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No, Julia—Cheating Should *Never* Be Justified

Please remember that cheating is a choice.
Julia Montes comment on cheating
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Cheating, as a topic, never fails to rile us up. It is never okay to justify cheating, and it makes us feel bad when a woman feels that her shortcomings may have contributed to a partner’s infidelity. 

Here comes a controversial statement from Julia Montes, a woman we love. She’s talented and beautiful and knows when to speak her mind. She’s been through a lot, as a young breadwinner and as someone who grew up under public scrutiny. She has legions of fans, and though it pains us, we need to say this: her stance on infidelity is problematic. 

To put more context, during an interview on Magandang Buhay, Julia was asked: “Cheating? Breakup or Romance?,” in reference to the title of a film she’s currently promoting with co-star Alden Richards

She responds, “Wala namang perfect, e. Aminin natin, in a relationship, merong isa or minsan, 'di ko naman nilalahat 'di ba, pero baka dalawa kayong nagkamali for a time.”

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Hindi naman necessarily 'pag nagkamali say'o, hihiwalayan mo na agad. Minsan baka din pwede kang magtanong, nung time na yun, may pagkukulang ka ba? Kaya nangyari yun. Pero kung wala, doon ka na magtanong sa sarili mo na, ah teka lang. Dun naman magi-iba yung kwento,” she adds. 

We can assume that the ultra-private celebrity’s statements came from a hypothetical viewpoint. In fact, we wish her comment was not borne out of a personal experience. Because, as it should be highlighted repeatedly, there is a delicate balance between forgiveness and self-respect. Julia’s perspective calls for a deeper examination of the toxic myth that blames the victim for a partner's indiscretions.

There is a delicate balance between forgiveness and self-respect.

Read this: cheating is preventable. The numbers show that cheating doesn’t randomly happen–approximately 85 percent of infidelity cases stem from close interactions with coworkers and friends. It's been suggested that the extensive time spent together and the shared understanding of each other's work might contribute to the vulnerability. 

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You. Can. Always. Walk. Away. 

Julia Montes' words also allude to the dangerous notion that the victim of infidelity must shoulder some of the blame. The suggestion that one might ask, "Was there something I did to provoke this?" is a toxic narrative that unfairly places the burden of responsibility on the innocent party. 

We’re sure many of us have been there, racking our brains to figure out where we went wrong. But let's be real—cheating is a choice. It's a betrayal of trust and a breach of the sacred bond that should be the foundation of any relationship. It is an act that chips away at the foundation of mutual respect and understanding, leaving emotional scars that can linger for years. 

While Julia knows repeated cheating is a no-no, she must be reminded that the person who cheated is accountable for his or her actions. 

She said, “Pero feeling ko, 'pag ilang beses na, too much. Pero kapag nagkamali, nadapa. Ang mindset, well ako ang mindset ko lang, 'pag nadapa ba ang isang tao, sino gusto mo magtayo sa kanya? Ibang tao na? Ibang babae na? Or ikaw pa din? Na partner mo.”

While it's essential to show empathy and understanding, there should be a firm line that one must draw when faced with betrayal. It will be a long process to rebuild what was broken, and it could even be not worth repairing anymore. It's about time we collectively reject the notion that infidelity is justifiable or excusable under any circumstances. We deserve relationships that uplift us, not ones that constantly make us question our worth.

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