->"(reading aloud) OHMYSHIT WTF ASSHOLES Y R U BEING EVIL CHEATERS! (commentary) Becaause you're a [[JerkSue dou]][[BastardBoyfriend che]]."
-->-- [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e57A8eP9sa0&feature=channel gubgub434]]'s DramaticReading of ''Narutoveangance Revelaitons''

AliceAndBob are a married couple, but Alice is growing dissatisfied with the relationship. Maybe Bob isn't as attractive now as in the past. Maybe Bob doesn't appreciate Alice's friends and hobbies. Maybe the passion's just gone from the marriage. Either way, Alice meets Charlie, who's everything Bob isn't, and starts an affair. Now we all know cheating is [[AndThatsTerrible A Bad Thing]], so it follows that we aren't supposed to side with Alice, right? Wrong.

There are many reasons why someone who cheats might be portrayed sympathetically:

* '''Pay Cheating Unto Evil''': Their partner's a hateful bastard who stifles or [[DomesticAbuse abuses]] the cheater.
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Cheating''': Their partner is cheating themself, in which case the cheating is a form of LaserGuidedKarma.
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Boring''': Their partner is boring and they want a more exciting lover, or the marriage has gone on for too long and they want a change.
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Bad Sex''': Their partner is {{asexual|ity}}, impotent, or just bad at sex.
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Normal''': Their partner is a NiceGuy or RomanticRunnerUp who just can't compete with the cheater's One True Love
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Various''': More than one of the above
* '''Pay Cheating Unto Fine With It''': For one reason or another, the partner knows about the adultery and is perfectly okay with it. If this goes really far, it turns into {{polyamory}} instead.

Exactly how many of these reasons actually ''are'' that sympathetic depends on how much the audience goes along with the writing; in most RealLife cases it would be pretty wretched to find out your partner was cheating on you just because you are boring[=/=]normal[=/=]not good in bed. But whatever the reason, if they cheat and are portrayed sympathetically then it fits the trope, making it fall more on the "Good" side of GoodAdulteryBadAdultery.

Compare MyGirlIsASlut. In a straight relationship, Alice is more likely to be portrayed sympathetically than Bob; TheUnfairSex is a {{Subtrope}} dealing with a DoubleStandard to do with this.

Contrast EthicalSlut, where cheating usually isn't considered okay or sympathetic at all, but affairs are not considered cheating as long as the communication/relationship is open.



[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Evil]]
* Hank Rearden from ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''. Given the [[AuthorTract nature of the book]], go ahead and guess what his wife is like...
* A commercial advertises an internet service that connects lovers... who happen to be married to other people. The commercial shows a woman on a horrible date (with her husband, we're clearly meant to assume). After acting like a {{Jerkass}}, the husband excuses himself and the wife makes eyes with a handsome man across the restaurant.
* In Jill Paton Walsh's ''A Piece of Justice'', "Giddy"'s wife ironically stifled him in her attempts to try to force him into achieving professional fame. He valued his longtime mistress more as an old friend who wouldn't nag him about his work than anything else.
* In Creator/DorothyLSayers' ''[[Literature/LordPeterWimsey Clouds of Witness]]'', Mrs. Grimethorpe is in an abusive marriage, while the Duchess of Denver is a shrew.
* In the ''Series/{{Lost}}'' episode "The Other Woman," Goodwin cheating on Harper with Juliet is depicted sympathetically, partly because Harper's a shrew, but also because Juliet is a main character and Harper is not. Goodwin also mentions that he had already been sleeping on the couch for a year before Juliet arrived.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Waitress}}'', the main character cheats on her husband and is portrayed with sympathy, mainly because the husband is an abusive jerk. Her lover, who is also married, is given less sympathy in the end when we finally meet his wife, who seems to be a very nice person who has no idea that her husband is cheating. [[spoiler: Rightfully, the protagonist gently breaks up with him, telling him his wife has "so much trust."]]
* The book ''Literature/EthanFrome'' portrays Ethan's wife Zeena as a hypochondriac shrew who stifles him, making his attraction to her sweet, vivacious cousin Mattie extremely understandable. Although it must be noted that the narrative is from Ethan's perspective so it's possible he's [[UnreliableNarrator not being entirely honest about just how horrible Zeena is]] (especially since there are a few hints that he wasn't entirely understanding of Zeena either) and also that he [[FateWorseThanDeath suffers HARD for trying to escape with Mattie]].
* ''Film/TheWholeNineYards'': Matthew Perry's character cheats on his wife, but she and her mother are freeloading off of him, it's a loveless relationship, and she goads him into trying to bring a notorious hitman to justice. [[spoiler: And that's just what he knows about her. She also calls in a hit on him as her real goal is to get his life insurance money.]] Naturally, the audience has no sympathy for her.
* ''Film/AmoresPerros''. The affair between Octavio and his brother's wife Susanna is portrayed very sympathetically because his brother is a {{Jerkass}} of the highest order who abuses his wife
* ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}''. Rose cheats on her fiancé, but he is evil and she was engaged to him against her will, making her objectively sympathetic.
* ''Film/TheLastKingOfScotland''. The protagonist having sex with Idi Amin's wife was problematic due to the danger of angering a sociopathic tyrant rather than presenting any moral issues.
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Niles being ''attracted'' to Daphne is sympathetic because his wife Maris is a frigid, manipulative, emotionally abusive control freak -- but he still never cheats on her, even though no one would condemn him very much for it.
* In ''Naruto Vengeance Revelations'', this can be considered to apply to Sakura cheating on Ronan with {{Naruto}}, although she [[LoveMartyr doesn't see Ronan as evil and defends him to Naruto]].
* In the ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' {{prequel}} ''RockAndChips'', Reg is neglectful, crude, abusive, and all too happy to sit at home, watch Joan bring home the bacon and then waste her meager wages down at the pub. Is it any wonder she jumps into bed with Freddie Robdal - debonair and attentive, if somewhat unreliable and immoral - the first chance she gets?
* In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Film/JamesBond sleeps with Paris Carver, an old girlfriend who is now married to the Bond villain Elliot Carver. Paris comes to him to warn him that her husband is onto the fact that he is a spy, and the next morning gives him information even over his protests, despite believing that her media baron husband will find and kill her wherever she goes if she doesn't go back to him. Unknown to her, Carver has already decided to have her killed for not telling him that she knew who Bond was, and when Bond gets back to his hotel room she has already been murdered by one of his assassins.
* ''{{ComicBook/Blacksad}}'' has a complex case in the second album. Jezebel Karup is sleeping with Huk, the NumberTwo of the local KKK knockoff, while refusing her husband Hans sex. Then it turns out that she was doing it to manipulate Huk into lynching Hans for suspected pedophilia. Then Dinah is found murdered, and Huk soon after. [[spoiler:Hans was in fact Jezebel and Dinah's ''father'', who'd abandoned them and their black mother when the racism went to his head. Killing him was Jezebel's revenge, and she murdered Huk because he killed Dinah when she might go to the cops about Hans' murder.]]
* In ''Film/ItCouldHappenToYou'', wife Muriel is a greedy, selfish, materialistic shrew, leaving not only the viewers, but the entire city of New York to fall in love with the film's love story of Charlie (her husband) and Yvonne. To their credit, they don't consummate their relationship until after Muriel kicks him out, but they're still legally married, and until that point, it has certainly been an emotional affair at the very least.
* Alfred Hofstadter in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', as illustrated by this exchange in his first episode:
-->'''Beverly''': You do understand our marriage ended because he had an affair.\\
'''Leonard''': I know, and there - there's no excuse for that.\\
'''Beverly''': He claimed I was cold, emasculating, and hadn't shown him any physical affection for years.\\
'''Leonard''': (''mutters'') Well, I was wrong; there's three excuses for that.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Cheating]]
* Janet Weiss from the ''Film/RockyHorrorPictureShow'' decides to cheat on Brad by sleeping with Rocky after discovering Brad slept with Frank. Then again, Frank did seduce Janet ''before'' going to Brad...
* In the Korean film ''April Snow'', the lead male and female discovered that their spouses were cheating on them with each other. Early in the movie, when the two leads were sitting together and discussing the relationship between their spouses, one of them joked wouldn't it be funny if ''they'' cheated on said spouses for cheating on them. Guess what happens?
* Derek, aka "Dr. [=McDreamy=]" from ''Series/GreysAnatomy,'' cheated on his wife Addison with Meredith, but only because she cheated on him with his best friend (although she isn't without her sympathetic traits), and the audience is expected to root for Derek and Meredith to end up together.
* The Countess in ''Il Muto'' (ThePhantomOfTheOpera's pastiche of opera buffa) is cheating on her husband with a mute male servant. The Phantom comments that the role of the Countess must be played with charm and appeal, while the husband is not only a bore but a lech who takes a shine to the 'maid' (the Countess's lover in disguise).
* In the manga/anime ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'' by Creator/{{CLAMP}}, cram school teacher Ms. Shimizu starts a relationship with Shimbo, one of her (adult) students after her husband becomes completely engrossed with their [[RobotGirl persocom]]. The turning point comes when she gets locked out of their house because he simply forgot about her. When Hideki finds out he is at first ''not'' sympathetic and accuses Shimbo of being a homewrecker until he finds out the real circumstances behind it.
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': President Fitzgerald Grant, who cheated on his wife and First Lady Mellie Grant. Mellie, [[spoiler:who was raped by her father-in-law, which suddenly stopped the SickeninglySweethearts, HappilyMarried face of their relationship]], is a cheater, too.
* On ''Series/{{ER}}'', when Peter begins an affair with the married Jeanie Boulet. Viewers have watched the relationship develop over the past season, so we already know that it's not some sleazy fling, but that she's genuinely torn between him and her husband. When we later learn that her husband has been cheating on her left and right throughout their marriage and has given her HIV, she becomes even more sympathetic.
* [[SoapOpera Soaps]] trot this one out quite frequently, but ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless'' ends up subverting it when Nick sleeps with Grace to get back at wife Sharon for her cheating on him with Diego. Problem is, the marriage was already rocky as they were struggling to deal with their grief over the death of their infant daughter and Sharon ran to Diego when she found Nick canoodling with Grace, with whom he'd ''already'' had an affair several years prior, ultimately making Sharon the example of this trope.
* In ''Literature/TheTestamentOfJessieLamb'', when Jessie is upset because her mother has an affair, her aunt tells her that some years ago, Jessie's father had an affair, and they got back together, and that Jessie shouldn't worry too much. Jessie's mother also mentions that her husband doesn't seem to notice her anymore.
* “Creep” by Music/{{TLC}} plays with this trope. The singer is cheating on her boyfriend, because he is cheating on her. Yet she doesn’t cheat out of revenge, but rather because she needs the emotional support in order to stay in the relationship, because she believes it would break his heart if she left.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' at one point, Joey is interested in a younger new policewoman. He doesn't think he should cheat on Bonnie, but Bonnie's constantly shoving Joey away, ignoring his achievements and being far more interested on how she comes off to the other wives rather than how Joey is feeling puts doubt in his minds, the nail in the coffin is when Peter mentions that Bonnie already had an affair years before. However, it's revealed that Bonnie never went through with the affair but everything else still stands. Joey's affair then is portrayed as something wrong, but sympathetic.
* In one ''ComicBook/RedEars'' strip, a European guy living with his wife in some African city is introduced having sex with one of the locals who teaches him a particular technique they use (pulling the woman's hair for a more intense orgasm). He then goes home to have sex with his wife, but when he tries it out it he's perturbed to find out that she's already familiar with it.
* In ''Film/{{Blockers}}'', Hunter is reviled throughout the film for having cheated on Sam's mother, leading to their divorce, but eventually he angrily explains that their marriage had fallen apart long beforehand, Brenda had already cheated on him, and had started being physically abusive to him in public.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Boring]]
* Sarah Caudwell's ''[[Literature/HilaryTamar The Sirens Sang of Murder]]'': [[spoiler: the contessa di Silvabianca]], although ironically when [[spoiler:her husband]] suspects infidelity, he nearly always suspects the wrong people of being involved.
* Katrina in Shostakovich's opera ''Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District'' cheats on her husband for a variety of reasons: frequent absence of her husband is probably the number one, plus an abusive father-in-law, and the seduction by a sexy hunk.
* John Cleese in ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'' is not at all reluctant to step out on his icy wife for Creator/JamieLeeCurtis.
* Nearly in ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel'', as Marguerite is unaware of her husband's double life and considers him a tame bore.
* PlayedWith in ''Film/TrueLies''; super-spy Harry Tasker thinks his wife is having an affair in part because she thinks he is only a boring computer salesman, a cover ironically he actively cultivates even at home - he might even take ''pride'' in how boring it is. Turns out the truth is a bit more complicated; she ''does'' find him boring, but the guy Harry thinks she is having an "affair" with is a used car salesman who is trying to get in her panties by ''posing'' as a super-spy who wants her to be his fake-wife. In the end, she actually refuses to have sex with him precisely because she is married and loyal to her husband... which comes to bite Harry in the ass when ''he'' recruits her for a fake mission to seduce a French arms dealer (really Harry himself, hidden in the shadows) and she she beats up ''him'' as well, not knowing it is her husband. Needless to say, she is not remotely amused when she finds all this out (and even Harry kind of realises that what he is doing is really messed up), but eventually they sort out their differences and she even becomes his partner in the field.
* Lisa in ''Film/TheRoom'' cheats on her boyfriend Johnny with his best friend, because she considers Johnny boring. Then again, we're not meant to find Lisa very sympathetic, but given that it's [[GaryStu Johnny]] this can [[UnintentionallySympathetic backfire with audiences]].
* ''Literature/TheObituaryWriter'' features two examples with its leads Claire Fontaine and Vivien Lowe, who become the mistresses of two married men, partially by impulse and partially by a desire to feel something with their lives (especially the former, given her loveless marriage). Of course what makes them sympathetic is the guilt, grief, and sad life experiences that follow their liaisons.
* French film ''Film/TheEarringsOfMadameDe'': Andre isn't mean or abusive to Louise. In fact he's quite friendly, and he maintains her in a grand style. But he obviously doesn't love her, theirs is a SexlessMarriage, and he's cheating on her. So it's romantic when Louise finds love with Donati.
* ''Series/QueenOfSwords'': Tessa's closest "society" friend Vera shamelessly sleeps around whenever her husband's not looking - usually with [[TheDragon Captain Grisham]]. The show rarely comes close to condemning any of this.
* This is Kelly's justification for cheating on Ed at the beginning of ''Series/TheOrville''. She claims that he spent too much time at work, ignoring her. His rebuttal is that he was working hard for both of them. At the same time, Kelly is clearly feeling guilty about her affair and the devastating effect it had on Ed (he used to be the fleet's golden boy, then his career went sharply downhill). Eventually, both admit that they made mistakes, and the marriage was likely doomed anyway.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Bad Sex]]
* Gladys Mitchell's ''The Saltmarsh Murders'': [[spoiler: the vicar's wife is sexually repressed (the psychiatrist character refers to her condition as 'inverted nymphomania'). Her husband fathers an illegitimate child on their maid; the wife snaps when she learns the father's identity, and kills the maid.]]
* Connie Chatterley's characterization in ''Literature/LadyChatterleysLover''. Her husband was paralyzed from the waist down in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, thus he's impotent.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Normal]]
* Embarrassingly common in various {{fanfiction}} stories set after the series in question but centered upon the FanPreferredCouple. Starting with DieForOurShip is far from unknown, but there are quite a few writers who do not even bother with an excuse beyond "My True Love Is X", whereupon the partner gets ticked and we are supposed to hate the poor Cuckold for it.
* Gwen Cooper in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''. She sleeps with her bad boy colleague Owen due to her forcing to juggle normal life and life with a group of alien hunters.
* In ''Film/TheNotebook'', novel and movie both, Noah and Allie [[spoiler: cheat on their partners; Allie is in fact engaged, and her fiancé loves her and treats her well]]. But we're supposed to root for them because they're {{Star Crossed Lovers}}.
* In the latest Creator/NicholasSparks offering, ''The Choice'', where the heroine cheats on her boyfriend with the hero (and he technically cheats on his on-again, off-again paramour with her), even though there is ''absolutely nothing'' wrong with him or the relationship. She carries on with the other guy for roughly a month and not until her boyfriend returns to town does she even seem to realize that there was anything wrong with her behavior.
* Daisy in ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' cheats on her husband with Benjamin after he reappears after several years, because Benjamin is her OneTrueLove and her husband is just a nice guy with no development. Also, it was explicitly a one night stand that they both knew would probably be the last time they had sex, since Benjamin had aged down so far that it's not even clear he was legal at the time.
* UsefulNotes/AmeliaEarhart in ''Film/{{Amelia}}''. In this case, the reason she is "sympathetic" is because she is obviously remorseful and goes back to her husband, who is willing to forgive.
* Julia in Vikram Seth's novel ''Literature/AnEqualMusic''.
* In the second season of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', the long drawn-out WillTheyOrWontThey relationship between Ross and Rachel takes a step forward with their first kiss, in an empty Central Perk. We are supposed to cheer for that kiss, but Ross is, in fact, committed to RomanticFalseLead Julie at that point. Played completely straight.
* Taro Namatame of ''VideoGame/Persona4''. Once a secretary of the Yasogami city council, at the start of the game his affair with news reporter Mayumi Yamano is a hot topic around Inaba, and ultimately costs him his job. While he knows his affair with Mayumi is wrong, he genuinely loved her, and his relationship with his wife was often troubled for unspecified reasons.
* The ''Manga/BokuNoHeroAcademia'' fanfic ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/6779209 Halcyon]]'', this happens to both Midoriya and Uraraka. They get married soon after high school, and it leads their relationship to troubles when they drift apart due to Midoriya slowly developing PTSD, as a result, Midoriya starts to look for comfort in Todoroki, who understands him better, while Uraraka slowly falls for Bakugou, who is her partner in hero work. In the end, both understand they are not right for each other and get a divorce, deciding to start their new relationships.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Various]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BigMouth'' deconstructs this. [[spoiler:Jessi's parents' romance [[DeadSparks died years ago]] and they are now stuck with each other in a [[AwfulWeddedLife miserable marriage]], constantly fighting because Greg is an apathetic [[TheStoner stoner]] while Shannon is constantly working to keep the family afloat as he can't give any help at all. As a result of this, Shannon starts an affair with another woman]]. This is deconstructed because [[spoiler:no matter how valid her reasons for starting the affair may be, Shannon still cheated on her husband and destroyed her family - Jessi is heartbroken over watching the dissolution of her parents' marriage and sides with her father in this, and Greg is hurt how Shannon can't honestly say she is still in love with him, leading to what's implied to be a very turbulent and emotionally damaging divorce to all involved.]]
* Jerry and Cassie provide an unusually early example of this trope in 1932 film ''Film/ThreeWiseGirls''. Jerry and Cassie are one another's OneTrueLove. Jerry and his wife might never have loved each other, but definitely aren't in love anymore in the movie; they've agreed to divorce but have right of veto on their each other's new partner. Jerry's wife is the antagonist for refusing to grant a divorce and it's a HappyEnding when she finally does and Jerry and Cassie get together.
* Not really fitting with any of the above, but Yuri in ''Film/DoctorZhivago'' is a deeply sympathetic character who maintains his relationships with both his loving and beloved wife and the [[BreakTheCutie lonely and sad]] Lara.
* The protagonists of ''Film/BrokebackMountain'' are gay; thus, they're not in love with their wives, and they were more or less forced to marry due to the circumstances.
* The pairing of [[SexySecretary Joan Holloway]] and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Roger Sterling]] in ''Series/MadMen'' is a fan favorite because it combines two versions of this. On Joan's end, it's "Pay Cheating Unto Evil," as her husband Greg is [[spoiler:a rapist]], and on Roger's end, it's "Pay Cheating Unto Boring," as he isn't truly happy with either his first wife [[GrandeDame Mona]] or his second wife, [[GoldDigger Jane]]. Roger and Joan make each other crazy, but happier than anyone else makes them.
* This is the central premise of the play and film ''Same Time, Next Year''. Both parties meet once each year for a tryst, because both have fallen in love with the other. We never meet their partners, but what is shared about their respective wife and husband doesn't make them out to be particularly deserving of being cheated on consistently. For what it's worth, the two leads ''are'' well aware that the whole arrangement is pretty messed up.
* An UnintentionallySympathetic example is Therese from ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'', who according to a pair of GossipyHens was seeing someone before divorcing her husband [[CreatorsPet Anthony]]. However, this gossip is the ''only'' time her having an affair is ever mentioned. Even if one accepts it as truth, it can still be viewed as Pay Cheating Unto Cheating, as Anthony spent most of his marriage lusting after Liz, and the most obvious effort he ever put into making things work with Therese was pressuring her to have a child before she was ready, because BabiesMakeEverythingBetter.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem: [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Genealogy of Holy War]]'' has Cigyun, who cheated on her husband Duke of Velthomer Victor with Prince Kurt of Grandbell, because Victor was a violent drunk who had many mistresses and mistreated her. The guy even has raped, under the influence of alcohol, Cigyun's personal maid (who has a result gets pregnant with the future Azel, one of the main playable characters). Kurt was at first sympathetic with Cigyun's situation and was supporting her, but along the way they fell in love with each other.
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'':
** Nancy has been cheating on her husband Dale for years with John Redcorn. This is partly Normal (Dale is very average, Redcorn is a charming stud), partly Boring (Nancy at one point says she loves Dale "in a lights-on kinda way" and only sleeps with him on his birthday), and partly something that doesn't quite fit (Dale's a ConspiracyTheorist and GunNut and his antics require a lot of time and stress to clear up). Whoever's truly sympathetic [[DependingOnTheWriter Depends On The Writer]], but all three are shown to be good people, if quirky in their own ways. The affair ends in the fourth season when Nancy and Redcorn begin feeling guilty about betraying Dale's honest trust (which is extremely hard to come by) after Dale shows his real love and devotion for Nancy and uses his knowledge of the U.S. government to help Redcorn recover his tribe's lands. And though Redcorn [[ChocolateBaby quite obviously]] to everyone except Dale fathered Nancy's son Joseph, Dale ''is'' his father.
** One episode had a subversion of Pay Cheating Unto Cheating, when Dale worked with an attractive female exterminator who was obviously into him. Nancy even admitted that as much as it would hurt her, she had no right whatsoever to complain after everything she'd done. However, Dale ended up rebuffing the other woman out of loyalty to Nancy.
* In the first season of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'', Trent got voted off after Heather tricked the entire camp into thinking he was cheating on his girlfriend, Gwen. During ''Total Drama World Tour'', Gwen started a real romantic relationship with Duncan, who was dating Courtney at the time. While the two suffered a bit from their actions (Gwen had Courtney on her back for the rest of the season and the only thing that spared Duncan from elimination was Chris wanting to extend the drama of the situation), it was nowhere near as bad as the backlash suffered by Trent or Heather.
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', STDImmunity is so thoroughly averted that cheating and possibly catching diseases to spread around is seen as traitorous and irresponsible. It's also a world where, thanks to their rarity, men have little power or say in their marriages. Jerin mentions adventure novels in which the heroines rescued their true loves from abusive wives, and when he meets another male, Cullen mentions an adulterous man with sympathy.
* In ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' fanfic ''FanFic/DirtySympathy'', Klavier cheats on Daryan with Apollo, but Daryan is a vicious DomesticAbuser who uses his connections as a DirtyCop to trap him and constantly makes death threats. Although unusually, Daryan is perfectly okay with Klavier sleeping with female groupies (Daryan also does that himself), but [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident is ready to]] [[IfICantHaveYou kill]] Klavier when he finds out he's having a romantic and sexual affair with a man.
* There are countless cases of a woman becoming a stripper or escort to provide for her family, much to the annoyance of her boyfriend/husband.
* Common in Creator/DanielleSteel's novels. It is almost always Evil, Boring, and/or Cheating. Usually it starts out as one and then is revealed to be the other. Also common is for the couple to be technically separated but still legally married.
* Also common in erotic literature and pornography, where the cheater (who can be either a man or a woman) is portrayed as being justified in their adultery because their partner was leaving them unsatisfied in any of the aforementioned ways.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9367450/1/By-Bonds-We-Are-Bound By Bonds We Are Bound]] portrays both Chrom, who is cheating on his wife Olivia with [[SlashFic male Avatar]] and Olivia, who is cheating on her husband Chrom for [[NewOldFlame Lon'qu.]] Both regret their whirlwind romance and marriage as the passion burned out after a while and have to stay married to not cause a massive scandal and try to find emotional and sexual fulfillment with others without the other knowing about it.
* In [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek Myth]], unless you read the version of the myth where Zeus decided whom she would marry, you would see [[LoveGoddess Aphrodite]] as an unsympathetic cheater for poor Hephaestus; but in ''VideoGame/{{Smite}}'', the circumstances can make her sympathetic instead. The thing is, Hephaestus (here known by his Roman name, Vulcan) became so consumed with his bitterness of Hera/Juno's treatment when he's an infant (getting tossed from Olympus to sea because he's ugly) that after his marriage to Aphrodite/Venus, he ended up abandoning her in his forge to quench his bitterness (in vain). This has a side effect of Aphrodite [[BrokenBird thinking that she's unworthy of being a wife and a very lonely individual]] that she started cheating to compensate.
* In ''Literature/{{Deathless}}'', Koschei the Deathless claims to be fine with Marya having affairs with other men, [[BerserkButton as long as they aren't named Ivan]]. She can tell he's lying about it not bothering him, but he's also incredibly controlling, neglects her, keeps his previous wives as slaves in a factory to make paper soldiers, and isn't exactly a faithful husband himself. Marya eventually runs away with a soldier named Ivan because he's a NiceGuy and she wants a healthy relationship. She genuinely loves both Koschei and Ivan, which leads to [[spoiler:her tying Koschei up and locking him in the basement for her pleasure (he [[LoveMartyr consents to this]]) while living in the house as Ivan's wife]]. When she ends up [[spoiler:trapped in a dream world, it being a utopia means that the Koschei she's married to is a CompositeCharacter of the real Koschei and Ivan]]. Much of the book is about power struggles between husbands and wives in marriage, and Koschei and Marya's fidelity to one another reflects this.
* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'': The film portrays William Wallace having an affair with Princess Isabelle of France, wife of the heir apparent Edward II.[[note]]Impossible in real life; Isabelle was still a child when Wallace died.[[/note]] Wallace is a CrusadingWidower whose wife was murdered by an English lord. It's portrayed sympathetically in a twofold manner for Isabelle, in part because she's in a loveless ArrangedMarriage with a man who is strongly implied to be homosexual. She also uses the fact that it was Wallace, not her husband, who impregnated her with the future King of England to taunt the evil Edward Longshanks, who arranged her marriage to his son in the first place.
* In ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', Rory and Dean sleep together even though Dean is married to Lindsay. Dean does it because Rory is his first love and he married Lindsay even though he wasn't over Rory yet. Rory does it because she likes the adoration Dean gives her, which feels safe and dependable in comparison to her experience with more worldly college boys who don't think she hung the moon. The town scapegoats Dean, but is very sympathetic towards Rory. For the audience, it led to a BrokenBase, with some feeling like it was a one-time mistake for a naive Rory and others feeling like it was the first sign that Rory was would do extremely selfish things, not caring who got hurt, as long as she got what she wanted.

[[folder:Pay Cheating Unto Fine With It]]
* A first season episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'' has Joey discover that his father has been having an affair. Joey's father is portrayed fairly sympathetically, since he says that he can't help but love the other woman, loves his wife just as much, and is willing to end the affair over how much distress it's causing Joey. Joey's mother then tells him off, saying that she knew about the affair the whole time (Joey Sr. wasn't exactly the best liar) but tolerates it because it makes him a better person and a more attentive husband. Joey eventually gives his blessing to his father, who remains oblivious to his wife's knowledge.
* A quirky subversion in ''[[Literature/TheWindsOfWarAndWarAndRemembrance War and Remembrance]]''. Natalie offers herself to a Nazi camp guard in order to protect her child, but the guard refuses. In this case, her husband Byron would certainly not have been "fine with it" as such, but he never held it against her, presumably because he understood the desperate circumstances.
* In the historical fantasy ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheBranionRealm The Granite Shield]]'', a woman plans to [[StalkerWithATestTube seduce]] an enemy monarch in order to [[SaveYourDeity free her god]], since It is [[SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan trapped in the body of an unbeliever]] and can only be released into his heir. She convinces her fiancee that this is a good idea and he joins her in the scheme, helping her to [[DoubleEntendre consummate]] it.
* In ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand'', Lucretia, Batiatus' wife, has been carrying on a "secret" relationship with Crixus, a gladiator. However, she is still very much in love with her husband, and he reveals late in the series that he knew about the affair and was okay with it because it made her happy.
* In the movie ''Film/BeingThere'', the dying Ben Rand is not only fine with his wife's attraction to Chance, he encourages it because he wants her to be happy and taken care of when he's gone.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Stannis Baratheon cheats on his wife Selyse with Melisandre. Later, Stannis confesses to Selyse and begs her forgiveness, but she's perfectly okay with it, because Melisandre was able to give him a son, while all of her children were stillborn or deformed. Also, Selyse is TheFundamentalist, who believes that the Red God ordered Stannis and Melisandre to sleep together.
** Later [[ByronicHero Tyrion]] marries [[TheIngenue Sansa]], but maintains the relationship with his lover/whore Shae. The marriage is arranged (or rather forced onto both of them) and Sansa, absolutely horrified of the prospect of having an intercourse with Tyrion, is quite glad that he's taking his business elsewhere, though she doesn't know the specifics, only that her husband "has whores." For his part, Tyrion absolutely refuses to so much as touch Sansa without her explicit permission, not least because she's only fourteen years old, and in largest part they have a friendly relationship.
* "Genetic Eunuch" [[Franchise/{{Dune}} Hasimir Fenring]] is not entirely "fine" with his Bene Gesserit wife breeding with other men, but he shares her conviction that her activities are necessary to the evolution of mankind, and he is comforted by the fact that she enjoys it no more than he does.
* In the original ''Film/{{Emmanuelle}}'' trilogy, Jean openly encourages Emmanuelle to carry on affairs, and frequently leaves her alone for extended periods in the specific hope that she will seek out new sexual partners. Presumably, he does this to assuage his own guilt over the fact that he's ''always'' cheating on her.
* In ''Series/BlackSails'', Thomas and Miranda are happily married and are both sleeping with James and both are okay with it, Miranda's only reservation being about Thomas and James's safety.
* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'', the wife of a victim tells Benson and Amaro that she was well aware of her husband sleeping with other men, but clearly states that she would only have been hurt if he had cheated on her with women.