Monday, May 18, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards -- whose story is it?

Why, the critics of Elizabeth Edwards ask, would she write about her husband's infidelity in her new memoir, "Resilience"? Why would she discuss it with Oprah Winfrey on national television?

They scold her: Hasn't John Edwards put you through enough? Do you have to put yourself through the wringer?

"People feel they have license to tell me how I should have reacted and responded," Edwards told The (Raleigh) News & Observer on Saturday when she held a book-signing at a local bookstore. "This story I'm telling is my own and no one else's, and no one can decide how I should tell it."

So let's try these possible explanations for her very public disclosures:

She needed catharsis. Months of rumors and denials and admissions have caused her immeasurable stress, emotional and physical. Telling her story could lift that from her shoulders.

She needed confession. The chance to describe how she felt and what she thought would, she hoped, put an end to some of the questions about how she has handled her relationship with her husband going forward.

She needed to move on, because she has incurable cancer and feeling rancor about John Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer would not allow her to enjoy every moment she has left of her life.

The story of John Edwards' affair was told -- and continues to be told -- in the most public of arenas in the most repetitive fashion (none of them particularly sensitive to his wife and their children). Elizabeth Edwards is correct -- it is her story to tell. Why shouldn't she have her chance, on her terms?

After all, she (tragically) will not have to live long with the sadness and hurt her husband's affair has caused her, her children, her family.

Only her husband will have the chance to heal that.


Mary said...

I think that if I were close to dying I would let attachments to this culture go. So, I wonder why those who are, don't. Then I think of how fleeting the moments are and wish I could let go now.

Anonymous said...

There is no true and constant gentleness without humility; while we are so fond of ourselves, we are easily offended with others. Let us be persuaded that nothing is due to us, and then nothing will disturb us. Let us often think of our own infirmities,and we shall become indulgent towards those of others.
words from francois de la mothe fenelon

I like these words and they help me not to judge another and their behaviors or take another's behaviors personally. Secure with myself yet knowing I too am very human and make mistakes as well.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe in this time in history women are still taking this crap. Why would Elizabeth Edwards take this or feel she had to put up with this .Kick that loosers ass all the way to the curb .

Anonymous said...

I also had a cheating spouse who went on to have two illegitimate children with his girlfriend. She was three months pregnant with their first daughter when I left him and never looked back. I made another life for myself and my legitimate child in the process. It wasn't always easy and I wasn't in the public scruntiny that Mrs. Edwards finds herself ensnared in so readily. Wonder if anyone would like to pay me a multi-million dollar advance for my story??? I survived the ultimate betrayal on my own and millions of others have too, I'm sure. Not everyone is as forgiving as Mrs. Edwards or Hillary Clinton...