6:13 p.m. - 2012-04-22
"The Feeling Good Handbook," my favorite self-help literature, would tell me to consciously challenge the assumption that people whose husbands reject them are worthless. Does everyone deserve it when the person they loved most in the world cheats and treats them like crap? No. Life isn't fair. People who don't deserve it get left and cheated on and lied to all the time.
People like Elizabeth Edwards...
I knew Elizabeth Edwards; that is, I interviewed her a couple of times during the 2004 primaries and spent some time chattng sans notebook as well. (John made the same interminable speech at each campaign stop, so after the first couple of times, boredom was epidemic...)
Elizabeth Edwards was a really, really sweet lady. Most of the wanna-be first ladies tried to press the flesh, as is required of campaign wives, but looked pained, condescening and fake doing it. (Think Teresa Heinz Kerry.) Elizabeth Edwards was definely the most comfortable with the masses.
She was unpretentious and easy to talk to. I remember sitting at some round table sort of backstage of some even and asking her what they ate on the campaign trail (this was the campaign of John Kerry's firehouse chili, a bizarre gimick that required his family and staffers to enthusiastcally eat chili at least 8 times a day) ... her answer was that they basically ate junk and she'd gone from a size 9 to a size 11 since the beginning of the campaign -- "and don't print that!"
John Edwards was my favorite presidential contender back then, back before I learned what a lying, cheating piece of shit he really is. I think I liked him in part because I liked Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was five years older than John, a little heavy on the hips and nowhere near as put-togher and varnished as other first-lady wanna- be's. She would never be the prettiest woman in the room, but what she lacked in looks she had in character and devotion to john. Not only was she a dedicated campaign wife, putting her career aside to promote his, but after their son Wade died in a car crash in 1996, she gave John two more children -- Emma Claire when she was 49 and Jack when he was 15. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer during the campaign, she didn't tell John until after the election because she didn't want to distract him from the campaign...
This is the woman who John Edwards decided was no longer good enough for him.
We know that he felt that way because he said as much during some interview after the Rielle Hunter scandal broke -- among the profuse apologies was the half-assed explanation that the power and fame of the presidential race had gone to his head, and he thought he DESERVED to have an affair, that a person like him shouldn't have to be content with just Elizabeth.
After all of the love and loyalty and children she had given him, he treated her like crap and continued to treat her like crap until she died. Elizabeth did not deserve that. She did everything to deserve his love and fidelity, and she got lies, betrayal and infidelity in return.
I think I am now convinced now that perfectly good people can be treated like dirt by the ones they love trust the most.
He cheated on her because he was a narcissistic self-absorbed asshole, not because she wasn't good enough. She was too good for him.