Stand-By-Your-Man Syndrome

cheatI’m going to alter from my normal persona and stand on a teenie-tiny little soapbox tonight.  I say teenie-tiny because I won’t need to be on there for long, and because my opinion is of such incredibly small weight in the matter, but nevertheless, when something bugs me enough, I have to say something.  And since this blog happens to be my cheap form of therapy, my rants will just have to spill over to here from time to time.

Now keep in mind that I am a rather apolitical person.  You will never read my opinions on who you should vote for, and why, here in Topsy-Techie land.  Sometimes that is because I am trying to be diplomatic with such a diverse readership, and then sometimes it is because I simply don’t have an opinion. 

But there is a trend in the political arena which has really gotten my ire up, and has created in me so much of an opinion that I am risking the fact that I could come across as a cynical, well, you-know-what in order to voice that opinion.  It has come to the forefront yet again this week during the scandal of my home state’s senator, John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth. It has to do with wives of politicians who have been publicly embarrassed, made fools of, and generally degraded by having their hubbies extracurricular activities splashed across the media. It is a crucial, sensitive, life-changing time for these women, and you would expect that they would be feeling every range of emotions from anger to grief to humiliation.

Yet the emotion that almost always gets put forward in the public eye?  Denial.  Press conference after press conference they are conspicuously present, standing in (outward, at least) support of their cheatin,’ ambition-driven spouse.  Why????  Please won’t someone explain this phenomenon to me?  I can’t figure out if I am the better woman, or the lesser woman, because I would be so far from that press conference that GoogleEarth would have to reboot to find me.  Why would I want the world to think that I – – in any way – – gave credence to the cretin who had just wrecked my home, my life, and my marriage?? 

I understand that it is just politics as usual, but do these women really care whether their hubbies political careers continue after they have confessed to being lying, cheating miscreants?  Doesn’t that put a red flag up in these women’s minds that says maybe they aren’t the best guy for the job of governing our country, after all?  Really…if you have some inside info or just an opinion on this one, I’d love to hear it, because I am all out of ideas on why it continues to take place time after time in the American political arena.

Political rant over.  That wasn’t too painful, now was it?

(And a big thanks to Jen over at CheaperThanTherapy for creating a button that some of us really needed to headline our soapbox rant!)


11 Responses

  1. Wives of powerful men seldom even try to prevent their men from having extra women. It is part of their power. Everyone says poor wifey, but no one asks if she knew about it all along, even approved it.

    These people work together as a couple to achieve power. They keep their power by not being humiliated.

    There is nothing degrading about a man having an affair.

  2. I have to say, the thought that Manupmen just put out there is a good one. I think I might steal it, I will of course give full credit. Thanks for being a part of the Press Conference. The line “because I would be so far from that press conference that GoogleEarth would have to reboot to find me.” was hysterical!!!

  3. I sometimes wonder if these “true confessions” about affairs are choreographed by these power couples. Hillary and Bill certainly used theirs well, and the Edwards may be trying to get in on the celebrity machine.

  4. I think that could be a very plausible explanation for some politicouples, but I sorta have a scratching my head feeling about Elizabeth Edwards…how ambitious can you possibly be when you are dying of cancer?? There has to be some other reason at play there, I think!

  5. You make a good point about Elizabeth. I just notice that the wives seldom look shocked. It’s like the powerful live by different rules. I think assuming the “poor” woman is innocent could be mistaken.

  6. I think it may just be that they approved and that its something she is ok with. MANY couples do this sort of thing, and its not up to US to decide if it’s ok. I believe that if she was mad at him, there would be more going on than just denial. Thats just my two cent.

  7. Topsy. I am also shocked by the repetitive image of these women standing there at press conferences. I can’t imagine how they stand there. I would think “getting off the grid” (yor words were great) would be my first instinct.

    I think that they are somehow so involved in the whole political rat-race that somehow they just shift into damage control mode.

    Mostly, I’m baffled. All the women I know would frankly club the guy after learning about such behavior. And they’d give both private and public beatings.

  8. Powerful people generally have powerful personalities. One of the reasons many have gotten as far as they have is because of their power which is quite alluring to many. It makes it easy for them to do these things and their spouses can be forgiving for the same reason even. It’s the charisma and charm that allow people to act certain ways and others to allow/forgive them for that.

    I do wish that the political women would not be so sheepish about it though. It’s their business if they want to forgive/allow their husbands to do this stuff. Just a public statement saying even that they know about it, they have had private discussions with their husbands, and it’s their own business type of thing would be better than the way they come off usually.

  9. Well, my ex-husband wasn’t a high powered politico, but I can relate. I know that *for me*, at least, it was more a matter of being numb for a *very* long time. For months (and months and months), I went through my day to day routines in a fog. There were a lot of people that thought I should be acting differently, but I was too busy trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the man I had married “for life” wasn’t who I thought he was, had so little respect for me, that the life I “thought” I had never really existed, that he was remorseless, etc. I can’t imagine going through all of that AND battling cancer as well.

  10. FM – geez. Just…geez.

  11. It’s all good. If it wasn’t for going through all that, I wouldn’t have Mike. Literally. ‘Cause my ex is the one who introduced us (though *not* for the purposes of getting us together 😉 Ah, happiness is the best revenge ;D

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