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?


About Carol Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an author, substitute radio talk show host, blogger and (retired!) attorney. She lives near Manhattan with her husband, their five-year-old son and daughter, and a highly opinionated Westie. Find her at

13. November 2012 by
Categories: Uncategorized | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. My heart goes out to Holly Patraeus. She has served her country not only through her support of her husband and her son who served but above and beyond by taking on the role of a leadership wife. It is very demanding on her while she receives no pay and as we wives of those who have served in such capacity say, it is a two for one deal the goverment gets. A military leader makes less money than someone doing the same job in the civilian realm with far more stresses not only placed on him but on his family, too. She’s gone above and beyond in her role and is to be commended a thousand fold. Answering the last question of the article, no man or woman is immune from temptation while in leadership that’s why it is so crucial to have a hedge of protection in place around your marriage. Having a plan in place and not compromising in ever allowing yourself to be alone with someone of the opposite sex apart from your spouse. It is possible to retain your integrity when you determine to be ever vigilant in recognizing potential for compromise and ways to avoid such, keeping accountability mentors (where you can share personal struggles and know they’ll not only pray for you but ask the tough questions periodically), etc.

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