Last week Marianne Gingrich tried to throw a bomb on the most bomb-throwing candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, her ex-husband Newt Gingrich. And she tried to hit him where she thought he would hurt – in his already much written about and much maligned character.
But the blow didn’t sink the buoyant bloviator.
Although it culminated in an interview with ABC News where she said the presidential wannabe wanted an “open marriage,” the story did little damage. Gingrich still went on to win the South Carolina primary by a hefty margin over rival Mitt Romney.
With any other candidate, an interview like this could have been devastating, especially so close to a vote. But Gingrich’s marital woes are well-known. He left his first wife when she was bed-ridden with cancer. He famously became embroiled in his affair with third wife Callista (while still being married to second wife Marianne). And this all happened as he was in the middle of trying to force out then President Bill Clinton for his own extra-marital affairs.
And it wasn’t like Marianne got much sympathy from anyone.
Because while it was awful that Gingirch walked out on her and divorced as she learned she had multiple sclerosis – it wasn’t like she didn’t have a preview of what was to come when she was in Callista’s position and she replaced a woman in a hospital bed.
Rarely is there much care made for the other woman. Even if she becomes “Mrs. Other Woman.”
How many times did our mothers (and fathers and grandmothers and friends and …) tell us that if he cheated on his wife/girlfriend/friend-with-benefits he would cheat on you? While the first person duped by a wayward lover is often pitied, the person who runs into the arms of the unfaithful with the belief that they’re “different” and “it won’t happen to them” is often ridiculed.
After all, you saw up close and personal that warning. And you didn’t listen. Think of the acrimony behind every awkward affair on “Basketball Wives.” Think of the knowing remarks when rumors surfaced producer Swizz Beatz may have cheated on his current wife Alicia Keys (after all the rumors he cheated on his former wife Mashonda with the singer).
I can almost (emphasis on “almost”) understand how someone falls into this trap. Love being blind isn’t a cliché. Many of us have made past bad choices in the dating department. And it’s pretty typical for those with cheating hearts to say all those sweet nothings about you being “special” and “different” and that their former partner just can’t make them feel the way they feel about you.
And maybe, for some, that’s true. Maybe some do get that Hollywood ending? Some marriages and relationships run their course or go bad. Unexpected things do happen.
But twice? And in the same “Now that you’re in the hospital you’re out of my life manner?”
Flags have never been so red.
It’s not that Newt Gingrich doesn’t deserve heaps of scorn. In love, he’s a habitual vow-breaker, unable to honor the marital contract. A man who will abandon you at first sniffle. In politics, he’s not above crying victim while making victims – whether his opponents or innocent bystanders alike. Not to mention his embracing of race-baiting politics and putting the media, and even debate moderator Juan Williams, “in their place.”
But the affairs of Gingrich say as much of him as they do of his wives – current and former. Every damning interview from the ex is like a warning:
Don’t think because I’m not you, you won’t be me someday.
Don’t confuse a tab at Tiffany’s with fidelity.
That is unless Marianne was right, and Callista Gingrich truly does not care what her husband does. But if she did care — even after so much evidence that she probably shouldn’t — I wouldn’t be surprised if she did.
Even though we might see a pattern, she may only see that she’s meant to be the one to subvert it.