Is ABC Scandal’s Olivia Pope a Cheater or Opportunist?

Buzz, Heartbreak

Women answer questions about the steamy affair on ABC's "Scandal" followed with a classic Simon Rebuttal.

1. If you were in Olivia Pope's shoes, would having sex with the married president of the United States be an opportunity that you would take? If yes, explain why.

2. Do you really think that the at the end the day, the president has any respect for Olivia?

3. As a woman, would you have any respect for him?

4. Social media statistics show that the majority of women approve of this relationship, but hate it when a man cheats on them. Why do you think that is?

Gwen, fleeting 40's:

1. Well, not only is Olivia Pope sleeping with the leader of the free world, she has a close and personal relationship with him. Women are often interested in sleeping with celebrities and men in power because there is something incredibly mysterious about their role. It would be incredibly predictable and scripted to say, "Oh no, I would never do that." The truth is, I believe, that the sheer flattery of it all could cause the most faithful and prudish woman to become seriously tempted to merge her body and mind with someone with such incredible power. This man basically runs the world, and now, with his busy schedule, he has paused and taken notice of you. Who would not be affected by this? Even a man would be flattered if the president singled him out just to say "Nice tie; would you like to play golf?" It would be a moment he would never forget. So in order to answer this question honestly, I would have to be in the moment. For politically correct reasons, I will say no. I would hold my head high and walk away. 

2. From what we've seen on the show, he not only respects her but admires her and seeks her opinion, and usually takes it when he is faced with tough decisions.

3. If I were Olivia, it would be extremely difficult for me to step outside myself and judge a man for loving me.

4. Because with these two characters, what people see are two human beings that have an explainable soul connection. They are not paying as much attention to the contract. They see a man and woman that are sincerely in love with one another. As people in committed relationships watch the show, they may reflect on those relationships, wishing they had as much passion and fire as Olivia's and Fitz's, and that someone longed for them the way Olivia and Fitz long for each other’s company. These two have a bond that most people long to experience but never do. This is why it is so easy for the world to root for them. They are experiencing love. Perhaps it’s dysfunctional and by society's terms, inappropriate, but nonetheless love in all its splendor. The one ingredient we all crave.


1. No, I would not sleep with a married man, President or otherwise.

2. I believe he is selfish and loves her. I believe he thinks he respects her because he is constantly there for her; he’s always opening his heart up to her and at one point was going to give up the presidency for her. I think he believes that because he would give her EVERYTHING, he respects her.

3. I think Olivia has to respect herself. She's a strong role model in several other ways, but when it comes to love, we all make decisions that are sometimes hard to understand or even explain.

4. Trust is super-important. Most men that cheat are not honest about it! On "Scandal," everyone knows of his affair and love for Olivia. I'm not a fan of cheating, but I am definitely not a fan of deceit. Hope this helps!

Gina, early 40's, bold and beautiful:

1. No, I would not sleep with the president!

2. I definitely think he has respect for her.

3. Life happens, and it's politics, so I’m sure she does.

4. It's just a TV show and fictional. So I don't put reality in it. It's wrong to cheat on your loved one, but it happens, and there are consequences with those choices. Hope that does it for you. Happy holidays!

Erica, 35-ish:

1. No, I would not, and I actually object to the question terming this an opportunity.

2. No. He does not have respect for her. If he did, he would not constantly place her in the position he does. In the eyes of her staff, his staff, the public, his wife, etc., she is deemed his whore. There is no respect in that.

3. No. It's impossible to have respect for someone who does not have respect for himself.

4. It's Hollywood (in this case, Washington). We will watch the drama unfold as it entertains us, but it's not a life we would like to live.


TV approves of this kind of relationship because of the popularity of social media and reality shows. Television continues to promote what is popular as opposed to what is good for our society. Unfortunately, what is seen on TV sends a message to the brain that this is acceptable, like when you're selling a house and the Realtor says your furniture will look nice in your new home.

And here is what Simon has to say:

What are you really expecting to get out of this relationship? Love? It is very possible that the president could love you with all his heart, but the age-old problem is not how you begin a relationship, but how you will end it. If it begins with drama and mistrust, then it will eventually end with drama and mistrust. So it all may seem to go great for the time being, but trouble of some kind is always lurking in the shadows. A relationship needs sunlight to live, and when it comes from darkness, it will eventually return from whence it came. When you take away all of the glitter, gold, glam and titles, you are left with two human beings (in this case, three) that pee, poop and fart just like you and me. Each has feelings that can and will be hurt, just like you and I do. Someone, or even all the above parties, are going to get hurt in this three-way relationship, because of dishonesty. Most importantly, it could also affect the president’s judgment in making decisions regarding running this country. Just because the person is rich or important does not mean it’s okay to have an affair, nor does it mean the rules change, or that he or she is beyond being affected by human emotions.

It is amazing that according to Gwen's answer above, social media statistics say that the majority of women approve of this type of relationship, but hate it when a man cheats on them. Laughable. Where do you think men get the idea to cheat? I'll give you a hint: It starts with lust of the eyes and lust of flesh, through TV, movies, commercials, print, etc. Ladies, a basic principle of life is that you cannot approve and support one who cheats on TV without accepting the fact that you, as a result, will be cheated on. (1 John 2:15-16)  (James  1:14-15) TV is a thought, and a thought once brought into the subconscious mind is like a little seed that grows in men and women, and possibly your unsuspecting future husband and children. This is why it is so important to monitor what we allow to enter into our subconscious, because this is how we indirectly ingest those fears, hidden desires and taboos.

Does he respect Olivia? I do agree with Gina and think the president has a great amount of respect for Olivia, but any relationship built on sand will eventually fall. I believe men do have the ability to share their love with multiple women. The question is whether you are sharing this love in secret (misdirected trust) or have an open relationship where everybody knows. A relationship built on a sandy foundation and hidden in the shadows will eventually fall, no matter how hot it is in the moment. Part of what makes it hot is the excitement of thinking you are getting away with some forbidden act, and if you were caught it would cause a major catastrophe.

Olivia's respect for him could potentially be a hodgepodge of respect for his position and title and because he has singled her out as a confidant, which falsely enlarges her confidence and ego, because it is mixed with deception. Her ideas of his great respect are, as a result, delusional. He has not, in fact, picked her from out of millions of people the way he did his wife, making a conscious public choice; he has chosen her out of convenience and job positioning. If she were to look at the ABCs of her relationship with the president, she would realize that she is no different from Suzy Q.

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This article was originally published at How To Get The Man of Your Dreams . Reprinted with permission from the author.