Taking Sides (Arnold and Maria)

So much has already been said about Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Maria Shriver’s marriage and his “love child” that I thought I wouldn’t bother to comment.  I changed my mind.  Why?  Because I was enjoying the high-note finale of the Oprah Winfrey show (*sniff, sniff…I’m going to miss Lady O*) — only to see a subsequent broadcast with more news about Arnold’s low note and how many people are impacted.

Thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation where a man who promised — before God, state authorities, family and friends — to be true to me decided to screw, in my home, a woman who was roaming through my life every day acting like she’s one of the family.  With equal thanks I can say that no man has brought a child to my attention —  at least not a child who was made after I agreed to join my life with his.

Thanks, Arnold.

Why am I thanking him?  Because he made me count my blessings that I’m not in her shoes.  She has much to be grateful for in that she has family and friends who love, admire, respect and will support her through this betrayal but I’m willing to bet that, like any other person who has faced public humiliation, aside from that support, she’s not feeling all that thankful right about now.

I’m sure there are some men out there who will think that I and other women are ‘taking sides’; I’m not automatically taking Maria Shriver’s ‘side’ because she’s a woman (or a Democrat or a Kennedy for that matter).   All I’m saying is that I feel bad for her — just as I would feel sorry for anyone who is publicly humiliated and is now facing the fact that the person with whom she has shared her life and given her love is a shady liar and a hypocrite.  I know that many things aren’t simple, especially when talking about human behaviour and relationships.  In a marriage — as in any relationship — it takes two to make it work because both sides have to contribute to the well-being of the relationship.  I’m sure most people don’t want to spend time wondering if the person at their side is shady, double-talking, evasive and or well-intentioned.  That said, some things should be just between the people involved — and it’s pretty difficult to work your stuff out when the other half of your relationship publicly humiliates you.  

I’m on the outside of that situation but it doesn’t mean that I can’t see him as triffling.  I get annoyed, in particular, by people who are in positions to set public policy that say one thing and push their beliefs on other people but those policies don’t reflect how they’re living.   I guess rules are for everyone else when you’re a hypocrite.  A guy who has set policy based on all of his talk about preserving the ‘sanctity of marriage’ proves himself of unworthy of having a say in the matter when he is neither preserving his own marriage nor looking out for the feelings of his own children.  Nothing says ‘I respect my marriage’ more than groping women on movie sets and having a surprise child.

Thanks, Arnold, for exposing the fear that many people (women AND men) have:  placing complete trust in some folks is not for the faint of heart.