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Something's been bugging me... Did I leave the stove on?

Batman: Jim, what's wrong?
Jim: Oh, it's Barb. You know she's sleeping with someone else, and the worse part I can't blame her. I mean a woman can only go so long watching the dead eyes of her lover thrust a top of her before she looks for something new.
Batman: So you didn't call me about the break-in at Wayne Enterprises?
Jim: What? No! This is about the breakdown of my marriage!
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A "cuckold" is a man whose Love Interest has sex with someone else, either to his dismay or without his knowledge. The overall theme is an Adult Fear of being the loser in a Cock Fight. This can be portrayed for drama, for fetish, or even for laughs, but is typically highlighted in three ways: the corruption of the woman, the triumph of the "Bull" (the woman's lover — also called a homewrecker, though that term is gender neutral and sometimes even has feminine connotations), or both. The trope's core relies on the Bull being triumphant in some way, or every way, to the detriment of the cuckold. The deeper the shame, victimization, or deception of the cuckold, the stronger the trope.

When portrayed as fetish, focus is typically placed on the sex and sensual aspects. When portrayed for drama, it's a painful situation that NO ONE would want, and the sensual and prurient elements are downplayed for emotional angst. Sometimes the cuckold will be both aroused and hurt by the experience, which only fuels his torment. For this reason, female Bulls are uncommon, but not unheard of. (In some cases, an affair involving a female Bull may be framed as even more emasculating for the cuckold: being cuckolded means losing a Cock Fight, so a female Bull brings the extra factor of I Was Beaten by a Girl.) Even if the woman was raped and clearly hated the experience at least as much as her man did, the momentary conquest of someone else's woman is sometimes more than sufficient to qualify as a "triumph". Sometimes the cuckold initiates it (for example, pimping out his love for money or letting her take a lover with his blessing). The execution varies, as the trope is a sliding scale, with anywhere from very few, or nearly all, of the aforementioned elements included.

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Needless to say, this is an extremely polarizing trope, but one that demands we emphasize that Tropes Are Not Bad.

WARNING: By virtue of our site's Content Policy, DO NOT add Porn examples, and maintain No Lewdness, No Prudishness for all entries. The Content policy defines "Porn" as "A work mostly concerned with sexual arousal. Having NSFW or explicit scenes doesn't automatically make a work porn — it's when showcasing explicit scenes is the entire point of the work."

See also: Cuckold Horns.

May involve Forced to Watch, Sexual Extortion, Villainous Crush, Law of Inverse Fertility, Scarpia Ultimatum, Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe, Uriah Gambit, Romancing the Widow (bonus points if the husband isn't actually dead, or comes Back from the Dead), Chocolate Baby, Go Seduce My Archnemesis, Cheating with the Milkman, My Girl Is a Slut, Ethical Slut (provided the adultress and her husband have an open marriage), Mrs. Robinson and Did Not Get the Girl. Super Trope to Droit du Seigneur.

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Often goes along with All Women Are Lustful, where a woman's inherent sexual urges lie dormant or suppressed until awakened (usually by a "bad boy" compared to her good guy husband), after which the character becomes a sex maniac that can no longer be satisfied with domestic life or a husband. As you can imagine, this type of portrayal is...problematic.

For a genre revolving around cuckoldry, see Netorare.

See our Analysis Page for more information.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aur, the Villain Protagonist from Maou no Hajimekata, employed a Netorare gamble step by step, as if he had a guide book, against Alan the Warrior. He corrupted Alan's three female companions and made it sure to show it to him, before having one of the girls behead Alan, using Alan's torrent of surging hatred for feeling betrayed to then resurrect him as a powerful ally, a Dullahan. Only the first notable case of something that Aur will make use of many times later.
  • Nozoki Ana: A very huge, hurtful example that many readers were predicting for ages. Not only was Yuri Kotobuki, the girl in this situation, cheating on weekends, but she decided she'd rather have sex with her rich boyfriend instead of spend Saturday with her other boyfriend, the lead male Kido. On Kido's own birthday.
  • The first arc in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure takes place in Victorian England where antagonist Dio Brando attempts to humiliate Johnathan by forcibly stealing the Sacred First Kiss from his adoptive brother Jonathan Joestar's Love Interest, Erina. Though when Jonathan learns of this, he's more mad at Dio for dishonoring Erina and beats the shit out of him.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League Elite: Manitou Raven wife Dawn stared a affair with Green Arrow because he putting more attention to work and the trials of the "Stony Path" then her and she grow closer to Green Arrow. Raven know of the affair and was angered of course, but was too consumed by his work to confront Dawn. Dawn eventually regretted the affair and betraying Raven. Before the couple could truly reconcile, Raven died while taking the brunt of a bomb blast, leaving Dawn devastated.
  • This actually occurs to the canon Superman, too. No, really. In the New 52 universe, Superman (as Clark Kent) visits Lois Lane's apartment and finds her very obviously post-coitus with her new boyfriend. While in this continuity, he and Lois have never had a relationship, Clark still crushed on her hard. Thus, a shocked and humiliated Clark happens to arrive in the wrong place at the wrong time and can't do anything but walk away, and as he leaves, his Super Hearing picks up Lois telling her boyfriend that she has no feelings for Clark whatsoever, and the two start to resume their love-making.
  • Any person who gets with Mystique is gonna be this, which she lampshades. After having sex with Sabretooth, he comments that she smells like another man. Mystique asks if he's jealous, but he insists he's just primal and the smell of another man hinders his enjoyment. Mystique warns him that sex is a weapon she frequently uses, so he'll have to find a way to endure the pain.
  • In one Post-Crisis storyarc written by Joe Kelly, Lois spends a lot of nights away from home, telling Clark "not to wait up" as she leaves out in a sultry outfit, usually gone until morning. A cliffhanger later shows her being very cozy and romantic with Lex Luthor...until it's later revealed that this was actually The Parasite, in Lois's form. Much Brain Bleach was passed afterward.
  • This was the initial fate of the protagonist of Wanted, which is what prompts him to become a misanthrope and turn to a life of crime. When he becomes a supervillain, he cuts up his friend into little pieces before telling his girlfriend that he knows everything and walks off.
  • In Spawn, the eponymous character is a mercenary named Al Simmons that comes Back from the Dead after a Deal with the Devil to find out that his wife has remarried his best friend, had two children with him, and is much happier with him than she ever was with Al.
  • In Thorgal, A female-on-male version of this happens to Aaricia after Kriss de Valnor takes advantage of Thorgal's amnesia to claim that he is Shaigan, a ruthless pirate and Kriss's lover. Kriss not only has "Shaigan" attack Aaricia's home village, getting her and her children exiled, she then takes Aaricia's daughter hostage. Then Kriss forces Aaricia to be her slave, so poor Aaricia is Forced to Watch as Kriss and "Shaigan" make love every night.
  • In one issue of Doctor Strange, the Doctor's love interest, Clea, becomes disillusioned with the workaholic Strange and finds herself seduced by Benjamin Franklin during a trip backward through time. After the two have sex, she falls so completely for her new lover that she plans to stay behind in the past and marry Franklin, much to Strange's anger and heartbreak. Strange eventually figures out that this Ben Franklin is a fake, and actually the wizard Stygyro. After Stygyro is defeated, the engagement to Clea is called off... but a few meaningful words and glances between the real Ben Franklin and Clea reveals that there's still a spark between them. To this very day, Doctor Strange hates Benjamin Franklin with a passion.
  • In general, this trope is Played With in Fantastic Four stories:
    • Susan Richards née-Storm is constantly been sought after by Namor, The Submariner, and several stories have demonstrated that they share a mutual attraction. However, she is faithful to Reed and has never strayed during their relationship. That hasn't kept Namor from trying, or Reed from worrying.
    • In the "What If?" tale, "What if Invisible Girl married The Submariner", you get Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Sue marries the Submariner and later gives birth to his child. There is this panel which really drives the point home. However, Sue later separates from Namor and then marries Reed, whom she also has a child with.
    • In the Crisis Crossover event, Secret Wars (2015), Doctor Doom gains nigh-omnipotent power and uses it to fuse what's left of the destroyed multiverse into Battleworld, where he rules as God. While he's at it, though, he takes the opportunity to throw as many Take Thats at Reed Richards as possible, including rewriting history so that he was Sue's husband and the father of Franklin and Valeria instead of Reed. Reed is clearly upset about this when he finds out, but due to what's at stake, he doesn't act on it immediately. However, it should also be noted that we're never informed if Doom's marriage with Sue was intimate or not, and that Reed doesn't consider this Sue the same one he knew, so the trope may be subverted in that regard, but Reed was on the verge of tears nonetheless.
  • During Greg Pak's run on Incredible Hulk, the final two arcs had Betty Ross (as Red She-Hulk) beginning a relationship with Hulk's archnemesis, Tyrannus. This trope is specifically invoked numerous times by Tyrannus, specifically stating that he and Betty "did more than dance" at one point to make the Hulk angry enough to fight a common foe. Making it worse for both Bruce and the Hulk is the fact that it's clear Betty wants to be with Bruce again, but Red She-Hulk wants Tyrannus just to spite him. This comes back to bite her later when Hulk enters a "Worldbreaker" level of rage and needs a Cooldown Hug which she can no longer provide - so Umar steps up and lovingly brings Hulk to her realm to put his energy to "more enjoyable use". This time, it's Betty's turn to be jealous and angry.
  • In Marvel Zombies 5, Machine Man states that his ex-love, Jocasta, has left him to return to her creator/former lover Ultron. The comic then shows a picture of a conflicted Jocasta being held intimately by a smug-looking Ultron.
  • Anya's Ghost: Gender Inverted. Anya has a crush on her classmate Sean, one of the most popular boys at school. She looks to steal him away from Elizabeth, a popular girl that she resents for being perfect. When Sean invites Anya to a party, Anya is happy, seeing it as the perfect chance to steal Sean from Elizabeth. To Anya's shock, she learns that Sean is a sleazeball that sleeps around with other girls and invited her to have a three-way with his best friend's girlfriend in the bathroom. She's also shock to learn that Elizabeth knows about the cheating and even miserably keeps watch over the door. Anya can't bring herself to sleep with Sean and hurt Elizabeth, and leaves the party. Before she leaves, Anya asks Elizabeth why she lets Sean treat her that way; Elizabeth admits that she is really miserable and insecure and Sean makes her happy. She loves Sean, or she thinks she loves him, and will do anything to keep him in her life.
  • The Unfunnies: Played for Horror. Pussywhisker loses both his testicles after being convinced by Dr. Despicable that he has testicular cancer. His wife Polly was outraged that they cannot have children and refusing to adopt, so she forces Pussywhisker to pick up men to get to sleep with her in order to get her pregnant. When she did not get pregnant from the first guy, Polly forced Pussywhisker to get more men. It's clearly damaging for Pussywhisker to do this. At the end of the issue, as Pussywhisker is forced to find another man for Polly, she reveals that she orchestrated her husband's castration so that she would be justified in her acts of adultery with copious partners, is on the pill, and enjoys that she has forced her husband to find these partners while she waits at home.

    Fan Works 
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Yamcha (the typical Butt-Monkey of the group) is dumped by Bulma after he comes Back from the Dead and becomes distressed when Vegeta (the man indirectly responsible for his murder, and who bullies Yamcha constantly) starts a sexual relationship with her, where she becomes pregnant by him. In a Bad Future timeline, he is Driven to Suicide when he finds out.
  • The Real Time Fan Dub version of Dr. Eggman finds himself on the bad end of this repeatedly, as his wife has sex with literally the entire Sonic cast, except for him. Eggman explicitly designed a robot to pleasure her to save her from the first Ark's destruction and to help prepare her for his Tetris dick, but then she goes on to fuck everyone and everything on the planet instead of remaining faithful. Learning just how thoroughly he was utterly screwed over by this development is what sends him over the edge.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: McDonagh drives up to a boyfriend and girlfriend after they get out of a nightclub with drugs on them. McDonagh extorts sexual favors from the girl and make out while they both smoke crack right in front of the boyfriend. When he finally tries to leave out of disgust, McDonagh forces him to stay and watch.
  • Indecent Proposal is all about this trope. A couple desperate for money agree for the wife to have sex with a billionaire, and the experience tears the two of them apart. She winds up temporarily living, and having a sexual relationship, with the billionaire, and he is portrayed as an overall better man than her husband in most ways. In the end, she stays with her husband, whom she clearly loves more than the billionaire. But before the latter leaves her alone, she is subject to his very stalkery behavior.
  • The Ladies Man has a whole gang of cuckolded men called the "Victims of the Smiling Ass" who are out for revenge against Leon for bedding their wives.
  • The beginning of Wanted has the protagonist Wesley in a relationship with a girlfriend who is blatantly cheating on him with his best friend, and him being powerless to do anything about it. He later makes out in front of her with his new girlfriend.
  • In 8 Mile, the protagonist Jimmy Smith (Eminem) walks in on his Love Interest (portrayed by the late Brittany Murphy), having sex with Wink, one of his friends. After a Cock Fight that Jimmy wins, Wink makes a Face–Heel Turn and joins a gang that later beat up Jimmy. During the rap battle at the finale, the fact that he was cuckolded is used to attempt to humiliate Jimmy. Jimmy comes out on top, anyway.* Naturally, for a film about hypermasculinity, Fight Club touches on this trope.
    • The first example is the speaker during the support group for men with testicular cancer. One man breaks down into tears talking about how, after his surgery to remove his cancerous scrotum, his wife eventually found another man and bore him children.
    • The Narrator himself constantly experiences this by hearing Tyler and Marla's loud, passionate banging while he's nearby doing something else. After The Reveal that Tyler is just a Split Personality of the Narrator, the trope is not as clear as we once thought.
  • In EuroTrip, the protagonist Scotty learns that his girlfriend has been cheating on him for the lead singer of a band, who then sings a song titled "Scotty Doesn't Know" all about how clueless he is about his girlfriend's infidelity.
  • Jules and Jim: How bad is it for Jules? Not only is he fully aware that his wife Catherine is cheating on him, she brings her lover Albert home, and they all sit around and have friendly chats like its no big thing. He later begs his friend Jim to have sex with Catherine so the three of them can stay together, instead of Catherine running off with Albert. After business calls Jim back to France, Catherine constantly asks Jules "Do you think Jim loves me?", all while still married to Jules. And apparently she hasn't had sex with Jules at all after he came back from the war.
  • Eyes Wide Shut uses this in an odd way, Alice admits to her husband that she'd come very close to cheating on him but hadn't gone through with it, but for a long while afterward William dwells on this as if it had actually happened, and his increasing hurt and anger propel him into the bizarre circumstances he finds himself in as the film progresses.
  • In Cries and Whispers, Maria's husband Joakim is a weakling who is acutely aware that his wife is cheating on him with the family doctor. He's so distressed by this that he stabs himself in the gut, but he even screws this up, and survives.
  • Unfaithful is about a loving, but distant married couple that are torn apart when Connie (played by Diane Lane) meets a handsome young man named Paul (played by Olivier Martinez). Even though she rejects Paul's advances numerous times, a combination of Paul's manipulation and her naivete allows him to literally Bridal Carry her into his bed. She becomes addicted to sex with Paul, to the point that she begins to neglect her responsibilities as a wife and mother. After her husband Edward (portrayed by Richard Gere) finds out about the affair, he murders Paul, which Connie later discovers. Although both are torn up by the guilt, they agree to cover it up and start over, but know that they'll be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives.
  • Alatriste in his movie swiftly kills a man in a duel by calling him an infamous cuckold. As the man lay dying he asks the Captain if he did sleep with his wife which he answers that no it was just to set him up for a riposte.
  • Absolute Power: Because of his advanced age and his much younger wife's "needs", Walter Sullivan took to sitting in a chair and watched her from behind a two-way mirror in his bedroom when she was with other men. The whole thing was Christy's idea, and as he admits to Detective Seth Frank (who hates even having to ask him about the topic while investigating Christy's death as he deeply respects the man), he didn't enjoy it anyway.
  • In Welcome Home Casey slept with a co-worker while drunk after a big fight with her boyfriend Bryan, leaving him insane with jealousy, to the point he's impotent whenever they try to get intimate due to him picturing her with another man.

    Literature 
  • The narrator of Beautiful Losers, whose wife was sleeping with his best friend F. The narrator didn't find out until after his wife died, but was very upset to hear about it. This fits into the book's larger exploration of the winners and losers of society: the narrator identifies with the losers, and thus is humiliated by his wife sleeping with F., who identifies with the winners and pushes the narrator to do the same.
  • In A Brother's Price it is played for drama, with Keifer cheating on his royal wives in his bed in the palace, with his own sister.
  • As noted above, A Clockwork Orange plays this trope heavy on the drama with a disturbing rape scene.
  • In Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lord Chatterley's wife is cheating on him, partly because he is impotent from an injury sustained in World War I, and even more than that because he has been emotionally distant from her. He knows about it, too.
  • In The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth becomes obsessed with Reverend Dimmsdale for having slept with Hester (when she thought her husband was dead), even though Roger has become estranged from her.
  • Apparently, Luca from Pippa Passes knew that his wife was screwing her music teacher. It doesn't stop them from murdering him.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Robert Baratheon is the cuckold in the Cersei and Jaime Lannister's Twincest affair which he never knew. That affair produced three children who are clearly not Robert’s and after he died, it led to a Succession Crisis and another bloody war.
    • Jaime himself become the cuckcold when Cersei slept with her cousin Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack while Jaime was captured by the Starks. But she did this to get their loyalty and use them for her plans and Tyrion figured it out when he talked to Lancel. When Jaime returned to King’s Landing, he had no idea of the affair until Tyrion told him "Cersei’s fucking Lancel, Osmund Kettleback and Moonboy for all I know". Jaime didn’t believe it at first until he started to have doubts. When Jaime went to the Riverlands, Cersei continued the affair behind his back until Jaime confronted Lancel who confessed that he did bang his sister and helped her kill Robert. This revelation caused Jaime to realize that he’s been cuckolded and he rejected Cersei’s letter when she called for his help after the Faith Militant arrested her.
    • Lord Orton Merryweather’s wife is sleeping with other people. It’s unknown if he knows it or not. And to add the irony, one of those people is Cersei Lannister again.
  • Dahlia seduces Entreri in The Neverwinter Saga, while technically being attached to Drizzt at the time. Her reason being, that Entreri is far more similar to her from his life experiences than the highly idealistic Drizzt is. While it irks him, Drizzt is not extremly upset about it, since his he still sees Catti-brie as his soulmate.
  • It's mentioned in Heralds of Valdemar novel Take A Thief that some members of the Thieves' Guild "steal more than the silverware." The main character questions what a noblewoman's life must be like that she'd be willing to have sex with a stranger who broke into her house in order to rob her. He also notes just how incredibly stupid it is for a thief to actually do so.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Jaime is completely oblivious that Cersei slept with their cousin Lancel even when he returned to King's Landing after Cersei was arrested and punished by the Faith Militant. Granted that Cersei never told him the true reason why she got arrested as it would open more skeletons in the closet. In the books, Tyrion told Jaime that "Cersei's fucking Lancel, Osmund Kettleblack, and Moonboy for all I know" before they parted on bad terms which led to Jaime having doubts on Cersei's faithfulness to him. When he went to the Riverlands, he confronted Lancel about the affair and Lancel confessed that he did slept with Cersei and helped her kill Robert. Eventually, Jaime began to despise Cersei and refused to help her when the Faith Militant got her. This is in contrast to the show where Jaime left Cersei on good terms with no doubts and he didn't talk to Lancel before leaving to the Riverlands.
  • In Go On, the Extreme Doormat Danny was serving in Afganistan and so missed his wife giving birth—and also missed the conception. After he came back his wife made him accept her Bull living with them while they continue their affair. He finally files for divorce towards the end of the first season.
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H there's a threat of an air raid so the nurses are sent away. It turns out it's just a "propaganda bomb," with leaflets dropped including "Harry Truman is sleeping with your wife."
    • In other episodes it's played more dramatically (if hypocritically) as Henry, Trapper and some of the other married personnel worry that their wife is cheating on them, even as they carry on dalliances at the 4077th.
    • In another episode, a soldier receives a letter from a (former) friend, congratulating him on his wife giving birth to a baby. BJ starts to reminisce about his own daughter until the soldier tells him that he's been in Korea for more than a year.
  • This formed part of the conflict between Spike and Angel back when he was Angelus. Despite being in a relationship with Darla, Angelus slept with Spike's lover Drusilla solely to mock him. Ironically, they would both have the same done to them by The Immortal, who ended up bedding both Darla and Drusilla.
  • In an episode of Stargate SG-1, Teal'c returns to Chulak only to find out that his wife has since dissolved their union and married a friend of his. Master Bra'tac warns Teal'c not to commit kelmar'tokim, which literally means "revenge by the wearer of horns" (historically, a cuckold would be seen as a wearer of horns). Teal'c visibly restrains himself from attacking the guy. Eventually, Teal'c and his ex-wife reconcile, but her new husband catches them (another example) and decides to betray the team to Apophis, requiring O'Neill to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Grimm: The Naiad (merpeople) race of Wesen procreate by having their females mate with human males because the Naiad males are sterile. The males dislike having to raise another man's child but realize they have to in order to continue their bloodlines. Cuckoldry is their hat. The traditionalists also kill the humans once conception happens.
  • In Heroes, as Matt Parkman started to gain more control over his mind reading power, he learned that his wife cheated on him. Their marriage could not take it, and in the next season he becomes roommates with Mohinder. However, by the fifth season, after learning that the baby she was pregnant with was indeed his child (thanks to Superpowered Genetics), he ultimately reconciles with her.
  • In the first season of The Bletchley Circle, one of the clues the women find, in regards to the identity of the serial killer they're tracking, is that he was involved in printing pornographic messages in German, meant to shred morale by preying on German fears that their wives and girlfriends were cheating on them while they were out fighting. The killer's messages, however, were accompanied by incredibly graphic images that wouldn't have been out of place in a snuff film and, more importantly, all depicted the same woman, showing his first target.
  • On Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In the Farkel Family all look like each other, but none look like Mr. Farkel - they look like the Farkels' neighbor.
  • On Limitless a FBI agent suspects his wife is cheating on him but does not have any proof. He then ends up taking the intelligence boosting drug NZT which helps him notice new clues of the affair. He concludes that his wife is actually sleeping with his friend and FBI partner. In the ensuing confrontation he ends up killing the other man. It is left ambiguous whether he really was cuckolded or whether the overconfidence caused by NZT resulted in him jumping to incorrect conclusions.
  • In the third season of You're the Worst, self-admitted "skank" Lindsay convinces her husband Paul to let her have sex with other men to keep her happy. Paul reluctantly agrees to it and tries to be supportive for the sake of their new family, but it makes him miserable and wanting to leave her. At the end of the season, they're divorced, with Paul financially disemboweling Lindsay in the process purely out of enraged spite.
  • In an episode of CSI: Miami, the killer of the week turns out to be the husband of the woman sleeping with one of the victims. While earlier he claimed that they had an open marriage, himself not hiding his affair with a younger woman, he eventually revealed that he found the idea of his wife sleeping with a younger man disgusting and embarrassing to him. When she asked him what the difference was between him sleeping around and her, he answered "Because I'm a MAN!" with the kind of exasperation reserved for explaining things to kids. And yeah, he didn't care how his affair reflected on her.
  • Succession: Tom, an awkward nobody who is marrying into one of the most powerful media families in America, is often ragged on by his fiancee Shiv's family, and her father explicitly says she is out of his league. In season one, Shiv carries on an affair with her ex-boyfriend, and she brushes it off when he raises some suspicions, so he does not push further. On their wedding night, she maneuvers him into agreeing to an open marriage and is seen having one-night stands while he's away; the show makes it clear that he hates this arrangement and how it makes him feel.

    Music 
  • The Three Days Grace song "Last to Know" is about a man whose girlfriend left him for a former friend of his (whom the song is sung to). The song makes it clear that the affair had been going on for a long time before he found out, but he was clueless about it until she actually left.
  • The Irish ballad "Seven Drunken Nights" is sung from the perspective of a man whose wife is cheating on him. The Dubliners' version of Seven Drunken Nights only covers the first five and apologises for the remaining two being too hot to perform in public. In a more permissive age and country, Northern English folk singer/comedian Mike Harding resets the song in Rochdale, Lancashire, and provides the two missing verses.
  • Jairo, "Para verte feliz" ("To see you happy"). It's sung from the POV of a guy who knows his beautiful girlfriend's old flame is coming to town and chooses to rather have them almost tongue-kissing in front of him rather than confronting and then losing her, since he's that much of a Love Martyr towards her.
  • The Rihanna song "Unfaithful" is written from the perspective of a woman that's cheating, and feels guilty about it. She specifically sings about how the affair is hurting him because he knows she's happy with her lover.
  • In Buddy Holly's "Midnight Shift" Annie is dressing up in tight clothes and going out late at night. The implication is either that she's partying or she's prostituting herself.
  • Blues, Country, Bluegrass, and Western music have a lot of songs with this subject matter. Kenny Rogers, for example, has used it often in his career. All of them more or less inherited the subject matter from their common ancestor, Appalachian folk, which in turn got it from the traditional ballads of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars, about an inattentive guy whose girlfriend has left him for another man.
  • "Lyin' Eyes" by The Eagles is about a wife that finds a lover and sneaks out night after night to be with him, but starts to feel guilty about the deception.
  • "Macarena" has a verse that's about a boyfriend with the last name "Vitorino", who joins the military and meanwhile at home, his girlfriend is "giving it up to two of his friends".
  • Simon & Garfunkel's Cecilia has a verse which takes this Up to Eleven, where the singer gets out of bed with the eponymous girlfriend, goes to "wash his face", and when he comes back to bed "someone's taken [his] place".
  • LL Cool J's "I'm The Type Of Guy" boasts about doing this to someone else.
  • In 2015, Nicki Minaj's long-time music partner, Safaree Samuels, released a track named "Love the Most", which is entirely about the (now-revealed) relationship and engagement between himself and Minaj. In the song, Samuels mentions that he was constantly being forced to keep their relationship a secret to keep up Minaj's Ms. Fanservice gimmick, including the pain he had to feel watching her kiss Nas on a music video. He was also worried about the crowd that she was beginning to keep, including fellow artist Meek Mill, but being powerless to do anything about it because she had all of the money, talent and fame. Despite Minaj continuing to claim that nothing worth worrying about was going on between herself and Mill, the moment she dumped Samuels, Mill became her new man.
  • The 1996 song by R&B group Dru Hill, "In My Bed" details a man's suspicions that his girlfriend is being unfaithful. The music video shows that she is indeed seeing several individuals, including a woman.
  • The Offspring's "Spare Me the Details" is about the singer discovering that his girlfriend, whom he had envisioned marrying, got drunk at a party and slept with a random guy. The title refers to him really wanting his friends to stop trying to tell him all the juicy details. All he cares about is the fact that the relationship is over.
  • "Younger Men" by K.T. Oslin is written from the perspective of an adulterous, married cougar.
  • In "Matty Groves" Matty is killed in a duel for sleeping with Lord Daniel's wife.
  • Serge Lama's "Les P'tites Femmes De Pigalle" is about a man who visits prostitutes because his wife slept with another man.
  • Pink Floyd's rock opera, The Wall is centered on a very depressed rock singer named Pink. While many things trouble him, forcing him into self isolation in the construction of a mental wall which cuts him off from the world, what really sends him over the edge is his wife, who begins an affair with another man. At first, Pink tries to cope by inviting a groupie to his apartment room, but it quickly goes south when he explodes into a violent rage, and chases her away. The following song in "Don't Leave Me Now" sees Pink lamenting the affair, threatening his wife with violence, while simultaneously begging her to come back to him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Played With in various ways in Classical Mythology.
    • In one of the most famous examples in history, the Spartan King Menelaus had his wife Helen taken from by Paris, prince of Troy. Menelaus's rage over this prompted him to send an army to Troy to both sack the city and take her back, resulting in the Trojan War. Different myths have widely different accounts for what happened; in some, Helen was raped and kidnapped, while in others she was seduced. Either way, Menelaus didn't take the affront lightly.
    • Not even the gods were immune. When Hephaistos caught his wife Aphrodite cheating on him with Ares, he devised an inescapable net and tossed it around them, leaving them there for the rest of the pantheon to point and laugh at.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Jimmy Jacobs was in love with his mean boss, the Lovely Lacey, who gave him the ultimatum of defeat Colt Cabana or never speak to her again. Jacobs lost but in rare display of affability, Lacey gave Jacobs one last chance to redeem himself the next night during a six way match on a 4/23/2006 ROH Show, not that she ever expected him to actually win. Turned out Lacey and Colt were having sex, but since Jacobs had won, Lacey decided to keep him around as Cabana's Tag Team partner.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 
  • In Molière's The School For Wives Arnolphe, who is engaging in Wife Husbandry in order to keep from becoming a cuckold, is advised by a friend that cuckoldry can be lived with as long as you avoid the two extreme responses (raging against the heavens or bragging about it).
  • William Shakespeare wrote a number of plays involving a male character who fears (wrongly) that he has become this: Othello, Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Love Never Dies: This trope is one of the reasons that this is far less critically-acclaimed than The Phantom of the Opera. It retcons events of the previous play to state that, before marrying Raoul, Christine had sex with The Phantom and that their son is actually the Phantom's son. Raoul is portrayed as a drunk and bad father so that Christine returning to the Phantom makes her a Sympathetic Adulterer. Also, after Christine dies, his son goes to live with him, making Raoul the all-around defeated party in the whole affair.
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812:
    • Helene goes out to the opera with Fedya Dolokov instead of her husband Pierre.
      Chorus: Helene and Dolokov arm and arm, Pierre, the cuckold, sits at home! Pierre, the cuckold, sits at home! The poor man!
      Pierre: No, I am enjoying myself at home this evening!
    • But it turns out Helene is screwing Dolokov, prompting Pierre to challenge him to a duel, despite the visceral, frothing hatred between Helene and Pierre throughout the entire musical.
    • Despite the duel, which, in a stunning upset, ends with Dolokov non-fatally shot, Pierre doesn't love Helene, and he isn't really upset that Dolokov was sleeping with her (since she is sleeping with everyone...everyone.) Except her husband. He writes in a letter that Dolokov is a good man, and that he, 'a most ridiculous man', should have been shot instead. It was purely a matter of honor, since being a cuckold is SO bad.

    Video Games 
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko Bellic discovers his cousin Roman's girlfriend has been sleeping with a small-time gangster in exchange for protecting Roman. Roman is clearly upset by the revelation, but he relents in order to avoid making his situation worse. Niko, however, is horrified by his cousin's failure to act and flat out kills the gangster for what he did.
  • Grand Theft Auto V
    • Michael learns that his wife Amanda is having an affair with her tennis instructor and quickly tries to kill the man himself. In his case, he's less upset about the cheating (considering that he commonly cheats on her with strippers and prostitutes) and more about the fact that she did it in their house with someone he's paying.
    • One of the strangers and freaks you can meet as Trevor is Josh, a man who left his first wife and kids for his second wife who he willingly lets other people sleep with.
      Trevor: Whatever gets you off, pal.

    Web Comics 
  • In a one-off comic Humon did here, this trope is played for fetish as Lea's husband Albert encourages her to find a lover since he couldn't satisfy her, leading to her sleeping with Brad. When she finds out he's homeless she encourages him to come live with her and Albert, and Albert is excited to finally meet him.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama: Benders Big Score, Hermes temporarily loses his body and has his head put in a jar. During this time, his wife Labarbara leaves him (along with their son) and goes back to her ex-husband, Barbados Slim, who is superior to Hermes in just about every possible way, including being hunkier, more athletic, and a better sexual partner. However, Labarbara later leaves Barbados again when Hermes helps save the world, and later episodes reveal that this situation is actually reversed for Barbados, who is jealous of Labarbara's pure affectionate love for Hermes.

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