Ok…I debated writing about this…and may even regret it, but it is hard for me to not have some sort of commentary on this subject. For one, I don’t like politics and I’m not a political person…at all. And two, I am in no place to judge other people or their lives. That said, it still makes me sick to see people hurt and betrayed, and then stand by the very people that do the hurting and betraying.
At this point, the US population is fully aware of Governor Spitzer’s inappropriate behavior as an elected official, a husband and a father. Although many Europeans would argue that this behavior is far from inappropriate…that it is typical, here in the United States, we live by a moral compass that dictates different expectations and perceptions of what is right and what is wrong; and of our relationships.
I don’t know the situation, and I obviously do not know Eliot and Silda, but I do know that in my life, trust and respect are the two most important things in a relationship or even more importantly, in a marriage. If you don’t have these components, then you might as well be on your own. What is the point of being with someone if you can’t trust them? And even more, what is the point of being with someone who doesn’t respect you? Sure, people make mistakes, and they may even lie, but there comes a point when enough is enough.
I’m constantly surprised at how many women will continue to stand by their man when they are abused, cheated on, lied to, devalued and disrespected. It is appalling to me that there is so little self-respect out there. I look at women who are role models…to their children…to society…to the public in general…and it grieves me when they are confronted with the difficult decision to ‘publicly stay or publicly go.’ I can’t even fathom how a woman in their right mind, with children, especially daughters, can feel good about staying with someone who has publicly humiliated them…hurt them…dishonored them…disrespected them…and betrayed them. I can’t imagine the inner torment the woman has to go through. What could this possibly teach their children?
Obviously, women in politics aren’t the only ones who stick with cheaters and liars, but because these women ARE in politics, we are privvy to their personal lives, more than those of most other people’s. So why do they stay? Maybe it is because they value their career and their status more than they value themselves. Maybe it is that they are afraid that if they leave, it could be even more humiliating. Maybe they think that they can fix the situation. Maybe they have become so dependent on their partner, they don’t know how to leave. Maybe they don’t really care. I have no idea why they stay, but I do know this: it is rare to see a woman walk away from a situation such as that of Eliot and Silda Spitzer.
Maybe I’m an idealist. Maybe I’m cruel-hearted and insensitive. Or maybe I’m ignorant to not understand a person’s ability to stand by another’s side…on public television…while they admit to the world all of their wrongdoings, infidelities and just how bad a person they are. But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone…and I’m not just speaking about women. I know that when I brought the topic up to my husband, he and I both agreed, that there was no way that either of us would stand next to the other on public television as he or I admitted to infidelities, crimes and betrayal.
Are we alone? Probably not. When I saw the Today Show yesterday morning, I believe that when long-time friend of Eliot Spitzer, Jim ’Mad’ Cramer, was asked about the situation, what was normally a highly animated, opinionated and eccentric personality was quickly brought to a speechless, reflective, and teary-eyed, sensitive individual. To me, that said something.
Again, I have no basis to judge anyone. I can only speak to what I personally would do or not do. But I do think that it is important that all of us have self-respect…that all of us believe in our moral compass and what we view as right and wrong…that we all respect our loved ones and take care of them…and that all of us protect those who deserve to be protected.