Skip to comments.The Clintons and the Reality of a Long Marriage (they are role models...LOL)
Posted on 08/24/2017 8:08:59 AM PDT by doug from upland
"In the spring of 1971, I met a girl "
So began Bill Clinton's tender, rambling speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, a speech in which he described his wife Hillary as a natural leader, an excellent mother, and "the best change maker" he'd ever met. "I married my best friend," he said.
It was a reminder that the Clintons are still together after 45 years of marriage, in spite of all the public humiliations they've faced. They've outlasted the Gores, the first two Trump marriages, and the first two Gingrich marriages. Could the Clintons be and having grown up in a culture where their relationship was often a punchline, I never thought I'd say this good marriage role models?
Bill's uncharacteristically humble speech about his wife (which, as someone on Twitter joked, felt like a telling of their love story "in real time") made her relentless fix-it spirit sound virtuous, a little exhausting, sure, but also somehow charming. The speech did something many would argue not much else has in the past 25 years the Clintons have been on the national stage: it made Hillary sound like a real person, and their marriage like a real marriage replete with water breaking and house purchasing, and, heaven help us, a Police Academy marathon.
He left some things out, more than a few critics noted after the speech was over. What about his affairs? That Bill's straying should reflect on Hillary is a drum Trump has been beating at least since May. In stump speeches, he has attacked Hillary for "enabling" her husband's infidelity, suggesting that doing so is a sign of weakness. He would never take back a woman who'd been unfaithful to him, he's reportedly said. (Though he's bragged about his own affairs, and about the benefits of having around "a young and beautiful piece of ass.")
As a Trump attack dog, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, too, tried similarly to discredit Hillary. "You don't care about women, you don't care about feminism," he's said. "You don't even care about your own dignity." (This from a man whose wife, the mother of his children, found out he was leaving her via a press conference.) And of course Newt Gingrich led the impeachment proceedings against Clinton while, we know now, cheating on his own wife.
These three men, nine marriages between them, know what it's like to want someone else and to sleep with someone else while married. So what are they really saying when they're making fun of the Clintons' marriage? What they're saying is that when you get the hots for someone else, you should have the "decency" to leave your spouse. This cheating-is-worse-than-divorce assumption is baked into mainstream society. People from across the political spectrum say that cheating should be a marital deal breaker, and that to tolerate or repeatedly forgive infidelity especially someone as much of a hound as middle-aged Bill Clinton has often been painted is to be a doormat, a punching bag, a fool. But that doesn't have to be true.
Relationship therapist Esther Perel says that monogamy "used to be one person for life. Today, monogamy is one person at a time." Good statistics on this are tough to come by, but it's generally believed that as many as three out of four married people will cheat at some point. Does that make all their marriages shams?
Certainly it's not always worth staying in a relationship if you're being cheated on and miserable about it (or if you're miserable, period). But maybe it's worth asking: could it ever be just as noble to stay and work on a marriage through tough times as it is to leave when you or the person you're married to strays? We've done a good job getting rid of the stigma around divorce, but in doing so, have created one around the decision to keeping your vow to stay together no matter what.
Bill's speech made a case for his wife as president, but maybe it also made the case that working through infidelity could pay off, and that staying married could be creative and exciting. "I've lived a long, full, blessed life," Bill said. "It really took off when I met and fell in love with that girl." Lord knows he could have had a lot of fun single. And Hillary could have put her husband's recklessness behind her like a bad haircut and moved on to continue her change-making and achievements without him too. But she stayed. And now they get to be doting grandparents together, mutually supporting each other in their latest acts, and potentially becoming the first married to couple to ever both be President, which will make a good Christmas letter.
"What I admire most about Hillary," Michelle Obama said in her own much praised convention speech, "is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life." That stubbornness is a trait for which last night Bill seemed particularly grateful. In his speech he was a husband who, Rebecca Traister wrote in New York magazine, "was managing, for once in his life, a moment of self-control and of submission." Seeing him that way humble, smitten made it look like Hillary's investment in him may have been a smart bet, like maybe she saw in him the potential to be just this kind of partner.
"Everything she touched, she made better," Bill Clinton said this spring at a stump speech for his wife soon after Trump started attacking their marriage. Bill was talking about her rampant do-gooding, but he could have been defending their life together. In the Clinton's marriage model, you screw up. You forgive. You grow. And you grow old, together, making new memories and celebrating old ones with the same person you've known since she was "a girl," someone you fell in love with many years ago in the spring.
Always thought it was more of a business arrangement for convenience.
HEY...I just ate!
I am amazed they remain married at this point—maybe so they can’t be forced to testify against each other in court for their wide variety of criminal conspiracies?
Socialists praising socialists. The Song Remains the same. Cue it up Jimmy and Robert.
No one is laughing harder in regards to this tripe than the Klintons.
They are together because as long as they are married they cannot be forced to testify against each other.
The notion that they have a marriage beyond a criminal and political alliance is laughable.
I guess it is appropriate for us to sing the 2008 parody of MUSIC OF THE NIGHT (Bill is banging ladies of the night) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1FmcUZlXAk
If Hillary had not married Billy....she’d just be some whiny old crone...oh, wait..thats really what she is. Calling there ‘marriage’ a ‘marriage’ is like calling antifa freedom lovers....FAKE
There s/b their
Why don’t we talk about who has been faithful?
Man, this sure changes my thinking! The Clintons certainly are a devoted, loving couple ...
(Actually I’m surprised this Cosmo writer did not burst into flames while writing this Winston Smith-like screed.)
BJ and Hellary can’t take the chance of testifying against each other so they don’t legally break the marriage contract.
Apparently the secret to a long happy marriage is for the man to get blow jobs from his young aides, use cigars on them, and sexually attack women he randomly meet, and for the woman to go ballistic on people that bring that uncomfortable news to her attention.
The realities of the Clintons' long marriage.
Probably because that would be RACIST...
In their case . . . long marriages are possible when the couple only meets at political rallies.
So the notion that they have a lengthy marriage is a joke. They have a lengthy partnership, is’all.
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