Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How can she stay with him?

Anthony Weiner has been back in the news this past week for yet another cyber-sexting scandal, involving him and a twenty-two year old woman.  He admits that more women may likely come out of the woodwork (roughly six to ten, but not dozens).  We also learned of his chat room alter-ego: Carlos Danger.  These are all internet relationships that took place AFTER his stint in congress was cut short from his last scandal and AFTER he apologized to his wife and claimed he would get help, blah blah blah.  But unlike his last scandal, his wife Huma Abedin was present at the press conference when he announced he would not drop out of the mayoral race. 

It really hurts my heart every time I see the wife quietly standing off to the side while her husband discusses his betrayals to the entire freaking nation-- but for once, that wasn't the case.  Huma spoke at the press conference which I'm sure was incredibly difficult.  It's impossible not to feel major sympathy while listening to her statement.  And even though I respect her reasons for choosing to stay with her husband, I still wonder: how can she stay with him? 

I don't mean to pass judgment.  None of us can truly know what we would decide to do in a similar situation, as much as we'd claim we'd divorce the bastard in a heartbeat.  But seriously, Huma's extremely successful, intelligent, gorgeous, etc. etc.  And young.  This isn't a case of two people who have been together for 20+ years.  It's still hard for me to understand.  So, the obvious reasons to stay:

For the sake of the children. 
Weiner and Abedin have a child together and rumor is, Huma's pregnant again-- (she was pregnant the last time his chat room escapades became public).  Okay, I get it.  Divorce is hard on kids, but so is growing up in a house with parents that are unhappily married.  How genuinely happy can a woman be in a marriage when she always has to wonder if her husband's just up late reading Huffpost or if he's jerking off to some sexually explicit conversation he's having with a trashy twenty-two year old who's just a hop skip and a jump away from calling up People Magazine?

It's not like he was having sex with these women, so he's not really cheating. 
WHAT?  No.  Just no.

She actually doesn't care.  
In other words, their marriage isn't about love as much as it is about political power and taking over the world.  Just like Frank and Claire Underwood in House of Cards, these two spend their evenings smoking cigarettes by the window and plotting about how they're going to make their way into the oval office one day.  Technically, Huma cares about Anthony's indiscretions-- but only because they may have fucked up his chances of becoming the mayor of New York City.   I personally don't believe this theory, because Huma had to know that we live in a nation that would never elect a President Weiner.

She loves him.  
Yes, obviously.  I'm assuming she married him because they were in love.  He may not be the hottest guy, but he's smart and passionate about politics and maybe she was turned on by all those things.  And maybe she was even into his Carlos Danger side too when it applied only to her.  But how often can one person misuse your trust and betray you before it starts getting really really hard to love them and really easy to hate them? 

I can't help but be haunted by what could really be at the crux of the issue.  Women-- no matter how smart or successful they are-- no matter how much of their lives they've spent single before they shack up-- are deep down really really afraid to be alone.   Maybe it's not so much about political gain or love or even the kids, maybe it's just being terrified at the prospect of starting over.  Getting divorced.  Dating again.  Perhaps never finding anything better or accidentally settling down with someone worse.  Public humiliation aside, sometimes it's easier to stay than it is to leave. 

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