The Real Reason Dads Have An Affair With The Nanny

Bottom line: Nothing good can come from cheating with the nanny.

The Real Reason Dads Have An Affair With The Nanny New Africa / Shutterstock

By Korin Miller

If you remember, in 2015, you may have heard about Ben Affleck’s alleged affair with his kids’ nanny, Christine Ouzounian.

If not, here’s a recap: Sources say that Ben and Christine started having an affair the previous spring, just a few months after the 28-year-old started nannying for his kids. (Ben’s rep denied the reports.)

She was even on Ben’s vacation with his now ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, in the Bahamas, which coincided with the former power couple’s divorce announcement.


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Sources stress that the affair didn’t happen while Ben and Jennifer were still together. Regardless, Jennifer was reportedly “livid” when she found out about the affair — and they say she fired Christine.​


These reports still haven't been 100 percent verified, but having an affair with the nanny is nothing new for celebrity men in power.

Jude Law made headlines in 2005 when it was revealed that he was sleeping with his nanny while he was engaged to Sienna Miller, and Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted in 2011 that he had fathered a son with his children’s nanny.

Ethan Hawke and Robin Williams both married their kids’ former nannies as well.

What’s going on here?

Why do dads have affairs with the nanny?

“There are a lot of moving parts to this,” said licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. The power differential is huge, she said, adding that dads who go after the nanny tend to be a little ego-centric, and getting an employee into bed is a turn-on for them that further underscores they’re the one in charge.


“Powerful men have certain traits that predispose them to certain women, particularly younger women,” she said. “They’re also often narcissistic and want everything in life to be a certain way.”

There may even be a subconscious psychological link to fertility, too, said Durvasula. Children imply fertility, and a person who is with your children has a certain “fertility association.”

Since fertility is a sexualized space, it can make a caregiver seem hotter than the average person.

Speaking of the whole caregiver thing, powerful men are often guarded, but when they’re around their kids, they usually open up. And since the nanny is there when the kids are there, it allows for an intimacy and trust that a lot of outsiders aren’t exposed to.


And of course, there’s a lot of proximity. For a lot of famous couples, the nanny is always around and may even live there.

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If a powerful man is interested in having an affair, it almost makes sense to do it with the person who is already accessible.

There are more obvious explanations, too. For one thing, there’s a sexual fantasy at play, said clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D. “The babysitter fantasy is as common as the French maid or waitress fantasy,” he said.

The objectification of babysitters happens because they’re subordinate and in a service position, which makes men of power think they’re fair game. They also tend to be young and have very little power, making them even more appealing.


“It’s an old motif that ‘domestic’ workers are open season for the so-called ‘masters,’” Durvasula said. “That sort of rape culture of subordination has been around for a long time.” 

Emotional maturity makes the difference between a man fantasizing about a babysitter and actually doing something about it, Mayer added.

Celebrity men, in particular, may be more inclined to have affairs with the nanny because they’re often emotionally immature due to their sheltered lifestyle and may not think things through before diving in, said Mayer.


But while the idea of getting down with the nanny may seem hot to some powerful men, Durvasula said it’s a really, really bad idea. Not only will it destroy a relationship, but it also obviously impacts the children — and not for the better.

The kids watch their parents’ marriage fall apart, and unless they’re under the age of 2, they’re going to connect the dots,” she said. “That can cause trust issues over time.”

Bottom line: Nothing good can come from sleeping with the nanny.

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Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.