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Should Wives of Scandal Stand by Their Men?

Whether their husbands are denying illicit affairs or asking for forgiveness, the wives of politicians wrapped up in scandals always seem to stand — literally — by their men.

Today, while I was watching New York Governor Eliot Spitzer briefly apologize to his family and the public for his involvement in a prostitution ring, I couldn't help but imagine his wife's humiliation. It always strikes me as cruel to make a woman who's been betrayed by infidelity, stand next to her husband for the sake of making him look better. Perhaps they're too in shock to protest serving as a political tool? Or maybe they're just used to it, and take it as part of life in the public eye.

Cindy McCain did it after the Times's musings about her husband's ties to a lobbyist recently, and Larry Craig's wife stood by after her husband's bathroom run-in last summer. In 2004, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey announced his resignation and love affair with a male aide. His wife stood by his side. I don't know if it's just me, but in cases like these I can't help but feel mortified for the silent partner made to stand by, basking in her husband's shame.

What's your reaction? Can you imagine doing it?

Join The Conversation
BlackPowerBunny BlackPowerBunny 9 years
bottom line is that this is a marriage. even if he wasn't a politician, this would still be a problem in that marriage. we can't tell another woman what to do with her marriage. it is for better or for worse and trust was one of those ingredients that made the marriage. if his wife feels like she can't get past the lies, then she needs to do what is best for her and the family. it's their business.
bokc bokc 9 years
Well, it is up to her. Personally, I would not stand their and be humiliated.
Rattenfreund Rattenfreund 9 years
"He didnt just have sex with a prostitute, he was involved in a prostituation ring, HUGE difference." His involvement in a prostitution ring involved his being a client, hence having sex with a prostitute. He was not involved in running the ring. By the same token someone buying drugs or gambling in Vegas is involved in organized crime! Now precisely why in the world is it our business what goes on in the private relationship he has with his wife? By the by, I agree with Lilkimbo here. It would be worse to have a spouse who was cultivating a deep emotional relationship with another person.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I really think it all depends on the couple and their relationship, as well as the nature (and severity) of the offense... me, personally, in a case like Spitzer's, well, I'd divorce him ASAP. The McCain thing was BS, so I don't think there's a reason to feel bad for Cindy; but in general I think it just varies from couple to couple.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
From Tammy Wynette: Sometimes its hard to be a woman Giving all your love to just one man You'll have bad times And he'll have good times Doing things that you don't understand But if you love him you'll forgive him Even though he's hard to understand And if you love him Oh be proud of him 'Cause after all he's just a man Stand by your man Give him two arms to cling to And something warm to come to When nights are cold and lonely Stand by your man And tell the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can Stand by your man Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can Stand by your man LOL...someone asked for this. As to the question: I think that every single relationship is completely different. There is no way to answer the question in a "general" way. It's up to the woman and her personal experience. I don't think women should be shamed for staying with or leaving a cheating spouse. It's their decision.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
And, just so we're clear, the stories report that he was a client of the prostitution ring, not an administrator or anything like that. So, yeah, he actually pretty much did just have sex with prostitutes. At least that's all he's admitted to and all that's come out so far.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I realize that. I wasn't commenting on that really in relation to Spitzer, just in general. I'm well aware of the story; please don't assume I'm not.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
lilkimbo-He didnt just have sex with a prostitute, he was involved in a prostituation ring, HUGE difference.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
As odd as it sounds, if prostitution were legal, I would rather have my husband cheat on me with a prostitute than have a long, drawn out affair with someone else. With a prostitute, it would about sex, but with a lot of other affairs, it's about a lot more. I think the former would be easier for me to forgive. But that's just me.
quarterjappy quarterjappy 9 years
I don't believe they were 'made' to stand next to their husbands (I at least hope not and highly doubt it). Even if they were highly pressured to...these women had the final choice as to whether or not to stand next to their husbands as they made public announcements/apologies/resignations.
toosugar toosugar 9 years
I can understand women forgiving their men for infidelity if they feel like it. But a prostitution ring????
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Think about it, those B*tches are set for Life! those men will never deny them anything! foot rub? sure honey! take the garbage out? Im tired,,,,oh wait no i am not Sure honey!
DarkRayne DarkRayne 9 years
It's sending the wrong message to people that she condones being cheated on, and it's ok to break the law and support criminals. She's an idiot!
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
It's their decision to make, all i know is that if that was my husband with prostitutes i would not be standing by his side looking like an idiot and be like Oh, hunny it's ok you spent thousands and thousands of dollars of our money on hookers. Nope not gonna happen. I know they have kids but how do you think those kids will look at their mother when they are older? This is just my opinion :)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I'm shocked at two things: 1) That the post just assumes these women were FORCED against their will to stand up by their men. Sorry, but barring being dragged kicking and screaming, all these women made a CHOICE, whether we agree with it or not. 2) Lumping McCain into this group implies that he has admitted any wrongdoing and that his wife should have fled based on rumor and speculation. It's simply not comparable.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
I dont think you can say that, across the board its all the same. Im sure some of these woman have are truely standing by their men and truely forgiving them. I think though that others are just all about the image..keeping up the lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to. Like someone else siad, it is completely situational and we cant say they are all this or all that.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I think it's completely up to the woman. My choice may not be her choice, but if they make the decision to stand with a man they promised to stand by in good times and bad who am I to say anything? I think the larger issue is that we are consuming their humiliation as entertainment under the guise of being informed. I think a lot of these things are not necessarily any of our business unless as stated before an actual law is broken. I personally feel bad for these women because whether the accusations against their husbands are true or not they still get labeled weak and phony by a massive group of people that don't know the intimate details of their relationship.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I think it's none of our business. we know nothing of their private relationship. If it were me, I would have said "you're on your own, buddy."'s not just cheating. It's filthy, cheap, and dangerous in more ways than one. Just like soliciting for it in an airport bathroom. That's completely foul, and reckless. I would have none of it! Forgiveness is easy, but I'd gone faster than you can say "lawyer."
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
I think these women stay because they're in love with the lifestyle, not their husbands. You have to be incredibly naive or incredibly stupid to marry a politician (same with professional athletes and musicians...heck, anyone in the public eye) and expect not to get cheated on. I used to work around a lot of athletes and even the ones you'd think were good guys had girlfriends in addition to their wives. And most of the wives knew and didn't care! That's not to say that EVERYONE in the public eye does that, but it is much more common than most people seem to think. We can say that we'd leave our husbands because they cheated on us, because for the most part, we are not the kind of people who would marry someone for the lifestyle.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I don't think they should stand up there if they didn't support what their husband was doing or at least if they aren't prepared to forgive. I don't think it's that outrageous that someone in a 20 year marriage might "ok" a night of extramarital sex. We never know what goes on in a marriage that leads to this. Over the course of the Clintons' marriage for example, maybe a blowjob just wasn't that big of a deal to Hillary (at least personally, I bet politically that she was majorly angry). I think the Spitzer situation is different because prostitution is illegal in DC and NY. He didn't just get a blowjob, he broke the law as a politician who is supposed to be helping enforce the laws. I don't think women are perfect either, but there is no way an intelligent woman would in any way approve of her husband breaking the law in such a scandalous manner while he was in office. In general I think we shouldn't judge these women, since we don't know what goes on, but I think Silda Spitzer should have given Elliot Spitzer a reality check and refused to stand by his side.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
It's all politics. These women stand besides their men to take them from looking like jerks, to looking like a tragedy. Usually, the woman stands by her man in the first hours, and then (if allegations prove true) they're gone soon after. I don't like them being used as political props.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
I think it is ok to include a picture of McCain. Sometimes, when reading just a few celeb gossip magazines I wonder why a woman stands by her man. Gossip needs to be addressed here too, and the McCain situation is a perfect example of that.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
It's up to them -- be they political or celebrities or neither.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Oh, and I agree, tsk tsk for including a picture of McCain; his situation was completely different than these other ones.
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