On Standing by Your Man When He Becomes a Public Disgrace (And Takes You Down With Him) by Kate Nguyen



Standing by your man is easy when he is rich, famous, respected, and gorgeous. Every woman envies you and wants to be you. Sometimes, she even wants your husband. But standing by your husband when he becomes a public disgrace is not so easy. To wit: Georgina Chapman and women in her milieu.

In recent years, a spat of male public figures has suffered tremendous disgrace on account of their past actions and behaviors with women in the workplace and beyond. These men include but are not limited to Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Eliot Spitzer & now deceased Frank Gifford. With the exception of Georgina Chapman who is the now ex-wife of Harvey Weinstein and who bolted from the marriage as soon as the first woman complained that her husband had sexually harassed/assaulted her, each of these women initially stood by her man, and many of them are still with their man.

Is standing by your man after he publicly disgraces himself and you an honorable thing to do? Or is it masochistic and disgraceful? That is the question. Were/are women in these relationships heroes or martyrs? In my rarefied world, standing by your man is honorable but only to a certain extent. I think it is important to be patient and loving and kind and forgiving with your spouse. But I am not so sure I think that men should get a free pass for bad behavior such as cheating. Especially not these days when their cheating could have serious health ramifications for me. Indeed, of all the possible transgressions, including alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, etc, cheating for me is probably going to be a deal-breaker and cheating in such a way as to bring public shame and disgrace not just on himself but on me and our home/house is and will be fatal.

This does imply that I stand in judgment of women like Kathy Lee Gifford or Hillary Clinton for standing by their man. Nor does it mean that I necessarily admire Georgina Chapman for giving Harvey all of 5 minutes before she bolted from the marriage. These women have their own personal standards and limits which is their call to make and theirs alone.

It is simply to say that for me personally? Cheating is a dealbreaker. I can forgive him. But the marriage would be over regardless. Know what I mean?¬† At the same time, what these men like Matt Lauer and Bill Cosby did is more than just cheating, isn’t it? There is cheating, and then there suffering public disgrace because of wrongdoing behind closed doors. This takes it to another level and frankly, anyone who can endure the cheating + the public disgrace that comes with it and remain in the marriage, i.e, “standing by your man” has got to either love this bastard very much or have some other ulterior motive or objective of why she remains in the situation. It can’t be as simple as she loves him.

What is your position on this?