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Should you worry about hiring an attractive nanny?

Famous men cheating on their spouses with the nanny seems to have become almost cliche. Just this year, there have been reports that actor/director Ben Affleck and singer Gavin Rossdale’s had extramarital relationships with their children’s nannies that contributed to the break-up of their marriages to their famous wives (Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani). Then there are the cases of actors Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke who ended up marrying their children’s nannies.

Of course, people all over the country (many here in Maryland) have nannies who are in their homes on a full or part-time basis. Are there ways for these couples to avoid becoming victims to what’s been described as the “nanny factor” in marital break-ups?

Some people note that if a spouse is going to cheat, then he or she is going to cheat — whether it’s with the nanny or someone else. One woman said that if spouses have to consider whether a potential nanny is too attractive, then they have some problems that need to be resolved.

As one nanny agency founder noted, clients regularly tell her that they don’t want someone attractive. However, she says that people still give consideration to looks because they “don’t want someone who looks out of place in the family.”

Still, many women feel more comfortable with an older nanny. Nonetheless, there are no guarantees. Most of our readers know that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a child with the family’s housekeeper of some two decades. That led to the break-up of his marriage to Maria Shriver.

So what is it that makes nannies appealing to some husbands? One psychologist notes that if there is already something missing in a marriage, having someone in the home who is taking care of their children and, in part, of them can be enticing.

Any marital break-up is hard on the children. However, when the nanny is in the center of it, there is an even greater sense of loss. Kids often have to say good-bye to someone they’ve trusted and loved while also dealing with their parents’ split. If the spouse and the nanny continue the relationship, that’s a different, yet also difficult, issue for many children. Either way, your Maryland family law attorney can likely recommend a therapist who can help your children deal with these significant changes in their lives.

Source: New York Times, “The Nanny Factor in Hollywood Marriages,” Laura M. Holson, accessed Dec. 17, 2015

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