Why Will You Forgive A Woman Who Cheats?

"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry."

Now, the title of this post is a question is for the men. And the women who love and know them well, of course.

It recently surfaced that Kristen Stewart of the Twilight fame was cheating on Robert Pattinson, her boyfriend of 3 years. She admitted to cheating and issued a public apology, which I have quoted above. Heartfelt or not, genuine or not, it is an apology, and more than some men would give if found out. In fact, earlier this week, we were discussing a man who may, or may not, be cheating and how unrepentant he was.

It's instructive to note that in the Kristen Stewart case, the spotlight is not as fixed on her cheating partner who actually has more to answer for, being married with children and all. This seems to bear out the societal double standards, like a man can cheat but not a woman. The normative thinking being that men are wired not to be faithful, but women are definitely socialized to be moral and upstanding. So for a woman to cheat, she has deviated more from the norm than a man who does the same.

Now, common knowledge has it that men find it harder, if not impossible, to forgive a woman who cheats. I don't know how general this is because I have heard of men who forgave their cheating girlfriends or wives for one reason or the other. I'm interested in those reasons. In a post last year on women and their cheating husbands, there was a debate on the other side of the equation, on women who forgive infidelity and stay in a relationship or marriage. Today, let's flip it.

Why would you forgive a woman who cheated on you? Will you even forgive? And if you forgive, will you remain in the relationship/marriage?