Created By: Chabal2February 17, 2011 Last Edited By: Chabal2April 5, 2012

Love Forgives All But Lust

A villain's wife/girlfriend who accepts all of her mate's wrongdoings until he cheats on her.

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Title suggestions welcome.

This trope is for when Bob's (a villain) wife/girlfriend Alice (pretty much Always Female) refuses to believe any accusation of wrongdoing on Bob's part, and prefer to believe in a vast conspiracy designed to discredit him, even if she comes across Bob beating a man to death with a shovel. However, this changes if/when Bob cheats on her, or flirts with another woman (or ene talks to another woman), as she instantly becomes his worst enemy, willingly telling the heroes every last crime he committed and sparing no expense to see him hang.

See also Arson Murder And Jaywalking, when the other offenses make the cheating laughable in comparison, Woman Scorned for revenge in general, All Girls Want Bad Boys.

  • Sherlock Holmes: in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, Holmes must find a way to prevent a marriage with a rich young lady and a depraved baron, who has already convinced her that a man of his quality has many enemies, who are happy to spread rumors about his philandering and having killed his first wife. When one of his victims fails to convince her, he looks for a diary in which he counts his conquests (his "lust-diary", as Holmes calls it). Once he delivers it to her (and the baron disfigured by said former mistress), the marriage is called off.
  • There's an Exbrayat story where the murderer's wife cares less about the fact that her husband killed three people and more about the fact that he had a mistress.
  • Taken even further in one Hercule Poirot story: the man is (separately) romancing both a young woman and her aunt. He's trying to get money from the old lady and claiming that to prevent people from looking down on them both, he'll pretend to be in love with her niece. So when the aunt and niece have a fight (without suspecting the man), the aunt sends Poirot a letter asking him to investigate.
  • An interesting variation in the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The female lead spends the first half of the book moping because she thinks her husband is still in love with his (dead) first wife instead of her. Cue wangst. But then it's revealed that he hated his first wife, and he actually murdered her. Murder? No problem! He doesn't love that minx; he loves me! (To be fair, it's presented like his first wife was The Vamp with absolutely no moral code and masterfully provoked him to do it... but still.)
  • Family Guy: Peter develops amnesia and doesn't remember the family, including his wife Lois. She's relatively OK with that until he brings home his new girlfriend.

More?
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • February 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    This is a very interesting trope indeed, and perhaps a bit of Truth In Television. Rephrase the description so it doesn't sound like it's always the same gender.
  • February 17, 2011
    Chabal2
    Problem is I've only ever seen it as working in that direction, the implication being, as always, that women are designed to be faithful and men to be as promiscious as possible.
  • February 21, 2011
    StrangeDwarf
    There is an interesting variation in the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The female lead spends the first half of the book moping because she thinks her husband is still in love with his (dead) first wife instead of her. Cue wangst. But then it's revealed that he hated his first wife, and he actually murdered her. Murder? No problem! He doesn't love that minx; he loves me! (To be fair, it's presented like his first wife was The Vamp with absolutely no moral code and masterfully provoked him to do it... but still.)
  • February 23, 2011
    callsignecho
    I think it's not the cheating per se, but the idea that he might love OR lust after another woman that sets the woman off. A woman (according to the trope, not me!) can forgive a man for anything as long as he loves her. See also All Girls Want Bad Boys.
  • February 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Family Guy: Peter develops amnesia and doesn't remember the family, including his wife Lois. She's relatively OK with that until he brings home his new girlfriend.
  • February 24, 2011
    Rolf
    Theres many examples of "Truth in Television" type. Not only that but theres also something similiar called "Stockholm syndome" for kidnappers.
  • February 24, 2011
    Chabal2
    Stockholm Syndrome is when the victim falls for the kidnapper though. This one is more when she fell in love for perfectly normal reasons.
  • March 1, 2011
    DAN004
    Laconic: A villain's wife/girlfriend who accepts all of her mate's wrongdoings unless he cheated on her. Am I right?
  • March 1, 2011
    Chabal2
    Yep.
  • March 2, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Important trope!

    But: I don't think Bob needs to be a villain. This is far more general. The title is good as it's very descriptive. The way I understand it, the Rebecca example is not a "nice variation" of the trope but a very straight example.
  • March 3, 2011
    Chabal2
    Weeeeell, the important part is that she views his other crimes as unimportant, which isn't an issue if Bob is in fact a good guy.

  • March 3, 2011
    PaleHorse87
    ^ Except when Good Is Not Nice. Or when Bob is an Anti-Hero. Or if Bob is a Hero now, but he used to be a villian... Point is, crimes are not limited to villains.
  • March 3, 2011
    Chabal2
    But they need to be seen as such by the audience, to mark the contrast between the guy's actual lawbreaking and his flirting, which is not illegal. Looked down on, obviously, but not illegal.
  • March 4, 2011
    callsignecho
    Pale Horse 87's point still stands. The audience can perceive a protagonist's actions as being naughty but still see him a hero. And vice versa. It's an often used dramatic device to do so.
  • March 24, 2011
    BuckRivera
    This still on?
  • March 24, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
  • April 7, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Bump.
  • April 4, 2012
    Chabal2
    Damn, did I forget about this one. Added the laconic version.

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