Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Silda's song~

"Stand by your man." Country singer Tammy Wynette crooned those words ages ago-- forty years, to be exact.

Feminists scorned the words, but Wynette said she meant that women overlook their husband's shortcomings in the name of love. Well, of course! That goes without saying.

Meanwhile a generation of women softly sang those words against the shoulders of young men, and no doubt felt them soak into their tender hearts as they danced in a darkened high school gymnasium.

Surely Silda Spitzer sang those words years ago. Today she's living them-- or acting them, anyway-- standing beside her husband, New York's governor Eliot Spitzer, as he apologizes for his involvement with prostitutes.

She looks like an automaton, eyes vacant, and not nearly deep enough to contain the hurt. Women see it. Women feel it. And women think: no way would I stand beside the podium while my husband issued his apology. Why should I? Why should I act supportive when I feel nothing of the sort?

Ignoring a beloved's faults is one thing; standing by the man who just stuck a knife in your back is another.

Time will tell for the Spitzers. They are not alone in this marital mess. Others have gone before, and others will follow. Maybe there will come a day when Silda will forgive, will put the betrayal behind her, and nurture a tendril of love that somehow remains in her heart.

Both men and women do sometimes forgive, choose to reconcile, choose to stand by each other.

But until that happens, I'd rather not see a woman stand beside her man, not until her heart is back in her breast, beating steadily again. If ever.

But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh be proud of him
Cause after all he's just a man.

(lyrics by T. Wynette)

Where is Silda's song. Who will sing that?
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman, giving all your love to just one man. You'll have bad times,
 and he'll have good times, 
doing things that you don't understand.
 ~Tammy Wynette


Barry said...

Hmmmm. Wonder what got censored?

Saw a rerun of 'The Office' tonight. Clueless and klutzy Michael trying to deal with Jan. I think many American men feel like that: without a clue, romantic fools at best, we are.

'Stand by Your Man'? You're right. Get the poor women off the stage. Think you'd see a man standing up there beside a prominent woman who'd done him wrong? Not likely.

So why are people looking for love in all the wrong places, to quote another C&W classic? Here's a possible answer, a real song for Silda--maybe even for Eliot, too:

You've Changed
[sung by Billie Holiday]

I've an awful feeling
That this thought that's been a-stealin through my brain
Is not to be ignored
But to really tell the truth
Though I'm not a well-known sleuth
I honestly believe that you are bored
You've changed
That sparkle in your eyes is gone
Your smile is just a careless yawn
You're breaking my heart
You've changed

You've changed
Your kisses now are so blase
You're bored with me in every way
I can't understand
You've changed
You've forgotten the words, "I love you"
Each memory that we've shared
You ignore every star above you
I can't realise you've ever cared
You've changed

You're not the angel I once knew
No need to tell me that we're through
It's all over now
You've changed

Words and music by Carey and Fisher

Wanda said...

Most excellent and insightful comentary!!

Janice Thomson said...

I agree with you Ruth. To stand there when the trust is still broken is to live a lie and add to the torture already gone through and all for the sake of looking good and/or a political career.
Work out the problems first - then I'd be more inclined to emphasize and possibly vote for you.

leslie said...

Yes, very insightful. I watched today as he publicly resigned and I felt as though Silda was holding back the tears. She looked drained, as though she's spent an awful long time sobbing - and is probably right now on Atavan or some such. And how to explain to their daughters??? How will she set an example for them? Will she allow them to see her forgive and forget - thus perhaps giving the lesson that they (her daughters) should do the same? I don't know about that. The problem was it wasn't one time or one woman. That's what I think she's going to have to deal with the most.

Pauline said...

I so agree with "Both men and women do sometimes forgive, choose to reconcile, choose to stand by each other. But until that happens, I'd rather not see a woman stand beside her man, not until her heart is back in her breast, beating steadily again. If ever."

I thought similarly when I saw that look on her face. No amount of love, past or present, can disguise the hurt and the weariness there. And she should not have to be less of who she is so that he can be more of what he should be.

Josie said...

You know, I think a woman could probably forgive a man for straying from his marriage vows, if he happens to run into another woman with whom he has chemistry, and a friendship evolves into something more. But to have your husband caught paying prostitutes, I think I would have a really difficult time standing by a man like that, or finding forgiveness in my heart. I don't know what went on in their marriage, but to me that would be the ultimate betrayal and humiliation.

Ruth D~ said...

Silda could sing that song in spades, while dancing on his grave, maybe. I doubt she'll be singing anything happy for a long time. And definitely unlikely a man would be by his woman if she cuckolded him, let alone paid a fortune for sex. Glad to have your support on this.

Wanda, Janice, Leslie, Pauline,
I was talking in the teacher's room today about how I'd have grabbed the microphone and said a few things to the press! Another said she'd have had a gun. Just shows the power of empathetic anger.

Totally agree. A chemistry slip is a whole nuther type of sex, the potential for understanding and forgiveness is there. Eventually. Maybe.

Barbara said...

There are some indiscretions I would find it impossible to forgive. This is definitely one of them.

Jen said...

This was a topic on many talk shows this week. It's a sad empty look alright.

What would be a better example to her kids? Stand by their father or show the world that she's not taking it? I don't know.

Strength or weakness, strength or weakness.....

Lisa said...

See, this is why I could never be married to a politician. NO WAY could I stand by that! My heart goes out to her.

Bob Sanchez said...

My wife made it quite clear that if I were a pol giving a press conference like that, I would be standing alone. She's right, and Barry is right. A real man would stand up and face the music by himself.

I didn't follow the man's career, but it his blind ambition and power made him feel capable of anything. How could an intelligent person not know he'd eventually be caught and inflict huge pain on his family and himself?

Tere said...

I still have issues with Hillary because she didn't throw Bill's clothes all over the front lawn of the White House. Who knows what goes on in anyone's marriage and who am I to judge? In 20 years of marriage, I forgave things that I never thought I would albeit nothing as serious as what the Spitzer's are dealing with. But I can say with conviction that I would not be standing beside him at that podium. You said it all so well Ruth.

leslie said...

I like what Dr. Laura said on Larry King - something to the effect that if he'd been her husband he would have been standing alone at that mic, on crutches!