Salon.com called her book tour “one of the most sadomasochistic publicity jaunts in political history.”
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd criticized her for dragging her husband “back into the public square for a flogging.”
But Ruth Houston, infidelity expert, founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and author of Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs, thinks Elizabeth Edwards should be commended for writing and speaking so candidly about her husband’s (former presidential candidate John Edwards) extramarital affair and the effect it has had on her both physically and emotionally in her new book Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities.
“By doing so, she has pulled back the curtain and exposed aspects of infidelity that the public rarely gets to see,” says Houston. “Women with cheating spouses or significant others need to see that they are not alone —that all women face similar issues when trying to cope with their partner’s’ affair.”
It doesn’t hurt either she adds, for the cheating cad to see and hear firsthand the hurt, humiliation and heartbreak they inflict when they have an affair.
Usually, when a male public figure has an affair, the focus is on him, the details of the affair, how it will affect his career etc., while his wife is expected to dutifully and literally “stand by her man” in silence.
“Elizabeth Edwards is the voice of those 38 to 53 million women with cheating mates,” says Houston.
“When women like Elizabeth Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Dina Matos McGreevey share their personal experiences as betrayed wives, they direct public attention to aspects of infidelity that usually go unnoticed or ignored.
”They reveal a side of infidelity that the public rarely gets to see. Judging from the criticism these women have garnered for airing their dirty laundry, and openly discussing their husband’s affairs, this is a side of infidelity the public would rather not see.”
But considering that infidelity in one form or another affects 80 per cent of all marriages and committed relationships, it’s a side that needs to be seen.
“There is a need for information, solutions and advice,” says Houston. “It helps to know how a role model handled a similar situation.”
Houston’s book is available as a downloadable e-book from booklocker.com/books/1755.html.
For insight into why we’re so fascinated with the extramarital affairs of public figures, visit my blog, Sexcetera, at www.metronews.ca/blogs.
– Josey Vogels is a sex and relationship columnist and author of five books on the subjects. For more info, visit www.joseyvogels.com.