We should critically cease shaming girls who stay after infidelity

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Getting betrayed is a difficult thing. Being betrayed as a female public figure makes it twice as difficult. People (myself included, I’m not going to lie) love to spend their two cents on what the aggrieved partner should do and how to do it. To make matters worse, most of the time the other woman is thrown into the mix, which leaves room for comparison and reasons the cheater got out of – ultimately relieving them of full responsibility.

The internet is great at faking stories and selling theories as facts. So when well-known women decide to stick with their cheating spouses, the magnifying glass of their relationship gets even bigger. Keyboard warriors – who obviously just have flawless relationship experiences – shame women for staying after infidelity, and it’s so tired to be honest. A lot of judgment about how stupid and gullible they are is then added to the stress of everything else. We saw it done to Hillary Clinton in the 90s and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get over it today.

In recent history, this happened last week when Da’Naia Jackson decided to perform with her husband, Derrick Jaxn, as he admitted to having been unfaithful in their marriage. Jackson revealed that once she found out, she left home for a while and wouldn’t return until he made an effort to change. The exit was probably also to gather together, say a prayer, and think carefully about what their next step would be. She decided to stay. Even though she knew her circumstances and what was best for her, the good people on the internet sensed that her presence on video and in the marriage meant that she was complicit in her partner’s actions. Granted, Jaxn was acting like a narcissistic clown on social media, but she ultimately made the decision to keep her family together and somehow that sparked unkind comments. People made fun of her appearance – which I can only say was so irrelevant to the matter at hand – and ridiculed her for reverting to him.

Previously, it was Khloe Kardashian’s turn in the fire. Now I’m not a Cardashian apologist. This family was too deliberately deaf for me to ever step on their side. However, I understand Kardashian for wanting to try and make things work with Tristan Thompson (no matter how many times he has proven he doesn’t deserve another chance). She’s not a saint, and we can all agree that the way she attacked Jordyn Woods for kissing her disloyal baby’s father was unfair. But even coverage of the entire drama has focused more on Kardashian’s confrontation with Woods than anything else. The star radiated her heartbreak, embarrassment, and anger at keeping up with the Kardashians while Woods shared her side of the story on Red Table Talk. However, the actual cheater in the scenario never had to explain himself publicly. He had the gall to try as if the kiss hadn’t taken place initially, but when the truth came out – radio silence. Instead, he apologized while the cameras rolled for the E! Reality tv show so there is this.

As an outsider in both situations, I can clearly see that both Jaxn and Thompson have ingrained problems when it comes to being loyal. However, whether or not women can see in these situations is not up to us by which to judge them. Something bigger is at stake here and that is their families. I think as people in general we need to loosen our attitudes, which are more sacred than you, and acknowledge the fact that relationships and emotional connections are complicated. As women, we like to believe that we are different and that even if our partners have been serial scammers in the past, they will change their behaviors for us. It’s safe to say that neither Jackson nor Kardashian fell in love because they knew these men were compulsive liars and habitual heartbreakers. No matter how many times this has been proven to be true, often times we are all waiting for them to show us that they are the people they said they are.

Having kids in the mix certainly adds weight. Who wants to divide the time during the week and alternate the holidays when everyone can only live in one household? Also, when you feel like you are wrong, especially in a romantic relationship, there are times when you want to give the other party as much opportunity as possible to make amends. It’s normal to stay because you want him to put in the same amount of work to mend the connection he made to break it. Most of all, they want to prove that the relationship means just as much to him as it does to you. And if that takes two or three tries, so be it. The point is, you tried.

While celebrities can ultimately benefit from scam scandals and the attention that comes with it, my real hope is that we will all be a bit more graceful with one another in general, and that includes in real life too. There’s nothing worse than going through an excruciatingly difficult period in your life and feeling that you can’t open up to loved ones or that you can’t just live the way you want to for fear of judgment. Whether it is your sister, girlfriend or mother who decides to stay with their significant other after cheating, it is important to remember to still create a safe place for them to come to you, when you need it. You can voice your opinion, but shaming someone into submission will only make them suspicious of confiding in you and make an already difficult situation for them worse. Listen, rate, give your support – even if you think he will do it again.

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