So, there’s word in these streets that Keyshia Cole has signed up to join the cast of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. Let me start out by saying that I’m a huge fan of Keyshia Cole, and I personally think that her best work comes during the times that someone has done her wrong, similar to Mary J. Blige. My personal favorites albums of Keyshia is her 2005 debut release ‘The Way It Is’ and her 2012 release ‘Woman to Woman’. I’m always happy for Keyshia when she succeeds.
I wasn’t really phased by her joining the cast of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. In a business where people easily forget about you if you aren’t constantly in the limelight, I understand the reasoning. People love reality TV shows. Reality TV has made household names out of people who have no musical talent, so imagine what it could do for someone with the talent of Keyshia Cole. It’s a way to reconnect with old fans and make new ones. I get it. I was however, a bit perturbed when I found out that Daniel “Booby” Gibson was also going to be on the show. I have nothing against him. He seems like a good person and kind of balled out a bit when he was with the Cavs. But I watch reality TV enough to know that they tend to create drama where none exists for the sake of a story line. Who thought it was a great idea to have an ex-husband and an ex-wife star on a show together, especially after having a semi-public dissolution of their marriage? Don’t answer that. We already know. Booby allegedly cheated with a stripper and that pretty much put the finishing move on their marriage. However, I still had good faith, hoping that a Papoose-Remy Martin moment could come from this when it airs. Maybe this would present an opportunity for Keyshia Cole and Booby to show their co-parenting routine and set an example for many of us, in the same manner that Papoose and Remy Martin promoted black love. I know from Keyshia’s previous radio interviews of late that her and Booby were in a good place so I was hoping that this would transcend to the television screen. However, I did not expect what I discovered next.
We found out that Keyshia and Booby are still living together even though they are divorced. They claim that they are not intimate or engage in any type of sexual relationship. What I love and admire about Keyshia Cole is that she takes these kinds of media revelations head on. In an interview, Keyshia Cole made it clear that the reason her and Booby still live in the same house together is because she doesn’t want their son not being able to see his father every day. She wants her son to have access to his father all the time. She even went on record saying that she missed having this experience in her own life. In a way, this was very honorable of Keyshia. No one can question the fact that she is putting the interests of her son before her own. This is also a testament to the fact that her and Booby are mature enough to put their past issues to the side to make this work. But is this the right thing to do?
I personally believe that this is not an ideal arrangement simply because it is unrealistic to maintain on a long-term basis. I can hear the rumbling now. I can hear people saying, “but they’re a family” and “family comes first”. But I have some questions like how does dating work? You live with your ex-husband or ex-wife. How do you explain this to someone that you’re dating? Do you expect them to accept the situation as it is? Would you be okay with someone you are dating living with their ex-spouse playing house? People are already up in arms about dating a person who has been separated for years, but is still legally married, so I doubt the general public would be okay with this. This arrangement isn’t a matter of right or wrong. It is a preference that requires personal sacrifice. And that personal sacrifice involves not including others into your mess. For this to realistically work, neither Keyshia or Booby can have a serious relationship with another person. The reason being that this arrangement establishes that raising their son together in the same household is the priority. The woman coming into Booby’s life would not be a priority over Keyshia. In fact, she’ll be visiting him while Keyshia lives with him. It must be awkward knowing the person that you are dating goes home to another woman who he considers family, every night. This goes the same for Keyshia. Any person they date would have to become compliant and be comfortable with being the third wheel. Keyshia doesn’t appear to be the type of woman that fares well with ultimatums, so you better know what you’re signing up for because you’re not changing her arrangement unless she wants to change it.
Now this arrangement isn’t new. I’ve seen a few couples try it, especially when their children are young, normally between the ages of 6 months and 7 years old. However, it all starts to fall apart once one person wants to move on and have a new life with someone else. The other parent starts to feel blindsided and betrayed. Unfortunately, due to the ever changing emotions and wants of the parents, these arrangements usually don’t long. I also don’t think it’s fair to the child. I think that it’s easier for children to deal with the separation of their parents when they are younger. If the child has no recollection of the parents ever living together, then it won’t bother them as much when it happens although there is always a possibility the lack of the parent in the home can lead to emotional problems as they get older. A study shows that children between the ages of 6 and 12 are old enough to understand divorce and might show their anger by taking sides. If daddy leaves the house, then daddy is the bad guy, when the reality in this case is that mom and dad were never together. They just raised you in the same house. This confuses children because their thought process is if daddy and mommy live together, then we are a family. Heck, parents separating are difficult no matter the age of the children. I know adults in their mid 30s that would be distraught if their parents announced they were getting divorced. In Keyshia and Booby’s case they have to be careful. I would suggest they have to be honest with their child when he gets old enough to understand that mom and dad love him, and love each other, but are not together in a relationship. Even though I’m skeptical of it, for the sake of the child, it can work if there is honesty and a sense of realistic expectations given to the child. The child cannot grow up believing in a fantasy version of his family situation when it doesn’t exist. The longer the truth is withheld, the more devastating it will be to the child. You don’t want to be around for the fall out of that.
Also, there’s a theory that Booby is living with Keyshia and that she is allegedly supporting him. I don’t have the energy to even explore those accusations so I won’t. I think that if they quietly had this arrangement of co-parenting under the same roof it would have a higher rate of success and longevity. But now that it is already under the scrutiny of the public before the show even airs, I believe it will put stress on a situation that they both thought was working for them. I damn sure know that me and my ex-wife could not live together. It’s actually better that we don’t even live in the same city or state. Even though I don’t agree with the arrangement because it will become impractical in time, I do admire them for putting their son first. As parents our children’s happiness should be our first priority. But how good can we be as parents if we are not happy or fulfilled in our personal lives? How long will they be able to sacrifice? What happens when they desire love or companionship? Will the intimate setting force them back into each other’s arms or will one of them decide that they were way in over the heads and want to live apart? Only they know how they feel and how this will work, but if you’re thinking of modeling this arrangement I hope I brought you some caution. Co-parenting is hard enough so do yourself a favor and eliminate all complications by not blurring the lines of your relationship with the other co-parent. I wish them all the best.