Cheating is not the most pleasant topic to think about, but if you have been on either side of the cheating equation, you are certainly understood here. Your supportive peers may help if you are struggling in the aftermath of such a cheating incident. You may also find solace — and even some humor — by listening to these songs about cheating and being cheated on.
Chat about what’s going on, while you listen through the list?
This Bowie deep cut from the early ‘70s is widely interpreted to be about the narrator telling his boyfriend he’s “only dancing” with a woman. It’s a cheeky take, and leaves the question of whether there’s actually more going on up to the narrator.
Though “Fooling around” is a euphemism for cheating, this song is really from the point of view of a serial player. He croons: “It used to be when I’d see a girl that I liked/I’d get out my book and write down her name/Ah, but when the, the grass got a little greener over on the other side/I’d just tear out that page.” But he finally falls in love, and there’s redemption for this bad guy character after all.
The upbeat song by the Roots explores the perspective of “the other man,” who feels guilty for his involvement with a woman who is spoken for.
Feeling guilty? Let it out anonymously.
Though this song’s lyrics do not directly speak about cheating, they allude to dishonesty in a relationship. We had to include it because it is absolutely gorgeous, and for its unique narration that jumps between the perspectives of the different people involved.
Sugarland’s “Stay” approaches cheating from the perspective of “the other woman,” who wants more than anything to be chosen by her man. However, she seems to realize that is never going to happen.
The Wedding Present are a Brit pop band from Leeds with a knack for mixing sentimental feelings and killer guitar riffs. “Dalliance” is no exception, telling the story a woman breaking off an affair from the perspective of “the other man” who still misses her despite his better judgement.
This song, about women cheating on their partners to get revenge after they had been cheated on, has a controversial backstory. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkin’s experiences with infidelity supposedly inspired it, but it may have also been influenced by the songwriter Dallas Austin’s infidelity towards band member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. Meanwhile, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was staunchly against the song, saying she would tell women to leave a relationship rather than to cheat themselves.
This hit by the Eagles tells the story of a woman who is “heading for the cheating side of town.” It’s unique in its sympathetic portrayal of the cheater, who seems to be in an unhappy relationship of convenience. She breaks out to find freedom with a boy “with fiery eyes and dreams no one can steal.”
You may not know this song, which singer Mary MacGregor released in 1976, but it is more than worth a listen. It is a mournful, honest apology from a cheater to her spurned partner. The message is an explanation and a goodbye, and so heartfelt we can’t help but want to listen again and again.
In this song, the narrator laments her own “unfaithful” behavior towards her boyfriend, who knows she has been seeing someone else but does not intervene.
This ‘80s hit takes a slightly different approach to the cheating topic, as the singer explains why he wants to steal away his best friend’s girlfriend. The song was based on an actual friend of Springfield’s, though the real identity of “Jessie’s Girl” has never been revealed.
Fleetwood Mac is an iconic band, as well-known for the tumultuous love lives of their members as they are for the music those affairs inspired. “You Make Loving Fun” was written by band member Christine McVie about her affair with the band’s lighting director. To keep her husband and fellow band member John McVie in the dark, she told him it was written about their dog.
This Amy Winehouse track hits deep due to the narrator’s genuine regret about and admission of her own wrongdoing. It’s also a killer karaoke track for RnB belters out everywhere.
“It Wasn’t Me” isn’t just a song about cheating: It is a comic masterpiece. With lines like, “How you can grant your woman access to your villa” and an absurdly mounting list of evidence that Shaggy must deny, we cannot help but feel a little bit sympathetic towards his ludicrous plot to avoid his girlfriend’s wrath. The video even ends with him jumping off of an overpass onto a semi-truck to avoid her gang of leather-clad assassins! #Iconic.
This Brit pop classic from goth queen Lene Lovich seems to follow the same narrative lines as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” but with a twist. The “little bird” who told her about her partner’s infidelity was lying. Now the narrator sits with her regret and hopes her partner will come back.
While it may not be the most elegant song about cheating, this mid 2000s hit is sure to warm our inner scene-kid hearts. The video, which depicts a circus wedding gone berserk, climaxes with the groom catching his bride kissing someone outside. The video became an instant classic, winning that year’s Best Music Video of the Year at MTV’s Video Music Awards, and 2011’s poll for Best VMA Winning Video of All Time.
Sam Smith’s melancholy piano ballad details a marriage in trouble. It’s accompanied by a beautiful video starring Chris Messina and Glee’s Dianna Agron.
Vent about what happened, to understanding peers. 24/7.
This RnB track is in the same vein of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” with the narrator taking revenge on her cheating ex by busting the windows of his car. Afterwards she admits that it “it helped a little bit.”
This infectious tune from 1959 is bound to get stuck in your head. In it, Connie Francis sings about finding her her beau has been lying by finding lipstick on his collar after he “left [her] all alone at the record hop.” He even tries to gaslight her into thinking it was her lipstick, but she matches the shade to her best friend’s lips!
RnB queen Ashanti shows off her impressive voice in this powerful song about finding out your boyfriend has been cheating.
In the 2018 bop, Lennon Stella sings about a difficult position: being hurt by someone but still mourning the relationship. Her chorus encapsulates it perfectly: “I wish that you would’ve treated me bad/The truth is you couldn’t have loved me better/Now I’m left feeling twice as sad.”
“Blame Game” is a track from West’s acclaimed 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Though it delves into all of the bitterness of breaking up, its biggest highlight comes midway through the song when West sings, “You ain’t pick up but your phone accidentally called me back and I heard the whole thing.” An iconic skit by Chris Rock and Salma Kenas follows, wherein the two, playing the part of West’s ex and her new lover, talk explicitly about their sexual exploits.
This mournful indie track from 2015 tells an unusual story: “Well, there were four of us in a real small space/Sharing more than just a family name.” The narrator’s husband had apparently bedded both of her sisters before settling with her.
Timberlake’s biggest hit may have been inspired by an ugly break-up with Britney Spears, but it’s become a quintessential anthem for anyone who has been cheated on.
Unlike so many caught up in a cheating scandal, the narrator of this track has literal receipts proving her partner’s infidelity and uses this song to express how she’ll be better off without him. If one thing is for certain when watching Houston’s intense, leather-clad performance, this is not a woman to mess with.
Though this ‘90s jam might just be about the aftermath of a breakup, Morissette does refer to the subject as “Mr. Duplicity.” Regardless, we can all relate to frustration and resentment of being “replaced,” and it remains the perfect song to scream along with in your car.
Country legend Hank Williams originally wrote and recording this song shortly before his death in 1953. It has been covered successfully by a host of artists, but Patsy Cline’s version from 1962 may be the most popular.
With images of cars being smashed up, and biting lyrical digs at both the cheater and “other woman,” Carrie Underwood’s chart-topper may be one of the most satisfying songs about being cheated on — and taking revenge — ever.
Motown Records struck gold when they decided to have “Grapevine” re-recorded by Marvin Gaye after an earlier release by Gladys Knight. The slowed down tempo and Gaye’s disheartened cries at having heard of his beau’s infidelity became an instant classic. The song was even named #81 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time!
Link to album playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM89Q5Eng_M&list=PLxKHVMqMZqUSPF11Ghs0KqDfOGhB9Vw5E
It is safe to say Beyonce’s visual album broke the internet with its 2016 release. Rumors swirled about whether or not her husband Jay-Z really was unfaithful and how much of the album was true to their lives. Regardless of the answer, many people have taken solace in powerful songs like “Hold Up,” “Pray You Catch Me” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” Watching is a poetic and moving experience from beginning to end.
It’s hard to imagine someone as gorgeous as Dolly Parton being insecure about another woman stealing a man from her, but she speaks for so many of us in this heartbreaking country ballad. The song is alsp special for another reason, as explored by the podcast Dolly Parton’s America.
There have been countless country songs wherein men lament their cheating ladies or vice versa, but “Jolene” broke the mold by exploring the perspective of a woman speaking directly to the other woman. So, let Dolly’s strength fuel you, and remember that even the most successful woman in country music has had to worry about being cheated on!