Standing by cheating hubbys may indicate love

I need a little help understanding something: Apparently, if and when your husband, who happens to be a prominent citizen, gets caught out and then admits that he's been involved in illegal and illicit affairs, the correct reaction is to take him out of the public eye, and coddle him in the comfort of his home and family.

That has been the case for New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer - himself an outspoken upholder of everyone else's moral values.

On the surface, his wife's reaction doesn't make sense to me. My husband wouldn't get a kiss and a hug. For what? Finally being honest about cheating, and with a prostitute!? (Not to mention spending $4,300 of the family budget on his hotel escapade). It's not as though he's a child learning the difference between right and wrong.


I'd be furious! Not to mention disgusted, appalled, flabbergasted, humiliated, and probably numerous other adjectives I can't even imagine.

So why then is this public figure, a governor no less, seemingly getting off easy with just an apology, with his wife, herself a lawyer, standing by his side for the cameras? Less than four years ago he was angry and disgusted himself after 16 people were arrested for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island. Isn't this whole thing just a bit hypocritical?

It's certainly not fair to say that only men in public office have affairs, because that couldn't be further from the truth. Many men and women from all walks of life, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, etc., have affairs. And to be fair, many spouses choose not to end the relationship, but to either turn a blind eye, accept this one-sided commitment, or move forward once their partner has hopefully been "reformed" by exposure.

As well, these public apologies and trials (think Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton) are obviously not the first instance in which the spouse is learning the sordid details. No doubt, Hilary Clinton and Silda Spitzer both had their opportunity to yell, scream, throw things, and cry in private long before the rest of us had the chance to learn the story.

And it's completely their choice to stay with their men.

I'm not judging either of these two women - or any other partner who chooses to make amends with a spouse who has cheated - because I have not walked in their shoes, and have no idea what they went through, or how they came to terms with it all.

In fact, I commend them for their strength, their courage, and above all else, their love - because it can only be the love of their partner and the family life they're trying to preserve, for themselves and their children, that spurs them on.

Women have always been lauded for their inner strength, but it's the selfless act of thinking about their family, their children, and the future that is truly what makes us women formidable.

Lisi Tesher is a freelance writer and photographer living in Toronto with her husband and two children. She cares passionately about social injustices, children's health and education, and diversity.

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