Beliefnet
Stronger Marriages

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

“Homewrecker.” “Man-stealer.” “Skank.” We have heard them all before. A man cheats on his wife or girlfriend, and it is somehow the other woman’s fault. Witness how fans of celebrity news have been in a meltdown over whether Jordyn Woods is responsible for “stealing” Tristan Thompson from Khloe Kardashian or the media circus surrounding the Jennifer-Brad-Angelina debacle.

When it comes to dealing with a cheater, women and men tend to react differently. Women generally see the other woman as the one responsible for the mess. Kardashian certainly blames Woods and has publically claimed Woods is the reason Kardashian’s family has fallen apart. Men, however, tend to put the blame on their cheating girlfriend or wife.

The blame for cheating belongs on a cheater. A disloyal spouse is not a wallet or credit card that can be stolen away by some ne’er-do-well. It takes two to tango, regardless of whether that tango is vertical or horizontal. Blaming the cheater, however, is hard for many people to do. It requires recognizing and admitting that someone they love has betrayed them. Blaming the other woman allows a person to hate a stranger while protecting both their own feelings and the person they love.

Optimism can be a terrible thing when dealing with a cheater. Cheaters are unlikely to change their lying ways, but those they have betrayed often remain hopeful about salvaging the relationship. Blaming the other woman allows that optimism to remain and flourish. After all, it was not really the cheater’s fault. There is nothing wrong with him, so the relationship can be repaired.

Blaming the other woman is also a natural reaction to the insecurity caused by such an enormous and intimate betrayal like cheating. When someone cheats, people almost immediately wonder if there was something wrong with them that drove their partner away. Are they simply not interesting enough to hold their partner’s interest? Are they not attractive enough? Blaming the other woman allows the person who was cheated on to believe that there was nothing about themselves that was lacking. Instead, their man was simply ensnared by that doe-eyed snake. This also gives people a clear villain. Everyone forms a story about their lives in their heads. Emotional landmines like cheating are much easier to handle with a simple story such as an evil seductress stealing away a good man. In reality, the other woman may have had no idea that she was dating a scumbag who was double timing both his girlfriend and his wife.

No one can deny that people have a right to be angry at a cheating man, and any woman who was knowingly a mistress has a lot to answer to as well. It takes two to tango, however, and most women are not seeking out men who are already taken. So, stop putting the blame on the other woman, and put it on the man who chose to cheat. Maybe knowing they will no longer get away with it will make a few potential cheaters think twice.

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