Why do we blame the other woman when a man cheats.
Although it might feel like a long time ago because so much has happened in South African pop culture and social media. I remember seeing a video of a young woman, being harassed at her work, a sports wear store, by two older women. The video showed a girl wearing a white tank top or white t-shirt, and the two women shouting at the top of their lungs, for everyone in the store to hear, asking her why is she sleeping with a married man. And telling her to stop doing it.
I’m assuming that one of the two ladies was the wife of the alleged married man. The video also showed the young lady trying to get away from the stares of people in the store but one of the ladies caught her, dragged her by the t-shirt until the t-shirt was torn from her small body. She finally got away from all the harassment, but without her dignity, as everyone had seen her naked body when the t-shirt ripped off. Facts: 50% of the time a woman doesn’t know that the man she is sleeping with is married.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
Do you also remember the time when Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston to be with Angelina Jolie? The headlines read; Angelina stole Brad from Jennifer!” And almost all the social media opinions of fury were directed not at Brad Pitt, who had left Jenifer Aniston for Angelina, but at Angelina.
The Story of Brad and Jennifer Aniston is not new in regards to cheating. But Social media and ‘us’ will almost all the time point the blame to the other woman, not the person who did the cheating. Its only now, that people are learning to be objective and see a situation for what it really is.
When we say, “Angelina stole Brad from Jennifer!” what are we saying about Brad? We’re talking as though he’s not a human with a brain, he is an object that can’t think for itself. He is like a wallet that can be grabbed by a thief. But people aren’t wallets or shoes or hand bags. People cannot be stolen from one person to the other. People choose to leave, people choose to cheat.
Three reasons why people tend to blame the woman when a man cheats.
Reason #1: We Often Think of Relationships as Property
“He’s taken.” “She’s off-limits.” We use language of property and possession to talk about relationships. And it’s somewhat this reason; some people end up never getting married or they end up cheating. People do not like being told what to do or how to be behave. And, people certainly don’t like being put in a cage. When we keep using the terms, he’s taken, he’s mine, subconsciously a person feels like they should break free from being stuck somewhere. But there are no physical cages in marriage, or relationships. These cages are mental.
From a Valentine heart that say “Be mine” to threatening “If I can’t have you, nobody can,” we talk as though a lover is something that be won or lost, caught or stolen.
I believe we do this because of the sense of security it gives. You don’t have to continually negotiate your relationship with your toaster: Once you’ve paid the price for it, it’s yours and you don’t have to think about it. When something belongs to us, we can count on it being there as long as we want to keep it.
That is another misconception when it comes to marriages, once we say I do, we start to view our partners as toasters. Once the bride price has been payed, men generally think that the wife belongs to him and because she is his, the bride price gives a false sense of security. i.e You don’t have to continually negotiate your relationship with your toaster (your wife, she is yours) so in your head, you don’t have to keep trying to win her, so a man relaxes. The same way a woman would relax, for a lack of a better example ‘get fat’ ,after marriage because she might subconsciously feel like she doesn’t need to constantly be negotiating her husband’s love, the husband belongs to her (like the toaster)
People are not toasters they can never belong to us
The reality is that partnerships are about constantly proving yourself to the other person. If you say you love a person today, you must say it again tomorrow. The same with actions. Yesterday’s actions can’t be carried over to today. A relationship is always a choice, every day. Each person makes the choice to stay connected and invested.
Every day, we choose whether to be faithful to the commitments we’ve made, in sickness and in health, or to let them slip. I don’t think that leaving a committed relationship is always the wrong choice. Sometimes it’s healthier to let a relationship go if it isn’t working any more. Sometimes the right decision is to stay and work through whatever struggles you’re having.
Why do we blame the other woman when a man cheats cause Either way, it’s a choice that the partner makes, not something that is forced on them by the presence of another woman.
Reason #2: It Plays into the Temptress Stereotype
There’s a song called Jolene by Dolly Parton. The lyrics go like:
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can
A man doesn’t get seduced if he doesn’t want to. A man doesn’t leave if he still wants to stay. A man doesn’t stay if he wants to leave. Jolene was just a way out. Finally, there was a woman he wanted to leave his wife for – Jolene.
As a counterpart to this is the idea that men are helpless to control their sexual urges. Therefore, women have to be responsible for making sure men don’t cheat.
Offset and Cardi B
Cardi B took back Husband Offset but she had conditions. She made these conditions, as if she can control him and what he does. Offset is now under a ‘no groupies’ rule which came with strict instructions such as changing his number for the purpose of strictly business, Cardi, and Kulture. If Cardi B thinks that putting rules on a man, treating him as if he is a child is something that can keep offset from cheating, she is misled. A man is not a piece of furniture which can be moved around the house. You can’t control human beings unless they are in chains and shackles with a gun pointed on their heads.
Making women responsible for men’s sexual behavior is a key component of rape culture. It’s the same idea that says a woman is “asking for it” if she dresses a certain way or provokingly.
The truth is that men are perfectly capable of making decisions about who to date and who not to and who to cheat on. Just as they are able to hear and understand a woman’s “no,” they are able to turn down an attractive and available woman because it’s more important to them to honor their existing monogamous relationship.
If outside forces are able to make them cheat or leave us, then the only way to protect against this is to manage their access to outside forces. So we may monitor their friendships and work relationships with women. We may get suspicious or jumpy when they’re friendly with an attractive woman out in public.
If other women everywhere are the threat, then we have to block or limit our partner’s access to other women. This, in turn, directly leads to controlling behaviors like telling them where they can go and who they can spend time with. This just puts more poison in an already toxic relationship
When Tristan Thompson cheated on Khloe Kardashian the first time, the whole family sat him down and reprimanded him like a small boy. Do you really think that a grown man like Tristan enjoyed being reprimanded like that in front of Khloe Kardashians entire family? No. And subconsciously, when he cheated again, it was maybe to indirectly tell them that he didn’t care about their little talk earlier and to prove to them that he can do whatever he wants.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian
I do not believe that Jordan woods was too drunk the night Tristan Thompson kissed her. If it were me and that was my sister’s boyfriend, I would never have allowed myself to get that close to my sister’s man. I wouldn’t allow myself to get too comfortable. Then again, I’m not Jordyn.
Jordyn Woods didn’t go looking for Tristan Thompson, she wasn’t the one who kissed him. He probably wanted to prove to people that he wasn’t being controlled. And I think he wanted to leave the relationship but Khloe wasn’t allowing him to leave.
Khloe Kardashian blamed Jordyn Woods for the breakup for her family as if Tristan Thompson didn’t decide to cheat on Khloe.
If instead we fully accept that our partner is the one responsible for staying faithful, then it becomes their job to decide what situations are too full of temptation and what situations are safe. Tristan Thompson didn’t care about Khloe and didn’t consider Khloe’s feelings when he tempted to cheat on Khloe with Jordyn woods.
Reason #3: It Hurts Less
When you’re the one being left, or cheated on, it’s really painful to think that the person you loved made a choice not to be with you. The person Khloe Loved, made a chose not to love her back, but break he heart using her close family friend, Jordyn woods.
It’s much easier, instead, to think as though the other person cast a spell that your partner was helpless to resist. Then it’s more like being hit by a force of nature, and less like, “My partner didn’t value me enough to stay with me” or “What does does she have that I don’t.”.
We need to start healing from the pain caused by the other person, and at some point, blaming the other woman is where the healing begins. The hurt that we’re trying to avoid, by focusing all our anger and blame on the other woman, is exactly where the healing needs to happen. The hurt should be focused on the right person for healing to truly begin.
It’s the hurt and pain caused by not just a stranger, but from a person we trusted. Betrayal coming from your best friend, childhood friend, close colleague runs deeper than betrayal from the stranger the man is cheating with. It’s the hurt of wondering if we just weren’t good enough. It’s the hurt of wondering how much of their love was sincere and how much was lies. Processing that level of hurt is hard, and it can be a relief to lose ourselves in rage at a woman who is a stranger. But to heal and move on, we have to whole-heartedly deal with those deeper hurts and questions.
What I’m saying is that at some point, the healing process is going to have to involve looking squarely at the choices our partner made, holding them responsible, and dealing with all the hurtful, deep, thought provoking and heart breaking feelings and questions that comes with the betrayal.