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In Defense Of 'The Other Woman': A Word On Cheating

It takes two to tango … but only one to walk away.

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A man stands to the left of two women. While the woman in the middle has her arm around the man, he is holding the hand of the other woman behind her back.
Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images
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Cheating. It’s an ugly word. An uglier concept. And yet it's one most of us will have to contend with at least once in our lives. Either by being cheated on or by being the cheater. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be labeled a “cheater,” or “the other woman,” but one worth exploring, as it's been at the forefront of our social consciousness lately with the Khloe Kardashian/Jordyn Woods/Tristan Thompson scandal.

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or you’re just not a Twitter addict, like me), the long and short of it is this: Khloe Kardashian’s baby daddy Tristian Thompson allegedly cheated on Khloe with close Kardashian family friend, Jordyn Woods. Khloe then went on the warpath, dragging Jordyn down on Twitter and accusing her, not Tristan, of being a home wrecker.

Since Khloe is 34 and Jordyn is only 21, this public attack did not sit well with Twitter users, and they called Khloe to the carpet for placing all of the blame on Jordyn and not holding Tristan at all responsible. Which brings up an important point I want to touch on today: Why are we so quick to crucify the person our partner cheated WITH, rather than our own partner?

Shouldn’t our partner be held to a higher standard, since they are the ones who had the commitment to us? Isn’t their betrayal greater than that of (in most case, though not Khloe’s), a stranger’s? If you’ve found yourself recently rocked by your own cheating scandal, here are a few things to consider before going on the attack against the so-called “other woman/other man” and letting your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse off the hook.

  • Though this was not the case with Khloe and Jordyn … it’s entirely possible that the “other woman” doesn’t realize she’s with a taken man. I was in a situation a few years ago where the man I was seeing completely misrepresented his relationship status and led me to believe he was single. Turns out he was very much NOT single, a fact I only learned when I received an email from his irate partner, detailing just how not single he was. Then she proceeded to go on an online tangent, painting me as a Jezebel home wrecker and her partner as the innocent victim. I actually had to hire an attorney to send cease and desist letters to stop her from continuing to slander my name. Granted, I’m not always known for having the greatest judgment when it comes to men, but I never would have knowingly gotten involved with someone who was already spoken for. This is probably why I have such a heart for “the other woman,” because I know how easy it is to find yourself with a label you didn’t ask for and never would have purposely chosen. Yes, women who are cheated on are 100 percent the victim in the scenario. All I’m saying is, consider the fact that the man who lied to you and betrayed you might have also been doing the same thing to the other woman in the scenario.
  • History will always repeat itself. Don’t be surprised if your man cheats on you once, twice, three times, you take him back, and then he cheats on you a fourth time, a fifth time, a sixth time. As Khloe was about to give birth to their daughter True several months ago, Tristan was making headlines for being spotted making out in public with another woman. And yet she chose to take him back. Ladies, as Louise says so succinctly in one of my all-time favorite movies, “Thelma and Louise”: You get what you settle for. If you choose to take your partner back time and time again after they’ve betrayed you time and time again … you can’t get mad when the cycle repeats itself. And you certainly can’t blame the other woman, no matter who she may be. In Tristan’s case, he (allegedly) might have cheated with whoever happened to be standing in front of him that night. Jordyn Woods was just a space-filler. I’m all for second chances. Not so much third, fourth, fifth ones. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck … it’s a duck. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Barring a miracle, a leopard simply doesn’t change his spots.

Since I don’t think I can cram any more analogies into one paragraph, let’s move on.


  • Finally … how you got him is how you’ll lose him. Rumors flew when Tristan and Khloe got together that he was cheating on his then-pregnant girlfriend with Khloe. In the words of Alanis … isn’t it ironic that Khloe then found herself in the exact same scenario when she was pregnant with Tristan’t child? None of this is to say that Khloe deserved what she got. No one deserves to be cheated on, and lied to, and betrayed. But you can always predict someone’s future behavior by their past behavior. Tristan has a well-known and documented track record of being (allegedly) less-than-100-percent-faithful. So is it really that shocking that just as he might have cheated WITH Khloe, he allegedly cheated ON Khloe? If you met your current partner while they were married or otherwise spoken for, and you knowingly chose to proceed with the relationship anyway, there is no room on any soapbox for your self-righteous anger when your cheating partner returns to his or her cheating roots. There just isn’t. And particularly no room for attacking “the other woman” when you were once the other woman yourself.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, we have to love ourselves enough to walk away from anyone who doesn’t love us enough. And if someone chooses to serial cheat on you, they don’t love you. It’s as simple as that. They don’t even love themselves so how could they possibly love you? Remember, it takes two to tango … so before you welcome your partner back with open arms, while waging war against “the other woman,” consider the fact that it was HIS choice to let someone else cut in. And then love yourself enough to end that toxic relationship and don’t look back. Because the beautiful thing about dancing is while it does take two to tango … it only takes one to walk away.