So yesterday’s news was all about how when the mighty fall, the wives stoically stand there. Seems like for some reason this go around the wives are getting as much attention for being at the press conferences as the husband that needs to publicly apologize.
Of course the ladies from The View had their opinions. Usually I don’t agree with Elizabeth but I sure did yesterday. Her point was the notion that being sorry because you’ve been caught isn’t the same as being sorry. I agree. If you were really sorry, you would have admitted your tryst to your wife and begged for her forgiveness before the FBI agent knocked on the door with a few questions for you.
I’m just glad these assholes don’t make their kids stand at the podium. Although the kids, it seems, may be the reason that scorned wives face the public as they do. Ronnie Polaneczky wrote a great article about this in The Philadelphia Daily News while Whoppi Goldberg postulated that perhaps the spousal stance is more about showing one’s face to the media so that they don’t hound you and less about “standing by your man”.
To my knowledge, I’ve never been cheated on by husband, so I don’t know what it’s like. All of my ideas and thoughts on this are hypothetical. I’m also not married to a public servant or famous person. With the exception of putting my engagement in the newspaper, any announcements made in my family are done so around the dinner table or during a long distance phone conversation. So I’m trying to imagine the anger, shock, sadness and frustration mixed with not just humiliation but public humiliation. Who knows what I’d do or say under those circumstances.
But here’s what I know for sure. To my knowledge my father never cheated on my mother but had he back when I was teenager, it would’ve been ugly. He would have lost all power and control over me. I would have shut him out completely from my mind. When he tapped on his watch and noted that it was 10 minutes past curfew, I would have thought, Fuck you, you’re a cheater. When he grounded me after finding a pack of cigarettes in my room, I would have thought, Fuck you, you’re a cheater. When he called me up in college to tell me that I was overdrawn on my account and he’d bail me out this one time but never again, I would have thought, So I’m short a couple of bucks. At least I’m not a liar – pay the fine Cheater Man. And sadly, when he walked me down the aisle, instead of being thrilled and excited I would’ve thought, Fuck. I wonder if my husband will be a cheater like you?
I wouldn’t have heard a word my father uttered. I would have missed every important piece of information that he had to offer because it would have first needed to make it through the fuck you filter in my brain.
The greatest gift my parents ever gave me was to keep me out of their marriage. Sure they fought but the specific details of their partnership were their business not mine. If any indiscretions took place I had no idea and I’m glad about that. It freed me up to actually listen to what they had to say. I could think that they were unfair, unjust, or down right unreasonable, but I never thought that they were hypocritical (well, except when the both lit up a cigarette before grounding me for smoking). Which proves my point. The very next day I bought another pack and thought, Fuck you, you smoke too.
Eliot Spitzer may have broken the law and broken his vows, but the biggest disservice he did was to his daughters. So maybe the question isn’t “Why do these women stand by their men”. Maybe the more important question should be, “Why don’t these men better honor their daughters in the first place”?