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Bravo's housewives, non-housewives: Your enemies don't have to be friend's enemy

Cynthia Bailey and NeNe Leakes during the 2011 Soul Train Awards at The Fox Theatre on November 17, 2011 in Atlanta.
Cynthia Bailey and NeNe Leakes during the 2011 Soul Train Awards at The Fox Theatre on November 17, 2011 in Atlanta.
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

There seems to be an ongoing pattern of ridiculous rules with Bravo's "Real Housewives" series, specifically for "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (RHOBH) and "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (RHOA).

1. Men are never to engage in women's conversations even if it's to defend their own wives.

2. Women can only be friends if all of their friends match like socks.

Rule #1 Debunked: The first rule is too moronic to bother explaining, but it would be interesting to find out how many women would find it sexist if men told them not to get into any discussions with men about men. Never mind equal rights or the women's movement or being treated as a human being. Never mind that a man has a right to speak just like any woman does. And never mind that RHOBH's Yolanda Foster was upset about Kenn Todd calling her "stupid" but brushed off her own name-dropping husband David Foster for calling the entire cast of women "clowns." Her response? "Don't take it seriously." And never mind that even Ken Todd said Joyce Giraud's husband Michael Ohoven should stay out of women's arguments only to jump right into the melee of women to defend his own wife Lisa Vanderpump a couple of episodes later. There were too many hypocritical moments with this rule to be convinced that the cast believed this one themselves.

Check out "Bravo's RHOA NeNe Leakes stunts often but other cast members are successful"

Rule #2 Debunked: The second strange rule that has crept up with both RHOBH's Brandi Glanville and RHOA's NeNe Leakes is this territorial demand that their friends should never befriend their own enemies. In Brandi's case, she doesn't want Lisa Vanderpump to have anything to do with a five-year employee of Lisa's named Scheana Marie. Brandi finds it perfectly justifiable to not want Lisa around Scheana and for the entire room to be cleared of all of Brandi's enemies. Brandi doesn't seem to understand that she does not own the world and other people have a right to walk around in it, nor does she seem to get that Lisa's husband's name is Ken, not Eddie Cibrian. What happened between Eddie and Brandi is between the two of them, and an outside worker who Lisa knew before Brandi was even on the show shouldn't be scooted away so Brandi can pout. If everyone had the luxury of not having to be around people they don't like, businesses would never be run and everyone would stay at home in hiding. But at least Brandi had a serious issue -- infidelity.

NeNe Leakes, however, showed her true colors on Sun., April 13, Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" by stating that since her now frenemy Marlo Hampton didn't tell her she was filming scenes with cast member Kenya Moore, she would no longer film with her. Now the housewives don't just want people to scurry out of the room like roaches, but they must keep track of their friends' schedules, too.

NeNe also dropped the bomb that she and cast member Cynthia Bailey are no longer friends after Cynthia felt some kind of way about NeNe saying Cynthia's husband Peter Thomas was "acting like a bitch." Gasp! Who would ever think a wife would get mad at someone she thought was a friend feeling like it's okay to call her husband a "bitch" right in front of her? NeNe clearly forgot to make Cynthia add "insulting husbands gets a free pass" in their friendship contract.

But NeNe took it to a whole new low by insinuating that Cynthia should no longer be on the show. Even RHOBH hasn't gone that far with trying to get cast members removed because they're no longer friends. They just go to the tabloids or purchase tabloids and sit them by their suitcases instead. Then play dumb.

True friendship is not a business or gang affiliation. It makes sense to demand that people not be friends if they could possibly endanger your lives. When 50 Cent didn't want The Game to be friends with people he didn't like, it made sense. It was territorial but mildly reasonable. This was a man walking around with a bulletproof vest on because he thought he was really going to die. If your friends are buddied up with someone who wants you dead that's a problem.

But none of these women are in any danger. And there's no point in trying to force someone to not be friends or film with other cast members and guests because you don't like them. In elementary school and high school, that clique mentality could be appeased as naivete. As an adult, it's childish and laughable.

Housewife or no housewife, unless you know for sure that your mutual friend is dogging you out with the enemy and smiling in your face, there's no reason to be concerned. Let them be friends. Let you two be friends. And trust that it's possible for three fully grown women to be able to be in the same room without acting like dogs near trees.


Quick tips to maintain friendship while friend befriends the enemy:

1. Tell your friend that nothing about your personal or professional life should be discussed with the enemy.

2. Tell your friend that you would appreciate it if conflicts between you two were never brought up with the enemy. Although friends tend to air their grievances, small arguments will quickly escalate when friends talk to enemies who can make the situation worse.

3. Don't assume that your friend must never invite your enemy anywhere. For birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties, business events, baby showers and housewarming parties, people have the right to invite everyone who is significant to them. It's unreasonable to dictate someone else's guest list.

4. Don't avoid showing up to big events because the enemy is there. If necessary, bring your own date, boyfriend, husband or another friend to make the situation less awkward. Unless this is a very small get-together, you and the enemy can just ignore each other.

5. Put your foot down with your friend about any interventions. Some friends are so determined to be peacemakers that they'll often try to bring enemies together. If you're not willing to give the enemy a second chance, that's perfectly your right. But make that plain with the friend. Otherwise you two may butt heads.

6. Don't constantly insult the enemy to your friend. You don't like her. She gets it. There's no point in constantly bringing it up. It puts the friend in an uncomfortable position if she regards you both as loyal friends. It may be difficult, especially if your friend always talks about hangouts with the enemy. If asking your friend to stop talking to you about the enemy at all takes care of the gossiping issue, do that.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago dating, sex, marriage and work relationship entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Relationships channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Let's Talk About Sex...Health" Pinterest board.

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