A Random Musing On Political Wives Caught In Scandal

We’ve seen it so many times recently, the shamed politico addresses a legion of reporters, and flashbulbs pop as he admits to his adulterous crimes. As he steadfastly apologizes into the camera, a figure stands off to the side. Cowed by the lens, the blinding flashbulbs, and millions of judgmental eyes, there stands the wife — there to shield her husband from the glare.

Suzanne Craig donned sunglasses to stand by her man as he denied playing footsie in the men’s room, Dina McGreevey gave a tight smile as she shared the stage with her husband when he came out of the closet before millions (psst, she’s written a book about it all). Wendy Vitter got her hair done and wore a sexy dress to stand by her hooker-loving husband, and Carlita Kilpatrick held her man’s hand and remarked, “it is very difficult for me to talk to you at this moment,” as she stared into the screen. “I am angry, I am hurt, I am disappointed – but there is no question that I love my husband,” then she said “this private matter is between me, my husband, and God.”

I respectfully disagree. I know where Mrs. Kilpatrick is coming from, believe me. I’ve see the grevious wounds infidelity can leave on a relationship at extremely close range. The neighbors whisper. The eyes of the community are on you. Everyone knows your deepest hurt. Your self-esteem shatters into a million fragments. It really is a time for privacy, introspection, and communication between the husband and wife. But, by taking public office and presenting themselves as these ultimate family men, these philandering politicians have put their business on front street. By ignoring their responsibilities to the communities they represent and destroying the sanctity of their marriages, then addressing the onlooking public with their wives by their side; they’ve helped to create an additional public spectacle.
Whenever it happens, I can’t help but stare at the wife’s face. It’s always the picture of internal agony — mouth tight, eyes cast downward and probably shining with unshed tears. I don’t know how they do it. I just know I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Seriously, if that was me and that mofo tried to ask me to stand beside him at a press conference, he better expect a barrage of cusswords. I’d be like, don’t even dare come around to ask me to stand next to you right now. Much less on television. Go to hell, you pathetic bastard.

The AP addresses the phenomenon in this article about Cindy McCain (which seems premature to me… John McCain hasn’t admitted guilt to any infidelity yet, has he? As far as I knew, he’d just been accused of an allegedly questionable relationship. Which is still super sketchy, don’t get me wrong, but he hasn’t exactly been caught with a hand in the whore jar just yet). The AP article turns to Stanley Renshon, a political psychologist at City University of New York, who says few political wives are considered strong women, and admits the reaction “depends on the allegation, and it depends on the spouse.” Hillary Clinton appeared on 60 Minutes in 1992, and declared “I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man,” but that’s basically what she did — she adopted a typically calm appearance, and she stood by him twice as he faced the media firing squad.

Now we’ve got this Eliot Spitzer case, which is just scandalicious. The tough-as-nails former Attorney General and govenor has sent quite a few criminals down the pike in his time. I wonder if any of them were prostitutes, or madams? Will they now be released in light of this federal investigation? He’s being accused of violating the Mann Act, and his finances are coming into question. Looks to me like someone’s due for a long vacation at Club Fed. Meanwhile, his wife Silda gets to wear what the New York Daily News calls the ‘stand by her man’ pantsuit, and show us all her agonized expression as he gazes directly at a sea of reporters and admits his guilt. Spitzer said “I apologize first and most importantly to my family,” without even turning to address his wife standing beside him. I’m sure he spoke at length with his family beforehand. I’m sure they’ve had private shouting matches about it. They’ve been married for 20 years, they’ve got teenage daughters (who, if they’re anything like I was at a teenager, probably aren’t talking to dear ol’ dad much right about now). It’s gotta be so gutwrenching. You stand by somebody’s side and help them build a respectable career for two decades, and then what do you get? Client 9 of an international prostitution ring calling for a special pre-Valentine’s day screw? Eff THAT. He doesn’t deserve her public support, in my opinion.

Most political wives who get caught in these situations say they stand by their men for the kids. On Oprah’s couch, Dina McGreevey explained, “I thought about it, and I thought, well, I’ve stood by his side all these years. We have a daughter together, and one day she’s going to hear about this or read about it, and she’s going to ask me, ‘Mommy, why weren’t you at Daddy’s side?’” she says. “So I was there for my daughter’s father. And I also had nothing to hide. I had done nothing wrong.” That’s true, she didn’t do anything wrong. And in my opinion, that’s exactly why political wives shouldn’t endure that scrutiny, or share the stage at that painful, terrible moment. I’m the kind of daughter who wound wonder the exact opposite — why would you let Daddy make you stand at his side after he was a total jerk to you?

My heart goes out to these women who have had to endure public humiliation by their spouses, and I’m not trying to slam their decision to put on a brave face for their family and political legacies. I’m just saying that just once, I’d like to see one of these guys face the firing squad alone. I’d like to see them sweat and squirm and apologize solo, without a reassuring hand on their knee or sympathetic eyes to turn to. I’d like to see a shamed politician just once admit, “my wife refused to stand by my side today. And she was completely right to do so. I don’t deserve her support right now, because I am pond scum.”

Maybe these incidents get under my skin because I have strong personal feelings about infidelity. What do you think, bellas? And what do you think should happen to Elliott Spitzer?

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Comments

  1. I completely agree with where you’re coming from Bella. I don’t understand the purpose of the wives being required to stand there, especially when they are likely to resign. With Clinton, I joked then (and believe now) that Hillary stood by Bill’s side so she could run for office later as the strong, enduring, ever-suffering, woman/wife/mother. With Spitzer and the rest? I can’t honestly understand how these women think they are doing their daughters a favor. Daddy screwed around and I stood by his side, that’s how you make a good wife? WTH? Must be a cultural difference that I am just not prepared to understand. I’m not saying the men can’t be forgiven. I just don’t get…well, I’ve said that already. Like my granny used to tell me as a little girl…you got yourself in that mess alone, don’t expect me to hold your hand while you get out of it.

  2. I posted a similar post yesterday. I think Spitzer should step down so NYC can have it’s first African American Governor.

  3. He needs to step aside and let someone else do the job. He’s ruined it for himself and his family. So many of these politicos have no self discipline and are 2 faced. They smile in public and do dirty behind closed doors. I have no sympathy for him. He betrayed his office, duty, marriage and his children.

    I feel bad for the wives and the kids. I agree Bella. If my spouse pulled this kind of nonsense on me, my support is done; finito. The trust is gone and he’d just have to deal all by his lonesome. Disgusting.

  4. I always wonder if I would have more respect for Hillary as a potential commander-in-chief if she had kicked Bill to the curb first. To me, that would have shown that she’s got the chutzpah to lead the county.

  5. I meant lead the COUNTRY….however, I don’t think now she’s even got what it takes to lead a county. :-)

  6. I worked in politics for a while. Every situation is different. Keep in mind most of these women are older than us and will stand by their men.

    The majority of these wives know/knew exactly what is going on.

    Re: infidelity most men (and many women cheat) the divorce rate in this country is over 50%, and in California it’s over 67%. When I was in my 20s I used to say I would divorce my husband if he ever cheated. My boss a sister in her 40s married for 20 years used to tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about. I had never been married.

    To be honest I don’t know what I would do now. To me it depends. I know I would not want to be in a Clinton type situation where my man sleeps with anything that moves.

    I think we put way too many expectations on relationships in this culture. We are told to look for a “soulmate”. We spend so much money and time planning big elaborate weddings. We are in love with being in love. But saying that you will spend your life with someone else is hard work. No one is perfect. Would I divorce a man I love, had children with, was a good husband and father, built a life with, because he had an affair? That is a very tough question.

  7. oops regarding Spitzer, I posted about it yesterday. He needs to step down. He broke the law. What he did was a felony. The moral issues at stake are between him and his wife.

  8. I think that Spitzer should step down. As far as their wives, I think it is one of those situations that unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what you would do, and adding children does change everything. I hate that for some reason it seems to be the done thing to have the wife by the cheater’s side, exposing her to all this scrutiny. But if you think it takes a weak woman to stay with someone who has broken their vows, that is not always the case. I don’t think a marriage could ever be the same once it has been shattered by infidelity, much like a figurine glued back together is never the same. But that is each person’s decision, to live with the original or a rebuilt version. I do agree that these men are in public office, and I think if these things come to light, they need to pay the price. But then one of the most revered presidents of this country was a notorious philanderer, JFK. MLK cheated. And their wives were not weak women. So, like I said. Every marriage is different, every woman is different, and their reasons are their own. I don’t think you can make sweeping generalizations about this kind of thing, especially if you’ve never been there. At least that you know. Not all cheaters tell, because they know most likely what would happen…:-]

  9. I also think that perhaps one of the reasons these wives are standing there is because they want to convey the message that “I’m standing by him, and feel he should stay in office, and I can feel this way, so should you.” This is politics, after all. Who knows how much they themselves have vested in their husband’s career, and also what they are accomplishing in their role as spouse in various organizations, charities, etc., that they feel they would not be able to accomplish if this person didn’t have the position. Maybe they really feel that he’s a rotten husband but a great mayor/governor/president. Who knows? And that’s a big point, I think. Who does know, except them? I agree that because they are in public office, their business is on the street, but it is still personal business on the street.

  10. just be honest says:

    I was thinking this very thing as I saw the newspaper headlines on my way to work this morning. Why are these wives expected to be always standing by their men? Is there some sort of public message to be gained from that? Because it insults me, and McGreevey’s response about her daughter is appalling. Human beings are imperfect, but a commitment is just that. If you can’t honor it–and most know they can’t–just don’t make it. But people won’t do that because it requires them to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and most would rather take the chance that they might not have to. They’re weak. If your whole existence can’t be summed up as more than having to constantly ask forgiveness for the accumulation of your weaknesses and fallibilities, your inability to honor your word and respect the people you love, then you’ve lived a poor life, indeed.

  11. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    I guess that these woman are no different from the groupies that professional athletes,musicians,and actors turn into wives.Most woman marry for money first,and then love second.I believe that they are bruised,but not broken.Me personally ,i would leave my husband standing there by himself,because i married him because i love him,and i would be hurt,and embaressed.I believe that Elliot is going to get his lawyers to fight this,because the bank tipped off the F.B.I about large sums of money that he was giving to the owner of the prostitution ring.It’s election time so the republicans needed something to make the democrats look bad.

  12. afro*T*siac says:

    I don’t get it either…that’s just cause for a frying pan upside the head. Not that I advocate violence!

  13. As I was reading the article on Spitzer this morning, I, too, glanced at the photo of his wife standing by his side. I took a long, hard look at her face and tried to imagine the feelings underneath that ‘stoic’ facade. I hold the same opinions that you have Bella, as I also thought about Hillary Clinton having been in that same boat. I still cannot understand why the wives choose to ‘stand by their man’, especially in this day and age where women have proven to be much stronger and more independent than our past counterparts.

  14. ….your comments were exactly on point. Preach!

  15. Mrs Spitzer looked tired at the news conference yesterday, she had probably been up all night. I will never understand how these women can stand next to these lying, cheating, men at these news conferences. They look ridiculous.

  16. In that situation, I think I would “respectfully decline the offer to stand there for personal reasons!”

    I really do try to live an authentic life. I don’t think a wife standing by a cheating husband’s side while he admits his philandering to the public is really an authentic move. Too me it’s projecting a false image and distorting the true merits of a relationship which, in my opinion, is to be “honest with yourself and about your feelings.” These women are telling other women to deny their feelings for “appearances.” Is that why so many are on “medicine” – to cope with the daily pressures of life? Because – they can’t honestly express themselves?

    I would be “hot as fish grease” and “mad beyond reason!” I don’t think that I could actually “stand” there to endure that. That’s not to say that I would immediately end my marriage. But at least give me a chance to deal with my feelings of anger, hurt and betrayal and NOT expect me to a-okay with everything – immediately.

    I mean – damn, I wasn’t by his side “supporting him” while he was out there philandering – why do you want me there now!

  17. jazzymelanin says:

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves — these women who share the stage with these men. I applauded the wife of the French president for openly leaving him and getting a divorce. You know it’s one thing to be victimized by these men and their behavior but to continue the victim role and support such behavior is disgusting. This is one (of many) reasons, Hillary does not have my respect or my vote. What type of message does this send to other young women, and this particular instance there are 3 teenage girls. As soon as I heard the news, I said, ‘betcha the wife will be right up there with her hands folded and a tight smile.’ Goodness knows what types of diseases their husbands exposed them to with there behavior. anyway

  18. I agree with you, nyc/caribbean ragazza. People are in love with the idea of being in love. I personally am married to my best friend, and there are sparkles and rainbows and all that, but there are also moments that are very challenging. When you say for better or worse, do you not really mean it? What do you think the worse is? Granted, I would not publicly stand by his side at press conferences; I just couldn’t. But as far as really committing to the marriage if both people still want it to work, that is their own business.

    Contrary to a lot of women’s beliefs, just because a man cheats does not mean he doesn’t care about you. There are different scenarios of course: one-time screw up, affair, emotional affair, prostitution ring bust (lol). It is just my opinion that you really don’t know unless you’re in that situation with that special person. Also stated previously, you have to weigh the life you’ve built and committed to keep building, family, kids, etc. To say, ok I’m out over one screw up is not commitment in my eyes. Yes, he screwed up but again, if both parties’ number one priority is the marriage, then those two parties will work it out and rebuild what they can. All of this seems contradictory, but that is the beauty/ugliness of life. Life is not perfect and marriage takes work to maintain.

  19. Not that anything suprises me anymore but I was really taken aback by this. Spitz has been lauded as the “ethics king” and has dismantled prostitution rings and is now embroiled in his part as “client 9″ in a prostitution ring. This is not a good look and NY hasn’t been feeling him for quite some time. Dude has proposed strange ideas (e.g., granting illegal aliens driver’s licenses, crack tax) and this was the last thing he needed. You’d think that as a lawyer he’d have been much smarter and not acted so irresponsibly. I’d like to see him resign.

    I don’t know how Mrs. Spitzer could’ve stood by him. That wouldn’t be me.

  20. @ Tamz

    Spitz overpaid on his service with “Kristin” in order to create a line of credit to be applied to future services, therefore, he intended on stepping out on his wife again.

  21. @ Anonymiss: I wasn’t just talking about this specific situation, but infidelity in general. I also see a distinction between physical and emotional affairs. I agree that he should step down, but I do not agree with those who think his wife is stupid for staying if she is committed to making the marriage work. Everyone has their opinion, but I think his political standing should be publicized and scrutinized, but not the marriage.

  22. Ditto Sister, Ditto!

    That Mofo wont get one more ounce out of me. Stand next to him uhmm NO! But I will stand on him on my way to divorce court! Holla

  23. As a New Yorker, I am all for Mr. Spitzer stepping down and allowing Lieutenant Governor David Patterson to assume the reigns. I didn’t imagine us getting our 1st Black Governor in this fashion, though.

    And I don’t think he should resign for the act of cheating on his wife. I think he should resign because he was caught as being a paying customer of a prostitution ring and that is illegal. Whether he is forgiven by his wife and family is between them and God.

    I can’t say I’d never support a woman who would stand by her man, because I’ve voted for Hillary as our US Senator before.

    I will say that Mrs. Spitzer might look that much worse because her husband was caught committing an illegal act, on top of a morrally wrong act, when her husband for YEARS was so critical of others and their wrongdoing. She looked shellshocked at that press conference though.

    I’m sure she was thinking “I am gonna whoop your a** when we get home” or “I’m gonna take you for every penny you have for this humilation.”

  24. I agree Tamz.

  25. I’ve seen this topic hashed out on a number of sites today, and as a married woman I’m a little torn about whether I would stay or not. I won’t know unless I (Lord FORBID) have been there.

    But he broke the law. His butt needs to step down.

    I also found this article on MSNBC interesting. “Dr. Laura” was on the Today show saying women must take partial responsibility if their man steps out. However, when asked the same question Bella asked, she said:

    Kotb asked her if she would stand by her husband as Silda Spitzer and Matos did by theirs in a similar situation.

    “If I had been a truly loving, caretaking, supportive wife, and my husband did such an egregious thing, his butt would be standing there by itself,” Schlessinger replied.

    hahahahahaha…even DR LAURA would leave his butt high and dry up on that podium. How amusing. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23575221/

  26. Looks like we are going to have our 4th black governor in the history of the the US. I voted for Spitzer because he went after issues very hard. I thought he was credible, but know I see he is just a hypocrite and a joke.

  27. I live in Motown and will never understand how Mayor Kilpatrick’s wife stands by him. I’d be so gone. Every week, a new development in this text message scandal comes out. So it’s not just about the infidelity, we’re talking perjury, as well as several police department cover-ups. An urban legend we’ve been hearing about for years may even be true. A retired police department clerk has come forward alleging she saw actual paperwork in regards to an altercation between the mayor’s wife (she came home early)and a stripper at a party at their mansion. This stripper was later on murdered, gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

  28. This is an really interesting debate. Sarkozy’s wife did not divorce because of an affair. She had a few herself. At one point when he was running for office she was chilling in NYC with her lover. Could you imagine that happening with one of our candidates? When they met I think they were married to other people. You know what they say, “when man marries his mistress, he leaves an opening in that department.”

    I don’t get women who sleep with married men, help bust up a marriage, then when their former lover now husband, cheats on them they are surprised. hello.

  29. afrobello says:

    Politicians don’t promise you that they will be perfect human beings while they serve you, nor do we deserve for them to. I don’t count myself as an authority who thinks their personal lives are my concern. I expect them to obey the law, though. Whether it’s Clinton perjuring himself about extramarital sex or Spitzer paying prostitutes, they deserve legal penalties. That’s really all the public has a right to demand in these situations. Silda Spitzer’s reaction is her business.

  30. I think it shows that America is a pretty conservative country..back home we even have video footages of politicians playing around, they would barely apologize and their wives would never appear next to them, it would be the greatest shame on a woman in that case, more even of a direct insult on her. The wive is the last person you would expect to see. Although in general Russian society is unfairly chauvinistic towards women. Interesting how something VERY unthinkable in one place is normal/expected in another..

    Generally it is easy to express defiance;I think in reality it’s much more complicated. I guess it depends on situation.. But the HABIT of cheating must never be tolerated.

  31. I’m sorry, but in the words of Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”?? If he loved her so much why would he risk his marriage & losing his family for 15 minutes of pleasure? Surely, he realized that there was always the possibility of getting caught. All cheaters get caught eventually, no matter if you’re in public office or not.

    As for the wives in these situations, I’m sorry, but I’m not Tammy Wynette, so standing by your man, wouldn’t even be in my equation. I feel sorry for these women and their children. I can’t even fathom what any of them have/are going through.

  32. Donna Hanover (Rudy Guliani’s second wife) gave a press conference after Rudy “announced” that he was separated from her and and in love with another woman. She told NYC that it was a complete surprise to her, as she had just heard about it when everyone else did, not before hand.

    She was clearly hurt, but she held on, told the press what was on her mind. She then left Gracie Mansion with her pre-teen and teenaged children and divorced Rudy. She had NYC’s support, NO ONE was fond of Rudy, until 9/11 happened, then they made him “America’s Mayor”. He thought that it would be swept under the rug, especially since he married his “mistress”. But his kids denounced him, her and his daughter is campaigning for Obama. Donna Hanover has also remarried…marrying her high school sweetheart no less.

    Now that’s how you do it.

    Just once, I would like to see a wife go completely ape shyt on television. I mean have her husband THINK she is going to stand by him and say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the Press, thank you for being witnesses on behalf of me and my family, cause his azz is about to be taken to the cleaners”….

    I believe that MILLIONS of women would cheer her on….and do the Wave….

  33. tuff-puffs says:

    I think the reality of the moment doesn’t hit these women because they are accessories to the outfit that is their husbands’ careers. They don’t/can’t/aren’t used to time to really check for themselves when it hits the fan. They have had an “on” position for most of their spouse’s political ventures. They’ve had extensive experiences putting aside colds, cramps, children’s recitals, friends, etc. to be where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be there. They are taught that at his side is where they are to be for the success of their unit. They are pitched to the public as a team.

    Think of a running shoe. If the shoe lace is there when the runner crosses the finish line and can glory in that, then it must for a moment, also be present if it the sole treads on poop. You can’t remove the lace immediately, the shoe will fall off, the thing that was supposed to be protected would be exposed. (not my best metaphor but I hope it made some since)

    In a lot of these relationships the duty of a public figure comes first. The wives must give one final appearance to the people that have been let down or lead astray, the same way she did when she shook their hands and kissed their babies prior to Election Day.

    After that first appearance she still has to deal with the pressure of deciding to continue support or not.

    How they handle these types of issues as wives and as public figures are two very different things. My heart goes out to them, they have given so much to their husbands and families

  34. tuff-puffs says:

    Ms. Bella

    You wrote on the subject with grace, empathy and tact that set the tone for a productive and insightful forum.

  35. Silda Spitzer and Hilary Clinton is in one of those marriages where they’re probably best friends but they both have long been aware that they married dogs. Carlita Kilpatrick knows she married a dog but she hasn’t accepted it. These are women who have to decide whether to stay or go. There are some responsibilities that go along with staying and that includes physically standing by your man. Silda and Hilary are like Eleanor Roosevelt. They take one (or a hundred) for the team and keep it moving. They want to keep the unit together and they’re intelligent women and know what they’re committing to. I only feel for them because it’s embarrassing. They’ve been dealing with the same thing privately for ages.

    The Carlitas and the Dinas, I can’t understand. It’s not to say that I agree with Hillary or Silda but at least it’s consistent.

  36. I always wonder about women who view infidelity as natural behavior or acceptable in marriage. Do these women have any “non-negotiables” in their relationships? Or is it really ANYTHING goes? No one is perfect, but if you can’t honor the commitment of marriage…get out before you hurt people.
    If Spitzer saw fit to dishonor his commitment to his wife, their marriage, and the family unit…why should his wife feel obligated to commit to reconciling? No one is talking about the fact that he ENDANGERED her life by having sex with a prostitute. It’s despicable enough that he stepped outside of their marriage, but having sex with a prostitute puts her at risk for all kinds of serious STDs. What if she had gotten HIV from his indiscretions? I don’t understand how she is expected to overlook such a serious, serious mistake.

    Also remember…he has teenage daughters. They are probably so humiliated and embarassed by all of this. His actions were so selfish, I’m just in disbelief.

  37. I would go off on national television. I would stamd there listening to his remarks, then ask to say sommething. I would be dropping bombs, telling people that I knew, and he can kiss me and the kids ass cause we are out. We know for a fact that 50% of these men actually are cheating. With whom and what is the question? With a prostitute, it is sex and not love; a basic transaction. With another woman whom he is keeping, showering her with gift and presents; I would be pissed off. But these women will rebound…with or without their husbands. They got them by the balls!!

  38. IslaAmiga says:

    I have immense respect for women who when they have been wronged by their husband find the strength to stand. Look, if that scumbag told me hey I’ve been screwing around I could see myself A-walling madBlack woman style.
    But I actually pity these women who’ve already had to live in a glass bowl, and had to support their families with all the difficulties they face. Having a husband for a politician probably wasn’t the easiest at all. What I don’t understand is where these NO GOOD pieces of …. get the courage to go do their wives THAT wrong. Mad props to Mrs Spitzer, got to support the women that are down.. But him…tsss..May GOD have mercy on his soul..cause I know I sure would have a field day.

  39. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    Let Barack try this s*it with his wife.We are gonna see how to handle a situation like this.

  40. I think the act of standing by her man is no different than the role Ms. Spitzer has in her relationship off camera. This is just not the first known betrayal. I would presume that the husband-wife relationship has been rocky for a long time. It is just possible that she is always the fence mender when he makes gaffes in front of others. She, in other words, tries to deflect some of the judgments of others from him. When one is with explosive characters like her husband, there is no other role left. You always end up trying to clean up after them. But there is in reality little appreciation by the offender for that support. Some have observed a look of being shell shocked. I would guess that is how she has long lived with this guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if she heretofore always put on a face of denial to the public. People who live with secrets like her husband do not take kindly if they are questioned by their spouses when they seem detached. Yes, I think this very public outrage has been a mirror into the Spitzers’ private world with each other.

  41. My husband and I were discussing this yesterday. We both agreed that we would be on a secluded beach somewhere with the children and leave him to clean up his own mess. I’ve always wondered if these women have
    been so drugged up (sedated) and thats why they can stand on the podium with their husbands. That being said,
    I think it takes an enormous amount of strength to stand in front of the media and not go off on his ass.

  42. Bella,

    You are so timely & on point with this. I was just talking to my mom a couple of days ago about this, and I believe that his wife should not have stood up with him at the press conference. By standing with him, she shows her support for him as if he was wronged in some way. He is not the injured party here, and he should not be treated as such. It’s between her and God whether or if she chooses to forgive him. In the mean time, she must be an example for other women, young and old, that the guilty must face scrutiny alone. Why should she support him in his time of need? He obviously was receiving support elsewhere in his “time of need”.

  43. This is disgraceful. I echo the sentiments of some on here. He obviously has a problem. But you just don’t pack up and go when a problem occurs. It’s up to her to count up the cost. The political reasons and the accumulating power may outweigh any emotional turmoil she feels at the moment or vice versa. Maybe one of the reasons Hilary stayed cool, is because she had a plan. She knew she would run for president a decade later. She knew her chances would be better all the way around if she “stood by her man”. It is really up to these women. TheY really have to make a decision when it comes to physically and emotionally putting themselves at risK. It seems like a no brainer. We all know that when money, power, kids, and LOVE are involved it’s a different story.

    This story kind of disheartens me a little because it just reverberates that a lot of aren’t no type of faithful, but then again, neither are the majority of women.

  44. For those of you who “aren’t sure” about whether you would leave your husband if he cheated, why don’t you just allow him to have sex with other women? It’s the same thing.

    I understand that there’s compromise in any marriage, but I really get sick of it always being the woman who compromises. Whether or not I chose to stay with a cheating husband, I damn sure wouldn’t stand next to him on a podium – I’d make him do that on his own, and then deal with him in my private time.

  45. Esteban Agosto Reid says:

    Interesting discussions regarding political wives and their cheating husbands.Political wives should not,and I repeat,should not stand at these press conferences behind their cheating and scandalous husbands akin to half-witted or mentallly defective persons,while being manipulated and exploited by their very husbands and their “hired guns” lawyers or public relations types in the process of trying to apologize,salvage some sense of decency, or save their jobs.Definitely,such support does not look good.I feel for these women in terms of the emotional devastation and embarassment that they are experiencing as a consequence of their husbands sexual dalliances,romps and escapades.With regard to Mr.Eliot Spitzer,he needs to demit office as Governor of New York State post haste.Because in his case or scandal,it transcends cheating and involves illegal activities in terms of prostitution.If his wife and children are interested in keeping the marriage alive,then that is between her and Mr.Spitzer.Notwithstanding,it is full time that such emotionally abused wives stop showing up at these press conferences in tandem with their disgraced,degraded,dishonoured,and contemptible husbands trying to apologize or salvage some sense of decency and reputation before the media and mass publics.Women — political wives — ,it is full time that you extricate yourselves from such press conferences and let the full glare of the media and the public assess and evaluate such opprobrious and scandalous acts carried out by your supposedly puritannical husbands.Interestingly,what if the converse had transpired,where it was the wives,i.e, prominent female politicians such as mayors,senators,governors,et al,that were cheating on their political husbands,do you think the husbands would be appearing in tandem at press conferences while the disgraced,disreputable,and ignominious wives explicate their behaviours?Damn no!So,one is of the perspective that political wives need to stop appearing in public with their spouses when such behaviours are exposed.Certainly,with the number of women in the United States involved in high level politics increasing on a daily basis,it is just a matter of time that a scandalous and titillating sex story involving a woman hits the front page.Indeed,it will be quite interesting to see how it is handled by the woman in question and the Fourth Estate.RESPECT!!

  46. berrybrowne says:

    one day, ‘bella, one of these wives is going to snap and either slap her man across the face, or cuss, or smack the microphone or rush up into the crowd of reporters. and i confess, when that happens, i want to be watching! because i agree with you – enough is enough!

    at the same time, and dear ol hrc (i REALLY want her to get out of this race, she’s an awful person imo and get worse every day) exemplifies this perfectly, there’s a power cost-benefit analysis that goes on in these cases. money, position, the joining of powerful families, pedigree, the house in the Hamptons – that’s holding some of these marriages together. and if we recognize this, i bet we’ll see that many of these women (as sorry for them as i feel) are mentally listing what they stand to gain, or hold on to, even as their public dignity and private marital harmony fall down around them.

  47. Miss Sonya says:

    Well whatever happens in his marriage he won’t be Eliot Spitzer, Governor. He’ll be Eliot Spitzer, Disgraced Former Governor since he just stepped down effective Monday.

    Bella, I guess you’ll do a piece on David Patterson, the first black governor of NY, first blind governor, and 4th black governor in the states? Experts are saying he has his work cut out for him.

  48. She’s an NC girl and used to out-earn her husband, who came from a wealthier background. Interesting background on Slida… http://www.wtop.com/?nid=104&sid=1362998

    b.

  49. Sometimes the women don’t leave because for some 20 or more years they have been a married couple, she no longer or has never worked, her “name” is really linked to her husband & what he does..it’s like when women divorce & remain with the ex’s surname instead of going back to their maiden one..all because the married name is well known or whatever..so their identity has been mrs whatever for so long it’s hard to return to what they were known as before they married.

  50. Afrobella, I agree with you 1000%. I realize that love can make you change your mind about a lot of things,but I couldn’t tolerate infidelity in my marriage. If I were in these women’s shoes there is no way I could stand on a national stage next to my husband after I had been publicly humiliated like this. Relationships and marriage are difficult, but dammit if the going got that tough these men should have got going rather than cheated. I have never been married, but my boyfriend cheated on me during our 8 year realtionship and that’s what tore us apart. After I got over the initial anger I started feeling so insecure like it was somehow my fault that he was a cheater and a liar. I don’t think any relationship can ever truly survive the strain of infidelity no matter how hard you try. Couples can say that they’ve forgiven and moved on, but things will never be the same in your heart.

  51. The question I ask is what kind of husband would trot out his wife to go through that kind of public humiliation? That’s a man who is making it clear, my career comes above and before everything else. And yes these wives put their husbands political careers above and before their own ambitions and families and everything else, but one would think that somebody who truly loves or at the very least respects his wife, would say, I will not do this to her. I have done enough to humiliate, embarrass and destroy her, I will not go any further. And even if the wife says “no honey I am there for you. I will stand by your side”, a husband, a good man, a man who ultimately cares and is truly sorry will turn to her and say “no, I will not add to your troubles, this I will do on my own.”
    But hey, good men, good husbands don’t get involved with high priced hoes now do they?

  52. You gotta remember…as she stands there beside him, she looks that much better when the divorce proceedings start. She’s really smart and has made a name for herself even outside of her ho-lovin’ husband. Either way, BEST BELIEVE she’s gonna get paid. She may also decide to delay official divorce proceedings for a few months so it’s not quite the splash it would be today if she went ahead and filed. She has her 3 kids to consider in regards to timing her divorce.

  53. damn, it’s always tha ones preachin’ family values that get caught up in tha scandals! they should throw tha book at Spitzer, he should go down and be put in the cell right next to the people he put away! transporting prostitutes across state lines, gimme a break! But, sorry to tell u, i just heard, he will not see one day in jail. They cut a deal with him and he is still part of the good ole boys club. So there u have it, martha goes to jail(which was deserved) for insider trading. And this fool Spitzer who spends taxpayer money on hoes(who probably will go to jail) gets off scott free. no wonder this country is goin’ to hell in a handbasket!

  54. hey, i causually see the woman who realateed to Spitzer on a free dating site named intimatemingle.com i can’t upload the pics now, or you wil be surprised.

  55. I know it’s complicated because she’s been married, has kids by him and all that, but I don’t get it. Or at least, stand up there and point to the black eyes and broken kneecaps he has thanks to your cousins, brothers and daddy.

    I wonder if she actually knew and had come to terms with it as long as it didn’t become public. Who knows what deals people make in their marriages.

  56. Every time, a sex scandal like this breaks out, I always watch the wife’s face also in the press conferences. These are some strong women to endure what they do. But I also feel sorry for the kids, because not only are they embarrassed about the situation, but now their lives are going to vastly change. They will have to move out of the governor’s or the elected official’s home, be knocked down out of their social circles where so-called friends will ridicule the whole family for what one person did, possibly have to change schools, and will always have to watch their fathers with untrustful eyes. This is just a hot mess that could have been prevented altogether. Just a mess.

  57. I find myself wondering if the shoe was on the other foot would these husbands stand there and take that with their wives? That would be verty interesting to see. It is hard enough dealing with something like this in private, to have to face the public that is something I really don’t think I would be able to do. I believe that standing by him by not leaving him is enough. It takes a very strong woman to be able to do something like that.

  58. If the spouse was NOT there wouldn’t everyone wonder what’s up with that? How was she doing? By being there she’s saying I’m okay, don’t worry about me. But in that case she’d have to be standing back and looking pissed. Not by his side.

    I heard his speech this AM on NPR. They remarked about how absent of emotion it was.

    Silda looks like a zombie. How is that helping her children? All it shows them is that she lacks self respect. After 20 years of marriage (I’m going on 11) there’s no more “in love of being in love” believe you me. I wish she would have slapped him. Hard.

    Having an affair is totally different than visiting a prostitute. Nevertheless, marriage has to be built on TRUST. If it lacks trust, its some other type of arrangement, but not a marriage. It would drive me mad if my husband cheated and I knew, I could never be at ease with him again – let alone share intimacy. I have 2 toddlers, but we’d be starting a clean life without daddy under our roof – and they would be learning about ethics. These teenagers may be dating, or starting to date (I don’t know their ages). The lesson is “if you are disrespected stand up for yourself.” I hope they get that.

    I’m sure Spitzer got an extra thrill because what he was doing was illicit, and completely opposite his public persona. They will have a hard time getting an impartial jury of his peers in NY. Completely disgusting.

  59. “I’m the kind of daughter who wound wonder the exact opposite — why would you let Daddy make you stand at his side after he was a total jerk to you?”
    My sentiments exactly!! These men don’t deserve the support of their wives and I for one, under such circumstances would NOT be standing at his side like this. I know we vow to be with our husbands for better or for worse and many may see this as testimony to that vow, but the vow became null and void when you committed adultery!!

  60. I can respect alot of the points that have been made. But what you have to understand is what your marriage vows mean to you might not mean the same thing to another person. When some folks get up there and take those vows they truly mean for better or worse, till DEATH DUE US PART. It’s not just a promise to your spouse but for some people it’s a promise to GOD.

    Many, many years ago I discovered my spouse was cheating with a hooker while I was pregnant. The day I heard my child’s heart beat for the first time was the day I found out. At that point in my life that was the worst thing that had every happened to me. I wanted to die. How could he do this to me? How could he do this to his child?

    I always told myself that if he cheated I would leave but something told me to stay. I can’t explain it. At the time it made no sense. I just knew that leaving wasn’t the answers. Years would pass before I would understand why.

    We would later divorce but I’m so glad that I followed my heart and stayed with him. I thought that having a man cheat on me was the worst thing in the world that could happen to a women but it’s not.

    My point is a marriage only consist of two people don’t look in on someone else’s relationship and think you know the whole truth. And unless your husband is a public figure believe me you have no idea what you would do.

  61. Looks like I’m one of those few women who understand why Silda came out and stood next to Eliot two times this past week. It’s crazy, but it makes sense. I enumerate some of those reason there on my blog: http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog.

    I’ll mention three reasons here:

    You enjoyed the perks that came with his office and that accrued with his success, you show up and share in the humiliation and shame that come with his downfall.

    You stand beside your philandering husband as he tenders his resignation for the same reason a mother shows up at the trial of a son who’s accused of murder. Because he’s family.

    You stand next to him because, as crazy as it sounds, you still love him. I know. It’s crazy

  62. LTEEFAW — wow. You’re right — I don’t know how I would deal with that. This is why I love the exchanges we have here. I learn so much from the perspectives and experiences of others. Thank you for sharing your story.

  63. LTEEFAW — I have so much respect for you for sharing your story, especially after reading some of the comments here about what some women feel they would do or how they view women who stay. I’m sure there are others who have stories too, just choose not to share, for various reasons. And as you said, even though you’re divorced now, you are glad that you made the decision you made before for reasons that you know best. I feel like if you haven’t been there and you pass judgment on a woman who is there for whatever action she takes, it’s like being an armchair football coach. You’re not there, it’s not your game to win or lose, and you certainly aren’t taking the hits, but somehow you know just what the players should/shouldn’t do. We all have opinions, but to think your opinion is the absolute truth is a fallacy. There is no absolute truth in a situation like this.

  64. And I agree, LTEEFAW. Having your husband cheat, while devastating, is not the worst thing that can happen to you. I’m one of those people that choose not to share my story, but believe me. If you think a cheating husband is the worst thing that can happen, then keep living. And I also agree with one other point you made. I’m divorced now, too, but before I decided to take that course, one of the reasons I stayed in the situation that I did was that I had made a promise, not just to a man, but to and before God, and I took that very seriously. I wanted to be sure in my heart that when I decided to go forward without this man, it was what I should do (and adultery is most definitely listed in the Bible as a reason to kick somebody to the curb), and not just action driven by anger, pride, and hurt.

  65. she is trippin but she tryin to make him not look so bad. she aint fuckin him tho naa meaan?

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