(c) by Mary Griggs
All of them have stood beside their political spouse while they confessed to a betrayal of not just the trust of their constituencies but of the bonds of matrimony. It is painful to watch them as their private humiliation is compounded by a public confession.
I’m not alone in asking why they do it. Is this some sort syndrome like battered wives where they don’t feel like they have a choice? For many that may be the case. They have so tightly tied their identities to their husbands that they can have breakdowns (Pat Nixon) or be forced to cope with lots of alcohol (Betty Ford). Their careers have also been advanced by their marital connections and, they rightly fear, if he falls, so do they.
So much of their time is consumed making sure that they don’t damage their husband’s political aspirations with a bad haircut, an inadvertent sound bite or even through conflict of interest with their businesses. Having made all of the sacrifices for political expediency, can anyone be surprised that when their husband’s ask for a sign of continued devotion, that they agree to sit with him in front of the cameras yet again?
You’ve got admit that standing at the podium while he confesses to infidelity is a bitter reward for a life lived to serve another’s political career. I just hope it was worth it.