While I'm sitting in the sports bar at National (I missed my flight), all of the news reports of course turn to John Edwards and his affair. Blogs and news stories are reporting it from different angles. Is Edwards' political career over? Should he have ran for President knowing this could come out? Was Elizabeth responsible for not being open about this? Why didn't the media cover this story earlier? And generally I have a weird curiosity in stories like this, because I like to see how people react. I like to see what form gender stereotypes take on. I'm interested to see if people believe this should or could play a role in the cheater's future political prospects, or if it should even matter. I'm fascinated by the sheer number of male politicians that somehow believe they can get away with cheating on a spouse.
I'm also interested in the fact that you do not hear stories like this about women elected to office. Is this because women do not behave this way? Or is it because if word got out it would be too scandalous - women seem to be judged more harshly when it comes to sex than their male counterparts ever are.
Or does it stem directly to why men and women run for office? I believe there are differing reasons for people to decide to throw their hat into the ring. There seems to be an inherent sense of entitlement in men who run for office, vs. many women who are upset about a particular issue and may need to be asked to run for office. Because of this, male candidates are better prepared by life to have an affair while in politics, whereas women really don't feel that way.
A story like this tends to hit me in the way it plays out politically...until now.
And I'd like to preface my thoughts on Edwards being a lousy cheater with the fact that I do have a strong political mind that is not completely addled by wedding planning. However, this episode has hit me on a deeply personal way. John Edwards has portrayed himself as the quintessential nice guy, the family man, the reliable and steady candidate. This just seems so out of character, and that is what truly scares me.
Groom is wonderful, and I've not seen any cheater tendencies since I have known him. We were pals before he and I started dating, and he had another girlfriend, who I never saw him cheat on, despite their long distance relationship. But every time a story comes out about someone famous who cheats, you read about someone who says "you don't know what it is like in that marriage." I never understood this. Do some people get married under different rules? I feel like being faithful is a fairly big portion of being in a long term relationship.
The fact that Groom and I are choosing to commit to each other is a huge leap of faith. I won't speak for him but I find myself reaffirming my faith in him fairly often. Its little things that remind me why I want to be with him alone, and I hope that carries us through our marriage. It's a pretty big deal when I sit down and think about it. I'm sure we will have difficulties in our future, but I hope that we are able to find better solutions to them than to act like so many of our elected male leaders.
SO here's to you, Mr. Cheating Candidates. Thanks for reminding me that you don't know what goes on in someone else's marriage. I know that mine won't be like yours.