What can we learn from Tristan Thompson & Khloe Kardashian’s cheating challenges? Why do we stay with partners who cheat? And what conversations are ESSENTIAL to a happy, lasting relationship? Jess shares her answers, theories, and strategies on cheating, monogamy and relationship communication.

This podcast is brought to you by Desire Resorts. 

Podcast Transcript:

Welcome to the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. I’m Jessica O’Reilly, your friendly neighbourhood sexologist and I’m back in Toronto today still recovering from my travels and having lost my voice aboard the Desire Resorts cruise. I had a blast on board and my highlight was definitely Florence. There’s something about that city that always leaves me wanting more and more. And on board, my highlight was just sitting on the top deck watching the shoreline and listening to DJ Willis down below. Let me tell you, life is good. I probably have one of the best jobs in the world, so thank you to Desire Resorts and Cruises for hosting me on board.

Now that I’m home in Toronto…Today on The Global Morning Show, we talked about Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian. Admittedly, I don’t know much at all about these two. And I’ve already had people yell at me online “WHO CARES?”

But here’s the thing. You may not care about K and T. You may not keep up with them – see what I did there? But we do care about these types of stories because when we hear about happy relationships or tumultuous relationships it affects how we see our own relationships. When we hear about Tristan cheating, it can be upsetting because ultimately we never want it to happen to us.

And it’s interesting because celebrity gossip is often seen as trashy or vapid. And I was looking at a post by Dr. Amie Harwick yesterday about the hazard of following celebrity gossip. Amy says “Gossiping, in general, is a rather normative behaviour,” says Dr. Amie Harwick, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “Communication about social behaviours goes back to nomadic tribes, regarding finding out who socially was to be avoided or cautious about.” But gossiping, in general, brings negativity into your life and into your relationship.

And Amie adds “Such a public depiction of relationship failure can absolutely instill fear in people, whether single or in a relationship, about the likelihood of relationship failure,” Harwick says. “We take information about the world by what we see.” She goes on to explain that typically our own families and friends would model what we believe to be normal. “But with the addition of social media and tabloids, our behavior modeling now includes an immense quantity of poor, and often untrue, behaviour models,”

So if celebrity gossip is bad for us, why am I talking about it today? Well, I believe that it’s essential to dissect some of this information if we’re going to be consuming it. I think it’s important that we talk about cheating — not gossip about whether Tristan did it or not, but talk about why it happens and what we can do about it.

Today we’re going to do just that. I want to cover a rather controversial topic:

I want to talk about why Khloe might put up with this type of behaviour. AND what it says about the way we approach monogamy and what we can do about it.

To the first point — if Tristan has done this before and you believe he’s going to do it again, why would his partner put up with it? I don’t know. I don’t have the answer. I’m not in Khloe’s head, heck I’m not even following her Instagram feed.

BUT I want to suggest a theory. A theory that may or may not apply to them, but certainly applies to other couples.

This isn’t a popular theory. Any time I bring this up, people get pissed, but I know it’s the reality for many couples:

I believe that many people know that their partner’s cheating and privately accept it; They may not like it, but they accept it and they accept that if they want to sustain this relationship for love,