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UBT: Jennifer Garner’s Shit Sandwich

God bless Jennifer Garner. She is really trying to be a class act. If anyone can sell us on the shit sandwich of infidelity, tabloid scandal, and one’s serial-cheater husband schtupping the nanny, it’s this award-winning actress.

Garner is featured in this month’s Vanity Fair where she tells all about her chump struggles and her relationship with Ben Affleck.

Time for the Universal Bullshit Translator…

Late last June, after their children (Violet, 10, Seraphina, 7, and Sam, 4) were finished with the school year, Garner and her husband, Ben Affleck, announced their plan to divorce one day after their 10th anniversary—an eternity for most Hollywood marriages. A month later, plastered over the tabloids and gossip sites, came reports that Affleck was having an affair with the family nanny, 28-year-old Christine Ouzounian, something his camp adamantly denies. It’s a mother and wife’s nightmare. (After a few inappropriate Instagram moments, the nanny has since dissolved into the background.)

Only the nanny? If you believe that, Jenn, the UBT has some swampland to sell you…

“It was a real marriage,” Garner tells me. “It wasn’t for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.”

“Let me just tell you something,” Garner says. “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives.”

Uh, separated? The tabloids can do the timelines, Jenn. You learned about the cheating on a family vacation reports People. Moreover, reportedly you chose to believe that Ben didn’t really cheat on you. It was all a big misunderstanding! But if he did, it was only because you were so mean to him. (But he didn’t!)

 “She’d scold him like a child whenever he had a beer, or make him feel bad for having a night out with the boys. It made him feel like he was always walking on eggshells around her and he started to resent her for not letting him do what he wanted. He told her that in therapy,” the insider said.

We understand the mindfuck, it’s okay. Poor Ben wanted to fuck the nanny, but you wouldn’t LET him!

Now, okay he did fuck the nanny exercise poor judgment, but that had NOTHING to do with the divorce.

UBT: I’m not a chump! My only crime is loving someone with bad judgment. He’s not a total schmuck and I’m not a total fool. We’re exceptional! And if I maintain his image, maybe he won’t abandon his children… Mustn’t yell or scold. Ben might resent me.

“I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him,” she says. “And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”

He’s not a bastard, he’s complicated. I’m not a chump, I’m sunshine deficient.

I miss narkles (narcissist sparkles). COME BACK BRILLIANT CHARISMATIC HUSBAND! Who is this nanny-fucking douche I bred with? I don’t recognize him.

Cognitive dissonance = complicated.

I ask Garner if she knew what she was getting into when she married Ben Affleck. He had a bit of a bad-boy image when they came together and was in actor jail after a string of disappointing films (Reindeer Games, Jersey Girl, Surviving Christmas), whereas Garner’s star was on the rise. Affleck had also had a few high-profile romances, the last of which was an engagement to Jennifer Lopez, which was immortalized in 2003’s Gigli. (Garner had a starter marriage at 28 to actor Scott Foley, whom she met on the set of Felicity; it ended after two years.) “Of course this is not what I imagined when I ran down the beach, but it is where I am,” she says. “We still have to help each other get through this. He’s still the only person who really knows the truth about things. And I’m still the only person that knows some of his truths.”

He has to help me through this. He needs to tell me the truth. He needs me! He’s trapped in deep, complicated cheater quicksand and only I can help him through this!

I’m still special. I know it!

“The main thing is these kids—and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.”

By pure and wholesome love I mean fucking the nanny. Isn’t fucking the nanny what’s best for children? Fucking the nanny and humiliating his children’s mother is how Ben shows his deep love.

“I laughed. People have pain—they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don’t hate him. Certainly we don’t have to beat the guy up. Don’t worry—my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I’m taking good care of myself.”

I assume Ben feels shame. The fact that he is demonstrably an arrogant asswipe has absolutely no bearing on my sincere believe that Ben feels pain. Gambling? Drinking? Whoring about? Regrettable! Don’t beat the guy up, he has to live with his conscience. The weight of his conscience is like a 300-lb gorilla sitting on his face, farting. He smells his grief EVERY DAY. While placing bets, while getting shit-faced drunk at Oscar parties, while shrugging off every mention of the divorce.

He’s in pain. But me? Eyes wide open over here, taking good care of myself!

Last fall, it was reported that Garner and Affleck were putting their Cliff May-designed Pacific Palisades estate—whose previous owners have included Gregory Peck and producer Brian Grazer—on the market for $45 million. However, it is not true. Garner is staying put. For the time being, Affleck has been staying in the three-acre estate’s guesthouse.

Yes, I intend to date, yes, I’m moved on, and yes, my soon-to-be-ex husband lives in my guest cottage. It’s Best For The Children. We watch him come out — and if he sees his shadow, there’ll be six more weeks of sunshine! If he doesn’t? Eternal darkness.

When I ask her if there was a turning point in her own marriage, where she couldn’t work any harder, she tells me, with emotion in her voice, “That’s a really hard question. I’m a pretty hard worker. It’s one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I’ve completely failed at twice. You have to have two people to dance a marriage. My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.”

It’s partially my fault. I believe that. I don’t believe I’m a chump, or that I have an atrocious picker, or that I trusted someone demonstrably untrustworthy. I let the system down. The system demanded a Perfect Family and I failed the system. But if I can’t be the perfect wife and mother and Hollywood family, I will be the perfect chump. Behold my magnanimity!

One thing is for sure: she refuses to claim responsibility for the midlife-crisis tattoo—the rising phoenix—that takes up her estranged husband’s entire back, as seen in photographs. “You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart.’ A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario?” Garner says with a wink.

“I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.”

Fuck you, Ben.

The UBT wishes you well, Jennifer Garner. May you decolonize your chump brain, get the goddamn cheater out of your guest cottage, and gain a life.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Actually, I feel bad for her. Sounds like chump denial. Maybe UBT was a little rough on her? Not that she couldn’t use some tough love based on her quotes…

    • I have to agree. It’s a nightmare going through this without it being so public. Who knows what was really said in private or what she really thinks? Poor woman has had her humiliation dragged through the tabloids, she is trailed endlessly by photogs and she has to get up and be all smiley to the nation in order to do her job. Never mind all the “anonymous insider” friends she has to worry about.

      She owes me/us nothing. I wish her a speedy recovery.

      • Agreed. It is an entirely different set of considerations when Every.Single.Thing.You.Do is reported in the media. Why? Because it ALL gets back to the kids. Now, I am not saying what Garner should or should not have done. What I am saying is that she had a whole different set of considerations than most folks about how she was going to handle the shit show that was/is her life. Perhaps, for her, being mighty was leaving the bastard with as much dignity as she could muster. She has young children who she must consider and, I can assure you, that is her primary focus. I know I never said a uncivil word about my X to the press because my kids had been through enough. I was not going to feed the beast. What I did a bit differently was refuse to talk about the matter at all, no exceptions! That did it not stop a rehash of what the press “thought” happened every time something I accomplished post-divorce appeared in the press-in fact, that just happened this weekend! What it did stop was me giving a shit. Want to talk about one of my current projects, fine. Want to talk about what happened years ago? I can’t hear you! Maybe Garner is not there, yet. The quicker she stops having to feign a respect for her X that she does not feel, the better…In the meantime, I sympathize with her efforts to protect her kids from what can be a very vicious intrusion into their lives.

        • I agree. From all accounts Jennifer Garner is a very good mother. I think a lot of what she’s saying is her attempt to protect her kids. Twenty years from now, they’ll still be able to find these articles and learn what their parents said about each other.

          I wish her well. She seems to be buying into the RIC narrative that tells you to “own your part” of the destruction of your marriage. There’s nothing to “own” when your spouse is sleeping around.

          Ben’s successes of the past 10 years have happened because Jennifer has expected and prodded him to act like an adult. It will be interesting to see what happens to his career without her support.

          • The 10 year mark is a construct. The 10 year number allows it to be be considered a long term marriage in California – therefore the guidelines on Spousal Support are more flexible — not that I imagine either of them needing that. And of course with 10 years plus you are entitled to your ex spouse’s social security benefits if you haven’t remarried. I don’t imagine that’s happening either.

            • My husband cheated on our 10th anniversary : The fuck fest was it’s hot & heaviest right at that point. It was also the year my son turned two. I really have no idea if this is some kind of milestone for men (or just for assholes )
              I felt really bad when I heard the news, bit she’s better off knowing now. Thing is : I’d have kicked him out at that point. ( I had tried to do that earlier just because he was such a rotten husband and father in those days) . Unfortunately, I didn’t find out until long after it was over 30 years later (hpv – he admitted it then & I called the OW & she verified) .I’ve cried for a long time, now. How happy I was to be guided to Chump Lady. I hope JG discovers the simple truths in the UBT. Because my husband’s affair happened so long ago , he’s willing to admit to the bullshit (or most of it) that cheaters try to deny when caught.
              JG gives this guy SO much credit, especially as a parent. Dear god, why let your children think a man who betrays his wife won’t also dump his kids? He’s chosen to spend his free time fucking her instead of parenting. Why is that so hard for people to see?

        • I disagree with having had this dragged through the media. She willingly talked about this, and based on what she said… seems like a very elaborate pick me dance.

          I feel sorry for her, she’s a good person from what I’ve seen, just in that painful stage of delusion and self blame. However Sandra bullock went through worse (timely reminder of her brilliant Oscar win and speech only to be taken down by the skank OW the very next day) yet remained silent in the media. She packed up, shut her doors to the press and focused on dealing with the pain and likely yelled screamed and botched to her good friends. We didn’t need an interview to know how she felt. Her amazing strength and self-respect was seen through her ‘no contact’ with her crappy ex and the awful media hounds.

          She walked into the pain, she new it was finite, she knew she was worth so much more. So are you Jennifer and so are all of us. Thanks to CL 🙂

    • Actually, the rumors way back when she was married back Scott Foley was that she cheated on Scott to be with Ben. If that is true, I call this ‘Karma’. Scott must have had a good chuckle with his wife when the news broke.

      • Actually she cheated on Scott to be with Michael Vartan and cheated on him to be with Ben. She’s no chump. Don’t feel feel sorry for her.

        • Bingo Mirad.
          Ben at the time was engaged to Jennifer Lopez and she was MARRIED to Scott. I guess she was sleeping with Micheal Vartan. She is despicable as Ben in my book. KARMA Baby Karma.

          • Just seeing this. Well, maybe that’s part of the issues she’s claiming she has. I think she thinks she’s still special to him, and it’s all very exceptional, she’s not a chump.

            • Eh, I just did some Googling and found there are rumors that Scott Foley’s current wife has “relationship rules.” If he contacts any of his exes she’ll leave him. She sounds like the marriage police to me which makes me think he’s a cheater.

            • She’s another cheating Narc who is desperate not to be seen as a chump. Why would she expect a cheater to be faithful to her (also a cheater)? Because she decided to have a family with him so now the rules should change! She decided they were now going to be Mr. And Mrs. America!! Baseball, Apple Pie and all that! Didn’t matter that together they had the character of the Marquis de Sade, now we’re going to be Ward and June because that’s the way I want it!

              Ben Affleck (whom I’ve always liked as an actor) is like a chameleon. He takes the form of any chick he is with. Rico Suava when with Jennifer Lopez. Deep thinking hipster when he was with Gwyneth Paltrow. Mr. Suburban Husband with Garner. Now he’s Wild Rebel with a pathetic back tattoo since he’s been banging the nanny and hanging out with “the boys”. He’s a narcissist who doesn’t know who he is at his core therefore he takes on the persona of whoever he is with.

              Dr. Drew Pinsky is correct. Showbiz attracts narcs like shit attracts flies. They want us to love and adore them, but to stay the fuck out of their lives. Sounds a lot like my marriage . . .

              • ^^This! My STBXH is a total chameleon. I never realized it until I was in counseling about a month (before the Divorce Letter.) He just seemed to fit in anywhere!

              • Yes, I don’t understand the public’s fascination with these people!! Full grown adults worshiping them like they are Gods. Unbelievable.

          • Agree confused. I do feel sorry for the innocent three kids, but I don’t buy Jen’s innocent and wholesome Girl Next Door.

            • I feel terrible for her but she’s still a rabid chump. I thought narkles were sustenance too, even when it felt like I was swallowing razor blades. She sure looks different now though, I recognize that pained/pissed expression even if she doesn’t. She’s being continually exposed to those noxious, phony grief gorilla farts. Talk about gaslighting!

              • I think Jennifer Garner os a beaitigul person who is a wonderful mom.. she tried as a wife and picked a snake. I hope she becomes even more beaitiful and stronger after all this is done Ben will hopefully realize what he ruined and have horrible regret and live life hollow and sick and empty .

            • +1 mirad – I feel for their poor three kids, they must be so confused by the mixed signals both of their parents are sending them. I hope they have some sane, stabilizing force in their lives to help them digest all that drama.

            • I feel bad for the kids, too. I feel bad for my kids! They didn’t ask for what my narc has put them thru. I’m sorry I bred with him, but……I love my kids so much and they are wonderful, so I can see Jen looking out for her kids. I’m the same way, too.

        • Couldn’t find references to that anywhere, nor a timeline. Supposedly her and Foley separated in 2003 and divorced in 2004. Vartan was a quick 2004 fling and she got together afterwards. Not saying your wrong but I wouldn’t crucify someone based on old memories and trashy gossip.
          Too many women (OW’s included) are quick to believe the worst about the wife or women in general. He had the horn dog reputation, not her.

          • That’s the thing. People here are commenting about “facts” they have read in the tabloids, the very last place to obtain accurate information! Let me assure everyone that there is a huge difference between infotainment and factual investigation. Having lived a similar scenario as Garner, I find it disheartening that folks are so willing to bash her based about nothing more than what they have read in a trash mag. In many ways, public figures live a damned if you do, damned if you don’t existence. Speak or stay silent-either way you will be judged. I cannot begin to count the times misinformation was plastered everywhere about me and my family. Believe me, it is very difficult to stay quiet when you are portrayed a certain way in the press. For me, the only way to maintain my sanity was to hold my tongue. Garner, I am sure, is trying to keep some measure of sanity for her children.

            • Ok. Agreed. We will never know IF she cheated in her first marriage and we may never have answer to that BUT IF she did then she totally deserves this and more. You don’t cheat on someone and think that the universe will let you get away with a happy life without consequences. It’s Karma pure and simple. What goes around comes around even for Ms Garner.

              • Wow. That’s like saying that it’s OK for the OW if the husband trashes the current wife to her with stories about how mean she is / the marriage is over anyway / he’s a sad sausage who treated her like a queen, yada yada yada. Is that Karma for the wife? Tabloids tell tales to sell magazines, “friends” tell tales for payoffs, the USA has useless libel laws so they can say anything and get away with it, just like an errant spouse.
                Why the vitriol for a chump that you know absolutely nothing about IRL?

              • 1964 – New York Times versus Sullivan: a UNANIMOUS Supreme Court decision on “libel.” Public figures (like celebrities) choose to make their living off of taxpayer’s (fan’s) support. Love our First Amendment Right of freedom of speech!

      • I heard about these things also about Jen and Ben from many different types of sources. There are also many rumours about both of them during their marriage. Both are as bad as each other and both are not as sweet and sunny as they appear to be. So Jen is not the sweet perfect person she is claiming to be. She is no chump in my book and I DO NOT feel sorry for her at all.

        • Would those be the same sources that had Jennifer Aniston giving birth every 3 months for the last 20 years? To twins no less? I’m kind of disappointed in the pile on.

          • Thought I saw Jennifer Gardner at the Oscars last night. Looking gorgeous, classy, and a real movie-star. Didn’t see ben in the audience. I’m sure he and Matt are good friends behind the curtain in front of the cameras, but Matt is a family man (I sure hope!) and I think that friendship is probably fake. Their wives were probably good friends. It affects so many but they have to keep up that image. I quit watching anything Mel Gibson did and now, as much of a talent I thought Ben was, I think it was his wife that did that for him…so, I don’t think he’ll make another good movie again and if he does, I don’t care. He’s just like his character in Gone Girl…and he just needs to go away. I’ll gladly watch Jennifer in new movies – she makes me happy when I see her with her children, even if it is a photo op. Ben brought a lab puppy….oh, how fucking cute for the cameras. Bet he’s never walked that dog once.

    • The UBT calls bullshit at it sees bullshit.

      Personally, I have a lot of sympathy for Jennifer Garner. She’s smoking deeply on the hopium pipe. Trying to ascribe best intentions to him, projecting that he loves his children, and still doing the pick me dance letting the guy live in the guest cottage and eat cake.

      I’m no harder on her than I would be any other chump who is kidding themselves.

      • Definitely toking hard on that hopium pipe! When I read news about her sucking it up to celebrate his birthday and the kid’s birthday together as a family I shudder. You HAVE to go to weddings for your children or graduations or christenings. You don’t HAVE to celebrate their father’s birthday with them. And you can have separate birthday parties for your children at each of your (not so humble) abodes when the time comes.

        She’s still pick me dancing in a marriage that is scheduled to end.

      • Well, as someone who has seen a lot of celebrity cases first hand, she’s probably does not want to hurt ‘their’ brand. They’re a brand as much as a couple. We have no idea what kind of joint financial interests that might be damaged by any other kind of response from her. Her strategy might be very smart financially in the long run. Plus if she says, he’s a scum bag and has always been– what’s that say about her decision making skills.

        Let’s remember. They’re actors. It’s a brand. They still want to work and need to be insured on their projects. :-).

        • This was always my take on the Clintons. There’s a lot of money at stake, and a brand, and that’s how they choose to roll, and that’s their choice. (Also, I think some of the finances may be a bit interesting, and a divorce and asset split might turn over a few too many rocks.)

          And that’s why I can’t specially pick on Monica Lewinsky, or any of the others. We all know cheaters never trade up, but that doesn’t mean we let them off the hook for cheating in the first place.

          Poor Jen. She’s such a beautiful woman on the outside. I hope the inside grows to be as beautiful, and also strong in the light of some sobering self-awareness. As we know from this very blog, sometimes cheaters get a dose of their own medicine in their next relationship, and it can mark a genuine turning point in their lives. But not everyone is in the same place on this.

      • Her Vanity Fair interview tells me she is smoking the Hopium Pipe while dancing the Pick Me Dance.
        Allowing Ben to stay in their guests house is part of the Hopium Pipe smoking and Pick Me Dance, if she keeps him on her property who knows, he might wake up hung over one morning, look over at the main house and miss Jen and the kids enough to come back and forget the nanny, the good old boys, and life as a man whore. Jen is holding on to any shred of hope she has of him coming back and living happily ever after. If she shows him how calm and loving and understanding she is he will realize how wonderful she is and come back. I thin that’s what the interview was all about, a Pick Me Dance in the pubic eye. He can’t miss it.
        She’s hoping Ben’s going to hear about the interviee or read about it and reconsider and come running from the guest house to home…,

  • It’s embarrassing to read Jennifer’s breezy support and fulsome praise for this complete dickhole. I think it’s just her PTSD talking. PTSD has a way of impairing your judgement to the point that traumatic incidences trigger the ‘act normal’ response, and normal incidences trigger the alarm/panic response.

  • If you have to talk around your marriage that much, you’re either not being honest with the interviewer or with yourself.

    And as for this line: ““She’d scold him like a child whenever he had a beer, or make him feel bad for having a night out with the boys. It made him feel like he was always walking on eggshells around her and he started to resent her for not letting him do what he wanted. He told her that in therapy,” the insider said.”

    WTF? Affleck was constantly shown at poker tournaments. He continued to live his bad-boy lifestyle and resented her trying to make him behave like an adult. Hey, Ben, you’re no spring chicken and you have 3 kids. Grow the fuck up, narcboy. And drop your enabler friends who were willing to leap into your marriage against your wife.

    • It pisses me off that the narrative that was fed to the “insider” gets any coverage. Never any remorse from the cheaters, just blameshifting and lies. And he’s confusing “walking on eggshells” with tiptoeing from the nanny’s room back to his wife’s bed.

    • All that money at all those poker tournaments – and he picks the nanny. That’s targeted cruelty. He must resent his kid’s existence? Imagine the narc logic, “Why do they get to have a nanny? They are mere children. I am awesome. I want a nanny. How come the runts have one and I don’t?. I’ll show them”

      • Now that’s funny right there – “why don’t *IIIIII*I get a nanny??!!! (sad face)”

      • And of course Brady is a known cheater. And even if ‘nothing happened’ (cough, cough), it’s incredibly disrepectful to his wife to let some 26 year old hoochie pose with his rings on. What is wrong with these people. Giselle should crawl out from under whoever she’s fucking and lawyer up fast.

  • The many stages of Chumpdom. Once she sees him blatantly whoring, gambling, drinking around, when he was scheduled to be with the kids…finds a text or two…an e-mail, etc…, she’ll get a little rage-y. Affleck is all impression management.

  • You’d think that people with so much fame and wealth would be different. But no.

    • Why? The cheater are even more entitled, more narcissistic and more opportunistic. The chumps are in many ways more vulnerable because their lives are so public.

  • Since when is telling the truth “hating” a cheater? I do not get that narrative (other than the usual minimization of the cheating). Yes, it looks ugly, because IT IS UGLY. Someone who bangs his kids’ nanny has character (and boundary) issues. That’s not hating, Ben. That is speaking the truth.

  • It would have been refreshing to read her actual thoughts instead of career damage control – for the sake of all chumps. Hopefully Jennifer’s career will take off now that she has (almost) unloaded the douche bag. More power to her !

  • I feel bad for her too. So much of this sounds like me for months after the break-up, spackling like mad and blaming myself. And the phoenix rising from the ashes — with her recognizing that she’s the ashes and making light of it — out. Been there. We should send her a link to Chump Lady.

    • Yes, Sounds like me as well after Cheater left. I blamed myself, made excuses for Cheater. I was the understanding, calm, kind, accepting. I was going to prove to Cheater that I was good enough.
      Cheater would see what he was missing because I was super Chump. I was delusional and in denial just as Jennifer is today if she believes what she is saying in this interview.

  • This makes me so angry. This is the bullshit cheaters and APs back on…”See, this is how the wonderful people handle betrayal. Too bad you aren’t wonderful.” It is the playbook that OW read from when she called to tell me how responsible it would be, and better for our families if I gave up my husband for her.

    • Still spackling due to PTSD.
      We understand, Jen.
      She’ll see this site when her publicist googles responses to her interview.

      • “She’ll see this site when her publicist googles responses to her interview.”

        Yep. I hope her publicist shows her the site. She’ll learn that she doesn’t REALLY have to have birthday parties with the cheater.

        BA is just like all the other cheaters. It’ll do her good to see that he’s following the playbook. Maybe she’ll put down the hopium pipe.

        • I have read somewhere that they are still doing family vacations “for the kids”. Reaalllyyyyy…….

  • I actually think UBT was a bit tough on her too. The tabloids don’t really know when the separation occurred, She has a movie coming out this Spring and she did this interview to get it out of the way so that when she promotes the movie, perhaps, just perhaps more focus will be on the movie than Affleck.

    I don’t think he wanted the marriage to end, but of course it had too. I am certain that she has anger, but in Hollywood, the pressure to consciously uncouple has to be beyond extreme. The birthday party together, the vacations together, have to suck sh*t for her. Hopefully, she find a path that allows for healing.

    Wish someone would send a link to chumplady. This is advice she could use.

    • Doesn’t matter when the separation occurred. Odds are Jen knew about the nanny. She’s just so used to eating shit sandwiches, she doesn’t realize she’s still being served them.
      Here be a case of someone needed distance from the narc to see clearly. NC for her is recommended. Highly.
      Too confusing for the kids having him around so much and taking trips and such together. What??? Let him flounder and see how he addresses time with the kids on his own timetable. The truth will appear.

  • When I read the quote about his sunshine and how it’s cold when he’s not shining on you I had about a billion flashbacks to my marriage and I can say without a doubt: narcissist. She perfectly described what it’s like to be married to one of these people.

    • Exactly! That gave me flashbacks too and perfectly captured my experience with The Entitled One.

    • Yep! That was the ONE thing I picked up on, too. When they are shinning on you (paying attention to you) all is right in the marriage world. When their light is shinning on work, “healthy female friends”, work wife it’s all dark and lonely.

    • Same here. Euw.

      Query: if you met a man NOW with a dodgy romantic history (including infidelity), who had a problem with gambling, and a history of mood swings, blaming other people for his problems, and drinking too much, would you date him? Let alone marry him?

      It’s hard to see past the narkles at times, even for those of us who have undergone intensive Chump Nation consciousness-raising. So imagine what it’s like for someone who lives in la-la land for a job.

    • Yep, sounds like a shining vs dark Ass Wipe just like Cheater. I didn’t think of it that way but she’s right on the description.

    • ^This was my stbxh. Jen’s description was spot on about how these asshats make you feel. I think that they just give you enough to feel “worthy”, to try harder to please them and be the perfect wife. To feel that glow from them and what you think feels like love. Then they take it away just as fast. You can never do anything right, you can’t love them enough, you are the buzz kill to their path of happiness. It is the mind fuck. It is what kept me married, trying to make him happy with no regards to what made ME happy. When I discovered that he was cheating, I still (sadly) tried to fix our marriage. Just like Jen, I worked so hard to be perfect and to make it work. I couldn’t just let it go. Then one day you “wake up” and realize fuck this shit! I don’t want to do this anymore. What do I want, what do I need and do I want my kids to think this is normal? Now I realized that I would rather be alone then to be with someone who considered me to be a option.

  • Yet more proof that you can be the most gorgeous, successful, stylish, perfect example of a wife and mother and STILL be cheated on. Reminds me not to beat myself up for being so damn cheatable-on! It makes me sad to hear her preparing herself to take some of the blame for what went wrong. Marital issues are marital issues, and no matter what those issues are they are NEVER a license to cheat! Ben Affleck is a pompous ass, and I hope that giant farting gorilla on his face stays with him a loooooong time LOL!!

    • KJ,

      My first thought was the same as yours. If Jennifer Garner can get Chumped, me being a Chump had ZERO to do with me.

      I do find interesting how this story might develop. What we have in Garner is a Camille Cosby(Hillary Clinton)-type marriage in the making. I think the UBT hit Jennifer square in the kisser; just when she needs it most.

      And WTF with Ben living in the guest house? It’s bad enough these cheaters have to ditch all their worldly possessions and clog up our garages while they sort out their life. (Read: come up for air after epic bouts of bumping uglies.) Can’t Ben afford his own bachelor pad?

      Ben is the Emperor of Cake. He is positively drunk on the kibbles Jennifer fed him with this exclusive interview. Witness Ben’s cavorting with Matt Damon yesterday.

      I certainly hope Jennifer can get her head on straight. May I remind my fellow Chumps that it was just last Friday here on Chump Lady where we took a wreconciler to task for her spackling. Jennifer lacks nothing in terms of resources and power. She can handle a few 2-by-fours to assist in the de-spackling Ben.

      Sorry Jennifer, you’re still the ashes.

      • She has said that he stays in the guest house because they think it’s better for the kids and they can be more like an intact family. In fact, they are only confusing the kids and sending them mixed messages. Ben IMO, agreed to it because it makes him look like a good guy who’s trying to do right by his kids. CN knows better.

    • I thought this, too! She is gorgeous. She seems to be a great mother. They have a ton of money which would make being a mom easier; cooking and cleaning is probably not a problem for her. He’s a cheater. He’ll always be a cheater no matter how beautiful his wife is and whether they have three kids together. He’s a player.

  • She’s still spackling. It’s a hard habit to break. I can’t even begin to imagine what co-parenting with this fucktard is going to look like. But getting him out of the guest house, that would be a real good first step.

  • I think in truth she is going through the same process we all are, but has to spin it in the most favorable way in the press. She not only has her public image to manage, but her three kids who will read all this stuff on line and in the tabloids. Unfortunately, Ben gets a bit of a free pass as a result. As much as it’s better for the kids to know the truth, our gut instinct is to protect them, and we don’t have to deal with the press and papparazzi like she does. Ben was already known as a womanizer and I’m sure he will cheat on whomever he moves on to next.

    I hope someone refers Jennifer to Chump Lady. Tracy, maybe she can play you in the movie and stick it to Ben and change the narrative on cheating on the process. “In a world…..where infidelity is tolerated and glamorized….one woman dares to speak the truth and expose evil…..Chump Lady, the movie.”
    Although I think maybe Jennifer Lawrence. She seems a little more butt-kicky.

    • I think Carmella 1722 nailed this. Garner has to manage this too in order to effectively promote her next few movies.
      Can you imagine the press’ reaction if she had gone all angry and crazy all over his sorry a*s? She is too classy to do that publicly anyway, but I betcha anything it happened privately.
      She wants to continue working and part of that has to be promoting her current projects. No director wants a big distraction.

        • Maybe she will come here and her avatar will be actorswife… we have rockstar’s wife and I am pretty sure that is who she is. She hasn’t been around lately. Hopefully life is good for her.

  • Rich poor young old famous not famous doesnt matter all cheaters suck. They really really suck.

  • Poor lady. Real life stories are total proof that cheaters and affair partners are always DOWNGRADES. And that cheating is always about easy lays and accessabilty to cheap ass. NOT twu wuv. Sorry, whores…

  • So much denial. Is it possible that she is still in shock? Otherwise, I think that she could feel very different behind closed doors. People in the public eye have to “act” in public. I don’t peg her as a stupid woman, and I am sure a lot of this is an attempt to save face. CN is enlightened, but a lot of the public isn’t. Hell, she works in an industry that perpetuates the romantic idea of cheaters as tortured little creatures who deserve our sympathy and support. I cannot imagine this is easy for her, and if she is still in the “space” she seems to be from this interview, she maybe having a tough time for awhile…

    • This is why we need a movement chumpasaurus to call this shit out for what it is. Lies deceit betrayal. Id be in jail and suffer consequences if i pulled this crap with a business partner. Too much entitlement and too little honesty everywhere in the world. Exactly what ive taught my kids not to do and the ex did as well. My girl gets it the boy doesnt. The ex wasnt too bad til he met that whore and hes the same but so different. I see the boy headed down the same path. This is precisely why i will remain and stay single. Ive had friends say thats unfair all guys are not the same. Agree. But im not taking that chance again. I am definately anti marriage at least for me. The ex will marry that whore one day. Hes cheating on her now they are both fools. Me i will be hours away hopefully living the good life. House sale closer yippee!!!!

      • I vasilate on the remarriage thing. I don’t want to get married again, but I would like my kid to see what a healthy relationship looks like. We all know it won’t happen with Narkles.

  • I feel bad for her. Since Jennifer is in the public eye, I can only hope that once she accepts that she is a chump that she will take her new found strength to use all the media coverage as an opportunity to talk about the devastation of what infidelity does to a spouse, kids and family (past, present & future).

    Unfortunately I doubt that she ever will for fear of exploiting her 3 little kids and exposing dickhead Ben’s character flaws since he is still sparkly.

    • Well I retract my above statement on having sympathy for Jennifer. After reading all the earlier posts, it appears Jen supposedly hasn’t practiced fidelity in her past relationships. Looks like Jennifer hit the trifecta – Cheater-Chumped-Karma.

  • We are swarmed on the internet and media with so much of this. It is so great to put stuff like this through the UBT. It really keeps the hope of unicorns away and keeps you grounded. When you are in the weak state of mind of a chump reading these types of things can really set up back and screw with your mind and heart. The UBT gives you the power back.

  • So my STBXH sent me a link to this article over the weekend with a quick note about how this is a great example of how to handle divorce when you have kids. Lately, he’s been all over me about how we need to be friends for the sake of our son, wants to do b-day parties and things like that together, that he’s “not a monster” for cheating (he didn’t cheat with our nanny, but with a much younger married employee of his…I can remember how subtly flirtatious he was with our 20 year old nanny though…). Anyway, I guess he’s trying to point out I should be more like Jen Garner and admit he’s the love of my life, marriage just doesn’t work out sometimes but hey, our son’s eyes light up when he walks in a room so why the heck can’t we be friends like Jen and Ben? I didn’t reply to his text b/c of the whole NC thing. But, I’d like to say…wow, you are in good company there with Ben Affleck! Both cheaters and family destroyers.

    I understand how Garner may want to be positively spinning this all to the press to protect her kids and her movie career and upcoming, very wholesome sounding family movie (Miracles from Heaven I think its called?) but articles like this reinforce for the betrayed spouses how they too should just suck it up and be friends with their lying, cheating, abusive spouses because that’s what’s best for the kids. And oh yeah, his cheating is your fault too. This interview will make betrayed spouses feel that way while also perpetuating among society that that’s how we should react to our Ex’s infidelity too — you need to be friends, the cheating is partially your fault, and the Ex is really a good guy/woman, but they are just complicated…

    • Well, maybe when he hands you the keys to a 45 million dollar estate, you can reconsider how you want to manage your co-parenting and whether or not he should live in the guest house. Until then, I can’t see any reason for you to imitate her.

    • Tell him… sure thing honey… just let me know when the Phoenix Rising tat on your back is done and there is $100 million in a back account with my name on it. No doubt he and Ben Affleck have many sparkles in common.

      • Its really unfortunate that he made that Tat so big. I mean…. there’s really no more room for the future.

    • Christina: As a response, send your STBX a link to CL’s “Trust that they suck” column:

      Mine pulled the same bullshit–
      “We can be friends,” = I need the impression management boost that my X still likes me; see, I’m a good guy!

      “Do it for the children” = I know your soft underbelly, chump, and that is you value family and your children. I can manipulate me into continuing to give me CAKE, and showing that You love me, you really love me!! ‘cuz I’m swell!

      “I’m not a monster!”= If you really knew everything I have done behind your back, then you’d know I am a monster, but my level of deception is A+ so you should question judgment of me, except for one momentary lapse where I fell into the genitals of someone else because I was reading People magazine and not paying attention to my pants falling down.

      • Tempest,

        I am now hearing, ‘We can still be friends,’ from my now ex-boyfriend who dumped me on our anniversary just over a week ago. Sadly, he is turning out more and more like my STBX (dishonest impression manager). I really didn’t see this coming from my friend of 30 years and fellow chump. Apparently, my now ex-boyfriend, a friend of many years and fellow chump, can lie, mislead, and devalue with the best of the cheaters. Really must work on my picker.

        • “I am not friends with someone who views me as a plan B or fucking consolation prize. Being in a relationship should imply we were friends then – you no longer want to be in a relationship with me, so therefore we cannot be friends. I have nothing more to say to you”

          Its all about having a plan B for him, it seems.

    • Christina…exactly this. And I am so sorry that happened to you. It took me a long time to quit tormenting myself because I wasn’t “strong” enough to be his friend. Once I gave that up, my life improved dramatically.

      Fabricated or not, spackle or shit, this kind of thing is irresponsible and dangerous. I do not feel sorry for Jen at all, because she puts the rest of us in jeopardy by crafting the “magic divorce” story. My ex wasn’t as blatant as yours, but it was definitely his picture of divorce too. And his fuckbitchwhore certainly chastised me for my lack of willingness to be part of the magic. Can you imagine if public figures gave interviews in this tone after a sexual or physical assault? “I asked for it because I was too pretty.” “He was always a dark figure, he couldn’t help himself.” “He isn’t bad, he is just conflicted.” “It’s my responsibility to continue to treat him well, maybe I could even treat him to dinner.”

      If this is our example of the publicly acceptable response to cheating, we will always be victims. We should instead be declaring that we are victors.

    • I’d say it depends on what you mean by “we can be friends.” If you have a big estate with a guest house on it, it makes some sense for kids to have access to both parents, especially if Affleck has a way of keeping the kids at arms’ length when he is away on location or in Vegas or riding on Tom Brady’s jet with the nanny. (What a piece of crap that guy is to have been part of that, too, but I digress.) Now she’s working on the issue of how to parent with the narcissistic cheater she had kids with. He appears to be enjoying cake, doing what he pleases while still having access to ex-wife and kids She doesn’t appear to be anywhere near “meh” yet, but she’s not that far into the process. I hope she learns the big lessons about authenticity that this experience can bring.

  • Errr, Jennifer G is exttremely likeable & her current marital drama sounds awful… but I remember some older celeb articles saying she was basically the OW in Affleck’s exit-affair from his engagement to JLo. It sounded pretty factual – but who knows?

    (I’m not a big tabloid fan, but I was curious enough to look up the purported beginnings of their relationship when Affleck was so tacky & called out how much “work” it was to be married in his Oscar speech)

  • I think we should take what she says to the press with a grain of salt. She might be trying to protect her happy, wholesome image or maybe they have a clause in their prenup that says they can’t badmouth each other, or maybe, she’s just trying to protect her kids from the whirlwind of paparazzi.

  • She described a narc perfectly. It’s also pretty well-known that he’s been cheating for years. Anyone remember the stripper in Canada incident from a few years back (yes, I know far too much about celebrity lives at times).

    She’s still reeling and she also has handlers who are advising her on every word that comes out of her mouth publicly. I’m guessing when she’s downs a few glasses and is bitching with her girlfriends she’s saying something entirely different. Also, she shades him quite brilliantly in the interview, without coming across as a lunatic.

    • Well reading here shes a cheater well fuck her too what goes around comes around jennifer! Gotta love that karma bus!!!! Wish a bell werould go off anytime a cheater gets karmaed id wink and nod and lift a toast to all the chumps out there but that bell would probably be constant. Friends with cheater for whos sake theirs? Not gonna happen. Its all about image control and lie for the cheater not tell the truth to protect them! Wtf! We the chumps have to continue to eat the shit sandwiches! Fuck that. Anyone who asks me what happened will get the truth. Asswipe says thats cold say we just drifted apart nothing in common anymore. We have the same things in common we always had him and whore not so much. I told him you drifted allright right into new snatch with no remorse because you could and your peeps should know what a dickhead you really are!
      He thinks i should lie and not make him look bad. Hey he blamed and blames me me to lots of people our kids included the kids didnt buy it so now he ignores them fucking bastard!!

  • Can we please explore this? Is the affair partner always a downgrade? Do we need to see him or her that way to feel better about being cheated on?
    On paper my ex’s affair partner that he now lives with is a downgrade. She makes much less than me, has young kids which he was not about, dogs ( he hated ours). She’s IS younger ( 12 years) , and he says has more in common with him and treats him better than I did. He says that’s worth her being a financial drain and since our kids( one graduated college this year, the other graduates hs in May) have gone NC on him he’s happy her kids 8 &10 are good to him. Not a downgrade to him…..he acts like she shits glitter and I’m the troll……wtf???

    • Wait a second, let me be clear…..they ARE downgrades because they allow themselves to be the fuck buddy and seek to destroy marriages. The point I’m trying to make is that the piece of shit ex they end up with don’t seem to care if they represent everything they can’t stand as long as they make them feel like the best thing since sliced bread.
      So my question is, why do they gravitate into relationships that bring with them things they are known to hate ( kids, dogs, monogamy, financial responsibility for a barely working but capable of doing so person) ??
      My ex has to know what ever kibble a she’s dispensing and whatever magic beans she has up that vagina of hers won’t be enough to make him want kids and the white picket fence deal…..he just left that.

      • It’s that thrill of something new. When the shininess wears off, he’ll move on.

        • Agree carmella. I was told im better looking have a better body nicer of better character. So what then. Different has money and he can beat her with a belt as hard as he wants to during sex. Digusting. Thats not sex or love or even getting off its just sick. Never got the memo on that one! God do they suck!!!!!

    • Paintwidow, my ex husband’s 23 year old is definitely a “downgrade” even though I am 41 years older than her. This girl he has in tow is as I stated 23 years old, can hardly speak English and he found her in a bar in Phnom Penh. I saw a recent photo of her and she is not attractive at all but the lure of her youth is what has him by his so called manhood and if it wasn’t her it would be another girl from one of the many bars in Phnom Penh. The gums in this girl’s mouth look like they need serious attention and they made my skin crawl. He will never know what has gone before him into her orifices. She is dripping in jewellery that he has bought her and he takes her travelling. He never took me anywhere and never bought me one piece of jewellery but then again, I didn’t need those things to keep me with him, she does or she will be onto the next client !! The ex was always cruel about Asian people and he called them porch monkeys. I always told him off for speaking in such a derogatory manner as he himself has Chinese heritage going back a few generations and he always said he was just joking. Now he is living the dream with what I don’t know and the most interesting bit is he is acting like a wonderful ‘dad’ to her 2 little boys when he was not interested in our now 2 nearly middle age adult children. I have always said that water finds its own level and the ex has found his in the gutters of Phnom Penh with a gutter crawler who he has paraded around our home town of Melbourne like she was a trophy. She is still a downgrade no matter how he paints or presents her and now I realise that he deserves his twu wuv.

      • It’s not so much about looks, age, money etc. they are narcissists and when they look at their mirror( affair partner) they want their image reflected back to them. Most of the AP are new and haven’t been through time with them like we have. We KNOW them and so we don’t reflect the very delusional image that they want us to. We reflect back the truth and that’s just like putting a mirror in front of a vampire. They don’t like it, so they disappear. With the AP they can be anything they want… At least for a while, until time itself reveals differently. Then they gotta move on to a new sucker. It’s not about us. It’s themselves that they really don’t like.

        • You said this perfectly. We do know them and their excuses, stale stories, boasts, and are no longer impressed. He’s wants what I cannot give him, accolades for doing nothing. Sunday was a beautiful day in western NY and I was out cleaning my yard and playing with my three dogs. We were panting, muddy, and having a blast. I thought to myself that if he was still with me, I would be doing the same thing, yard work, without the fun part. I would have resented him sitting in his recliner for 10 hours, watching home improvement shows or sports and eating non-stop while I worked. She can adore his laziness and negativity. I will adore my animals, my house, and for the first time in 27 years, me!

          • Anne, I think the men we married were brothers! Seriously. Except in my situation he would spend 10 hours reading in the recliner while I was doing yard work.

            • Well, mine would sit inside all day on a beautiful day and watch reruns of Mad Men and James Bond. In a dark house. At least your’s was reading something! (maybe comic books?)

        • Excellent, [email protected]–yes, they want an image reflected back to them when they look at the AP.

          That reminded me of Maureen Dowd’s excellent piece on Mark Sanford (the Appalachian Trail-, Argentinia-loving former SC governor):

          “As in all great affairs, Mark Sanford fell in love simultaneously with a woman and himself — with the dashing new version of himself he saw in her molten eyes.

          In a weepy, gothic unraveling, the South Carolina governor gave a press conference illustrating how smitten he was, not only with his Argentine amante, but with his own tenderness, his own pathos and his own feminine side.

          He got into trouble as a man and tried to get out as a woman.

          With Maria, he was no longer the penny-pinching millionaire Mark, who used to sleep on a futon in his Congressional office and once treated two congressmen to movie refreshments by bringing back a Coke and three straws.

          No, he was someone altogether more fascinating: Marco, international man of mystery and suave god of sex and tango.

          Mark was the self-righteous, Bible-thumping prig who pressed for Bill Clinton’s impeachment; Marco was the un-self-conscious Lothario, canoodling with Maria in Buenos Aires, throwing caution to the e-wind about their “soul-mate feel,” her tan lines, her curves, “the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light.

          Mark is a conservative railing against sinners; Marco sins liberally…..”

    • It is an item in my personal credo that Cheaters Never Trade Up.


      Any chump who seriously believes that their cheater has traded up from THEM – the person reading Chump Lady – needs to have some counselling and work on their self-esteem and self-respect.

      (Obviously if you are a crack-smoking, cussin’, fightin’, murderous and infected whore, living off the proceeds of organised crime in a trailer with your seventeen children and none of your own teeth, and your cheater left you for a clean, law-abiding, employed, solvent, sober and reliable Christian virgin, then you might feel a bit like that. But in my experience this never happens.)

      I have plenty of faults, but no one deserves cheating. know all chumps question their own worth when they’re chumped, but that’s hopefully just a passing phase in the process of healing and getting clarity, and then getting ANGRY at the reality of what has happened.

  • I agree that Garner has to deal with the image management, too, and her interview responses probably align with the talking points given to her by her publicist. She really can’t say that Ben Affleck is a cheating asshole who’d rather drink (he’s been in rehab), gamble, and fuck the nanny instead of being a dad to his kids. I bet that her publicity people have mentioned to her that Affleck’s career took a nosedive when he was the subject of a lot of tabloid exposure, so she needed to refrain from giving the tabloids anything to work with.

    Hence the old “conscious uncoupling” song and dance we’re reading.

    On the other hand, maybe this is all my Chumpyness speaking. I’m spackling for Garner, who should simply state that Afflect was cheating and that’s a deal-breaker for her. Nothing more.

    The one thing that stands out is that Garner is an attractive woman. Look. She’s Hollywood-beautiful, slender, etc. And yet, Ben Affleck cheated on her.

    Cheaters cheat because they can.

      • …PS, as the old saying goes “show me a beautiful woman and I’ll show you a guy who’s sick of shtupping her.”

    • yeah pretty much…. however the children are and will pay the price for all of this shit.

  • The term “Starter Marriage” makes me stabby. This interview was pure image management; a “conscious uncoupling” for Jen’s mininvan militia (not that there’s anything wrong with mininvans!). She’s a cheater, he’s a cheater, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?

    • Stabby indeed.

      I haven’t waded into the wreckonciliation-industrial-complex websites since I found Chump Lady. After reading all the back-story to this Bennifer crap here, I have lost faith in human-kind. (Again.)

      I want get all stabby on myself and pierce my scrotum with a spork. Slowly bleeding-out is preferable to spending one more day on this fucked-up planet.

      • Take the sharp objects out of Ian’s pathway!! We’ve all been there, lamenting humanity, but you’ll regret a spork-to-the-scrotum tomorrow.

      • Haaaahaaahaa!!! The visual was kind of disturbing but funny at the same time! Nice to see we still have a sense of humour after all the shit we’ve been through.

  • Hi Everybody,
    New chump here. I am trying to keep it classy. Maybe she is too. For me it isn’t about my future ex-husband as much as it is about me. Mine had emotional affairs that I didn’t know about until I found a poorly written love letter to one of them. We are separated but living under the same roof in separate bedrooms which has allowed me to do the following:
    1) Get to tell him how I feel about what he did, including saying “I am very sorry if I hurt you, it was not deliberate, but what you did was. You knew it would hurt me and chose to do it anyway”. That felt so good.
    2) Got my ducks all in a row. Printed off evidence in case I need it, managed to investigate exactly when this started, got STD tested even though I found no proof that anything got physical, keep beating myself with the 2 x 4 of reading his messages to other women. If he had moved out straight away I would never have known the extent of his betrayal. It has allowed me to grieve the relationship (17 years together, over 12 married) in a much deeper way because I know about the emotional, mental, financial & attempted physical betrayal (he went on dating sites but no takers).
    3) I found out it all started in July 2015, so I feel better knowing I wasn’t deluded for the entire time. I was going to have a big talk with him about a few things at the start of the year but found the letter first.
    4) Only one friend knows the truth & I am happy with that. We couldn’t have children, but we share godchildren. They can make up their own minds about him when they are older based on his relationship with them.
    5) I would like to stay friends with him, we have a lot in common and I know we won’t get back together romantically. Being civil has made life easier for me, getting phone etc in my name, he has been co-operative. Also, his mum had a stroke and we are pretending to be together for her.
    If, when it comes time to divorce, it gets nasty, then I can go no contact. Maybe Jennifer is like me, planning for the future, moving on, looking forward to dating, but not wanting to discard a friendship. We both have the choice to erase them from our lives down the track. Maybe she, like me, is trying to be her best self for her, not for anybody else.

    • Welcome. Why would you want to stay friends with someone you cant trust? Not my business but i cant wait to turn the asswipe pipeline off for good. I dont need or want friends or even acquaintances like cheaters.

      • Hi Kar marie,
        It is a fair question. It just feels right. I haven’t reacted at all how I thought I would, thought I would go scorched earth. I have felt better in myself than I ever thought I would. Done’t get me wrong, I have low times, cry etc, but being civilised has made it easier to visit his mum, see our friends children etc. The grieving process has been made a lot easier for me. We share music interests in commen, so I can see us going to concerts in the future. This site has been great for helping me process and become mighty, but ultimately we make our own decisions and go down the paths that feel right for each of us.

        • You are definately different than me. The ex and i share tons of common interests but i wouldnt be caught dead anywhere near where he was going to be. Friends do not screw their friends over like he has done and after all is said and divorced still lies to me. if i saw him or any of his hos anywhere near me i will simply ignore both of them. The pain and damage this pod creature has caused is beyond the pale. Ignoring his family and kids while im supposed to keep his good image alive to them. I dont hate him i never will but after what hes done and destroyed a 30 year relationship and friendship. Nope dont need or want friends like him. People tell me i will feel differently after a few years. Nope where i come from if one has been wronged that badly they consider them dead. He doesnt exist for me anymore and i loved and adored him with all my heart now i feel nothing because he is a nothing.

          • +1. My X and I have a lot of overlapping academic interests, both runners, etc. I wouldn’t be caught dead in any place he will be. The man is evil.

          • KimHopes – ‘This site has been great for helping me process and become mighty, but ultimately we make our own decisions and go down the paths that feel right for each of us.”

            Well said, Kim. What is right for somebody isn’t right for somebody else. You have music in common and you can’t find many friends who like to go to concerts and still have fun together. Hey – if you want him as a friend – no kids involved – I say, go for it Kim. It would be nice to have, what I thought was a myth, an amicable divorce (it was anything BUT amicable). I wish you both luck and that you stay friends.

            X and I also had a LOT in common: Scuba diving, swimming, running dogs, jazz concerts (especially!) dog shows, dog rescue, Harley bikes, motor homing, boating, water skiing, snow skiing…great families we nourished and loved (no kids by choice) and we spent every moment together that we could. We even worked together in the same business! So, yanno, I was blindsided.

            Most of us here didn’t want, choose, or got a say in the outcome.
            Adultery does that to you.

            Welcome to the site and glad you’ve found some inspiration here!

            • Hi Shechump,
              Thank you for your kind words. I too was blindsided. What I have found is him still being in the house has sent me toward meh much more quickly than if he had moved out. I would never have known the extent of the betrayal if he had just gone when I found that letter. I am taking everything one day at a time and will see if a friendship is possible in the future.

        • Hi Kim and welcome, and congratulations on keeping it classy. It’s not easy, so well done, and keep your chin up. You are stronger than you know.

          Having said that … I wouldn’t count on staying friends during and after divorce, and nor should you. The idea with a divorce is to separate from the person for good, and there is a lot of wisdom in this. Otherwise you risk turning into the kind of person who needs kibbles and cake, and that’s exactly the kind of person you’re trying to get away from.

          Or are you assuming that he’s such an undesirable man that he won’t be able to move on and find another woman, and go to concerts with her instead? Will you want to tag along with them? Is it fair to stop him moving on like that?

          I understand that you may not be counting on meeting anyone new. In that case, one of the best ways to ensure that you never meet anyone new and form a better relationship is to stay ‘friends’ with the ex and be seen in public as a couple.

          I just can’t think of anyone on this blog who’s successfully done the ‘friends’ thing. Can someone put me straight on this?

          • Hands up! Once the divorce started, we tried to be friends. Well, that sure didn’t work. In fact, you are so right about; not only is it painful to see them again when you think you still love them, it’s also something that makes you hate him because you saw him without his mask, and it wasn’t pretty. Most never really get over seeing those black eyes while the mask was slipping. Sure, HE wanted to be friends. And, then slowly, ever so slowly, coming on C/N and he made me contemptuous of him, every single time I saw him. He was very nice and his blue eyes were back, but I knew it was a Ruse, to keep the focus that ‘what he did wasn’t so bad’. Here I am 1-1/2 yrs from the divorce and still having to deal with him on this monstrosity of a house that won’t sell. I will tell you, 6 mos of dealing with him because I have to have contact, well, I found myself falling seriously OUT of love with him. That’s what I had to do. And, that’s what gets you to meh. He actually makes my stomach turn when I see his face.

          • Hi Lola Granola,
            I am really thinking about the concerts more than anything and group gatherings. Only one of our friends knows what he has done so I expect he will be invited to things and we will be civil to each other. I fully expect to move forward and meet somebody. I have no physical contact with him at all. He is only in the house until he gets a new place. It has allowed me to transfer ownership of internet etc so easily. It is hard, I really can’t wait for him to move out. I keep looking at the wardrobe because it will be all mine! I also had the wonderful experience of feeling a spark with somebody at a small high school reunion, but it was way too soon. It was very nice however and very much appreciated and needed. Well aware the friendship may not be a goer, and that will be fine too. I am just modelling behaviour that I hope he rises to throughout this process. Fingers crossed.

    • You know I’m there with you. I found in December that my A-hole was telling his boys at the bar that I he wasn’t divorcing me because he “didn’t want to give me half”. Keeping in mind that I had asked him that specific question numerous times and he always said “Oh no, I love you and I don’t want our marriage to be a failure”. As luck would have it he was out of town when this happened so I had a good 24 hours before I had to face him or react to him. I processed, I thought about what I wanted, I gathered documents, I was already sleeping in the guest room… so I changed the door knob to one that has a lock, I have seen the accountant and the lawyers. I have cleared out the house of the small number of valuable possessions. Just this weekend I obtained phone access and read very little, but enough to confirm that my assessment of his betrayal was correct.

      All the while I am smiling. I am pleasant. I am polite. I am making dinner and asking about his day. There were several line items that needed to be complete prior to filing and I am about 1 to 2 weeks off schedule from where I thought I would be when I started this so I really have no need go scorched earth at this point. My close friends and family know the “real” story, but some folks will certainly get the “It was unfortunate but we mutually decided that it would be for the best if we parted ways.” My office does not need to know that my STEX is a cheating lying sociopath who has engaged in borderline abusive behavior and has the emotional maturity of a teenage boy at age 44.

  • So I love using Ben Affleck as my own “supply”. We are all doing that here on this thread – how wonderful to discuss these salient point. (wink) It is so easy to actually USE him as an object lesson …. what he’s doing / done to learn all about the ways that Narcissists work. If you read the entire article in the magazine -she talked a lot about how she and her children give him God-like status, and jennifer does not want to “lose” this special relationship with their children – esp now that they are divorced. “The children LIGHT UP when their father appears….” He recently got his back tattooed with a Phoenix “rising”,,,, because “HE” (Ben that is) has come up “out of the ashes”. Every single woman on this group understands the mind fuck of a narcissistic asshole. This entire thing has been turned around so that now he is the VICTIM. Yes,,,, ladies, that poor man. IMHO Ben’s ‘real’ life is just beginning…. he is interested in politics and should have no issues whatsoever with hobnobbing with corrupt people. By now at his age he can shluff of those stupid ‘rules’ of society and his family that he has carried around in his head since a child of what is acceptable and what is not? NOW …. he can actually be what he really wants in life. Watch out world – this man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • I feel bad for her. Literally, no matter what she does, she’ll be scrutinized, dissected and criticized. It’s what every chump goes through, only on a 1000X scale because the entire country/tabloid media is watching her every move.

    She stays silent?
    “Ugh, she should stop protecting him and speak up!”

    She criticizes him and calls him out on his shitty behavior?
    “Ugh, what a bitter hateful hag! She should keep her mouth shut and stay classy. Her children shouldn’t see that in print.”

    She tries to keep her comments classy?
    “Ugh, what an idiot! She should stop filtering everything she says and just tell us what she really thinks!”

    She can’t win. I agree that some of her comments reek of rationalization and self-delusion, but I don’t know what else she can say, while maintaining some dignity and an open dialogue with the adolescent dipshit she married, for the sake of her kids.

  • PS, Ben Affleck playing Batman confirms what I’ve always suspect about Batman. That Batman is an enormous douchebag.

  • “He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”
    That’s a really poetic description of the typical narcissistic personality disorder, actually. Could be a description of my ex just as easily as Ben Affleck.

    • exactly. And I get really sick of people saying that this is all because “he’s got a drinking problem”. He’s got no conscience and no empathy …. no SOUL…. and uses alcohol to self-medicate…. to feel. Anything.

    • Actually, although I agree with everyone here you have to admit that what she said was pretty brilliant. Jen said all the PR ‘chump’ stuff that is soft, kind and forgiving. So…her image is intact and she rehabilitates his. However, her description of him where she feels the warmth of ‘sunshine’ and at times ‘not feeling sunshine’- beautifully called him out as a flaming Narc! Oscar performance for this to Jen!!! Yep, she artfully described Ben’s mask slipping.

  • The UBT is spot on! We all feel bad for Jennifer, but I’m frankly not surprised at Affleck’s behavior. They had problems in their marriage from the very beginning. His gambling was a problem from the start, and his circle all knew that he looked forward to spending time away from his family, weeks at a time. And when he was filming Argo, Jennifer wanted to visit him on set with her children, since he hadn’t been home much, and he categorically refused, saying NO. Jennifer always tried to change him into being the loving husband, which he ended up resenting her for. Also, Jennifer was married to Scott, her first husband, and once she gained major stardom, she left him by upgrading for Ben Affleck (although I’m not sure if it was really an upgrade). Ben has never really been likeable. Gambling, avoiding spending time with his family, and whoring. I’m sure he’s the love of her life (sarcasm).

  • No one will really ever know what and when anything went on in their relationship and if they cheated with each other prior. I’m sure that both of these two have some sort of privacy clause that will prevent either one of them from going scorched earth on the other one because they are (sorry-were) a high profile celebrity couple. If she cheated before then yes, her karma bus has arrived but if she didn’t, she did get her point about Ben across in her way (as if the rest of the public didn’t already know he was a POS.) We all know that it sucks to be cheated on however; most of us do not have to have it splayed across rags, internet and TV for all to see-including your kids & that will be there forever. I can’t imagine how much worse it would make the experience. Jen managed to do an interview and appears to have taken the chumpy high road for her kids in print. I’m hoping that she was able to parlay an age appropriate explanation to her children at home. Her comment about the cheater sun shining on you & then how cold it was when it wasn’t……….fits my stbx to a “t”

    Hoping she fixes herself & her picker in the future so that her 3 children won’t make the same choices (mistakes)

  • All this cheating crap always points right back to the picker -even for Hollywood stars. A wise lady once said, “If it walks like a fuck, then it’s a fuck”. So true, so true, so true.

    Maybe that will be my new tattoo so I can always be reminded before I choose to get serious in a relationship again. But unlike Ben’s tattoo on his back, I would put mine right across my forehead so I would then be reminded every morning of the cheating filth that is out there.

  • It’s no win. She stays quiet, people assume she is a brutally wounded, complete mess. She talks, people pull apart her careful answers to protect her brood and her career. In a paparazzi infested life, and 3 acres and multiple homes on the same land, I would want my ex close too, so when I have a date, he can parent his children, or vice versa, our kids don’t have to be shuffled between homes. Shit is complex! I don’t totally hate this choice.

    They recently went skiing together and it made national news in Canada. What the hell do I care if two people who are royally fucked up and also rich go skiing.

    I feel bad for everyone. I appreciated the UBT. I think she’s spackling but still pulled the plug on her marriage so at least there’s that. Jumping to conclusions about whether she cheated before or if others cheated- gossip rags shouldn’t be trusted at all. The point of this article was to realize the difference between shit sandwiches you have to eat, and when you’re still pick me dancing and spackling after the break up, and maybe learning that there’s a way to eat the sandwich with grace but skip Jens awful blinders.

    Ugh. Come on people. Let’s have some support here.

      • Once again, I feel compelled to point out that you do not know whether or not Garner was ever unfaithful in her marriages. You “know’ what you have read in the tabloids. If that is sufficient for you, mazel. For me, I will withhold judgement unless and until I have read reliable facts to support such conclusion.

        • +1. I know what my cheater says I have done and I haven’t left him yet. I am going to need the people who judge me for me, love me regardless of his swill, not from the gossip mill that will surround me when I can finally get away.

          • Probably a really stupid defense on Jennifer’s alleged cheating in the past. boo on her.
            But, she had 3 beautiful children with a guy she thought she could trust having them with.
            So, Boo on him.
            I wouldn’t want her life for anything!

  • You know – I actually give Garner a pass. She is a public persona and FWIW – there are a lot more advantages for her to do this kind of spin control than us run of the mill chumps. People comment on her ability to be civil with Ben and does it mean they are getting back together… maybe our girl is just pragmatic and realizes that her being a psycho won’t get her anywhere. How many chumps are NC except for the kids. Perhaps that is part of the agreement – we will be civil around the kids, but otherwise you talk to my lawyer.

    People have commented on the fact that she put up with his shenanigans for years. A quick review of most divorce laws finds that after 10 years there is no arguing that it was a “significant marriage” when it comes to assets and spousal support… so our girl hung on for a few extra years to make it 10. Trashing his reputation is taking food out of her childrens’ mouths (figuratively speaking… he works, he pays child support). She has reputation as somewhat reserved/shy person who is pretty sweet and caring. Perhaps it is her personality to not go scorched earth and she doesn’t want to be remembered by her nasty divorce, but rather by her work.

    The benefits of her playing the role of the wounded, but loving wife and mother far outweighs any benefit that she would get from trashing his reputation, saying “I stayed all those years because at 6 years in my very expensive lawyer advised me it would be for the best”, and seeming like the bitter woman who couldn’t keep her man happy.

    Reading how she describes him he is obviously the most sparkly of sparkly narcissists. In their particular world, he is a huge catch. I think that she was his first serious relationship after the whole JLo debacle. I think that even the most confident woman would have a hard time not feeling flattered and special that a huge movie star “picked” her to marry and have kids with over JLo. She had a solid TV career, but was trying to break into movies… marrying someone in this realm could go a long way toward furthering that goal. Like the rest of us, she probably realized 3 or 4 years in that something was wrong, started spackling, eventually realized that it was a bigger problem and her lawyer told her what she needed to do to make sure she didn’t get screwed (who knows what their prenup said).

  • Trying to protect his image for the children’s sake I would understand. Otherwise the rest is her not coming to realize yet how meaningless she is to a narcissist. I would empathize for her journey except since it’s possibly a karma bus it’s just what she has to learn from and I don’t care much.

  • she thinks she’s taking the high road but we all clearly see the chump in her

  • Not to be cynical, but having previously lived in California for many years, I am wondering if there is a pre-nup, and what it says. I remember when Tom Cruise went to divorce Nicole Kidman, there was some significance to the 10-year mark and the community property state kicking in. Tom tried to say he had been “thinking about divorce” just prior to their big 10th anniversary party, so he wanted the fact that they hit the 10 year mark not to count during the divorce. So, with Ben and Jennifer, at this point in their careers, how are they doing in terms of $$ for movies? What will each make on their next picture? If Jenn doesn’t want this to be about adultery, is there a financial motive?
    I am sorry for their children. There’s every chance that both parents are narcissistic chumps. Hollywood is no place to grow up with normal values. Everything is La-La fantasy at crazy prices!

    • I think she has more $ but he commands more per film. Guessing there is a pre nup, but unlike Tom and Katie both will be able to maintain super fabulous lifestyles without the other.

      • I just LOVED what Katy Holmes did to Tom Cruise! Now, that’s a clever lady. She also never explained herself but then, she had the curse of Scientology on her and her baby.

    • I am preparing to divorce in CA. In CA, if you have been married for less than 5 years, there are no minor children and you do not own property together, then you can apply for a summary dissolution. There is a clause in CA law that if the marriage is of a “long duration” the court can maintain jurisdiction in regards to making decisions about matters between the spouses. Any marriage longer than 10 years is automatically considered a marriage of “long duration”, and most of us know that if you are married for 10+ years you can access your former spouse’s social security benefits and the like.

      I know they have three kids together, and who knows exactly who owns what in terms of property, and it seems like they made it 5 years OK… so they probably would not have qualified for summary dissolution. But there is this gray zone between years 5 and 10 when one could theoretically argue that it is not a marriage of significant duration and not be able to get access to the courts to make adjustments to the agreements. In this case, even those of us without a law degree would say “Uhhh, honey, if you can stick it out, you want to make it to the 10 year mark.” At that point the courts can make modification to spousal support and the like.

      Most of us think of it from the perspective of the wife and spousal support, but it can go the other way. If her career takes off in a significant way, there is value for him as well. He could argue that she should pay him support or that he should have to pay less.

      • The 10 year mark in CA denotes a long term marriages Under 10 years you are entitled for spousal support for half of the duration of the marriage. Ten years plus, there are another 16 factors that are looked at when spousal support is determined. Whether of not spousal support remains jurisdiction of the court, is determined by the parties and contained in the marital settlement agreement. Being in a community property state simply means that what is earned during the marriage belongs to both parties, unless of course, there was a well drafted pre-nupt. I don’t think this case will ever go to court to be settled nor do i think spousal support was the factor in picking this number. Maybe there was something in their pre-nupt that said ‘if the marriage lasts 10 years'” some other provision with property settlement kicks in . Just a guess.

        • Yeah there is a lot more to it as you pointed out. They certainly had a prenup and who knows what that said, but like I said up thread… 10 years is sort of a magic number after which point there is no point in arguing the particular point that it was not a significant relationship. As others have pointed out, there is something about that 10 year mark in CA that seems to make it an incentive for more than one high profile couple to try and make it to that benchmark.

          • Well, here in Oregon, if you are married really long-term, like say 35 yrs and your spouse made you give up your career, you are entitled to spousal support for the rest of your life, even if you re-marry. At least that’s what the X signed – I think he and his high-priced attorney forgot that wee point, that it should end then. So, I’m happy, he’s happy. He wanted to do nothing else for the rest of his life than work. So, I’m outta there and he gets to work the rest of his life for me. And, when he quits work, I’ll go after his IRA. I had a great cheap local bulldog attorney. She was better than his.

  • In Hollywood, your brand, or your image…is so important. If you are an actor, and you are POPULAR with audiences, then people will want to see your movies. What happens when you are no longer popular? I was thinking that maybe Jennifer Garner was “encouraged” to put on a positive front for the sake of his boxoffice marketability. You never know…

  • They’re both celebrities. That means every single thing that say to the press has been massaged by their publicists. Who knows what the absolute truth is for either one of them.

    It’s a weird “profession” where everything is me, me, me, let’s talk about me. These are the kind of people who sit around waiting to see themselves on TV so they can furiously masturbate to themselves. Maybe she’s a victim, maybe she isn’t. Either way, it’s all about image.

    I watched the Oscars last night and finally turned it off. All the beautiful people who are there to be seen and collect their awards for movies that they were basically 5% of. Do you know how much work it takes and how many people bust their ass behind the scenes to make these idiots look good?

    I’ve got a friend “in the business”. Whenever he comes back home, oh the stories. 🙂

  • As actors, I’ve always liked both of them. But whatever else is going on, Affleck has huge addiction issues–certainly gambling but often those kind of addiction problems cluster together. That alone would make living with him very difficult. If we believe the reports that he resents being held accountable for his actions, his whereabouts, that’s what substance abusers and cheaters do: turn from the need to regulate their own behavior to “you aren’t the boss of me.” It’s sad that huge talent and high intelligence (in Affleck’s case) are so often conjoined with narcissism and immaturity. I am struck, though, by how much Jennifer Garner sounds like the typical chump who worked hard on a marriage and can’t quite let it go. For the kids’ sake, I hope she figures out how to move ahead in her life without dragging the carcass of a cheater behind her.

  • I grew up with her in Charleston WV, we are the same age but went to different high schools and I was even in a Children’s Theatre play with her…All I can say is that she was a very authentic, nice and genuine person growing up…I really feel for her having to eat the shit sandwich in public.

  • Rule of thumb: The most charismatic person in the room does not marriage material make.

    Yes, a potential spouse can be charismatic. But his charisma indicates NOTHING about his abilities to be a good husband or father.

    I heard something similar once from a former friend. She commented that Mr. X was “one of the biggest movers and shakers in the City. So why isn’t he married?”

    I said that some women may be attracted to status, but status does have anything to do with whether a man is a good partner. They’re separate traits, and they may or may not coexist in the same person.

    Status and charisma are sexy. I get it. But don’t confuse what’s sexy with what’s necessary for the long haul of marriage.

    • I learned this the hard way. After my ex, I know that eventually, it’s hell to be married to a “life of the party” type person. Almost without exception, they are disordered. Now I watch out for the super-sparkly, the charismatic, the “always on” or the excessively charming types. Huge red flags.

      • GIO – ‘Now I watch out for the super-sparkly, the charismatic, the “always on” or the excessively charming types. Huge red flags.”

        Yep, those are easier to spot. I know them well.

        But…oh, X was the special type. Very soft-spoken, very nice voice easy to listen to, and he was so nice to people and so nice when he spoke. The room quieted, and everybody listened to his every word. He was a nice guy back then.

        But, then, when he found he had the floor with so many folks, he got louder and more crazy about how economics and gold and silver worked – it was like he was going crazy.
        Still, they nodded and listened to this kook because he had a great reputation.
        Something was definitely ‘off’ in my head about it.

        He never had that loud voice and emotion about things until he started his affair, and that’s when everybody noticed he was getting a bit weird. (and, I thought he was getting a brain tumor)
        In the end, he was just sort of slowly getting rid of all his old good friends, by being weird.
        And, then he just left them all behind suddenly after 21 yrs living in our little fishing village.


        • Narcissism + Midlife = Desperate to make their mark as “Special” before it’s too late. Let the crazy begin!

  • I agree and applaud Jennifer G’s efforts to shield her children from more & more negative media fallout by seeking some “higher road”, since it is true these articles will live on indefinitely. But it’s not clear why she’s giving interviews at all re: the divorce… wouldn’t “no comment” be even more protective of her kids?
    What is also unfortunate in terms of overall timeline is that there’s a bunch of old articles out there re: them “falling in love” while filming Daredevil in 2002/2003 – while Affleck was still engaged to Jennifer Lopez (until 2004). Unfortunately, their 3 kids will be able to do that math & ask questions someday. Why not call off the engagement once you know you’re “falling in love”?

    • Now, with all my chump lady knowledge, all I read in that article about him falling in love is Me Me Me ME, uck!!!

  • “Walking on eggshells” can be code for Borderline Personality Disorder, or something similar. It doesn’t, however, excuse cheating, on either side. BPD/NPD hookups are a typical r/s dynamic.

  • If she didn’t cheat in her marriage to Ben then regardless of whether or not she cheated in a previous marriage, she is still a chump and has my sympathies.

  • I haven’t read the comments yet but is everyone AWARE that dear old Jen cheated on her first husband? Not sure if this has been mentioned yet. So Karma, baby.

  • Man it must take a mountain of spackle for a celebrity chump to keep the veneer in place.

  • Another thought I had is that her divorce decree specifies that she will not talk about the details of Ben’s actions. My ex actually had that put in our divorce decree and we’re not famous, hence why I never reveal my identity when I talk about it. I assume this kind of thing would be a lot more common among people who are famous. It can be worth it to sign a decree that forces you to keep quiet to the public about the real truth if you can get your ex to agree to a fair or better than fair settlement. Perhaps Jennifer sees through the bullshit and is merely bullshitting the press herself…

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