When news outlets began alleging that Tristan Thompson had cheated on the mother of his child, Khloe Kardashianas US Weekly reported, there was a collective gasp across the internet. But the gasp had nothing to do with Thompson. Nothing to do with the father of the affected child.
The gasp had everything to do with the fact that Thompson was reportedly seen canoodling with Jordyn Woods, a close family friend. In short, everyone blamed Woods for the transgression, and words were quick to fly about how she should've had more loyalty. Turns out, Kardashian agrees with those critics: on Twitter, addressing Woods, she wrote "BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!"
And, sorry Koko. But you're wrong.
It's Thompson. If the allegations are true, he's the responsible party here. You can hold Woods responsible, too — it's worth noting that she told Jada Pinkett Smith on Smith's Red Table Talk that Thompson kissed her "like a kiss on the lips" without passion or romance — but she's not the homewrecker. Regardless of what did or didn't happen, there would be no story if Thompson had been a faithful, loving partner.
It's a tale as old as time — blaming the "other woman" gives the woman who's been wronged power. By holding the person your partner cheated on you with as the responsible party, you're able to do a number of things. You can forgive your partner — he was wooed and swayed by that other woman like a siren. You can move forward — once she's out of the picture, everything will be fine and you can trust again. You can hold onto what little confidence a cheating partner has left you with — it wasn't you or your relationship or your family. It was her. It was always her, waiting in the wings to destroy your family. It was her, seething with jealousy when she saw you together, eagerly hoping he'd be hers one day. It was her, it was her, it was her.
It's hard to put yourselves in the shoes of a woman whose family has been ripped apart by affairs. I was cheated on while pregnant, and even I can formally attest to what Kardashian's feeling. Emotions can run the gamut and include everything from grief and anger to, surprisingly, relief. But one thing I can tell Kardashian, one thing I know for a fact, is that Jordyn Woods is not the reason her family broke up. She can set that blame firmly on the shoulders of her boyfriend Tristan Thompson, and no one else.
Especially because this isn't the first time Kardashian has heard that Thompson is a less-than-faithful partner. In April 2018, just weeks before Khloé's due date, videos surfaced of Thompson kissing another woman, Cosmopolitan reported. Quickly, the world reacted, and everyone expected to see Kardashian delivering their daughter, True, without Thompson nearby. But Cosmopolitan noted in their "cheating timeline" of the two that Thompson was there for the birth of True, and for the 10 months that followed, it seemed like Kardashian had worked hard to forgive him.
Then came the Jordyn Woods bombshell.
Look, I don't subscribe to the whole "a cheater's a cheater" mentality. I've heard plenty of stories about affairs and cheating spouses that eventually led to true, forever-faithful love. But when it happens again, when your partner is again accused of cheating on you, it doesn't take long to sense out a pattern. A mistake that happens once is an entirely different beast to confront than a "mistake" that happens over and over, with little regard to the family you've created or to the love you supposedly share.
And that latter mistake — that's the one Thompson is making. Woods wasn't involved in his first cheating allegation. Woods isn't the one that had to work to regain the Kardashians' trust. Woods isn't the one that shares a little girl with Khloé.
When you're cheated on, you're completely out of control. Everything's been given to your partner now — will they stay, will they leave, will they do it again — and you'll scramble in any way to get it back on your side. It's been played out in pop culture — like when Ross's fiancé Emily told him he had to stop being friends with Rachel, even though Rachel did nothing wrong — and it's been played out in real life. An Institute for Family Studies report found that 20 percent of men who were either married or had been married before confessed to cheating on their spouse. Khloé's refusal to hold Tristan responsible for the actual break-up of her family is nothing new. It buys her time. It gives her a chance to put her anger and grief at another person she trusted — Jordyn was practically a Kardashian herself at this point — and it gives her a chance to figure out what to do for her, for True, for her family.
But that doesn't make it right. Regardless of what Jordyn did or didn't do that night, Thompson's had enough strikes. At some point, you have to find the common denominator and determine what's happening. And for those of us not encased in the emotions of it all — I wish I'd had a set of eyes for me when I was neck deep in similar waters — it's pretty easy to see who's causing the problem.