Many have asked me to weigh in on Huma Abedin’s decision to stand by her husband, Anthony Weiner, and it is with great reluctance that I am doing so because the truth be told, I don’t deal with the situations where women decide to stay in a marriage after they find out their husbands have betrayed them. This is not to say it doesn’t happen every single day, but what I am pointing out is that as a divorce attorney, I only see the ones who choose to leave. So, if I personally don’t feel qualified to give an opinion here on what Huma should do, I fail to understand how over 39% of people polled feel qualified to say she should leave. Unless you have walked a mile in her shoes, it is impossible to pass judgment here.
Back in the day, when divorce was seen as the kiss of death, and so many women relied on their husband’s to provide financially for the family, they essentially had to put up with a lot, including not just affairs, but verbal, physical or emotional abuse, total manipulation, alcohol or drug addictions, etc. Thankfully, we have made substantial progress since the 50’s, and not only has the stigma of divorce faded, but women are far more self-sufficient. Most women do work and have some financial resources of their own, making them far more independant than any of our predecessors. And yet, some people honestly believe in those sacred vows “for better or worse, til death do us part.” This now comes down to a personal choice, and one we should all respect.
15 years ago when the Lewinsky scandal broke, I was so immensely disappointed in Hillary Clinton. I wanted her to model for other women just how strong we are, and that we don’t have to put up with crap– even from the President of the United States. The thought that he could chase some intern’s tail while in the Oval Office was so revulting to me that it actually left me speechless when I was introduced to Bill at a private event many years ago. However, over time I mellowed and came to respect the fact that it was Hillary’s call to make.
The love and allegiance that Huma feels towards her husband is something no one else will ever comprehend. To leave is actually easy these days, to stay is far more difficult– especially while under pubic scrutiny, which most people are often spared. How Weiner will be able to rebuild his wife’s trust is a question I cannot answer, and how Huma can forgive him is not a question anyone else needs to worry about, except for Huma. To stand by your man is indeed a viable option, just as it has been for centuries, it is just not one that many of us feel the need to stomach anymore. But no matter what choice we each make for ourselves, we really should be grateful that at least now we have choices.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.