The Twain Effect: When cheated on partners get together.

When Shania Twain discovered her best friend and husband were having an affair, she was so traumatised her voice “shut down” and she became convinced she would never sing again.

For anyone who has sung along to Man I Feel Like A Woman and That Don’t Impress Me Much (so, precisely everyone) that would’ve been a travesty.

Thankfully for us all, the now 53-year-old soon picked herself up. She found love again with Swiss-born Frédéric Thiébaud – who just so happened to be the ex-husband of her former best friend.

Did Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s chemistry lead to another example of The Twain Effect? Post continues below video.

Video by Nine

It was like a real-life wife-swap situation, but here at Mamamia we are dubbing this The Twain Effect, because look – there’s a real phenomenon here.

Bear with us, this is hard to explain: The Twain Effect is when a person who has been cheated on bonds with the ex-partner of the person their ex cheated on them with.

If that was one of the most confusing sentences you’ve ever read in your life, more simply, it’s when the two cheatees in a situation become friends (or… more) after bonding over their shared trauma.

They can both get it off their chest to a person who understands exactly what they’re going through. If this support leads to a friendship or a relationship, you can look back at a shitty time and know something good came from it.

A few T&Cs:

  • The cheatees may not have known each other prior to The Twain Effect, but were brought together by their respective relationship breakdowns
  • An affair may not have taken place (or be… obvious), but the trauma could also come from partner’s moving on very swiftly after a breakup
  • The Twain Effect has not yet been peer-reviewed

This writer knows of a woman, let’s call her Lucy*, who discovered her long-time partner was having an affair with his best friends partner and after the dust settled, she and her ex’s ex friend turned to each other for support.


In this case, there were no romantic feelings, but the bond the two formed while helping each other get over such a mammoth betrayal has resulted in a solid friendship.

There’s also been relationships in the wild (better known as Hollywood ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) that we reckon could have been the result of The Twain Effect.

Robert Pattinson and Mia Goth starred in film High Life together and in September 2018 posed together at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Nothing unusual to see here… except for the fact that two days beforehand, People reported their respective exes Shia LeBouf and musician FKA Twigs were photographed together outside Twigs house and grocery shopping.

Then there’s the most recent example, which we cannot confirm was The Twain Effect but is definitely… interesting.

bradley cooper lady gaga oscars performance
Goodness. Image via Channel 9.

Earlier this month Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper went through a very public, and very analysed split.

Shayk and Cooper were plagued by rumours and fans begging him to leave her for his co-star in the 2018 film A Star Is Born, in which he very convincingly plays the love interest of Lady Gaga.


There was lots of ‘shipping’ going on, where the world (well, the internet world) was absolutely certain Gaga and Cooper were actually in love. Even though they probably aren't, that kind of constant scrutiny was bound to take its toll on their respective relationships.

Then Gaga broke up with her partner of two years, leaving one half of the coupling single and leading to a ramp up of fan excitement. 

On June 6, People confirmed Shayk and Cooper had also broken up.


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???? @intimissimiofficial

A post shared by irinashayk (@irinashayk) on

After two days of Instagram silence, Shayk shared two photos featuring 1. a bikini and 2. a sultry shoulder... And then Gaga's ex Christian Carino liked one.

That is straight out of The Twain Effect handbook.

Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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