Yesterday, as Rep. Weiner announced his resignation from Congress, a discussion started amongst the women in the back office. The topic of this conversation was simple: Should the wife of a disgraced politician stand beside him as he makes The Big Speech?
As you can probably guess, I was arguing that the wife shouldn’t have to stand by her man like in an old country song. That, even if she chooses to stay with her husband and forgive him for his indiscretions, why should she have to stand on the stage and bear the shame of his mistakes?
Basically, I see the confession/resignation/apology as the last duty of a disgraced man, the final indignity that he should have to shoulder alone. Simply put, the wife did nothing wrong, and her standing beside him appears to me like she is absorbing–if not some of the blame–some of the shame. So there is no reason that anyone should judge her, her future intentions about her marriage or her feelings about the situation from her absence.
One of my co-workers fell on the other side. She didn’t believe that you could show that the “family was standing behind him,” if the wife didn’t pull a Silda Spitzer and stand near the podium displaying a united front. She felt that it was essential to both of their public images that they show the world that they are weathering the storm together.
So what do you ladies think: Should the wife take her place on the stage to publicly show her commitment or should she let him stand alone and deal with their issues privately?
And if I could have a follow up: Do you judge the wive who aren’t there or conversely, do you judge the wives who are?