Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have reportedly put the brakes on their upcoming divorce. According to numerous sources, the couple, which sent shockwaves through Hollywood two years ago when they announced their separation, is presently trying to work things out between them.
The news may come as a shock to many of their fans, especially after Ben, 44, allegedly had an affair with the children’s nanny. Even so, Garner, also 44, is committed to giving their relationship another try.
People reports that only a day after this year’s Oscars, the couple came together to celebrate their son Samuel’s fifth birthday, along with their two older children Violet, 11, and Seraphina, 8. Though the People article describes the couple as being “in a better place now,” many might question whether that will be enough for Ben and Jennifer to make their reconciliation official.
As any divorce lawyer can tell you, infidelity is one of the leading reasons why marriages fail. But divorce is not necessarily a given, and couples who are facing infidelity in their marriage can and do come back, often stronger than they were before. Like any other obstacle a married couple faces, overcoming infidelity won’t happen without a strong effort from both partners.
In an article published in WebMD, experts weigh in about how couples can go about saving their marriage even after one or both of the spouses cheats. The first step is to determine why the infidelity occurred in the first place. Was the person who strayed looking for an emotional connection? Was the indiscretion due to a momentary lack of judgment? Depending on the underlying reason, a couple may still be able to satisfy any current feelings of dissatisfaction within the confines of their existing marriage.
Once a couple identifies the cause of the infidelity, WebMD experts tell us the next step is for the spouses to recognize and take ownership of the role each of them played in causing the betrayal. As anyone versed in dealing with effects brought about by infidelity will tell you, cheating is not a cause but, instead, a symptom of a deeper issue between two people, not only with one. If both spouses do not take responsibility for their part, they will remain unable to move forward.
Repairing a marriage rocked by infidelity is no easy feat. When trust and self-esteem are damaged, it will take more than saying “I’m sorry” a few times to get back to the level of confidence in each other the couple presumably once enjoyed. Where trust and self-esteem may have been lacking from the outset, the couple now can address those weaknesses and build on them.
That means any ongoing affair must be brought to a stop immediately. A cheating spouse should also understand that he or she might be asked to be completely transparent about his or her whereabouts and with whom he or she corresponds via phone, email, and text at least for the foreseeable future. A cheating spouse should also expect that the betrayed spouse might request details of the affair to heal and be open to providing those in the interest of saving the marriage.
If it appears after going through these various exercises, marriage counseling, or therapy that the marriage is not worth saving, there is nothing to feel ashamed of for choosing divorce. Sometimes it is necessary to let go of the past to live a happier existence apart.
By enlisting support from friends, family, professionals, and, of course, one another, a couple reeling from infidelity will give their marriage the best possible chances of survival. As an outsider looking in, it appears that Ben and Jennifer have done exactly this. Even as a divorce attorney who specializes in taking marriages apart, nothing warms my heart more than seeing a couple put theirs back together. I wish the Affleck family much happiness.