In her latest movie, the psychological thriller The Boy Next Door, Jennifer Lopez plays a woman she says she could relate to: Claire Peterson is separated from her husband (John Corbett), who was caught cheating with his secretaryâand she has to decide whether to forgive him or divorce him.
âI just really understood [Claire],â Lopez recently told Glamour UK. âBeing in a marriage for a while, it kind of falling apart, deciding whether to save it or not to save itâ¦feeling discarded as a woman.â
The 45-year-old singer and actress has been candidÂ aboutÂ her own heartbreak in the past, including her three divorces, most recently from Marc Anthony. Last fall she disclosed in her memoir True Love ($18, amazon.com) that she's suffered emotional abuse from a partner. Now, the superstar is opening up about being cheated on.
âIâve been in relationships where there has been infidelity and youâre left to feel like you did something wrong,â she told UKâs Loaded Magazine, âlike thereâs something wrong with you.â
But the upside of heartbreak is wisdomâand those rocky relationships taught J.Lo that cheating has everything to do with the cheater. For anyone whoâs had a partner who strayed, here's her advice:
âI think itâs about realizing itâs not about youâthat when somebody cheats on you, itâs about them, it's about their shortcomings,â she said in her interview with Glamour UK. âIt makes us feel like itâs about our shortcomingsâ¦but the truth is, itâs really their ego. What they need to fill within themselves that drives them to do things like that. Not because you werenât enough.â
Gail Saltz, MD, Healthâs contributing psychology editor, says it'sÂ common for women to blame themselves when a partner cheats: "Women do have a big tendency for guilt.Â Part of it is, they think: If I did something to cause the problem, I can fix it."Â But there are "a million and one reasons" a person might cheatÂ that have nothing to do with their significant other, sheÂ explains.
There are certainly cases in which anÂ unhealthy dynamic between partners can leadÂ to infidelity, but "that doesn't mean it's your fault," Dr. Saltz explains. "It means there are problems in the relationship that left the two of youÂ vulnerable."
Her advice is to focus on the future rather than the past: "The more important thing to do is to take a look at whether you want to stay together."