(By Christine Tam Global News)
The sight of Huma Abedin standing next to her husband Anthony Weiner while he admitted to newly-surfaced online sexts with another woman was reminiscent of Hillary Clinton circa 1992, or at the very least a scene out of the television drama The Good Wife.
In U.S. politics, it’s a scene that has played out again and again, a broken record of damaged marriages that includes the Clintons, the Spitzers and the Roosevelts.
But as Abedin shakily assured reporters Tuesday that she had worked through their issues and forgiven her husband, she became the latest politician’s wife to stand by her man.
Most notably, the list includes Clinton, who stood by Bill more than 20 years ago when he admitted to having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Their marriage survived the scandal, but many have not, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s.
Abedin, a personal aide to Clinton, has been reportedly mentored by the former senator and Secretary of State both in her career and personal life, and during Weiner’s 2011 scandal when he admitted to sexting with several women before resigning from Congress.
However, the new sexually-explicit messages and photo released on the gossip website The Dirty allegedly took place about a year after Weiner’s resignation.
“She knew all along, this process, as I was more and more honest with her, I told her everything,” Weiner said.
Abedin echoed her husband’s statement and said supports his bid to become the next mayor of New York City, despite mounting pressure to drop out.
“We discussed all of this before Anthony decided to run for mayor… So really what I want to say is I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward,” she said.
“When we faced this publicly a few years ago, it was the beginning of a time that was very difficult and it took us a very long time to get through it. Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs. It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony,” Abedin said.
Psychologist Dr. Joti Samra said that a wife’s choice to forgive a cheating husband can be greatly influenced when the couple is in the public eye.
“When someone is in the public eye and getting so much scrutiny it’s a completely different situation,” she said. “People can be in a state of shock and that skews the way people are reacting.”
Samra said that when someone is under so much scrutiny, there may be a stronger incentive to show a strong family bond.
“But the reality is that people who are pathological liars engaging in serial behaviour like this, they are very skilled at being able to convince their partner of emotional remorse and regret. He is a professional and has been able to convince his partner to stay,” she said.
Samra said that although Abedin has decided to stay with Weiner, the percentage of couples who can survive a situation where trust has been broken is slim.
“It will be interesting to see what happens when the attention dies down because when fundamental elements like respect and honesty are challenged only a small percentage is able to move on,” she said.
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