Will Khloe Kardashian Forgive Tristan Again? Why Even Smart Women Forgive Men Who Are Caught Cheating

Photo: Instagram
tristan cheated on khloe

The news that Khloe Kardashian's boyfriend, basketball player Tristan Thompson, has allegedly been caught cheating again is far from shocking. After all, the dude was caught on surveillance video kissing one woman and motor-boating another just before their daughter, True Thompson, was born in 2018. Gross.

But this time, Tristan's mistress is reportedly someone close to the Kardashian-Jenner clan: little sister Kylie Jenner's live-in best friend, Jordyn Woods.

From TMZ:

"We're told Tristan flew into Los Angeles to spend Valentine's Day Thursday with Khloe and their daughter True. On Sunday night he was at a house party, where we're told he snuggled up with Kylie's BFF, Jordyn Woods ... Witnesses tell us Tristan and Jordyn were all over each other ... making out. We're told Khloe found out and immediately broke things off with the NBA player ... a source tells us 'she has had enough.'"

Ouch.

If the reports of Tristan's cheating turn out to be true, fans can't help but wonder if Khloe will forgive him and take him back again. After all, she forgave him once, what would keep her from forgiving him again?

If it were up to her fans, Tristan would be out —for good. After all, most people believe the old adage, "Once a cheater, always a cheater".

RELATED: Who Is Jordyn Woods? New Details About Kylie Jenner's BFF, Who Tristan Thompson Cheated On Khloe With

According to Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, relationships can survive cheating, but only if both partners are equally committed to healing and the cheater is remorseful.

Based on episodes from last season's Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Tristan seemed like he was working hard to be faithful and keep his family together. He made serious efforts to get the whole Kardashian-Jenner clan to forgive him, and Kim even convinced him to unblock her on Instagram. While he may not have publicly said "I'm sorry" to Khloe, Tristan seemed remorseful.

But that was then, and this is now.

And after what he's has put her through, wouldn't Khloe be a fool forgive Tristan?

I understand what it's like to be Khloe. Well, a little bit. I'm not famous, I'm not glamorous, and I've never had a relationship with a professional ball player. But I have been cheated on and humiliated by a man who was supposed to love me.

And I forgave him.

When I was 25 years old, I dated a guy who had a very mysterious aura to him. He worked behind the scenes on a very popular TV show, alongside some of the most popular A-list celebrities at the time. Every time he had to take a phone call outside or disappeared for a few hours, he blamed one of the actors, saying he couldn't share details.

It seems ridiculous in retrospect, but it was a pretty convincing story. Of course, all those phone calls were to other women.

RELATED: How To Tell If He's Cheating, Or If You're Just Paranoid

I found out he was cheating when one of the other women showed up at my workplace and asked if I knew him. I replied, "Of course, he's my boyfriend!" like the total chump that I was. She started crying.

"He's my boyfriend, too," she said.

Turns out there were at least three of us, and we decided to get together and confront him. As you can imagine, he freaked out. He said nothing and stormed out of the apartment where we all stood together, as if it we had done something truly inhumane to him. We crossed our arms over our chests and sighed with relief. We figured we were done with him.

But then he came back. He told me he loved me, that he was broken, that he didn't know why he cheated, but that he couldn't imagine losing me.

I fell for it and took him back. A few months later I caught him at it again. The only person who was surprised was me.

"Cheaters can't change their spots!" my friend Misti said. I sighed, too embarrassed to even cry this time.

But is that old adage, "once a cheater always a cheater" really true? Tristan Thompson sure seems to be evidence that it is.

If so, why do so many smart women forgive men who cheat?

Well, some cheaters do change. Some infidelities are a one-time thing.

When that cheater is your spouse or the parent of your child, it's hard to imagine breaking up a family because of one little mistake. In that way, forgiving a cheater is an act of hope, a leap of faith. Would you really want to go through the drama of separation and then have to share custody, when there's a possibility he'd never cheat again?

RELATED: Are Khloe Kardashian And Tristan Thompson Breaking Up?

Most women I know who have taken back a cheater feel like they have to do everything they can, exhaust every possibility to save their marriage, before they're willing to give up. And if you ask me, that's not foolish, it's commendable.

But how much infidelity is too much to forgive?

Turns out, there's a difference between cheaters — and this is key in determing whether they will ever cheat again. According to Marnie Feuerman, a marriage and couples counselor, there are some red flags to look out for when considering forgiving a cheater and taking them back. If, for instance, the cheater has a lot of friends who cheat on their partners — or if they had a parent who was a cheater — it's a bad sign that you're going to end up right back in the same boat. She says, "don't underestimate how this influences your spouse. A message can get internalized that cheating is acceptable or just a part of 'everyday life'."

Also, watch out for people who are great at compartmentalizing. According to Feuerman:

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"'Compartmentalization' is a defense mechanism that people use to separate internally conflicting thoughts from one another... If your spouse tends to compartmentalize, this could be a serious red flag... You need to understand what mechanisms allow someone to have sex with their co-worker on a desk at the office, then sit with you at the dinner table and act as if everything is perfectly normal."

Your cheating partner may also seem unremorseful, or may try to pin their cheating on you. And that's a really bad sign.

Some cheaters are great at making it seem like the choice to be unfaithful was out of their hands. This type of manipulation is another major reason so many women forgive cheaters. They fall for the lie that problems in a relationship can cause a man to cheat.

 

 Mommy and Baby True 

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on Jan 7, 2019 at 11:41am PST

This type of manipulation is particularly potent for women.

Being "good at relationships" is a major part of being seen as a successful woman in our society. We are raised to be nurturing, loving, supportive and always kind to the men in our lives. Even if we consciously believe in equality in relationships, there is still a ton of pressure on women to "please" their men to keep them from straying, and that narrative can be very powerful on a subconscious level.

If Tristan is trying to pull this type of BS on Khloe, here's what she needs to remember: Nobody forces anyone to cheat. We are all capable of choosing what's best for us and best for our families, and we are all capable of walking away from a potential affair. If Tristan is a compulsive cheater, it's his fault, and his fault only.

RELATED: 14 Awkward Details About Khloe Kardashian And Tristan Thompson's Relationship And Baby

Problems in a relationship can contribute to why a person chooses to cheat, and you may need to address a number of issues in your relationship in order to move on from infidelity. But those issues were never the reason why your partner cheated.

In my opinion, the time for forgiving Tristan Thompson has passed. If what TMZ reports about his cheating is true, he should be out on his butt. But I don't know what's happening in their relationship or even what's true about Khloe and Tristan's relationship. I'm not in their lives, I'm just observing this from the outside, like everyone else.

I just know that nobody deserves to be humiliated by their partner or betrayed by the father of their child, and I hope whatever Khloe decides to do helps her and her beautiful daughter move forward and heal.

RELATED: New Details About The $10 Million Contract Kris Jenner Made Tristan Thompson Sign So He Won't Cheat On Khloe Again

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer, editor, and media critic whose work has appeared in publications like Time, Vox, Redbook, Babble, Cosmopolitan, and BuzzFeed. For more, follow her on Twitter.