Serious Question: If Your Partner Cheated On You, Would You Want A Public Apology?

August 9, 2018  |  

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Shiggy, the internet personality behind the viral #DoTheShiggy/ #InMyFeelingsChallenge is going places and experiencing things he never has before. He’s canoodling with influential people, celebrities are replicating his dance moves. He starred in Drake’s video. And he’s sliding in DMs. Shiggy is a young man with talent and an increased level of visibility, so it only makes sense that he would want to take advantage of some of the perks this new exposure has afforded him. And for a man, that means greater access to women.

Seizing the day and getting with these women with a newfound interest would have been just fine if Shiggy didn’t have a girlfriend.

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And because his name and likeness are recognizable now, when he slid into another woman’s DMs, she was quick to put him on blast.

When the woman tweeted this, people called her all types of thirsty, bird-like etc. But what she wasn’t was a liar. Shortly after her announcement, another woman stepped up to let folks know that the initial woman wasn’t the only one who was receiving private messages.

I guess from there, Shiggy decided to put out the fire. He hopped on the gram to issue a public apology to his girlfriend for trying to creep—the very instant he got a little additional shine.

“I just want to apologize to my girl for constantly having her look stupid with my cheating and me constantly hitting up females. I know it’s something that she’s fought with me in our relationship, constantly with me being unfaithful. And it’s something that needs to stop with me. And I want to look at myself as a role model to the younger people. I can’t keep on saying I do things because I’m young and ‘boys will be boys’ and stuff like that because there are males my age who do the right thing, who treat their woman the right way. I just want to be that guy for her. I want to let y’all know that there’s nothing cool about cheating. There’s nothing cool about having with multiple women when you have one that’s already out here giving you all that you need, all that you want and supporting you.

And I just want to say I wasn’t always a person to get attention for people, let alone females. I want to apologize to all the women out there that I kinda sorta using or tried to use for my own pleasures. It’s not right. It’s wrong. And I hope y’all forgive me.”

As far as apologies go, it seems sincere. He acknowledged the way his actions have affected his girlfriend. He didn’t try to rationalize his bad behavior. He warned others against cheating. And he asked that the women he used and his girlfriend forgive him.

Still, I can’t lie, there is something so cringe-worthy about the fact that he had to do it in the first place. I think most of us grow up with the understanding that cheating is wrong. It hurts the very people we claim to care the most about. Entire households have been destroyed behind it. Yet, men still do what they do—apparently, as soon as they get the chance. In addition to being devastating and embarrassing, it’s so cliche and boring.

But I’m not here to write about a young man cheating on his girlfriend. Happens every day. I want to know, if you found yourself in a similar position, with your significant other having betrayed you, would you want your partner to publicly apologize?

There are people who believe that if you embarrass me in public, you should make amends in front of a similar audience. It reminds me of Kandi Burruss and her years-long, unresolved issue with Tamika Scott. Since Tamika lied about Kandi’s sexual past on the radio, Kandi didn’t find her private, personal apology suitable. She wanted Scott to make amends in front of an audience, similar to the one that was there when she first said it. Scott did and the women were able to make a nice little tour coin together.

But we’ve seen where public apologies come across as desperate and pathetic—like Robin Thicke naming an entire album Paula—after his ex-wife and mother of his child Paula Patton, whom he presumably cheated on. Thicke talked about Paula in every interview, during every performance etc. It wasn’t long before it seemed to be emotional manipulation. Viewers got the sense that Thicke was hoping his public begging and pleading would create sympathy in the hearts of fans and they would encourage Patton to give him another chance.

That’s not how the cookie crumbled.

Maybe the distinction about whether someone apologizes publicly or not is based on whether the injured party expresses a need for that type of public atonement.

A public apology can bring more light and attention to an issue that could have been resolved privately. And now, instead of thinking, healing and forgiving on your own time, uninfluenced by the public, his girlfriend has to make a decision with social media fans watching. That’s a heavy burden to carry when people are weighing in and attacking the person you love, the person who also betrayed you. I wonder how do you make a clear, true decision in your best interests with these types of distractions?

When I think about examples of public apologies, perhaps the most prominent one is that between Jay Z to Beyoncé. If you ask me, it was an effective offering. But what I think makes it work is that Beyoncé was the first one to control the narrative. She was the one who told us what happened, how she felt about it, and what she decided to do moving forward. From what I gather, it was something that she and her husband had already worked out privately and she just decided to share with us, after the fact. With that type of information out for the world to consume, Jay Z had to say something in response, something from his own perspective. And it’s only natural that something would include an apology. We would have been looking at him crazy if he didn’t. But I think it’s worth noting that in an interview with David Letterman on “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” Jay Z said that the best apology is changed behavior.

And ultimately, that’s something to which the public won’t be privy.

What do you make of public apologies for cheating? Would you want one if the public knew your man had been unfaithful?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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