Rielle Hunter denies she ended John Edwards' marriage. Do homewreckers get unfair blame for affairs?
After months of silence, Rielle Hunter has finally spoken up about her affair with former presidential candidate John Edwards. In a provocative interview with GQ, she says that she loves John unconditionally while feeling intense compassion for his wife, Elizabeth. Rielle Hunter Gives Relationship Advice In GQ
At the same time, she claims that while talking about her cancer, Elizabeth "emasculated" her husband and pushed him around with her "mighty wrath."
"Well, his relationship with her and the problems in it really had nothing to do with me," Hunter said. "You remove me from the equation and they still exist. They existed before I was there. They're still existing. His dynamic with me is completely different."
"Infidelity doesn't happen in healthy marriages. The break in the marriage happens before the infidelity. And that break happened, you know, two and a half decades before I got there. So the home was wrecked already. I was not the Home Wrecker." Cheater or Cheated, What's Worse?
Ah, so the homewrecker debate rages on. Is there such a thing as a homewrecker? Can't even a happily married person be seduced into an affair? And why is the woman always blamed?
God knows the term has been around since forever. During Hollywood's golden days, Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner shocked the public by coming out as a couple just after Frank and his wife Nancy announced their separation on Valentine's Day. Then there was the Denise Richards/Heather Locklear/Richie Sambora debacle. Of course, we can't ignore, let alone forget the ever-continuing Brangelina vs. Jennifer Aniston saga. 5 Scandalous Celebrity Affairs
On the one hand, yes, someone involved in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage may be susceptible to falling in love with someone else. Ever heard the line, "If you believe in love at first sight, you will never stop looking"? Maybe we could modify it by saying that if you believe in true love, and your true love isn't your spouse, you will continue to keep an eye out for that person until he/she comes along.
While Rielle acknowledges that there is love between John and Elizabeth, as they raised children together, she also says that she and John share a love comparable to a "magnetic force field." 4 Types Of Infidelity & How Affairs Help Marriage
"I'm not a mistress by nature. It's a role that I took on because I fell in love with him. And that was the role that was available to me," Rielle said. Sounds like she considers herself as someone who didn't mean to hurt anybody in choosing to follow her heart. That love is complicated, messy, and leaves no party unscathed.
This begs the question of whether only unhappy spouses cheat. Call us skeptical, but we can't say that marital bliss is completely immune to affairs, or at least the temptation to enter them. We've all found ourself in situations where we were perfectly happy until we saw the alternative. To use a simple example, when was the last time you ordered pasta at a restaurant only to see your friend's succulent burger, and realize that you should have ordered that instead?
Whatever the case, we can say without a doubt that there is an unbalanced of blame placed on mistresses over misters. Compared to Brad Pitt, John Edwards has gotten a fair amount of lashing from the media, but how often do you hear a male referred to as a homewrecker? With stories like these, it might be more important to focus on how marriages require 100 percent commitment from both parties. They say that love conquers all, but without full, intentional commitment, it may be difficult to keep from straying, whether sexually or in some other way that could compromise your partner's happiness. Tips For An Affair-Proof Marriage
After reading through the 10-page interview, we don't completely buy that Rielle isn't a homewrecker, as she claims. In GQ, she says of John and Elizabeth, "There is love there, but, you know, it was a toxic relationship. And very abusive. It's interesting, though, that he allowed himself to be abused." If John and Elizabeth's problems had nothing to do with her, why is she publicly commenting on their relationship? It's hard not to think of her as an intruder into the marriage when she is acting as a spokesperson for it.
What do you think: is there such thing as a homewrecker? Do men or women lure spouses from happy marriages, or are weak relationships at fault?
Photo: Mark Seliger/GQ