This week, our phones buzzed with a series of notifications as Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine was accused of sending flirty text messages to a series of women despite being married. The accusations came to light after Instagram model Sumner Stroh posted a video in which she claimed to have had a year-long affair with Levine, showing screenshotted DMs from his official IG account as proof. The DMs don’t necessarily prove an affair, but they sure were flirty, and weird, with Levine asking the model whether he and his wife can name their son after her.
A day after the story broke, Levine took to Instagram to address the allegations. In a statement, he said, “I used poor judgment in speaking with anyone other than my wife (Behati Prinsloo) in Any kind of flirtatious manner. I did not have an affair, nevertheless, I crossed the line during a regrettable period of my life.” He added, “In certain instances it became inappropriate. I have addressed that and taken proactive steps to remedy this with my family. My wife and my family are all I care about in this world. To be this naive and stupid enough to risk the only thing that truly mattered to me was the greatest mistake I could ever make. I will never make it again. I take full responsibility. We will get through it and we will get through it together.”
Levine and Prinsloo have been married since 2014 and have two daughters together, five-year-old Dusty Rose and four-year-old Gio Grace. Earlier this month, they also announced that they were expecting for the third time.
But as more women came forward with screenshots of Levine sliding into their inboxes, I shuddered at his utter lack of effort in offering an apology. He admits to flirting, seems remorseful and hopes to overcome the problem together with his family, but denies the relationship that the young model attributes to him. His half-baked apology statement shows how unaware Levine is about the implications of emotional infidelity.
Also coming to light are the old comments he made about cheating. In 2009, when Cosmopolitan magazine asked Levine, “Why do guys cheat?”, he remarked, “monogamy is not in our genetic makeup.”
“People cheat. I have cheated,” he said. “And you know what? There is nothing worse than the feeling of doing it.”
Adam Levine cheating case: Emotional infidelity counts
An extramarital affair doesn’t have to be physical to be intense – or to ruin a relationship. Emotional infidelity can be characterised by nonsexual intimacy with someone other than your partner, in such a way that it violates their trust and expectations. With technology enabling round-the-clock and covert communication, it has never been easier to fall into that grey area between “just friends” and “more than friends”.
Infidelity is messy and hurts like hell. It impacts one’s sense of self, causing unparalleled anguish when a commitment is broken. Moreover, emotional affairs can feel far more personal because they imply that your significant other liked someone else because they were more exciting to be around than you. How can one survive that kind of blow?
Closer home, a recent episode of the Bollywood celebrity talk show, Koffee With Karan, saw Anil Kapoor and Varun Dhawan being pestered to share their esteemed thoughts on cheating, courtesy of their recent film Jug Jug Jeeyo, a family drama around marriages. The episode was extremely cringy, especially the segment where the actors turned into marriage gurus and gave ‘intercourse’ related advice to a few callers. The host then questioned the two on their stance on emotional infidelity and if that will ever be a deal breaker in their respective marriages.
“If I cheat on my wife, my dog will bark and let her know!” said Dhawan with an animated woof in the end. Surprised? So was I. “I don’t think he’ll be happy about it. They can sense things, come on. He’ll know first. He’ll bark,” the Badlapur actor added. To tone down on the cringe and sensing that the conversation was heading nowhere, veteran actor Kapoor answered, “Both are bad (emotional and sexual infidelity). But, I think emotional infidelity, that to me is a complete deal breaker.”
Conclusion: Perhaps, it is a roadblock to expect an honest answer out of men around cheating, for their ignorance always wins.
However, to get a way around it, it is important to express and set boundaries, even though the conversation can be difficult. Maybe every couple should define their expectations up front and before committing, as noted by Cosmopolitan. “Couples should navigate and discuss their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual expectations. This allows both partners to make an informed decision before entering the union.”
If your partner knows exactly what cheating means to you, and vice versa, then you’re less likely to face miscommunication down the road.