Kendall, Gigi, Beyonce, Cardi: Why Can't Women Celebrities Dump Their Cheating Partners?
I’d gone through a significant transition in my faith, and many fundamental truths changed.
Written byIfie Brandon
Several years ago, my husband and I sat in the basement of my parents' house and discussed whether or not it was time to get a divorce. A year prior, I’d gone through a significant transition in my faith, and many fundamental truths changed. It caused a rift between my husband and me and after three years of marriage, we were ready to call it quits.
I had a guy friend who was there for me. The same thoughts that confused my husband, intrigued him. The very ideas my husband denied, he validated. A very slippery slope led to an emotional affair that was later exposed by a mutual friend (I know, the drama). My husband and I found ourselves asking a very hard question - do we still want to be together?
We sat in the theater room of that basement surrounded by posters of love stories and old photo albums as we reflected on all the wrongs that had been done in our own relationship. Despite all of the disagreements, disappointment, and distrust, we both settled on one word: stay. We’ll be celebrating ten years of marriage this year.
Thanks to the media, we’re bombarded with stories of infidelity almost daily. The personal lives of our favorite celebrity couples are exposed; giving us permission to judge their decision to stay or leave.
In 2018, Offset was accused of cheating on Cardi B and as if on cue, Twitter sent judgments her way. She responded to a fan on Twitter saying (and I paraphrase) MLK, Jay-Z, and so many other prominent men also cheated on their wives– It happens. The beehive was furious that she would involve Beyonce in this recap of history but Jay-Z himself has admitted to the infidelity.
Why didn’t these women leave their cheating partners?
Well, why should they?
Research shows that somewhere between 20-40% of divorces are due to infidelity, but Divorce Magazine found that 60-75% of marriages are held together after an affair.
In many societies, infidelity is viewed as the end-all-be-all; the non-negotiable. The ultimate deception; and I understand why. Whether it’s our desire to possess another human being or the deception that causes a break in trust – cheating feels like betrayal and a shot to our ego. But if you ask me, cheating is no worse than neglect, lying, poor communication, unexpressed expectations, emotional immaturity and so many other things we experience in partnership.
We’ve been taught that when someone hurts and deceives us, it’s time to leave them (and sometimes it is). But the aforementioned offenses are not always evidence of an evil heart or broken relationship but instead, an indication that something is wrong; a statement of need.
The truth is, marriage is neither easy nor straightforward. It’s complex and nuanced. Therefore, we can’t judge any two marriages with the same standards.
With that being said, I don't believe that every relationship should last beyond infidelity nor do I believe every indiscretion should be forgiven. It depends on the people, the situation, and the work you’re willing to put in. It’s about whether or not two people are willing to heal, identify the issues, and commit to work on them day after day.
And when two people decide that the mission of the marriage is bigger than the mishap - they stay. When they decide that love is bigger than circumstance - they stay.
I can’t speak for every single person who has stayed in a relationship beyond infidelity, but I do think that women like Cardi and Beyonce stayed with their husbands because they saw something bigger than themselves, their feelings, and their history - they considered the entire journey of their partnership despite the moments of pain.
It all boils down to this. In everything, humans must do what works best for them, what feels right, and what makes them happy and well. In some instances, leaving your cheating partner is the right thing to do. And in other instances, there is a bigger reason why staying is better than leaving.
When we see someone else’s relationship from the outside, all we see is a glimpse, a picture, an IG reel even. A snapshot into someone’s relationship doesn’t compare to the entire film of good and hard times that fill their lives.
Partnerships will go through a spectrum of abandonment, pride and ignorance, control, irresponsibility, and immaturity. You get to pick and choose what you want to deal with. And if cheating is a non-negotiable for you, that is absolutely understandable. But we shouldn’t criticize people who decide that infidelity is not the thing that will break their marriage.
We should mind our business and hope that when the time comes for us to make the hard decisions about our own relationships, we will decide on what is best for us and us only.