Abedin’s Choice

By: Gabriela Yareliz

She’s been on our mind for a while now; ever since her husband announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York.

The Huffington Post might as well have a section about Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner’s wife, with the many articles that have focused on her in recent days. The Huff hasn’t been the only one in on the commentary of course. Some articles criticize her, one New York Magazine reporter immortalized her in an interesting and so-called romanticized description of her, some say she is like Hillary Clinton (standing by her man), others are saying it’s because of her ethnicity and culture that she is standing by her man; the arguments on both sides are endless.

The Las Vegas Review Journal’s Sherman Frederick went as far as to say: “Something is dreadfully wrong with the progressive wing in America when Ann Romney, who raised a model family, is called ‘out of touch’ and Huma Abedin, who is aiding a serial pervert, is hailed as a ‘hero.'”

Ouch. Abedin is “aiding a serial pervert”? Have people forgotten this is the man she loves and chose to marry? People talk as if their own marriages were perfect. As if half the men out there don’t do worse than Anthony Weiner did. Please. He took photos of himself and texted them. People have forgotten the Adult Entertainment Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. This doesn’t justify Anthony Weiner, but many of these commentators support these industries that feed into the Anthony Weiner mentality.

An excellent blog post by, yes, the Huff Post New York, explains that it is often said that smart, empowered women would pick up and take their children (if there were any) and march off, leaving the cheating, unrepented spouse to rot as he (probably?) rightfully deserves. The weak woman would stay. This, Jeanne Zaino, explains is not the case with political wives. The public might react negatively if they leave their man. She brings up the point of what would we have thought if Jackie Kennedy or Eleanor Roosevelt would of marched off and left… I don’t mention Hillary Clinton because there are plenty who wish she would have.

Reading Hillary Clinton’s autobiography helps give some insight into this painful and complicated time in her marital life. What happens when the cheating spouse wants to stay and work it out. Once a cheater always…?

Something important to note is how these political power couples often meet. They know each other’s ambitions by the time they are getting married. It’s not like one morning someone wakes up and says “Baby, I think I might run for governor this year…” (well, not usually).

They are both usually deeply intelligent people. Huma is not an idiot. She is smart. She wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for God, her intelligence and charisma. I was conversing with someone, and the person told me Abedin was probably staying with Weiner because she wants power.

I don’t think this is very fair. First, if you are inclined to be a politician or anything close, yes, you like power. Mystery solved there. But I feel people are forgetting that even if Anthony Weiner wins the mayoral race (which seems in danger because he is presently at 18%), and Huma gets to meet whoever she wants (and honestly, after being a second daughter to the Clintons, who is there left to meet?) the thing is, she is intelligent. She doesn’t need Anthony Weiner. Hey, she could run for mayor herself. She could have left. She had a choice.

What if, as Richard Cohen says about Linda in his Washington Post column, you value the person more than you feel the shock of his or her infidelity? Cohen says, “I have the wisdom of the uncertain.”

If Weiner chose to stay in his marriage despite his many mistakes and faults, if she married him in the first place, and if he is the father of her child, why is it so hard to see that if a cheating spouse decides to stay, a couple may fight for their marriage in an honorable way. It doesn’t mean the woman is weak or dumb.

On that cringe-worthy day of the press conference, with strength and perhaps a slightly quivering lip, Huma Abedin stood by her husband; her husband, not a politician, a random man, or a very deserving man at that.

I believe her when she said that she believes in second chances and forgiveness; that she believes in him. She stayed. She forgave. She is standing there beside her husband. She is not only beside him but fundraising for him. She believes in him.

Now, it’s time everyone else accept the choice. Abedin’s choice.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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