Whenever we report about celebrities in relation to an "affair," whether it's rumored or proven, people are quick to jump on the women involved. When Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt got divorced, we—as a society—only entertained two reasons:
- Angelina Jolie stole him.
- Jennifer drove him into another woman's arms because she didn't want children.
Brad was somehow just caught in the middle of all of this. Sure, people called him a cheater, but Angelina was the one who got dragged by the whole world. And when Brangelina called it quits, jokes about how Jen must have felt smug and satisfied spread like wildfire because "FINALLY, Angelina got what she deserved."
This isn't to say that women shouldn't be held responsible for the roles they play when it comes to disrupting/destroying someone else's relationship; in fact, according to some research, women in heterosexual relationships are 40 percent more likely to cheat on their partners today than they were three decades ago.
But because women are still viewed as the "keepers" of relationships, "there's the deep-seated belief of women being the caregivers. They should be able to nourish men and keep them happy," according to psychologist Andrea Bonior. Couples' therapist Esther Perel supports, "What a man does is [seen as] a direct result of the woman. It's either that one tempted him, or one drove him away."
Society still tells us that if a couple is unhappy, it's probably because the woman isn't doing her part, which often means she isn't giving him sex = She isn't giving him what he needs to stay. Can we all agree that's fucking absurd?
People cross the line and step out of a relationship for different reasons. But it's time we recognize that blame is a two-way street; gender shouldn't be the basis of who should take responsibility for a broken relationship.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.