Confession: I watch Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta. Hopefully, y’all won’t hold that against me, but something interesting happened during this week’s episode. Primary protagonist Stevie J. gifted Mimi, the estranged mother of his daughter, with a brand new BMW. No, it wasn’t her birthday or any other major life milestone; he allegedly just wanted to make amends for previous offenses. Well, that and one-up Mimi’s new man Nikko, who recently purchased her a diamond-less Rolex. (Stevie suspected the pricey timepiece was fake but that’s beside the point.)


Regardless of the reasons behind the gift, the fact of the matter is, it should not have been accepted. Despite Mimi’s persistent queries about the car coming with “no strings attached,” a woman in a committed relationship should not keep a present from an ex. Especially one that could potentially undermine the bond you have with your current partner.


As expected, Nikko was upset by the blatant disrespect on both Stevie and Mimi’s part, and that led him to question her commitment to their relationship. While I don’t agree with him eventually calling Mimi out her name, I don’t blame him for being upset about how the whole thing played out.   


Thankfully, the Mrs. and I don’t have any children out of wedlock that forever link us to someone from our pasts. But even if either of us did, the idea of accepting a pricey present from one of them wouldn’t be an option. Not only are our former flames all broke, but we also understand that would open a door better off left closed.


Whether you’re married or not, being in a committed relationship comes with certain unsaid rules. Namely, you should always respect the one your with. While I’m quite confident in my standing within my marriage, I’d have to say it would definitely sting to have another man that wasn’t blood-related provide for my wife.


As a man I feel it’s my responsibility to care for my family and having anyone—especially an ex—threaten my ability to do that would not make me a happy camper. Some may say that’s just my fragile male ego, but for me it all boils down to respect. The same way my wife wouldn’t appreciate another woman making me a home-cooked meal, I wouldn’t be cool with the idea of another man buying her an expensive gift.


Respect is a two-way street. As much as Stevie J. was wrong for purposely trying to outshine Nikko, Mimi carries some of the blame as well. While I understand how hard it might be to turn down something like a brand new luxury vehicle, if you’re in a relationship you have to take the L on that. It’s just not going to end well.


Even if your boo says they’re cool with said gift, it’ll likely wind up being a constant reminder of your ex and something that you weren’t able to deliver. The proper course of action would be to say, “thanks, but no thanks.”


Married or not, you should never disrespect the one you’re with for the one you left. Ladies, your man should be the one to support you, and if you’re more concerned with an inappropriate gift than your partner’s feelings, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship in the first place.


Would you intimidated by an ex showering your partner with a lavish gift? Who’s more at fault: the ex for giving the gift or your partner for accepting it? Would you suspect lingering feelings were there? How important is mutual respect to your relationships? Sound off!


Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.