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Standing By Her Man: Women Through History
Why do women stand by their men who can be jerks, especially when some of these men cheat so openly? Throughout history, there have been many women who have stood by their men when they did not so great things. With the downfall of Governor Spitzer and his wife's decision to stay with him and the constant conversation about how Hillary Clinton remained with Bill Clinton after the Monica debacle, this became a hot topic in the media. How can she do that you say? Sometimes it is about love and not giving up on a person, and sometimes it is about the business/political alliance the two have solidified. Other times is about, the lack of self-esteem and a woman being afraid she cannot brave the world without her significant other. No matter why they decide to stay, we have to be intrigued by these women because they took the difficult and rocky road of standing by their man. There is nothing wrong with leaving, but it is much harder to stay when the going gets rough. This hub is not advocating that women "stand by their man," it is just examining the women who have done this through history.
Eleanor Rosevelt, The Wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Eleanor decided to stay with Franklin Roosevelt after she discovered he had a long-term mistress. Eleanor contemplated divorcing FDR, but decided to remain with him for the sake of her family and his political career. Eleanor went on to be a champion for the poor and minorities, and much of this would not have happened if she had not helped Franklin D. Roosevelt to run for office. Not only did she help him win his first and second terms in office, but she was instrumental in making a political speech that helped him win his third term in office. Roosevelt won his fourth term in office because he was president during World War II and people like continuity during wartime, but he would never have achieved four terms without his wife Eleanor. When FDR passed away in 1945 his long-time mistress was sitting at his deathbed, but Eleanor accepted that she had a life independent of Roosevelt and went on to do many wonderful things. She sat on the board of the NAACP and fought against racial prejudice in the South. President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor to be a delegate to the new world body United Nations in 1946 and she helped to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It would have been impossible for Eleanor achieve all of these humanitarian goals if she had not been the wife of one of the most famous presidents in American history. They say there is a powerful woman behind every powerful man, and that is truly the case with Eleanor Roosevelt. So Franklin might have been a jerk for cheating on Eleanor, but he would never have been president without her. Conversely, she used the celebrity that came with her position as the first lady to do good things in the world, which might not have been possible if she was an unknown person.
Why do women stay with men who are not good for them?
There are many reasons women stay with men who cheat, but here are a few:
- He is the father of her children
- Business alliance
- Political alliance
- She is willing to forgive him and move on
- She accepts his flaws and realizes he is only human
- She has low self-esteem and may not feel she can do better without him
- She is afraid she will never meet another man if she leaves him
I myself would never stay with a cheating man or a man that is not good for me, but it is interesting to see how many famous women through history have done so. In the case of Eleanor Roosevelt, she wanted to do great things in life, and the only way she could do that in the male-dominated society of the time was by helping her husband become president. So I might not stay with a man who cheats, but in years past sometimes women did this for political, social, or economic reasons.