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Maria Shriver trying to deal with her husband fathering a child with one of her long time house hold staff.

Maria Shriver and the challenges of a 25 year old marriage to Arnold, the Govenator

I’ve always thought Maria Shriver was a class act. Smart, poised, with Kennedy breeding and all the California skinniness (okay so she’s not perfect). The way she’s been handling her current marriage crisis makes me respect her all the more. Obviously devastated at a 10 year betrayal and blindsided by her husband of over 2 decades, Maria is facing an intrusive press with grace and integrity. In all fairness, I think Schwarzenegger has handled the current bombshell as well as can be expected. Asking for privacy for his family, taking responsibility and apologizing to his wife and State he represented is definitely the way to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing his behaviour. As a sex therapist, I understand that dalliances happen probably better than anyone. I really, truly believe that men are loyal, but they are all dogs and are white knuckling it when it comes to sexual temptation. And someone willing in your household staff with a busy, traveling wife must have been near impossible to resist. As a therapist, I would have understood that and forgave it knowing what I universally understand about men.

What I find difficult to forgive (as I am sure Maria is too) is the 10 years between the action and the disclosure of not simply an affair, but a child. He must have been walking a very tight line, or had a bunch of staffers covering for him brilliantly to pull it off. I’m really feeling for the 10 year old child at the center of this controversial outcome of two sexual people. It also must be Hell to be the other woman in this scenario and I hope she is getting some support. Sex happens far more than people think. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t have figured a way out of this before 10 years passed, and this child is denied his/her father, and two families are devastated. On the other hand, I don’t throw rocks and love and forgiveness goes a long way. I hope they find a way.

I’ve said it before, monogamy is a failed experiment with an over 50% divorce rate. Maybe if public figures were more like Maria’s uncles and had both the wife and the mistress (and it was socially condoned) and expected by the white house press core), than there may have been other options to blowing up what was on the surface, a loving and successful partnership.