Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Relationships can be a real pain in the butt. Literally.

Well, I'm jumping on board the bandwagon and talking about Eliot Spitzer. Actually, mostly his wife. Who, unlike some people, I really admire.

Remember when I talked about how much I loved politics in college? Well, I did and I used to understand it and follow it a lot more than I do now. I hate to admit it, but I didn't know who Eliot Spitzer was until two days ago. I'll go ahead and 'fess up that the only governor's I know off the top of my head are Oklahoma's and California's.

Anyway, that's beside the point. The point is that I'm not going to sit here and judge Mr. Spitzer because I don't know anything about him. Not to mention, there has not been anything released at this point with specific, concrete details.

But I watched him give his public statements the last few days, and found myself admiring his wife, Silda, as she stood behind him.

There has been a lot of public scrutiny about her decision to stand next to him publicly. How can she do it? Why would she do it? And a lot of people saying "I'd never do it".

But I think everyone needs to take a step back and think about what it takes to live a public life. The life as a high-powered, fast-moving career politician is much, much harder than any of us could imagine. You can say it's a choice and it is. But it's so much more complicated than that.

There is a lot of speculation that many marriages are "power marriages". Partnerships entered into with the sole reason being getting to the top. I don't doubt it. Power can be intoxicating. These marriages are often entered into based on respect, maybe even a little love. Ultimately though, they have a shared goal of power. It's the perfect set-up for infidelity, which can even be considered a "normal" part of marriage.

Obviously I don't know the Spitzers. Whether or not they are in a "power marriage" we can't know. But I admire Silda for standing up next to her husband as he revealed these devastating things.

What would we think if she hadn't been there? We'd all be speculating, wondering what she's doing. Is she too devastated to show her face?

I can't say that I would be that strong. That I would stand in front of millions of people as my husband said he acted inappropriately. Knowing he had PAID for SEX. Paid good money for sex. Knowing I had three daughters at home who would deal with this shame for the rest of their lives. And knowing that a man I'd given years of my life, given up a successful career for, shared my secrets and my body and my future with was standing there watching his life go down in ruins.

At the same time, I think there is this idea out there that marriage is "through good times and bad" only when it's not SO bad. These are bad times, and Silda has every right to walk away from her husband to salvage what's left of her dignity and her children's future. No one would blame her. But it takes a MUCH stronger person to do what she did. I ADMIRE her for not walking away when the going got tough. She's incredibly strong for standing up, showing her face, and telling the world that this won't break her. That her family is her top priority.

I remember feeling the same way when Dina McGreevey stood with her husband, former New Jersey governor, when he announced he was gay and had been having an affair with his male aide. Thinking "how can she stand there as her world is falling around her"?

It's easy for all of us to say "I wouldn't put up with a spouse who did that, I'd be gone in 1.8 seconds". But we're not the ones who's families are falling apart. It's much more complicated than we can imagine and I hope none of you have to deal with that, ever. Imagine being Silda Spitzer and having to watch your family fall apart and your husband shame himself in front of millions of people. Imagine having to explain to your children in the YouTube generation what happened.

I don't know...I don't imagine she'll stay with him and I hope she doesn't. Not only did he commit a crime, but he broke up a family. And I think consequences are in order in mass. However, my respect for her is tremendous. You don't vow your life to someone and give life to others with that someone and then not fight for it. You don't just stop loving someone when they hurt you. I mean, I realize it's a BIG hurt....but that doesn't mean she'll ever stop loving him

I hope the rest of their battle is very private.

In other news, Kansas wins the prize for best bizarre story of the day. Thanks to my mother-in-law for sending me "Woman Sits on Boyfriend's Toilet for 2 Years".

How did it start? Was it an argument about putting the toilet seat down? Was she making a point, being spiteful?

The best part is that her boyfriend brought her food and water for two years as she sat on the toilet. 2 years later, when her skin began to grow into the toilet seat, he finally figured something was wrong and called the authorities. And when they found her...her sweat pants were still on her mid-thigh.

My question: was there a TV in there? What did she do for two years on the toilet? Did she at least have a People magazine subscription?

My mind is abuzz with curiosity!



John said...

My name is John Anderson. I am offically announcing my candidacy for Governor of New York, and I approve this message!!!!!!!!
(I love you honey!)

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Sorry, I was posting under Nathan's account above.

Take 2:
I see your point. But, I have to ask. Did you feel this way whenever everyone was giving Hillary so much flack over standing behind her cheating husband? I'm in no way taking sides. I've been so busy, I hadn't even heard this story before your post. Just a thought that came to mind...

Jessica said...

To John--thanks for the comment. You're hilarious. Note that I said I wasn't strong enough to do what she if you use even $5 of our money on a call-girl you won't get a chance to stand up there. They'll be treating your homemade castration.

To Liz--Oh, to try and make this about politics! I could do more than several posts on the Clinton's. Hillary, in fact, is much stronger than any woman I know because she actually stayed with her husband. If it was that simple, I'd stop there.

In my mind, the Clinton's have incredible respect for each other, have a great love for their daughter. But I would imagine they foresaw this situation a long time ago..."power marriage". I don't know them, so I can only speculate...

I admire anyone who is treated the way these women have been treated and continue to fight for their marriage. To stand up next to their spouses until the end and beyond. Why do I admire them? Because I couldn't do it.

And that's all I'm going to say. if you want to discuss my true feelings about the Clinton's, let's go to dinner because I sure as heck ain't posting it here!

Emily said...

It's not so much that I question her standing by her husband, but I question her taste in scarf apparel... I mean what was up with that thing?
As far as the couple in Kansas, I suppose one can assume they weren't getting any action, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).
And don't even get me started on the Clinton Machine!

Julia said...

I agree with you. I once wrote a letter to Hilary Clinton years ago telling her how much I admired her for how she handled everything during the Monica Lewinski scandal. I think I got back one of those generic "Thank you for writing to the First Lady letters." Ah well, I really did have a lot of respect her then.