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.