Many of you have asked my opinion on this week’s announcement that cancer-stricken Elizabeth Edwards has left her husband, former presidential candidate John Edwards. I covered this story before, as I found it fascinating why some women choose to stay after infidelity.
The big “fence” question I asked in Blog Post Elizabeth Edwards, A Woman On The Fence, one that high profile women like Hillary Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer’s wife also faced, was
“Why stay in the marriage? Personally, I feel they stayed for many reasons. But, I can only imagine the incredible pull in two directions. To stay with a man who had shared his bed with another woman time and time again, or leave and lose your marriage, and your power and status that has come as a result of being this power couple.
All this leads me up to another big question: Would you stay with a spouse that cheated on you? Let me tell you, depending on who you ask, you would get a multitude of answers.”
Okay. I’m not going to re-report the nitty gritty details. I am sure most of you know that John Edwards formally announced last week that he is the father of this love child. And he even went so far as to ask his former aide to fake a DNA test to cover it all up. But this week, Elizabeth got off the fence. I guess she truly had had enough. This separation seems to mark the last chapter for this couple, who have been plagued by the death of a child, illness and infidelity.
“I’ve had it. I can’t do this. I want my life back,” she said this week. But my question to you is, how DOES she get her life back after something like this? Where do you go from here? Imagine the courage and strength it took her, with life-threatening breast-cancer, to leave him. Imagine the shame when she found out that the man who had promised to stay faithful, had not only cheated, but had fathered a child with another woman. I give her kudos for her braveness in dealing with all of this, all in the public eye.
And now, I’m going to throw something out there, that you that may, or may not agree with. I think a lot of women turn a blind eye on a philandering husband because “what we don’t know can’t hurt us.” Some women simply turn this blind eye, so they can keep on living their cushy lives. Perhaps she left, because once the cat got out of the bag, she felt like she “had” to leave him. Perhaps she felt pressure. Perhaps the same pressure Rihanna felt to leave Chris Brown. The pressure to be a role model to other women living in these situations. To pass on the message that we’re worth it. That as women, we deserve happiness, even of that means being alone. I don’t know… it’s just a thought.
My final point in all this: I wish her well in her journey, with both her physical health and emotional well-being. Her children now a have half sibling, and she has to be there for them too. Elizabeth Edwards is a very courageous and smart woman.
John Edwards, according to one poll last week, is now the most unpopular US politician of modern times, with an approval rating of 15 percent.
What do you think about this whole situation? Why do you think she left him now?