Another week, another celebrity relationship scandal. This time, it’s all the entire world is talking about: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine allegedly cheated on his wife of eight years, Behati Prinsloo. And the bombshell of an accusation comes just as the former Victoria’s Secret Angel is pregnant with their third child.
By now, everyone knows how this whole controversy blew up, but here's a quick recap: Instagram model Sumner Stroh posted an explosive TikTok video that showed supposed ~receipts~ of the singer sending flirtatious messages, even supposedly asking Stroh if he could name his baby Sumner if it were a boy. Stroh apparently came forward after sending some screenshots to a few friends, and one of them had planned to sell them to a tabloid, so she decided to beat her friend to it and reveal their ~*affair*~ to the internet herself.
As one of the most high-profile couples in Hollywood, naturally, the entire world has an opinion on the matter—many of them focused on the disbelief that Adam would cheat on Behati, one of the world’s most famous supermodels (and the mother of his two children). Some turned their ire to Stroh, calling her a “homewrecker” for getting in between Adam and Behati’s happy marriage.
Meanwhile, there were those who understandably expressed support for Behati, who is currently expecting and certainly could not have imagined carrying her third child at a difficult time.
While we can endlessly debate about Stroh’s morals (or the lack of them), ultimately, it was Adam’s choice to be unfaithful to his wife. As the married person in this situation, he was responsible for staying true to Behati, not Stroh—because let's get one thing straight: There is hardly any difference between “cheating” and “crossing a line.”
And although we can understand people being flabbergasted at the fact that he would cheat on a Victoria’s Secret model, of all people, this carries the implication that only beautiful women deserve fidelity and loyalty while those who aren’t considered conventionally attractive or “hot” don’t. Even worse, it somewhat implies that if a man cheats with someone who is “hotter,” “sexier,” or younger, then it becomes justifiable.
Listen: We can’t claim to know all the reasons why men cheat. It could be out of lust, insecurity, or peer pressure to conform to the “boys will be boys” mentality (which is a whole load of crock). It could be purely a trip to satisfy his ego, or a symptom of a marriage on the rocks—with carrying an extramarital affair as a way to escape.
But we do know one thing: It’s never the aggrieved person’s fault that they are cheated on. And although we hardly have a camera that tracks Adam’s and Behati’s every movement to say we have intimate knowledge of the kind of marriage they have, betraying someone’s trust—no matter how imperfect (or perfect) they are—is never justified.
We have heard this argument several times before, whether in our own local movies and teleseryes or even in real-life. The story usually goes like this: (Scenario A) They call the wife a B-word who gave the husband hell and found heaven in a mistress; (Scenario B) The husband got bored in his hum-drum suburban life and went through mid-life crisis, wanted to look for excitement in someone fun and possibly younger; (Scenario C) His wife no longer put in the effort to make herself beautiful or attractive for her husband or didn’t give “it” enough. Sometimes it's one of these things or all of the above.
Regardless, these are all sexist and problematic claims that all shift the blame from the violator to the violated. It’s all rooted in victim-blaming and, especially in heteronormative relationships, assigns an unfair burden to women. In our society’s view, when a woman gets married, her life is no longer under her control but under the judgment of other people: She is expected to put the household together, bear and care for children, be in charge of domestic duties, and somehow attend to a professional career—all while keeping up with the society's often-unrealistic beauty standards.
Don’t get us wrong: We love and admire hot moms and wives just like anyone, and we are constantly in awe at the effort they put into staying in tip-top shape. But these kinds of efforts should be done to empower themselves, not out of pressure to conform to society’s expectations, and certainly not to keep a man in her life from cheating on her.
Stroh claims that Adam gave her the impression that his marriage to Behati was over. We don’t know if that’s true or not. But even *if* Behati was the less-than-perfect wife behind closed doors, even if Adam had every reason to feel less than fulfilled in their marriage, that does not give him or anyone the right to break their trust and violate the vows they made to love and cherish each other.
When any kind of relationship—a marriage, a friendship, familial ties, or even a friends-with-benefits situation—begins to unravel, it is the responsibility of both parties to communicate and try to resolve the problems. And when it no longer works out or becomes impossible to repair, then comes the time to part ways. Whatever the case, betraying the other person’s trust is never the solution.
Let’s not even touch on Stroh being a “homewrecker” here or seducing Adam—because no matter how hot or attractive another person is, a husband who has his values and priorities straight would know the right thing to do.
And while we’re on the matter, while getting cheated on is painful and traumatizing, it’s not up to us to decide whether Adam and Behati should work things out or otherwise. If there is anyone Adam should be accountable to, it should be to his wife alone.
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