Jenny and Elin

Jenny and Elin

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Dec. 21 2009 4:36 PM

Jenny and Elin

Jess , Hanna -It’s striking that in the varying decisions on whether to stay together or break up made by Silda Spitzer, Elizabeth Edwards, Jenny Sanford, and Elin Woods, all the wives, until their husbands’ infidelities were spectacularly exposed, apparently felt they were in good marriages. I find it hard to draw any feminist conclusions about the advisability, or not, of leaving a husband you discover has been unfaithful. For one thing, the average happily married woman who finds her husband is cheating is not going to be contemplating being financially set for life-unlike the foursome above-if she leaves. And I don’t think it’s an antifeminist decision to decide to stay in a decidedly imperfect marriage if a woman feels that on balance-especially if there are children involved-it’s better to stay. It’s all so individual! It’s perfectly understandable that Elin Woods, devastated by the image of her husband’s Cheaper by the Two Dozen weekends, realizes there’s no going forward, and it’s equally understandable that Sila Spitzer concludes life is better with him.

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

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