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Cheater Family Values

27 Jan 2012

written by Carolyn

Newt-Gingrich-Calista

When Marianne Gingrich, the second wife of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, went public with allegations that Gingrich asked her for an “open marriage” and had a long-term affair with the former Callista Bisek, the woman who is now Gingrich’s third wife, I thought of Steve Harvey’s ex-wife, Mary Harvey. Last year, Mary Harvey posted a series of videos on YouTube in which she talked of Harvey’s infidelities during their marriage, including his affair during their marriage with his current wife, Marjorie.

Although there was a bit more interest in Marianne Gingrich’s allegations than there ever were in Mary Harvey’s – after all, Gingrich is a current contender for the presidency – eventually, people lost interest in Marianne’s allegations as quickly as they lost interest in Mary’s. Some people have said, of both men, “I knew he was a low down dirty dog!” But ultimately, the consensus seems to be, in both cases: “Yawn, old news, old girl needs to move on.”

It is old news. Gingrich served his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Allegedly, he was involved with Mrs. Gingrich #2 while he was married to Mrs. Gingrich #1, and then cheated on Mrs. Gingrich #2 with the current Mrs. Gingrich #3. If the economy were in better shape, Gingrich’s past might raise character questions that would hamper his presidential hopes. But in the current economic environment, it appears the public at large would rather not think about multiple women clamoring to have sex with Newt Gingrich.

Famously, Steve Harvey turned his infidelity into profit. His relationship advice book was a huge bestseller – and is now a feature film – because women bought into Harvey’s premise that he is best positioned to tell women how to avoid low down dirty dogs, because he was once one himself. Mary’s tell-all videos didn’t hurt Steve Harvey’s entertainment empire, because she didn’t reveal anything that Harvey hadn’t already revealed himself.

In the ABC News interview, Marianne Gingrich still looked hurt as she spoke of Newt’s infidelities. Mary Harvey saved letters, emails, and other evidence of her ex-husband’s infidelity, years after the divorce. In her YouTube videos, she appeared to still be in a lot of pain over her husband’s betrayal of their wedding vows.

I understand why a woman who was hurt by infidelity might choose to tell her story to help her process that pain. But if she does it still seeking revenge on the man who hurt her, that bitter pill is likely to hurt her far more than it does him.


11 Comments on Cheater Family Values

  1. Tessism

    I find it interesting that both these women overlooked the character flaws of the men cheating on their wives with them, happily married them and were left devastated in the very same way they left the previous wife. It’s Karma. I just hope that it affects both those men as well. I bet it does and has but is neither widely reported or of great interest to the masses. Another example of male privilege where such vile behavior gets glossed over and detached from assessments of their character. I pray for the healing of the women and others unknown to us. Hanging on and exposing the behavior of their public figure ex-husbands does nothing more than gives us gossip fodder–which many of us enjoy–and moments of embarrassed cringing. In a nutshell, they were not so great men when they were cheating on their wives with you and marrying them didn’t change them as they, namely, did the same exact thing to you. Focus on yourself, your values, your happiness and your peace and hopefully you can shake off the specter of their betrayal. While I appreciate the information, it does little to add to my already formulated opinion of their dubious characters. Now that the public declaration is done, take care of yourselves, ladies. Good luck.

  2. Tessism

    I find it interesting that Marianne Gingrichoverlooked the character flaw of a man cheating on his wife with her happily married him and was left devastated in the very same way she left the previous wife. It’s Karma. I just hope that it affects Newt as well. I bet it does and has but is neither widely reported or of great interest to the masses. Another example of male privilege where such vile behavior gets glossed over and detached from assessment of a man’s character. I pray for the healing of both Marianne and Mary and others unknown to us. Hanging on and exposing the behavior of their public figure ex-husbands does nothing more than give us gossip fodder–which many of us enjoy–and moments of embarrassed cringing.

    Lesson: they were not so great men when they were cheating on their wives with you and marrying them didn’t change them as they, namely, did the same exact thing to you. Lesson two: It hurts when someone betrays you but your the person that perpetuates that pain. Focus on yourself, your values, your happiness and your peace and hopefully you can shake off the specter of their betrayal.

    While I appreciate the information, it does little to add to my already formulated opinion of their dubious characters. Now that the public declaration is done, take care of yourselves, ladies. Good luck.

  3. Carolyn

    Love is indeed blind.

  4. Nathan

    Carolyn, I am not surprised by the reaction to either situation. I suspect that a large percentage of the me in the US have had some infidelity ith a wife, girlfriend, fiance, partner etc. at some point. They dare not cast disparaging comments at Newt because of the “glass house” principle. “I am not going to throw a stone because someone might throw one back.”

    The women who are married, engaged, dating or living with men do not want to think about the possibility of it happening to them. The lack of outrage or comment may be a case of not wanting to invite the same thing happening to them. Right or wrong, no one wants to bring similar circumstances on themselves by openly displaying allegiance to a wronged woman. In the case of Newt’s wives, 2 & 3, I firmly believe that each of them thought that “he left her for me and he would never do that to me”. In the case of #3, I might take it a step further and propose that she actually thinks that she “can change him” and has forgotten the adage of the leopard and his spots. In this case, the leopard is more definitely likely to change his mate than his spots and she should not be surprised if she is not re-elected to a second term.

  5. Jaeda Laurez

    I’m torn. On the one hand, I am of the “girl, bye” camp- what’s done is done and well, it’s usually best to walk away and heal on your own. But I also understand how it feels when you feel that a serious injustice has been done to you, and the offending party is publicly claiming a very different version of the events that happened. You ARE trying to move on, but you almost feel to say nothing is to support the lie. So I get why they would come forward, however late. It’s cathartic, albeit in the short term. Hopefully they can now truly move on.

  6. Miz JJ

    But if she does it still seeking revenge on the man who hurt her, that bitter pill is likely to hurt her far more than it does him.

    Yep. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Doesn’t work. My mom always told me that living well is the best revenge. And it’s true.

  7. James Marshall Crotty

    Carolyn:

    I am a little confused on your remedy here. What do you propose that these two women do differently?

    I don’t think there is a right or a wrong solution here. Each person deals with betrayal in their own way. Though I think publicly airing private matters is boorish and inappropriate, even if the person you are lambasting is loathsome in the extreme. But that’s me. No recommendation for others implied.

    In addition, you make it sound like only men cheat. Not true. Lots of women cheat. Not nearly as many women cheat as men. But it goes on. A lot.

    Finally, I am not sure you have the facts right about Mr. Gingrich bringing divorce papers to his first wife in the hospital. Here is an eyewitness account of what actually transpired in that hospital room (It turns out Mrs. Gingrich had already served the divorce papers): http://www.creators.com/opinion/jackie-gingrich-cushman/setting-the-record-straight.html

    It’s very important to fact-check Internet misinformation and innuendo.

    Tx.

  8. Carolyn

    I think you completely misread this post. I don’t recommend solutions nor imply anything about martial fidelity. And the particular facts around Gingrich’s first divorce aren’t really germane, since I only mention it in passing, and only then to suggest that the second Mrs. Gingrich isn’t a very sympathetic figure. Everything isn’t for everyone, and I guess this piece wasn’t for you.

  9. Alicia

    I have nothing profound to say because I believe we’ve all heard it or said to before. I’m stuck on the fact that Mr. Newt is in his third marriage. How did that happen?!?

  10. KjenNu

    I think this falls near the spectrum of the “Up Grade a Man” plan, but this time the thinking goes “I’m Such a Good Woman/Freak in the Sheets, He Won’t Dare Stray” plan. I hear that a lot, one woman complains about a man infidelities, several other women respond that it was the woman’s fault for not being woman enough to hold onto her own man.
    (I understand that this piece was mostly meant to reflect on how the public treats these type of men, but I did also try to read between the lines to find some sort of solution for a woman whose been betrayed. But it does just seem like a lose-lose scenario. Sometimes you just have to walk away. Hard as heck to do, but I’m trying to learn this lesson right now.)

  11. Carolyn

    There are two solutions when your man cheats on you: either you forgive and accept, or you leave. Often, it takes time to know which decision was the right one. Women do like to kid themselves that if they have amazing bed skills and a tight body, their men won’t cheat, and if he does, it’s because the other woman was more “woman.” Too bad real life can’t be so easily and neatly explained.


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