Friday, July 3, 2009

Jenny Sanford: My Hero No More

by Pat Brown

I am thoroughly depressed today. I was planning to write this rousing tribute to Jenny Sanford, wife of philandering South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and now she has gone and joined the League of Stand By Your Scumbag Husband while He Treats You Like a Dog political wives and she has let American women down.

Just a day ago, women all across the country were cheering that FINALLY, a wife of a cheating politician didn't stand humiliated by his side at his press conference while he told the world he screwed another woman and that he valued his affair over his wife and family.

Then women applauded Jenny Sanford for throwing the bum out. She appeared to have taken a stand that this woman wasn't going to just allow the creep to come right home and pretend nothing happened.

Finally, and best of all, women were thrilled that Jenny Sanford stated, "His career is not my concern." Hurrah! Yes, why should she care about his career when Sanford could care less about his wife and children's happiness?

Then, fast forward a few days. Jenny Sanford has reneged on her statements and has now taken her place by her no-good husband's side and this was after he confessed not only to supposedly have fallen in love with another woman, but to being a serial cheater and big fat lying dog. Worse, not only has she let the buzzard right back into her life (he is joining her on vacation in Florida to "work on their marriage"), she is politely encouraging the citizens of South Carolina to follow her cue and forgive their Sanford and allow him to stay in office. Jenny Sanford has proven to be just as wimpy as the other political wives, albeit it took her a few days to get over being mad.

Before one thinks me too harsh on Ms. Sanford, let me say I understand she is in a tough position. I understand, believe me. But tough positions do not mean we are to compromise our standards, our morals, our dignity; that's what standards are for, especially Christian standards, to continue to be our standards when life gets tough. That is why a marriage vow means until death do us part, not until we get the hots for someone else.

was married with four children but that didn't stop her from jumping into bed with him. And, in spite of the fact she was "in love" with the governor, she was sleeping with another man who had no clue she was two-timing him. What a treasure this woman is! She has as little character as her American bed mate.

I have launched into this tirade for a number of reasons: one is to show women how little respect they have for themselves and for each other and two, to show how the act of adultery has been reduced to a "victimless crime" making marriage a completely meaningless institution. Women seem to not understand that marriage no longer offers any protection and no-fault divorce means your husband can dump you as fast as a man can snap a twig in a primitive village and not have to take care of you or your hut any more.

This might not be a problem if all women received the same pay and career opportunities as men and they didn't set their careers back twenty years taking care of kids. But, the fact is, women still lag behind men in earning potential and many are still full-time caretakers of children. They ought to receive some protection through marriage as they end up in a risky position economically if their husbands leave them. Long time homemakers who are dumped during the husband's midlife crisis are particularly in trouble as getting hired later in life with a limited career history is extremely difficult.

Women in this country have regressed to competing with each other to be men's temporary possessions. Perfectly intelligent women, women with education and careers, are fighting each other for male attention. Maria didn't fall in love with Sanford; she got a massive ego boost by "getting" an American governor and having him say she was so much better than his wife (and all cheating men say this kind of crap). Even second wives - innocent of being involved with their husband during his first marriage - fall for this ego massage: "You are so much better than my first wife." Yet the fact that he was an adulterer doesn't make her question his character or his veracity because she gets to be the "winner." She is the chosen one.

Sadly, women have been pitted against each other, fighting over some dog who should be kicked to the curb. Why? Because adultery is no longer a crime in this country. Adultery has no penalty. In spite of the fact that the man (and I am not saying women are not guilty of this, but I am speaking out for women in this post and the incidence of men cheating is much, much higher than women) has broken his marriage vows, crushed his wife's heart, destroyed his family, and, perhaps, physically damaged his wife with sexually transmitted diseases (maybe even killed her), adultery is now considered a private matter between two people.

Wrong. It is a societal issue. It is not a victimless crime. Before marriage, a cheating boyfriend is one matter. A woman has the option to not sleep with a man before marriage. There is no family to break up. He has taken no vows before God and community nor has he signed any papers. But, after marriage, the wife, the husband, the children, the in-laws, and the community all have a stake in the preservation and health of the family unit. And the woman, if she gives up career for children, must not be left economically bereft after two or three decades of marriage. This is why there used to be alimony and divorce used to require fault.

Essentially, adultery used to be a crime. You might have gotten an A on your forehead, taken to jail, lost your job because of it, lost your standing in the community, or you got nailed with twenty years of supporting the wife you left with court mandated alimony. Of course, we must not forget that laws against adultery were originally made by men who considered their wives property and the adultery laws were levied against women, not their unfaithful husbands. However, at least in the recent American past, there was a time when the law was fair to both spouses and adultery held some real consequences for the cheater. Remember the song, "It's Cheaper to Keep Her"? Well, it was and now it isn't.

Now adultery is just an unfortunate result of someone's "dissatisfaction" with married life. Adultery is often not even considered all that wrong. When a mate cheats, the victimized partner hears, "There are two sides to every story. There must have been other problems in the marriage that led to the cheating." The victim is blamed for the mate's philandering. Rarely is adultery considered a character flaw or a sin or a criminal act. Thus, the cheater isn't penalized any more. In fact, he is often pitied for having "suffered" in his marriage with the troublesome wife for so long and feted when he beds new women, gets new girlfriends, and remarries. The ex-wife, if she speaks the truth and stands up against what has been stolen from her. is considered a "bitter psycho ex" who, for Christ sake, should move on with her life and find herself a new man. He plays, she pays.

Families are disintegrating in this new paradigm; children are being forced to live with umpteen new "mothers" and "fathers" and stuck between rivals, having to celebrate occasions by picking one parent or the other to attend, and losing the comfort and joy of a family - one cohesive family.

Women are acting more like chimpanzees attempting to get the attention of the alpha males than decent women searching for honorable companions.

Young women are being left caring alone for young children and are bringing in boyfriends who molest and abuse them.

Older women are left alone without male companionship in their later years bearing out the joke "The odds of an older woman getting remarried is about the same as getting killed by terrorists."

Jenny Sanford is supposed to be a Christian. She acted like one for a few days. She appeared to hold her husband to the standards of God and decency. I am not saying that she cannot forgive her husband for his transgressions; she can when he is fully repentant and proven himself to be worthy of returning to the family. She should never allow him back into the home until he has proven himself humbled and changed. She should not be telling the people of South Carolina to give him a second chance. She should have stated that Sanford should resign as he does not deserve the position of governor any longer.

When women have no respect for themselves, each other, and any standards of behavior, they bring all females down just as badly as the cheating men. If we are going to let them do it to us and get away with it, we deserve what we get and men will respect us even less in the future.

Each time females accept this treatment and mistreat each other, we lower ourselves. We set a bad precedent for our daughters and insult the struggle for human rights that women across the world are desperately fighting for. Shame on us all.

31 comments:

Cheryl said...

I know we're suppose to comment on the story but I had to just say Pat, love your new picture. I think everyone needs to update and put current ones in here.

Pat Brown said...

Well, thank you, Cheryl! But let me tell you, headshots are not as easy to update as you would think! Took me years to get around to it, and find a good photographer and make-up artist. This one will probably be around to long as well!

Leah said...

I try not to judge these women because I am not sure how I'd react if I had many years invested in my marriage and had children still at home. But, I have to say that it made me sick to read that this pathetic POS actually asked Jenny for permission to go to Argentina and visit the $%$@%$%. How callous is that, not to mention selfish, etc. I don't know how Jenny can stand to look at him, much less try and make their marriage work. I know I wouldn't be able to after being treated so disrespectfully. She has to know that he isn't back with her because he loves her and has finally come to his senses.

Pat Brown said...

I agree that Jenny has difficult decisions to make and this is her husband of many years and she has children at home.

However, she originally took a stand and booted him out and stated his career was his own affair. She could have offered him a chance, privately, to get back with her and the children after he received counseling and made ammends and proven himself to be repentent and remorseful. He does not need to return to the family home or go on vacation with her; he should maintain a private residence and work his way back into her good graces if this at all possible.

But now he is back with her (even if only for vacation) and she is helping him with his political career already. Maybe she wants to keep her First Lady position.

Leah said...

I agree with you Pat. He needs to work and earn his way back into her life. Otherwise, he'll just take advantage of her again.

FleaStiff said...

I realize that when marital fidelity issues arise suddenly there can be great stress and this may make it necessary for thought to be given to one's course of action. If the issue arises amongst those "in the public eye" it can be even more difficult.

We often try to hold politicians to some awkwardly archaic standard of morality. The moniker "condom Condit" was known amongst the press but not utilized until he emerged on the periphery of a case involving a missing woman. There were no condemnations of his private life or his wife's tolerance of it until the feeding frenzy started.

As to the 'Stand by you man' it is a phrase with different meanings. A wife who stands by her man during all pre-trial ordeals and during a trial but files for divorce the day after the jury returns its verdict clearly has behaved in a manner consisted with her views regarding her duty. Is it really proper for us to try to impose our views on her? Its best to let the woman sort out her priorities without interference from those who do not have all the facts and who will not be bearing the brunt of the decisions that are made.

Some wives pretend ignorance for financial reasons and some for emotional reasons. Some wives pretend ignorance until such time as they feel their children can adequately cope with the upheaval of a divorce. Some wives welcome the relief that a mistress provides and welcome the mistress and maintain a social relationship with her.

Sociologists once declared that men have affairs because they can. Now that women are in a social and economic situation where they too can have affairs sociologists find that women are also exercising the freedoms that they have. Couples often differ on a great many issues, one of them may be the precise meanings of fidelity. Obviously the man who is emotionally upset when his mistress calls him and tells him she wants to have other lovers is somewhat confused when he declares that "fidelity is very important to him". Many men when asked if they are married will frankly respond that their wives are married but they are not. Need we be surprized if a woman declares that her husband is married but she is not?

Whatever values people have we usually accord a good measure of privacy to the marital bedroom.

Some couples agree in advance to have an open marriage but later differ as to just how open it should be. Some couples expect an out of town trip to involve finding a temporary substitute in the hotel bar. Some women who have busy schedules involving auditions or film shoots make use of an "out of town girl", a woman who shows up and takes care of her husbands needs when she is out of town but avoids any negative repercussions in the tabloids. With some hotels now offering bondage tape as part of an intimacy kit it is difficult to say that certain practices are as rare as the newspapers seem to think.

It is difficult to let spouses sort out their own problems; too many people advocate for immediate draconian responses. We used to value the institution of marriage so highly, we now devalue it by imposing some arbitrary and rather lofty standard of behavior saying that a woman must immediately denounce a straying husband. Well, what is this massive need to impose "proper behavior" on other peoples marriages.

Pat Brown said...

Marriage is a contract with each other and with society; THIS is why it should not be broken. If one wants to have multiple partners and freedom, don't marry.

But, to make a promise and have many people invest in that promise means it should not be broken for some selfish whim.

A mate makes a great investment in a marriage. They refuse other opportunities, put all their time and effort into building the success of their mate (or they should do that along with building their own success and vice versa), they build relationships with their in-laws and invest in them as well, they build a family with the children, and make plans for their future when the children are grown.

Suddenly, the mate walks off and either destroys the success they have built or steals it. The honest mate loses all the years of effort, loses the relationships with the in-laws, loses the family togetherness, and loses the future.

Meanwhile, society takes a hit with screwed up children, increased economic costs as broken families require more residences, more services, more jobs, etc. The community ends up with warring residents, people taking sides with one spouse or the other. What a mess! How can anyone not see the damage that divorce, especially one born of infidelity, causes?

Yvette Kelly said...

Dear Pat
I agree with every single thing in your post.Men always cover up for each other with things like this.What do women do?Steal each other's husbands.The sooner we stick together and respect each other the sooner things like this would end.Men are a dime a dozen,do we really need to be picking up the ones with families.Come on!!!

Delilah said...

If he will cheat on his wife, he will, or already has lied. He is an elected official, elected to serve the people of the state of South Carolina, and has chosen to lie about where he was and what he was doing, putting the governing of the state on the back burner.

I would have loved to see one political wife stand up and not be influenced by the "political machine" to take back her cheating, lying husband for the sake of his political career.

Whatever this couple does to mend their fences is their business, however, what state wants a liar and a cheater for governor? The damage control shell game has already started!

FleaStiff said...

Prior to No Fault Divorce people would complain that the marriage contract is the only contract the law enforces when niether party wants it enforced.
We seem to have the same views still lingering. The diet doctor didn't like being discarded for a youger woman? Maybe she just didn't like the return on her investment?
If one chooses a business partner who turns out to be a thief does the law force you to stay with him?

cheryl said...

I think you got it wrong Flea. It wasn't the "diet doctor" who was discarded for a younger woman. It was his mistress who was discarded.

Good grief. Are you on the sauce Flea?

Pat Brown said...

I am not opposed to divorce, Fleastiff, just that there be grounds for it and that marriage be considered such a valuable institution, it not be taken lightly.

For example, I see women dating men who are "separated." Separated? This merely means the couple is married but not living together. But, already women move in. How sad is that? Not only is that disrespectful to a wife who may be desperately trying to save her family, save her children's happiness, but these women also set themselves up for a fall as they are usually just going to be what is now called a "transitional relationship" (read: used for getting over the last relationship and it involves sex from the get-go or it ain't happening).

So while one woman is trying to save her marriage, her unfaithful partner has no problem with women lining up to screw him, hoping they will go from transitional to permanent.

Isn't all of this pitiful?

If all women refused sex unless they were in committed relationships, a lot of this nonsense and adultery would stop. Maria wouldnt have put out for the Governor and he wouldn't be able to get any except from hookers. Men wouldn't leave their wives so easily because they would worry that their sex lives would come to a standstill. But, as it is now, women will jump into bed with their friend's boyfriend's, other people's husbands, and pretty much any guy who buys them dinner and a drink (okay, maybe just two drinks, no dinner). We are so cheap, we might as well be called hos.

Anonymous said...

Here is audio of jenny sanford talking about silda spitzers reaction to her husband's infidelity...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu0-i0OxhME

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu0-i0OxhME

linkified

Mary O'Grady said...

What I do not understand is how any woman could carry on with a married man. If a man who is married is having an affair with you, he is cheating. Cheating on his wife. That makes him a cheater. (Do I make myself clear?) Morality aside, if you let a proven cheater into your life, you have no assurance that he will not someday cheat on you.

Pat Brown said...

Mary,

I think this relates back to the issue of women competing for men; they actually believe if they "win" this makes them superior. Odd, because if you HAVE to compete for some cheater, one would think being that prize wouldn't exactly be so great; it should be humiliating.

If I have to steal a man away from another woman, then he isn't worth stealing and I am nothing but a criminal.

BTW,anonymous, interesting clip. It seems Jenny Sanford hemmed and hawed over that answer, not wanting to commit herself to anything.

Mary O'Grady said...

I agree with you absolutely, Pat Brown. Women should not be competing with each other for men; I think women should show solidarity with each other and respect each others' marriages and committed relationships.

Pat Brown said...

Amen. Couldn't have said it better, Mary.

Anonymous said...

Pat,
I'd really like to get a little background on this so I can appreciate your point of view. Are you now or have you ever been married? Once only or more than once? Any children?

Pat Brown said...

Heh,

Yes, I am biased.

Married twenty-five years, divorced five, three children. Parents still married turning ninety.

To me, spouses should be a lot like children. You choose to have them; even better, you get to know them before you choose to have them. If they don't turn out perfect or share every hobby, you love them anyway because you are sharing a journey together and helping each other through trials and tribulations. At least, that is what families are supposed to be like and married couples as well.

FleaStiff said...

Separated means they are living apart?
Separated more often means they have not seen their wife since breakfast-time, they are now in a bar talking to some younger woman and therefore they are saying they are separated because they know that they are likely to get what they want prior to her finding out there is a wife.

Pat Brown said...

Ex NFL football player Steve McNair found shot to death in a rented pad with his twenty-year old honey in a suspected murder/suicide.

Adultery, a vicimless crime? Ask McNair's wife and children.

anduliina01 said...

pat,
its great to believe that marriage should be worked on to try to save it. what happens if the party who cheated just does not want to change? or if he expects to be forgiven and you just can't? Because why are you still here if you are not happy with me? i don't like divorce either, but rather than having my son and daughter grow up thinking its ok to cheat or be cheated on i decided to stay sane. being with their father would have driven me insane. Six years later we are still fighting and arguing(yes our divorce was finalized 6 years ago) about our children and him not wishing to participate in supporting the kids. sometimes divorce is the only way to disconnect oneself from the swirling hurricane or a speeding train headed at a brick wall at full speed.

Pat Brown said...

anduliina, apparently you did not actually read my post or comnments very well.

I didn't say someone shouldn't get divorced from an an adulterer or an abuser. I was speaking to the adulter and abuser being allowed to simple run over his mate and family or divorce without any repercussions.

Aliina's Stories said...

yes i did read your post. and i did understand the comments. what i am saying is that is the only way those reprecussions matter is if the cheater/abuser realizes they were wrong. Now i don't know about you but i don't know many of them who do. most of them find a way to make it someone else's fault. Many of them will just create a story thar makes them look and feel good about themselves. i agree with us women not having enough respect for ourselves, mostly because when the cheater returns they almost always find a way to imply it was caused by us not being attentive enough, or not satifying them enough.

Pat Brown said...

Well, that would be wonderful if all adulters realized the errors of their ways, but most will, as you say, justify their actions.

I might not be nearly so disgusted with Mark Sanford's behavior IF he hadn't said he had crossed the line previous to his "falling in love" with Maria. His words clearly show "love" didn't just surprise him as he claims, but that he was out catting around looking for trouble.

But, society can have repercussions for those who still are arrogant and unrepetent. Madoff is in prison where his theiving butt belongs. Sanford should be stripped of his position with no time wasted. I always thought Bill Clinton should have been thrown out of office, not only for being an adulterer, but having so little intelligence that he would put himself at such risk for being caught and could easily be blackmailed.

If society and courts backed the victims of crimes, we would not have so many of them.

Anonymous said...

My mother's interests were money and married men and she managed to get 2 of her husbands to divorce their wife and marry her! She is the most incredible malignant narcissist one could ever dread to meet and in my opinion that is the crux of this cheating issue: narcissism. For narcissists who cheat, they are nearly always serial cheaters, as we found was the case with Gov. Sanford.

My mother did get her comeuppance when at my (2nd) stepfather's 50th highschool reunion an alumnus approached her and asked, "Do you think Barney's first wife will show up tonight?" "Why would JoAnn come to Barney's reunion?, asked La Diabla. She didn't attend Shortridge High School."
"Ha, ha, ha," chortled the Alumnus, JoAnn WASN'T Barney's FIRST WIFE!!"

In fact, she found out that not only was she NOT her husband's 2nd wife, she found out she wasn't his THIRD either. Yep, number FOUR!! You can believe her learning she wasn't the "special" woman after all but one of "a few" did not please her.

Though I believe a person can cheat w/out being a narcissist, a serial cheater is always an "N".

Pat Brown said...

I agree with your analysis!

Leah said...

What gets to me is these women that say "But, I believe in marriage" when you ask them why they don't just leave. What they need to believe in is themselves!

Pat Brown said...

Well put, Leah.

FleaStiff said...

Gee, I don't know. I guess I'm confused.
On Wall Street it seems Greed is Good, but apparently its not okay to be a greedy gold digger who wrecks a marriage, however it is okay for a wife whose husband has cheated on her to be greedy and get a divorce lawyer who will take him for all he's got.