I’ve been struggling to articulate what I think is a more compassionate and nuanced interpretation of John Edwards’ “extramarital affair” (I hate this descriptor, but I’ll save that for another time). Before I’d fully worked out my own take, I found what I was looking for at Kittywampus. It’s just possible that John McCain’s first marriage was also affected by profound adversity – his time away from his wife and kids while in the US Air Force; the stress of his imprisonment; his wife’s accident and subsequent ill health and disability for instance. If anyone thinks that people whose relationships don’t survive these life changing events are merely superficial, disloyal dogs and if anyone thinks that it’s only women who get “abandoned” by men in such situations, think again.
I’ve seen people go through the kinds of events described by Sungold and it ain’t always inspiring. If you think that the people who come out the other side with stronger relationships are remarkable, that would be correct and does not in itself make the people who don’t make it the biggest asshats in the universe.
UPDATE: Sungold‘s latest post on the political issues surrounding the John Edwards “affair” is up today and, once again, well worth a read
Thanks for the shout-out – but thanks even more for being generous enough to recognize that even John McCain may have had some understandable human motivations in the breakup of his first marriage. As satisfying as it may feel to rag on McCain, I think you’re right that we’d be wiser not to judge him too harshly for that breakup. We can’t know what happened between him and his first wife.
(Of course, that doesn’t explain how he found a second wife rich enough to bankroll his political career, or why he’s nasty enough to call her a c*nt in public, but those are other issues entirely!)
Oh definitely Sungold, I dislike John McCain for many reasons and he is definitely what we used to call a “male chauvinist pig”. I’ve not any compassion for that.