Carol: The Petraeus Affair
Is it just me? Every time one of these scandalous affairs come to light — something that costs a prominent government or business official not just his dignity, but also his career — I just feel impatient with him. At some point, I can’t help but think: I hope the sex was really, really, really beyond earthshakingly ahhmaaazing. For everything you’ve just given up for it, it better have been pretty, pretty great. You just want to shake your head.
Although it was shocking that General Petraeus was the official involved in such a sordid mess, it’s hardly a surprising story. But it is sadder in this case than in many others. That’s not just because of his enormous talents or his other great sacrifices for this country.
It’s because of all the other military wives out there whose husbands, like General Petraeus, may have had several long tours of duty. With this news, they will once again worry about what is happening to their marriages while their husbands are half a world away. (Yes, I know the sexual part of the Petraeus affair reportedly happened only after he resigned from the military, but the couple became “close” while he was serving in the middle east.) And their husbands will worry, knowing their wives are worrying. The better the husband, the more he’ll worry.
Most of the rest of us won’t particularly wonder or worry. Obviously, we know none of us ever knows what’s going on inside any marriage. When someone as seemingly disciplined, smart and ambitious as General Petraeus ends up in one of these situations, though, it just makes you wonder: Is any man ever truly immune, given the “right” circumstances?