The woman has class. Elizabeth Edwards didn’t stand at the podium by her man. She didn’t do the interview with him. She let John Edwards release his mea culpa and purge his soul to ABC News and the public.
But that doesn’t mean she didn’t stand by her man, or take a stand.
In a blog, she eloquently pointed out her position. In her statement, Elizabeth Edwards said her husband told her about the affair in 2006 and they worked through it. “This was our private matter,” she wrote.
And it is.
In her statement to Daily Kos, she wrote:
“Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy. But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.
"John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007.
"This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.
"The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.”
She also said that she is proud of her husband for having the courage to be honest “in the face of shame.”
But there had to be moments in the past two years when she was making French toast for her young kids and wondering if her husband should be toast. Like many women before her, she made a choice. She wanted to preserve her family and their history together.
Statistics tell us that the majority of divorces – more than 60 percent – are initiated by women. But I think that many women are driven to it. Many women face these issues and have to weigh the pros and cons. Very few have to reveal this internal debate so publically.
As she wrote, “The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue."
Elizabeth Edwards ended her statement with an appeal for privacy for her family:
"I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does, and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time."
It’s not hard to see her position.
She loves him.