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RH would not be a suitable mate for JRE, even if he were single.

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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:22 AM
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RH would not be a suitable mate for JRE, even if he were single.
Now that I have a donor star, I can post in communities, and say what is on my mind, right here, about the whole sorry JRE affair mess, without being drowned out by people who have already made up their mind and refuse to listen to anything else. (Employing that good old discussion-stopping line, "Poor guy; he tripped and his d!c# landed in her" and many variations thereof...)

I have, of course, been aided by many recent good sources having to do with the Sanford affair, the "marriage is hard work" mentality, and the nature of love and passion itself. (Thank you, especially, Amanda from Pandagon.)

Here goes...

JRE is probably watching the whole Mark Sanford mess and thinking to himself: "OK... now what? I could talk about how I feel about all of this, but this other guy is making it very difficult for me. If I try to say anything, people are going to react the same way to me as they are to him... meaning nothing productive is ever going to come of it. Best to stay silent, and save my point of view for those who are really in a position to listen and understand.
... BUT... I'm glad he's making a fool of himself, and I'm not."

That's something that those who are clamoring for JRE to mea culpa are missing.
He doesn't want to say anything that would make him look like another Sanford, Ensign, or Newt... because he is NOT them, even though plenty are saying he is, and that's without his input; so he's not giving his detractors any more ammo if he can help it.
He knows damn well that trying to put his complicated feelings into words is going to be ill-received, except for a VERY small subset of people.

Here's a good thread on DailyKos about love and marriage as relates to the Sanfords. It gives a long-overdue, well-deserved rip into our "soul mate" ideals for love, and how it not only sets up unrealistic expectations of relationships, it takes a lot of joy out of marriages that do work:

Anecdotal tales of all of the happy silver and gold anniversary marriages you know about are all well and good, but when it comes down to it, most people just settle and put large areas of their emotional potential on ice with occasional eruptions clouded in lies and recriminations.

You can't show me a picture of the Edwardses together and convince me that their marriage was all a sham, or just to look good on camera. There was plenty of love and affection there, and always has been.
What's always been most baffling to me about the affair was that JRE gave very little sign he was feeling love or passion for anyone but his wife, even right in the middle of it. Maybe the absence of EE by his side during a lot of functions in late '06 and early '07, in retrospect, was a clue; but a clue that would have been too subtle for most of us to pick up on and/or easily explained by other reasons for her absence.

Life with limited passion is a life unfulfilled. Love is not limited by anything (though no small things) but time and fear.

RH presented herself as the true soul-mate of JRE. She played the one-true-soulmate line, and offered JRE a promise of passion and ecstasy. She was very careful to display herself as the true arbiter of that ecstasy; and paint Elizabeth as someone JRE was staying with out of duty, but had long since lost real passion for. She repeated herself enough, spoke with enough certitude, and backed it up with enough bedcraft; that eventually he came to believe it, even if temporarily.
She also backed it up with a free and easy manner. The marriage-is-hard-work meme can be incredibly draining for long-term couples. It goes double for those marriages/partnerships where one of them is ill. The feeling of fun is probably much more important to love than we think; it may be what matters the most in those early days of romantic courtship, before the kids, bills and responsibilities come-- even more than sex.

John and Elizabeth had been very good at keeping a sense of fun and ease through all the work of raising kids, building a career, and running for office. Even the death of their son couldn't derail them longer than a few months.
But EE's illness affected the integrity of the marriage itself. And JRE couldn't deal, on some fundamental level. He probably started, for the first time, to think of his marriage in terms of drudgerous, dogged determination to get by day by day. Exactly the kind of mentality that saps the joy from love relationships.

Enter RH. Promising everything JRE was missing, and more. Presenting herself as the missing piece in his life. Drawing from our conventional wisdom about love and marriage, that says any relationship that's not constant passion and ecstasy is not worth engaging in.
JRE, tragically, took the bait. Ignoring everything he knew about what kind of person she was. Ignoring the fact that he did not love her. Ignoring, most of all, the cost to the rest of his life.
Because what he was after was not another woman, or even necessarily sex. What he wanted was, arguably, something that IS worth giving your all for: another taste of that ecstasy. Something he feared the cancer would take from his wife permanently, in a way that not even the death of their son did. Something he feared he may never experience again... so when a person comes along who gives you that feeling, that glimpse into true passion, you'd be a fool not to take that chance.

But the problem is, in RH's case, that ecstasy she promised was not a sustainable thing. It was a hook to reel JRE and bind him to her. She cruelly took advantage of the yearning we ALL have for ecstasy.
She could have offered her love and support in a moral way, as a trusted confidante and supporter. She could have even had the imagination to impart her love of ecstasy as something John and Elizabeth could both use. But she chose to indulge her selfish desires, to take her piece of joy from the Edwards marriage; by doing so leaving no more for the rest of us.

And that's what makes her unsuitable as JRE's mate, even after Elizabeth. She hasn't the morals nor the capacity for real love that he would need. Someone who genuinely cares about you does what's right for you, acts with your best interests at heart... they do NOT induce you to do self-destructive things in the name of passion. (What do you want to bet that she convinced him that having the affair was, indeed, in the name of his "best interests"?)

Say he had waited until after Elizabeth was gone, to get romantically involved with RH? I see it as almost identical to Paul McCartney's situation. He, too, lost a wife to cancer whom he'd deeply loved. (Eerily, both Linda McCartney and Elizabeth had breast cancer!) He, too, fell head-over-heels for a woman promising great passion and a more joyful, vibrant, ecstatic life. She even held herself out as some kind of authority on holistic well-being, just like RH-- penning a book called Life Balance: The Essential Keys To A Lifetime Of Wellbeing.

But we know how that ended: Heather Mills quickly became bored with Paul, spread rumors about his character, and tried to poison his children's relationship with him. She demanded huge sums of money at their divorce hearing, and acted with a distinct lack of class. Media stories of her morally suspect past quickly surfaced, and she is now nearly universally reviled by the British press and public.

And I consider a McCartney-Mills situation to be the BEST-case scenario in any relationship JRE had with RH. Which means, of course, that even if he HAD "done the right thing" by waiting till he was single, he would still come out in a bad way-- and certainly not have any experience of joy and ecstasy in any sustainable way.

JRE needs a real partner, post-Elizabeth. Someone who will actually have his best interests at heart, and not appeal to our human need for passion and ecstasy to take advantage of a person. What I fear is because of the child, he will feel obligated to stay with RH. I believe that almost certainly, any feelings of passion he may have had for her are now gone, between his embarrassment and, hopefully, seeing RH's true character.
To allow himself to be yoked to her would, truly, be a marriage devoid of any real joy... precisely the scenario he was hoping to avoid by fooling around with her in the first place.
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