Modern infidelity: When cheating is a question of when not if

Kourtney dated Leonard. Kourtney fell in love with Leonard. Leonard cheated...more than once, twice, three times? He doesn't know. He wasn't counting.

Now exes, Kourtney and Leonard had a sit down confrontation on The Scene about how the infidelity led to the demise of their relationship.

Watch: Why did you cheat?

This video went viral and had many fingers angrily racing on social media.

Here are some of the top reactions to the confrontation:

We have all seen how it has become a part of social media culture to joke about and trivialise infidelity, but watching this video on those very same platforms highlighted how harsh a reality being cheated on actually is. 

Nothing can ever prepare anyone for the pain being cheated on causes, no matter how often we witness it around us. 

Bringing old scars to new relationships

The cynicism about relationships is fueled largely by the fact that it seems every relationship is going to end in heartbreak anyway, because of this common trend of straying from traditional monogamous relationships.

We live in a world full of hurt people who have become hardened by their own heartbreaks and disappointments. You would think the last thing they would want to do is inflict the same pain on someone else, but you'd be wrong.

Granted, there are people who cheat on their partners with no intention of ever getting caught and would therefore argue that they did not hurt their partner deliberately (this still doesn't make it right), but what about the cheaters who do it so callously and openly?

It is no longer a question of whether it will happen or not, but a matter of when.

Maybe these kinds of cheaters are a symptom of a much bigger societal ill that is disturbing our moral compass - the fact that we have been exposed to so much infidelity on an almost daily basis that we are now just desensitised to it all.

Cheating doesn’t make us fume as much as it used to and it has been accepted as a necessary affliction of most romantic relationships.

It ain't none of our business

I was at a New Year’s Eve party where the one half of a well-known married couple was living his best life (as one should at a NYE party), but the best life he was living wasn’t with his wife. It was with other single ladies. 

There was a handful of perturbed people, but what was louder than the club speakers was the general consensus that what happens between two people should not be anyone else’s business.

So we keep turning a blind eye to unfaithfulness in the name of respecting the privacy of others, but does privacy trump emotional stability?

I’m not suggesting that we should go make a Facebook status update announcing that so-and-so is cheating on their partner whenever we see unsavoury behavior from someone who is meant to be committed to someone else, but a sense of accountability and remorse should be tactfully prompted. We just don’t know how.

Read more: 71% of married women who cheat have sex on the first date 

Expecting lies instead of roses

It appears as though our generation now enters into relationships/marriage expecting to be cheated on sooner or later. It is no longer a question of whether it will happen or not, but a matter of when. 

They’re not answering their phone, they must be cheating. They got home late because they were with someone else. They’re going out tonight? Surely they’re going to cheat. 

People are in relationships where they are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop regardless of how happy they are, but the gag is… you don’t have to be unhappy in your relationship to cheat. 

You know the old saying about wanting to have your cake and eat it? It seems people want the commitment and care that comes with a long-term relationship as well as the sexual excitement that comes with carefree flings.

But is it really too much to ask that you remain single if you still want to pursue casual sexual relations?

Human nature

The thing about cheating is that it confirms two things about human nature. The first is that humans have a natural inclination to satisfy their primal instincts and sex is one of these instincts. The second is that humans will always act out of self-interest.

We can’t keep excusing infidelity on the premise of patriarchal social conditioning and nonsensical dating theories such as the 80/20 rule.

Perhaps this is where the normalisation of cheating comes in. It is the uncomfortable acknowledgment of these two facts that have so often been used as justifications for not honouring the promise you made to your significant other, albeit highly disrespectful still. 

And so the vicious cycle of giving in to temptation and being forgiven for your transgressions continues because at the end of it all you still love each other, right? 


We can’t keep excusing infidelity on the premise of patriarchal social conditioning and nonsensical dating theories such as the 80/20 rule popularised by Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married

(The 80/20 rule states that the person you are committed to has 80% of all the things you require in a partner, while the prospective cheatee holds the remaining 20% you long for.)

This rule has rendered relationships competitive, thereby perpetuating a culture of always wanting to be chosen even when we know a dubious partner will choose themselves every time.

Today they want the 80 and tomorrow they want the 20. Either way, you’re losing and you deserve more.

We can’t blame people for wanting things to work out, but the day more people start choosing self-love and serenity over broken happily-ever-afters will be the day cheating becomes vulnerable to uncensored criticism again. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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