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Monica & Shannon Brown Are Proof That Not All Breakups Have To Be Bitter

Cohabitate with your ex husband? Monica says yes.

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Earlier this year, R&B singer and reality TV star, Monica, filed for divorce from her husband, Shannon Brown and had the internet shook. Their whirlwind romance began in June of 2010 when the NBA star played the romantic interest in her music video for "Love All Over Me", and only five months later, the two were married in a secret ceremony in Los Angeles.

After nearly a decade, the couple have now decided to call it quits, and according to Monica, their split has been fairly amicable. Despite the 38-year-old entertainer's recent history of being fairly private about her personal life, she's taken a much different approach when it came to this season of The Family Hustle. The "So Gone" singer stopped by The Wendy Williams Show and got real about navigating life after loss and how she manages living in the same house as the man she's divorcing.

Anyone who's ever experienced grieving a relationship knows that the process is never easy, and unfortunately, Monica has had to do it publicly. Along with being a world-renowned songstress and mother-of-three, she also had to deal with criticism from people who really didn't even know her situation:

"The reality show started taking place before the divorce did, let's be clear, or I would not have gone on. Flat out. This is not something I could have predicted, and I'm highly offended when people ask me, 'is that storyline for the show'? I've never in 24 years have done anything for a show. I've never sold anything that wasn't true. I don't play like that."

She went on to say that she continued to film the show even after things got rocky in her life to stay true to herself and avoid compromising her integrity. She told Wendy:

"Had that been going on, I would not have been on the show, but since I was already there and I had made a commitment not only to myself but to two of my very close friends. You don't walk away just because something's happening with you. I'm not on the show alone."

Although this may have been one of the most confusing points in her life, Monica says that her divorce has also given her clarity. She explained that she and her husband still share a home while working out legal proceedings and their communication has been ever:

"It sometimes takes difficult things to lead you to where you need to be. And it was some conversations that needed to be had and some communication that needed to be had. That's what brought us together, so it really opened up the dialogue in the house. We're not feuding or beefing or anything, at all."

Contrary to popular belief, not all breakups have to be bitter, and according to Monica, her relationship with her ex is far from it. While in relationships, we have a tendency to bite our tongues to preserve the feelings of our partners, but when we are separated, we have the freedom to let it all hang out. She explained:

"It's really been peaceful because both of us are comfortable with speaking, you understand? Sometimes it gets too quiet, and it had gotten too quiet. You get to nine years, we made it through some of the trenches. So, now we're communicating."

This soul-singing songstress also noted that due to the responsibility of being a full-time mom, CEO with an international audience, she'll be putting her hot girl summer on hold until next year, but until then, she's adapting to life after love by trying new recipes, and we are here for it.

When's the potluck, sis?

Watch the full clip below!

Monica's New Beginningwww.youtube.com

Featured image via The Wendy Williams Show

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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