Former Governor of New York Spitzer is out of the office, but is still continuing to make ripples. One of these ripples is my disagreement with my many friends over what to think of his wife. To be more precise, what to think of her decision to stand by her man during the two press conferences, when Spitzer admitted the wrongdoing (press conference #1) and later resigned (press conference #2). Here's what I think:
1. In the most ideal world men wouldn't cheat.
2. In the next to most ideal world, I would like for justice to be dispensed in the public, timely and prime time show-worthy manner, which boils down to one of these three scenarios:
a) wife not showing up for press conference;
b) wife giving her own press conference;
c) wife coming to the press conference and in the middle of "I am sorry I let you down, my voters/family/state/America" hits him over the head with something very heavy, preferably made of a sturdy metal. Without legal or any other consequences.
3. However ideal world is not here yet, and there ARE consequences to our actions, however justifiable they might seem. Here are some of the reasons why Spitzer's and other wives might have made their decisions to stand by their me:.
a) Most of the politicians' wives do not have careers of their own. They are taking care of their families and their husbands' careers, which works out nicely if the guy doesn't stray, but makes one very unmarketable in case she has to fend for herself after the divorce.
b) Conduct during marriage and subsequent to legal separation matters during the divorce proceedings. If these women are planning to divorce and take their hubbies to the cleaners (as they should b/c they gave up their careers for the careers of those straying jerks), they better appear supportive during hard times, appear where they have to appear and look the way damage control specialists ask them to look.
c) Women who do say something and hold their own press conferences (remember Donna Hanover?) look bitter and receive even less public support than the wives standing by their hubbies.
d) They have kids, and women do all kinds of unimaginable things for their sake. Making her children's father look even worse in public might seem gratifying personally, but might not be in the best interest of the children.
e) Did it ever occur to anyone that she simply might love the jerk and hopes to work things out? That maybe they were going through a rough patch in their marriage? (Doesn't justify his actions anyway.) That maybe a vow to stay together "for better or worse" actually means for better OR worse to her? Slamming the door might seem like a brave thing to do, but almost always staying in the hard situation and trying to make things work takes a lot more courage, stamina, self-control and determination. A lot, lot, lot, lot more than leaving.
In a nutshell, this is what I think: Spitzer's wife is no fool, neither is she a weakling. Those do not go and graduate from Harvard Law School. Those also don't marry and stay married to successful (up until recently) politicians. She knew what she was doing (unless she was in complete shock, which is also quite understandable) and why she was doing it. And while most people would like to have the satisfaction of seeing her get even with hubs, ultimately it is her decision. And in my eyes she doesn't deserve any less respect to being with her hubs during press conferences.
He, however, should be shot for embarrassing his wife the way he did. And he should be hanged for asking her to be next to him when during his apologies and resignation.