Sounds so simple, so where do people get led astray? I believe it’s the “I will never get caught, I’m beyond getting caught, I deserve to have whatever I want” syndrome of people with power. Remember, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Of course, the pain, the hurt, the humiliation and devastation to their wives is not foremost in their minds.
I realize that the wives in these cases feel the same feelings that any of us do when there is an adultery situation. The years of keeping secrets is so hurtful. They also ask the question, “What is wrong with me?” They feel not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. They look back at the marriage and question their own perceptions – was anything real? The children feel abandoned and confused. Betrayal goes deep and is rampant throughout the entire family unit.
The feelings are the same for men who have experienced the other side of adultery. Since women have less societal power generally, we do not see the cheating in the same light. Typically, women cheat for acknowledgment, attention and love. These are, of course, generalizations.
I am trying not to judge, just asking everyone to wake up and ask some important questions. When powerful politicians start spouting off about family values or anti-gay rhetoric, we need to ask, are they hiding something. Thou protests too much! And, if it is the case, that so many powerful people at some point abuse their power, can we forgive? Do we need to change the rules or the playing field? Even though President Clinton had an impeachment hearing, he left office with a 66% approval rating and the budget in good shape. We forgave him and why shouldn’t we, his wife was able to forgive him, who are we to judge. Will Maria forgive and try to make the marriage work? Should she? Arnold kept a secret from her for 12 years. This is a very very long time. What does that do to the fabric of your relationship? Yet I know, adultery is forgivable and the foundation of trust can be restored to a broken marriage. Hard work, but it can be done.
Who is willing to throw the first stone? Whose past is unblemished? Are we expecting too much from our officials, heroes, movie stars? Is it too much to expect fidelity? Do we have unrealistic expectations of marriage? Should we as a society change our mores to include extra-marital relations?
I may be a relationship expert, but these are very personal questions that we all need to decide for ourselves. What do you think?