For those of you who may be living under a rock, Schwarzenegger fathered a child (who is now a teenager) with their housekeeper, a woman with whom he carried on an adulterous affair for years. He also gave, what seemed like an unapologetic interview to 60 minutes’ Lesly Stahl during which he seemed to have no guilt over his marital indiscretions–and apparently it was only when he fathered this child- and there was FINALLY LIVING, breathing proof of his behavior- that Shriver took a stand and severed ties with him.
Of course, my immediate thought is, could I ever forgive my husband if he fathered a child with our long-time housekeeper and kept said child and affair from me for years? My first impulse is to say, I don’t think I could ever look at him in the same way. But in the same breath, he is, and will always be, the father of our children; he is an integral part of their DNA, and will therefore in even a marginal way continue to be a part of my world.
I can’t imagine the stress Maria must have faced- especially having to endure her husband’s infidelity under the microscope of paparazzi and just the sheer humiliation of having such a tawdry act perpetrated under her very roof for so many years. She also has four children with Schwarzenegger, and for all intents and purposes has played the role of dutiful mother and wife. She took a back seat to her husband, so that he could fulfill his political aspirations- and even the way she handled the scandal was done with such dignity and grace.
Had it been me- I think I would have been out for blood. But I also know this- kids are a game changer in every sense of the word. That is to say, decisions you might make without hesitation take on a completely new set of rules, once you factor your kids into the situation. Even a marriage holds a different meaning once you reflect on how your union will impact your kids.
None of us can fathom what lies in the heart of a woman whose husband has desecrated the sanctity of their marriage in the vilest of ways- as in the case with Shriver and Schwarzenegger. It is so easy to judge as someone looking in- to say without hesitation that if you were in Shriver’s’ shoes- you too might have turned a blind eye to your husband’s infidelities.
What do you think–did Maria Shriver really allow her estranged husband Arnold Schwarzenegger to keep her in the dark about his extramarital affairs or did she just turn a blind eye?