There's a lot of finger wagging going on these days in the news. There's Weiner of the weenie tweets. Then there's DSK, the French politico and IMF leader who is accused of strong-arming a hotel maid into oral sex. There's Arnold and his love child. And let's not forget John Edwards being indicted on charges that he used campaign finances to hide his affair with an aide while his wife was sick with cancer. Morality has never been the strong suit of politicians (at least as far as their personal lives are concerned), but, guys, can't you at least stop lying about it?
Chances are good that Huma didn't know that her husband of less than a year had been texting lewd photos of himself to at least six different women. But did Maria really have no inkling of the guvernator's attitude of entitlement about women? Didn't it occur to her to call a few of those women who claimed years ago they had been groped by Arnold? Does DSK's third wife, the heiress Anne, really believe her husband's alleged brutal treatment of women is sexy?
While men may feel their power protects them when they dominate women who are "beneath" them, like housekeepers and hotel maids, or who look for a rush in the thrill of inappropriate relationships, don't we women know, at least subconsciously, when something is off at home? Don't we feel a knot in our guts? Doesn't our intuition give off warning pings that we simply ignore?
I'm not dumping on Huma, Anne or Maria. I'm simply pointing out that as women we are supposedly the gender more in tune with our intuition. When we learn to pay attention to the little twitches and whispers of our internal "knowing," when we bring truth to the table in our relationships, when we stop making excuses -- both for the men in our life and for our own acquiescence in their behavior -- we will be stronger, healthier, and ultimately happier.
Whatever your husband or partner has done, you do not have to share his shame. You don't have to "stand by your man," as Anne did walking hand in hand with her husband into court for his arraignment in much the same way as Silda stood by former Governor Eliot Spitzer. You can, like Huma, in the early months of pregnancy, let him cry alone as he admits his lies and bears the responsibility for his foibles. You can insist he get therapy, or that you both attend couples therapy. Like Huma's boss and friend, Hillary Clinton, perhaps you can get past your husband's "problem" and salvage your marriage, or you can decide, like Maria, that enough is enough and move on.
At some level, we know when our partner is being unfaithful. We may be all right with an "open" marriage, or it may simply be a lie we're telling ourselves. We may think we're doing the right thing by ignoring that internal prodding that says our trust is being betrayed. We may tell ourselves we're staying to protect our children, our financial security, our image. We may think that denial is safer than the truth. But it isn't. Lying to ourselves diminishes us. The lies we tell ourselves can block and distort the free flow of energy in our body, can weigh us down as we keep burying the truth under whatever is in the fridge or in the medicine cabinet, can keep us from living our own best potential.
Don't be afraid of rocking the boat. Believe in yourself, believe in what you feel, what you sense, what your body is telling you. And there will be no shame on you.
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