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Chad Johnson

Condom Use was Plot Point

on 'Basketball Wives'

8/13/2012 9:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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File this under IRONIC -- years before Evelyn Lozada's nuclear argument with husband Chad Johnson over a box of condoms left her in the ER ... she told him if he WAS going to cheat, to at least wrap his tool.

The awkward conversation went down on a previously aired episode of VH1's "Basketball Wives" (above) ... Lozada and Johnson sat down for a pre-wedding talk to discuss the now-unemployed NFL'rs tendency to cheat.

In the clip (shown in flashback) ... the "BB Wife" tells Chad that if he is going to shack up with another woman, she wants him to be honest about it and at least "Go to the pharmacy and get condoms" first.

Evelyn later explained that she and Chad didn't have an open relationship ... and she never WANTED him to cheat ... but she was always realistic about the possibility of Chad straying and wanted to be safe.

Fast forward to this weekend ... when Chad was arrested for domestic violence ... and told police he and Evelyn began fighting after she discovered a receipt for a box of condoms.

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