Let’s begin by defining some ground rules. If your partner decides to cheat, they are the problem, not you. The other person didn’t hold any responsibility towards you and didn’t commit to you the way you did. The only case where someone is blamed for the end of a relationship is when a third person is involved or if your own partner is at fault, and there should be no excuse for infidelity. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to address the elephant in the room!
It is a common notion, thanks to Bollywood movies and other patriarchal beliefs, that the woman at the receiving end should be blamed for ending marriages and being a total home-wrecker. It is implied that a man has zero self-control and has to cheat if someone makes even the slightest of advances towards him. Clearly, an adult man in a committed relationship with someone who still decided to cheat cannot be at fault, right? Here are seven instances where women were blamed for wrecking the homes of married men:
1. Fatima Sana Shaikh
In recent news, Aamir Khan and his wife, Kiran Rao were grabbing all the headlines after announcing that they would be ending their marriage after fifteen years of being together. Although Aamir and Kiran seem to be on good terms, many fans spread many rumors about their relationship ending. Both celebs are co-parenting their son, Azad Khan. But it doesn’t take long for media and social networks to go abuzz with speculations. Some even blamed Aamir’s Dangal co-star, Fatima Sana Shaikh, for being the reason the marriage came to an end. In fact, there were numerous memes floating on the internet regarding the matter. It is appalling to see the slander hurled at people for so-called entertainment.
2. Marion Cotillard
When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie decided to part ways after being together for nearly thirteen years, many came forward to blame French actress Marion Cotillard. Although Marion denied the rumors and was pretty adamant about clearing her name, it didn’t stop trolls from harassing her. And let’s not forget the fact that Brad Pitt cheated on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie (who was also married at the time). It was rather glorified and treated like a fun piece of entertainment. So once again, who is the real “home-wrecker” here?
3. Barbara Mori
In 2014, Suzanne Khan and Hrithik Roshan decided to part ways. Around four or five years before they announced their divorce, Hrithik allegedly had an affair with actress Barbara Modi. Despite both Hrithik and Suzanne denying these rumors, the media decided to run with the story and demonized Barbara. Later, Kangana Ranaut too came forward and stated that she had an affair with the actor. Although Hrithik did deny the claims, pictures of the pair getting cuddly at a party together started circulating. Hmmm, baseless interference in celebrities’ life should be a punishable offense.
4. Aditi Rao Hydari
After being married for sixteen years, Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabhani decided to part ways. Of course, the media mills just have to churn, so they decided to focus on Farhan’s Wazir co-star, Aditi Rao Hydari. Aditi was blamed for “breaking up” their marriage. Others chose to blame his Rock On 2 star Shraddha Kapoor for the end of their marriage. Both partners have now moved on with different people, and neither of them ever addressed the alleged cheating rumors. It’s funny how Aditi and Shraddha were blamed instead of Farhan, who was actually committed to his wife.
5. Jennifer Lopez
Yes, even pop star Jennifer Lopez was blamed for destroying a marriage. Rather than placing the blame on her husband for stepping out of their marriage and cheating, Marc Anthony’s ex, Dayanara Torres, decided to throw daggers at Jennifer. While we’re not condoning cheating in any way, isn’t Marc the one Dayanara was married to? So doesn’t that mean he owes it to her not to break their marriage vows? Jennifer and Marc wed each other four days after he finalized his divorce to Dayanara, and clearly, she was very upset about it. Although Jennifer and Marc were an incredibly powerful couple, their marriage did not last, and Marc filed for a divorce from the singer/actress. The perils of being in the spotlight!
6. Claire Danes
In 2003, actor Billy Crudup ditched his pregnant wife of seven months, Mary Louise Parker, to shack up with actress Claire Danes. Once again, the media decided to blame the relationship ending on Claire Danes rather than on Billy Crudup for ditching his pregnant wife. Well, unfortunately for Billy, he lost Claire the way he got her in the year 2006. Claire ended up cheating on Billy with her current husband, Hugh Dancy. Guess karma usually comes around.
7. Yami Gautam
After being married for just eleven months, Shweta Rohira and Pulkit Samrat filed for divorce. The divorce was super ugly, and Shweta went on record to blame Yami Gautam, who was Pulkit’s co-star in Sanam Re. She claimed that things were perfect between her and her ex-husband until Yami walked into the picture. Pulkit, however, denied all the allegations and stated that Shweta was just making things up to make herself look better.
The unfortunate ground reality is that this notion will take years to change, especially in a male-dominated society like India. Even though the country is evolving in terms of rights and non-judgemental treatment of women, the journey is very long to reach that perfect world. Whether she is the alleged “other woman” or the woman who decides to cheat, people will find a way to blame her. In worse cases, people even blame the wife and claim that she wasn’t giving her husband what he “needed”. To hold the guilty person accountable and stop victim-blaming, many notions need to be shed. Parents can start by raising children in a bias-free manner. Do let us know all of your thoughts on this article in the comment section below.