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Stand by your Man…

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.

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Mind-Body Tagged with: , , , , ,
  • Beenthere

    It is completely obvious to me, reading your article, that your marriage is one of “like” rather than “love.” Anyone who actually and TRULY loves their partner – knows why you stay. They also know that sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I have seen it first hand work out and in fact strengthen the union.

    Further…you really have NO idea what you WILL do until you are there.

  • Imzadi

    I had what I can’t refer to as a relationship with this individual who in the final analysis found every way to belittle, berate and demean me. The end result is months spent in therapy. Now I am a very strong willed person. I’m accustomed to being on my own. This guy was never satisfied and always found a way to turn around his misdeeds on someone else. By faith I know that I must forgive him. Their is something in me that can’t get past the hurt of the emotional abuse. I’ve gotten down to analyzing the character of those I chose to let get close to me. The list is very small. The criteria of character traits that this person was absolutely lacking, trustworthiness, loyalty, respect. Forgive yes, forget NO WAY! I feel like I would be betraying every woman before me who I am sure he treated this way & then dismissed as TOO SENSITIVE.

  • Imzadi

    I forgot to mention. This guy has over 20 years in the fitness industry. He calls himself a “Life Fitness Coach”…the whole premise that you can train someone and provide them with the skills to change their life but you can’t control your impulse to disparage the people “closest” to you is insane.

  • In response to Beenthere, it’s obvious that you’ve been in a relationship where you “loved”, but it’s also obvious it was unreciprocated. Anyone that says that they love you, and then treats you in any one of the ways described above, does not truly understand the meaning of love. Cheating is a form of abuse, even if it only happens once. I have been there. Love is shown in actions, not words and intentions. And if you are with someone that cheats, lies, or otherwise abuses you, that is in no way an act of love. People do make mistakes, but cheating is a lifestyle choice, not a mistake. And no one accidentally sleeps with anyone else, just like no one physically abuses another on accident. This writer is correct in saying that if you have children, you are sending the message that it is okay to for them to put up with that kind of treatment when they are seeing it from one of their parents. You need to take a closer look at the definition of love and like before you apply it to others. You may have loved your partner, but they weren’t loving you. Plus women that make a firm stand that they will never put up with that type of behavior, typically don’t end up in them at all.

  • Jessica

    Beenthere…I really don’t think you are in a position to say that about her marriage. I am very much in love with my husband, however, if he ever hit me, that would be the end of it. I would never stand for a man thinking he could raise his hand to me…even once. And one of the many reasons why I married my husband is because I knew that with his personality and his experiences, I could reasonably trust that I would never be put into a situation by him to find out “what I would really do.” You should be hurt and offended by anyone that puts you in the situation of “finding out what you would really do if ______ (insert something awful.” Love is always conditional, and there is nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t diminish the love at all. And if your love is really “unconditional”, then you show how little you truly value yourself.

  • DJ

    I think a lot depends on who the woman is and what she is getting out of the relationship. I’m pretty sure Hilary was not suprised about Monica (furious, but not suprised). Most women in that situation realize that if the husband goes down in flames the whole family “empire” crashes (ie if hubby gets impeached they go to broke and social “zero” too). IMHO the whole “standing by your man” thing tends to have a self-preservation element when politics, power, or money are involved, not to mention that the wife’s other options are pretty limited if she had been giving up her career to support his. Throw him to the wolves and then what? Go get a job? Live on alimony after an ugly divorce?

    I DO admire the women who are strong enough to end it – I feel bad for them, because I suspect that they are more likely to be the ones who DIDN’T know about it until the spouse was caught by the media.

  • Mike

    Whats all the talk about, seems like you all are already expecting your husband to do some ugly thing seeing that you already know what to do. My take, is expect the best from your man, if he unintentionally falls short of your ideal expectations and is genuingly remorseful and repentant….FORGIVE and help him through the dificult situation just as i presume you would want him to do for you!! Ladies, forgiveness is a better virtue to pass on to your kids.

  • Dana

    I, like most of you, used to feel that if my husband ever cheated on me that would be the end of it. I’d be completely done with him and would have no problem walking away from a man who both, broke my trust and disrespected me. However, my views have changed slightly, even though I am a single woman. I realized recently though that when you make a vow to marry a man, you say, “for better or worse”. I would NEVER stay with a man who had no respect for me and cheated on me with women as let’s say, Tiger Wood did. But I do think that when you marry someone, you don’t marry someone you would ever think would cheat on you in the first place. That being said, I think it is very situational and you can’t just say that these women, just because they’re in politics, they don’t respect themselves and they just tolerate their husbands cheating for the status or power OR that their standing by their husband means they don’t value themselves. It’s very situational, and you don’t know how you’d react until put in the situation. What if for example, you as a wife, weren’t there for your husband. You were spending late nights at work, constantly doing stuff for the kids, hanging out with your family, trying to make time for your girlfriends.. caught up in all kinds of regular things that could realistically happen. Your husband, with you not ever being around, was feeling neglected and a woman at his office happened to throw herself at him constantly and had been doing so for months so he, as all of us do, just happened to make a mistake. And after it happened, he didn’t keep doing it, but he felt remorse. And he confessed but told you that he was sorry, it would never happen again, you weren’t there for him as a wife (not that he’s putting the blame on you) and he just fell into temptaion. But… he was willing to do whatever it took to work through it with you, knowing you wouldn’t forgive him right away, and do whatever it took to gain your trust back. He would make more of an effort to be a family with you and the children and would never let it happen again and would even seek counseling with you and a pastor from your church or psychologist if you thought it would help. You’re saying you still wouldn’t stand by your husband? If you AND your husband are truly in love (which i’m not saying ya’ll aren’t), I don’t think you’d be so quick to say you wouldn’t stand by your man.. But that’s just my opinion, I suppose.

  • Nicola

    At the end of it all guys, we all need to get back to the basics of life, that is, let go and let God, for those of us who are christians we tend to try to fix everything on our own and we need to remember based on our belief we cant do it all on our own, we must trust God to help us. Forgiveness is a key factor in our relationships, when we can find it in our hearts to forgive each other no matter what, we can overcome any storm (hurt,betrayal, abuse), we may not forget anytime soon, we may not even be able to be with that person ever again, we may not even had belong with them in the first place, but we have to be able to get on with our life either way. For all the men out there who continue to do wrong by your women – try to do better, your women love you all, they expect the best of you and they want a long and happy life with you. For all the women who continue to have the bad luck of abusive relationships, hold on, be strong, put your foot down, take care of your family, support your husbands, but do all this with continuous prayer, ask God to help you through it all, trust me you cant fail, God work in misterious ways-remember the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, MEEKNESS, SELFNESS CONTROL, RIGHTEOUSNESS, TRUTH, let your character represent christ, be true to yourself, God will take care of the rest

  • Ivan

    It seems to me this is similar to a person not having children telling someone how to raise thier kids. Women today are being raised in such a political enviroment where every action is a way of “degrading, humiliating or somehow controlling women”. and When something happens between a man and a woman in this society, the woman seemingly has to answer to the collective group of women out there looking for signs of an infraction. You know, maybe the women who “stand by their man” actually want to- MAYBE THEY ARE BEING STRONG by standing by their man- for their own reasons. You know nothing abou their relationships, the ups and downs, the unfilled needs of the man or the woman in any of these relationships. There are two sides to every story. When I saw the title of your article, I thought there was going to be a change in tide, something refreshing, perhaps a Defense of Marriage – and working to make society better through understanding- perhaps “Standing by your man, and woman” was going to invovle better communication and achieving balance in life- perhaps working to strengthe relationships that we have would be a good lesson to teach our children, and teaching them about “consistency” and dependability- in that when they come home, they find the same two parents there. That would be a radical change in society.

  • I’m highly impressed and I appreciated every comment but there is one thing that keeps baffling me. It takes two to tango, unless the man is a gay. These men (CHEATS) always go out with other women, so whats in the mind of those other women they go out with? If in the future those women are married would they entertain their husbands going after other women too?
    We always blame the men but we’ve forgotten that at times the women also play a role in tempting the men. I believe the message here needs to go not only to the men but also the women who at times are the cause. I’m yet to see a man of low standard cheating because no woman will welcome you anyway.
    I stand to be corrected. Thank you.

  • cathy

    Well i really am at a loss for words…..I have been in an abusive relationship more than once and at the time i stayed in them untill i had decided what and where i wanted and needed to be..
    I knew each time that what was happening was wrong but felt that it was where i needed to be for that time…
    Every partner i have ever lived with has cheated on me and i always stayed and tried to work through the issues….I always left in the end but only when the time was right for me to do so..

    I have remained friends with the guys i have lived with and have better relationships with them now than i ever had when i was their life partner rather than their friend..

    I feel that i have forgiven each of them and i have become a better person for this, please dont think i am a wuss because i am not i am a very strong woman, i just feel that as Jesus said on the cross….Forgive them because they know not what they do…It is not for us to Judge the life paths of anyone else it is however our choice how we deal with it when it happens.

    I am a very happy positive person and i have a gr8 circle of people in my life, and remember life isnt about how much you can earn or how much you have in the material world, its about how you feel and how you can help others, is loving someone who doesnt conform to the norm wrong…..Its your personal choice and untill we stop listening to what society tells us is the norm and start feeling for ourselves then there will always be victims and abusers instead of what truly should be called people doing the best they can with who and what they have.

    Your journey on this earth is as a soul wanting to experience every emotion available, so next time someone is angry with you or hurt ask yourself …what would love do now….Because thats what we all are as spirit…Pure love…..WHAT WOULD LOVE DO NOW…try it you will surprise yourself and make the world a better place by not being so quick to judge…

    Love light and Peace…

  • Kay

    Abusive relationships whether they are in a political environment or just a general every day civilian couple in an abusive relationship is a never ending cycle. No matter who or what the situation is there are hundreds of reasons why women stay. Married or not, it’s the emotional cycle that plays a role in them. I was a victim and now a survivor. I thank God every day I did not marry my ex. I would not be alive today to tell about it. I stayed because I feared my life would be taken in a torturing harm of pain I did not want to feel because I feared it would happen because it did happen. Here’s what goes on in a women’s mind going through this:
    It starts out as seduction, love, hope, fear, tension builds, and then violence. Repeats all over. The main reasons are:

    * Fear: Fear is the main reason why women stay in abusive relationship. Women do not want to go to the police. Women are afraid that if they leave home the abuser may create more problems for them and their children. In some cases, the abuser threatens the woman with dire consequences if they dare to leave home. Due to these threats, some women feel forced to stay in the family relationship and never disclose their abusive relationship to others.

    * Dependency: Women are dependent on men for many reasons. The most important factor is economic dependency. In most cases, men do not allow women to work, and they try to make them fully dependent in the financial matters.

    Financial dependency is the major dependency that gives rise to other forms of dependency such as emotional and physical. The abusers control the thought processes of the women and force the women to stay in the abusive relationship.

    * Social and Cultural Norms: In many cases, women strictly follow social and cultural norms – this is one of the reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. In many societies, it is accepted that wives are subservient to their husbands and should obey them. It is also said that it is wrong for a woman to go against a man.

    Social and cultural norms generally do not permit women to leave their homes, irrespective of the situation. Due to social and cultural norms, women make certain adjustments in their lives and prefer to stay in an abusive relationship.

    * Family Values: Women are strongly influenced by family values. In Asia, people proudly cite examples of a few women who sacrifice their interest for the interest of the family. Moreover, the women do not want to leave the house, and stay in abusive relationships because of emotional and family values.
    “Things could always get worse for me if I leave this bad relationship I’m in.” No, they really couldn’t. Being in a bad relationship is the worse. Being every single day in a million little ways discouraged, dismissed, belittled, ignored, angered, disappointed, condescended to and/or emotionally or physically abused is as bad as it gets. If that describes your life, then congratulations! You’ve bottomed out! From where you’re at, you can only go up. Allowing yourself to be consistently maligned by someone who is supposed to love and support you is hell, pure and simple. There is no place worse than hell. Get out.

    Not only that it is not always immediate to get out. You have to plan to get out. You need to set up plans such as, how you are going to leave, where are you going to go, what if he finds you at your next location, get a P.O. Box address so he cannot have access to your mail or locate your new real address, change your phone numbers, are you going to press charges? All of these are plans needed to have a successful exit without harm. Only 5 % of women escape them and survive these types of relationships alive. I was 18 years old at the time and it took me until I was 24 years old to be able to escape my ex free for life. I thank God everyday my family stepped in to help and the law. That’s the other thing, sometimes the law is not always there to help these cases political or not. 50 % of women go back. I can’t tell you how many times the D.A. asked me if I was serious about getting help out of this when I was. Either way, you’re right. It’s not easy to understand especially when you’re in an abusive relationship. I look back and I cannot imagine if I stayed. Like I said, if I did I would not be here to tell about it. I spent months in therapy after. Now in my 30’s, I occasionally have flash backs to specifics of that relationship, but I’m proud to have grown wiser as a women.

    • Brett

      Thank you so much for sharing. I’m sure this will help others.
      Best of luck…