Relationships are hard work. They’re even harder when they’re in the public eye for everyone to scrutinize. When actress Rebecca Humphries’ boyfriend, comedian Seann Walsh, signed up to be on Strictly Come Dancing this year, it’s doubtful that either of them expected their relationship to be the main talking point of this year’s series. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
Seann Walsh succumbed to what’s known as the Strictly curse this year, and was pictured passionately kissing his dance partner Katya Jones on a night out in London, while his girlfriend Rebecca was at home. Of course, the moment was captured by paparazzi and sold to the newspapers, and it wasn’t long before tongues were wagging and apologies were issued. But we’re not here to talk about Seann and Katya. We’re here to talk about how Rebecca handled it.
If pictures of your boyfriend kissing someone else were splashed all over social media; if you were constantly badgered to “sell your side of the story” to the papers about your relationship breaking down; if you were forced to deal with a breakup in the spotlight of public opinion – it’s safe to say you’d probably crawl into a hole of tissues and Ben & Jerrys for a few weeks until it blew over. I know I would. While this would be a perfectly acceptable way to react, Humphries took a different approach, causing quite the positive reaction online.
After 48 hours of dealing with public gossip, Humphries issued a statement on her Twitter about the whole ordeal. You can read it in full here:
— Rebecca Humphries (@Beckshumps) October 8, 2018
It’s very easy for a woman who’s been cheated on to be portrayed as a victim. We’re conditioned to feel bad for her, to wrap her in cotton wool and protect her from those rotten boys. And while we absolutely should do that, and give our female friends lots of love and support when they’ve been hurt, we also shouldn’t frame them as a doormat. Being cheated on is no reflection of the person they are; it’s a reflection of the cheater, and only the cheater. This is something that many people would struggle with, especially in the first few days after a breakup. But not Humphries.
She demonstrated (very eloquently) how to reclaim the power in a situation that attempts to take it away. Humphries describes how she has been gaslit, disrespected and insulted throughout her relationship, and how the cheating incident gave her the opportunity to realise that she deserves a lot better. She directed that energy outwards, and encouraged other women who may be in a similar position to trust their instincts and leave the relationship. With sincerity, dignity and class, Humphries shows how to take a horrendous situation, and salvage a hopeful message out of it. It’s a great lesson to any other hard-done-by woman, to do the same.