Marriage in the News
The news broke on Friday afternoon, the same day as the opening ceremony of the Olympics was to air in the United States. Boy wonder Senator John Edwards lied. He actually did have an affair while his wife Elizabeth battled cancer. Now he had to come clean. Rumors were rampant since this first happened back in 2006, but he adamantly denied them, and Elizabeth stood by his side. After this admission, the pundits are saying that his political career is over. No longer can he hope for the Vice-President seat, or the Attorney General position. John Edwards has had the pedestal knocked out from under him. Oh, wait… didn’t he do this to himself?
No one knows what goes on inside a marriage except for the two people involved. Evidently Elizabeth already knew about the affair, and chose to stay in the marriage. But the American people feel as if John Edwards has cheated on them. He lied. He covered up. He painted a picture of a devoted husband and the reality turned out to be very different.
And yet, McCain committed the very same crime years ago in his first marriage. He cheated on his wife, some say multiple times, before cheating with the much younger and wealthier Cindy, who is now his current wife. And he’s running for President! Does America have a short memory?
What happened with John and Elizabeth is between John and Elizabeth. But people who are in the public eye are subject to the scrutiny of the public. And knowing this, they must hold themselves to the standards that they extol. While I certainly don’t approve of John Edwards’ behavior, I hate to think that we would lose a perfectly qualified Attorney General because of it. Maybe what he has learned from this experience has made him even more right for the position. Each of us has our demons, our shadow, our dark side. But not everyone’s dark side is on display. Whoever does get in will have their own share of demons, that’s just the way it is.
So hopefully this “news” story will teach us a little bit about our own relationships. How our actions affect not just ourselves, and our spouse, but how they reflect on the whole, and have far reaching ramifications.