Why do wives of powerful men stand by their men when they stray? This is a question raised by many after the debacles of NY Governor Elliot Spitzer, NJ Governor James McGreevy, President Bill Clinton, Senators, sports figures and others. All have wives that stood by them during their scandals. Most have since remained with their men. Why? The following is an outline of many possibilities. Any combination of these items could be at play with these wives. Here is the short list of possibilities:
1. Fear of loosing their lifestyle, they are bought and paid for, so to speak. Show me the money, honey. I think this is the primary reason. Political wife’s have often bought into the lifestyle and don’t want to loose it.
2. Deep abiding love and feelings of loyalty to their partners.
3. They hope their marriage will get better.
4. They fear being alone, or fear they cannot take care of themselves.
5. Commitment/Comfortable/habitual/enmeshed/connected/obligation – for better or worse.
6. They stay for the children/family unit.
7. They’re needed now; their position is elevated. They live with a person whose shadow is so large they felt insignificant. Now they are needed and important, so they feel elevated by their spouse’s problems.
8. They are simply afraid of change.
9. Leaving would be inconvenient/now would be bad timing.
10. Quilt is another often overlooked factor. These wives know they have not been the wives their husbands needed. Perhaps they withheld affection, or were too busy with their own separate lives. They may feel culpable in driving their husbands to find satisfaction elsewhere.