In a frank interview on RTE’s Cutting Edge programme, model and broadcaster Yvonne Connolly spoke of her former marriage to Boyzone star, Ronan Keating.
Ronan’s fling – with a dancer called Francine Cornell - and the subsequent failed attempts to save the marriage are well documented. (The pair divorced in 2011). However, Yvonne’s revelation that she met up with Francine and, what’s more, actually requested the meeting, have caused a stir.
On the show, she recounted that she wanted to see if Francine’s version of the facts matched Ronan’s, to get some clarity on the situation, explaining:
“I just needed answers. I just needed the truth. I just needed to make sure stories collaborated. It was very hard to figure out who you can trust, so this was the answer to it.”
What was meant to be a brief conversation turned into hours of talking over wine. Was it surprising that a wife would want to meet ‘the mistress’? Yes, probably. But while Yvonne had her reasons for wanting to meet the woman her husband had an affair with, the encounter took her down a different path.
“After a few hours, I realised that she needed it as much as I did and it sounds very dramatic but she was as much of a victim as I was.”
It’s quite a statement, to see the woman who had an affair with your husband as a victim. And, while Francine was not entirely blameless, Yvonne’s perspective makes for a sharp contrast to most of attitudes. Inevitably, the guilt is put on the woman in these scenarios. The temptress who prized a happy family man away from his wife; or the wife who just didn’t understand her husband so he had to seek comfort elsewhere.
Should the focus not be on the men who betrayed trusts, broke vows and jeopardies their family’s lives? Often women take their unfaithful spouse back, soon forgiven, while the other woman is forever tarnished.
In ideal world people would stay faithful or get out of unhappy relationships before infidelities and the accompanying carnage occur. We all know this world is not ideal but perhaps we should learn to go easy on judgement or at least lay it at the feet of those most deserving of it.