I keep asking myself, “What is wrong with her?” Why was she with this man to begin with, and why did she stay longer than five minutes?
I’m sure some will say this is really none of my business, but I disagree. If it’s in the news, on the news and every newsmagazine and talk show, then it’s open for discussion.
They say he’s “engaging” (Barbara Walters), “charming and fun” (Lesley Stahl), and he may be, but is that enough? I see a man who is cruel and unbelievably self-absorbed. He seems to have no soul.
But, for me, this is about her. I used to be a real admirer. She came from a family of faux-U.S. royalty, and chose to pursue her own career in the uber-competitive media business, although she could certainly afford not to work…or not to work hard if she didn’t want to. And she was good at her job.
But I stopped being a fan when her randy husband –shortly after he announced his run for governor– was accused by a group of women of inappropriate behavior against them, and she held a press conference to deny their truth! I really believe she knew that her defense of him was dishonest and she willfully invalidated these women who were brave enough to come forth. They were called liars and I felt so sorry for them.
And now it’s really ugly. But I don’t think of this article as blaming-the-victim; it’s more like blaming the co-conspirator. Did it go something like this: she repeatedly accepted less-than-honorable behavior from him, so why shouldn’t these other women?
I used to think that women stayed in abusive relationships (physical or emotional), because they didn’t have the resources to get out. And while I was primarily thinking financial resources, I know one needs the emotional fortitude to get out, too…and I wonder if that’s what she’s missing. How could she stay so long in this unhealthy relationship with this terribly disrespectful man…and how could she — through that public act of “who are you going to believe, them or me”– clear him to continue with business-as-usual?
I’ve never been married. In my book, The Spinsterlicious Life, and blog of the same name, a popular “conversation” in both is the different interpretations single and married women sometimes have on a given situation (perhaps, not surprisingly). And, as a single woman, I am often puzzled by what passes for acceptable in other people’s marriages. Things that seem so clear-cut to me are obviously more complicated. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just an issue of what a woman is willing to put up with. Could it be that simple?
The tabloids have always portrayed him as a bad boy, even before they married, so none of his behavior over the years should be a surprise.
Maya Angelou has often said “When a man shows you who he is, believe him the first time.” Dr. Phil says something similar: “We teach people how to treat us.” Did she never hear anything like this?
Surely she didn’t think he would change. Why would he, when given carte blanche to behave as he wants? And now there’s another kid in the family and she’s without a career because she gave it up so he could be governor. And their kids are embarrassed and hurt. And so is she.
It’s such a mess. But how could it have turned out any other way? So my question is, what responsibility does a wife have toward other women who may be subjected to her ill-behaved husband?