, Cardi has been featured on blogs only when it has something to do with her relationship or something controversial she said. A person in a healthy relationship doesn't lose him or herself in their partner. There is a difference between being supportive and pouring your whole self into your significant other.
Look at Beyonce and Jay Z — they rarely mention each other, and when they do, it's part of a big ploy to boost their albums. This unhealthy level of attachment is establishing a detrimental level of need between the two (but mostly on Cardi's part). If they ever decide to break up, how will she return to standing on her own? In her own words, she believes it to be too much work to “start over" with a new man.
If she ever chooses to end a relationship, her thoughts should be on how she will take care of herself first, not about how dreadful it will be to start a new relationship. I'm sure that no one wants to be alone for an extended period of time, but on the other hand, no one should fear being alone. I fear that Cardi will tolerate any behavior from Offset just so she doesn't have to be single. *Sigh*
Based on the most basic principles that a relationship is built on, their's doesn't seem stable or healthy in the slightest; but, I have to admit that their relationship isn't all bad. I do believe that there is actual love between the two, but under the current circumstances, I smell doom and disaster heading their way. Perhaps I'm just “hating," but I'll hold on to the belief that their relationship is far from “goals."