After losing joint custody of his kids, losing any thread of dignity, losing potential clients (since women are the ones who often make decisions on hiring architects), Peter Cook had a revelation.
He told Fox News last night that, if he had to do it all over again, when he met future paramour Diana Bianchi, he'd say, "No, I'm a married man. Move on."
There is one problem with this revelation. It was he who was pursuing Bianchi, an 18-year-old girl. It wasn't as though she was pursuing him.
He was an adult married man who should have known better, just like Bill Clinton should have known better when he tangoed with Monica Lewinsky.
That's why we can't blame a Monica Lewinsky or a Diana Bianchi as much as we should blame their married lovers.
Yes, it takes two to do the horizontal mambo, and even young girls should have the moral backbone to dance away from this entanglement.
But in both cases, it was the mature adult who was in the power position and had the influence to sway what happened.
In life, there are consequences for whatever you do, as well as the opportunity to learn from them.
Mothers out there should remind their lovely, nubile daughters that these trysts with married men — despite the intoxicating halo of power around them — often have horrible outcomes.
Affairs destroy families and reputations. Rarely does the young woman get a long-term relationship with the husband, or even a soon-to-be-divorced man.
In fact, a Kinnsey Institute study of 2,000 people found that only 17 percent of males who had affairs were planning on leaving their spouses. And only 9 percent of the men planned to marry their current lovers.
Note that Peter Cook's current girlfriend is Suzanne Shaw, a 36-year-old single mother, not the now-21-year-old Diana Bianchi.
Another lesson is that most wives are not like Bambi in the headlights, in total shock and surprise over the affair.
There must have been some signals Christie Brinkley ignored, or didn't have the courage to face.
These are awful truths to consider. But only by facing a truth can you face a situation and repair and remedy it.
There is a reason that more than 60 percent of women initiate divorces.
Often they are driven to it because they will not tolerate their husband's bad behavior.
Often it isn't disgust that he is not picking up his socks, but disgust because he's picking girls.
In my experience, women tend to forgive a first affair, and will address the fissures in the relationship in order to achieve a greater good: the preservation of the marriage contract and the family.
Men often lack that long-term vision.
But if a man continues to have affairs, a woman must make difficult choices.
For a marriage to survive, the cheater "must be committed to fixing the root problem."
FWW's Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of "Adultery: The Forgiveable Sin," suggests that affairs indicate a desire for novelty after the complacency of marriage sets in. But affairs are not necessarily decisions to end their marriages.
"... an affair is a thrill, and adrenaline rush, and when he came off that high when getting caught, he realized like many men do, "Oh My God, what have I done. I do love my wife."
For the relationship to survive, these men, she says, must stop cheating and show remourse. But many still pursue that thrill at a great cost.
Perhaps the media can do a better job of covering the joys of a consistent marriage rather than slavering over hot, extramarital sex.
Here's what is worth covering:
The pleasure of the deep trust that develops over the years.
The joy of familiarity, in knowing how your partner thinks and feels.
The satisfaction in building a family and history together.
Peter Cook will have to pick up the shattered pieces of his life and move on.
Christie Brinkley will do the same.
But the consequences of his folly will follow him for the rest of his life. It should be a cautionary tale, not just for married men, but for easily seduced young women.