Archive for May 4, 2010

The “Good” Wife, What is That

     One of my favorite actresses has been all over the tabloids about the infidelities in her marriage, well really that of her wandering husband who has been cheating with several women.   Sandra Bullock has had her name splattered in headlines all over the place because of her husband’s philandering with skeeves that consciously chose to disregard her union and slept with her husband.   Well, while her name was being spewed from the tongues of many, she went about her business, keeping hush about her plan of attack (or not attack.).  I love that about her, we share the same birthday as a matter of fact born under Leo, the fact that she did not succumb to the pressures of the media, the public and whomever else had an opinion about matters of her heart.  Although she ultimately decided to divorce him when it was all said and done, I believe her decision had nothing to do with what everyone else thought she should do.  On the contrary, the lioness has her own will, she does not take too kindly to anyone else trying to lead her or influence her when it comes to handling her own business. 

     For many, a cheating man is a deal breaker while for others they conveniently turn a blind eye, what we lawyers call “willful blindness”.   Eldren decided to open her marriage woes up to the public, which in the end broke the deal for Tiger, while Sandra (like many paramours of politicians do) chose to lament in private.   Either way, I think it is important that we choose to do what is in our hearts.  I do not condone cheating, but I will say that when my SO asked me what would be a deal breaker for us, the first thing that rolled off my lips had nothing to do with him straying from home.  He does understand how I feel about cheating however, but it has more to do with my disdain for lying and deception than anything else.   And choosing to stay with a man, or woman for that matter, after finding out about that were cheating is a personal choice.   There are some inherent cultural, religious and spiritual convictions that are factored into the choice, something I believe should be respected from outsiders.   Not to mention, what works for one couple may not work for another and so to state that there is an implicit rule is asinine.

      To many, a woman who chooses to stay is an indication of low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, desperation, etc. and although there are instances where that may be the case, the reality is that it is still her decision to make.  I have been practising matrimonial law for almost a decade now and I tell you, more often than not, the women who files for divorce because of her husband’s cheating only do so after the cheating has interrupted their family structure or dynamics in some way.  In other words, many of these women tell me that they knew or had some suspicion that their husband was “stepping out” and that they could handle that.  The problem became unbearable once the cheating led to a long-term affair, bore a child outside of the marriage or something to that degree.   The bottom line is they cherished what they were getting from the union, appreciated the vows they took or merely did not feel remiss because of the creeping.   I never judge, I understand that how a man makes a woman feel is paramount to sustaining a nurturing marriage, and to some this is regardless of him sharing this feeling with another.  

     I don’t know if a “good” wife sits by and lets her man “sow his wild oats” while she stays at home and waits patiently.  Again, that is left to the wife to decide.  I do know that it irks me when someone else has a strong opinion about another’s relationship, I don’t care who it is.  My friends all understand that while I appreciate their input, at the end of the day the decision is mine to make.  As I remind them regularly, there are things in the next relationship that we may insist we cannot or will not tolerate, but we cannot be too sure until we are in that position which rarely happens because we are all different.  I only care about my friends’ happiness, so if they choose to stay while their spirit is dying or their self-esteem is diminishing then I may intervene but otherwise it is my full support they get.  Black love is complicated enough without all the input from external forces, we don’t need to compound the issues with our prejudicial and pejorative comments.