This Is Jennifer Lopez's Advice for Anyone Who's Been Cheated On
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 secretary—and she has to decide whether to forgive him or divorce him.
"I just really understood [Claire]," Lopez recently told Glamour UK. "Being in a marriage for a while, it kind of falling apart, deciding whether to save it or not to save it—feeling discarded as a woman."
The 45-year-old singer and actress has been candid about 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.
"I've been in relationships where there has been infidelity and you're left to feel like you did something wrong," she told UK's Loaded Magazine, "like there's something wrong with you."
But the upside of heartbreak is wisdom—and those rocky relationships taught J.Lo that cheating has everything to do with the cheater. For anyone who's had a partner who strayed, here's her advice:
"I think it's about realizing it's not about you—that when somebody cheats on you, it's about them, it's about their shortcomings," she said in her interview with Glamour UK. "It makes us feel like it's about our shortcomings—but the truth is, it's really their ego. What they need to fill within themselves that drives them to do things like that. Not because you weren't enough."
Gail Saltz, MD, Health's contributing psychology editor, says it's common for women to blame themselves when a partner cheats: "Women do have a big tendency for guilt. Part of it is, they think: If I did something to cause the problem, I can fix it." But there are "a million and one reasons" a person might cheat that have nothing to do with their significant other, she explains.
There are certainly cases in which an unhealthy dynamic between partners can lead 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 you 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."
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