>Don’t be a Weiner!

I’m not surprised by the most recent wave of ‘Powerful Men Behaving Badly’, given the daily opportunity, in addition to the typical features of a ‘political personality’ (i.e. thrill seeking and narcissism). What really surprises me is that these guys do not expect to be caught. They fully expect to get away with it, and in that, they are no different than many folks out there, men and women, who are hitting sites like Facebook and Twitter for all the wrong reasons.

If you’re not one of them, you know someone who is. People everywhere are finding each other with a few mouse clicks, whereas it would have taken a Private Investigator to do the same only a few years ago. Think about that – suddenly, that late night musing about whatever happened to ‘the one who got away’ becomes the instant possibility of reconnection. You don’t just remember them as they were, you remember yourself as you were… and there’s the danger… You (subconsciously) envision yourself in a younger body, along with younger priorities, which probably do not include many of the obligations you now carry. Forgetting the reasons you broke up in the first place, you hit the ‘Send’ button and wait.

The Internet provides a layer of psychological pseudo-protection, in the form of justification. As Rep. Weiner indicated in his statement and many “caught” spouses’ protest similarly, ‘I never had physical contact with those people’. However, upon the spouse’s discovery, the affair becomes real because now they have to actually talk about it; and the offender quickly realizes what a betrayal it really has been to their marriage, and/or their family, to carry on a relationship of that nature, whether online or elsewhere. If you consider your internet relationship as innocent, or as a mild flirtation, consider these questions:

Have I told my spouse about my reconnection with this person? Why not?

Would I feel comfortable showing ALL of these messages to my spouse?

How would I feel if my spouse accidentally saw these messages?

How would I feel if our roles were reversed, and I accidentally saw similar messages between my spouse and someone I didn’t know?

Okay, so if that’s you, fix it; if it’s someone you know, forward this to them… and don’t be a Weiner.

* for more on the psychology of politicians and infidelity, check out this LA Times article



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4 responses to “>Don’t be a Weiner!”

  1. New Yorker

    Maggie, I really like this post along with the funny title, it is thought provoking and insighful. I totally agree that many people are using social sites to reconnect with old friends. I actually know someone who divorced his wife after meeting his high school girlfriend on facebook.

    1. Maggie

      Thanks, New Yorker – Before we look outside our relationship for something, we should first ask ourselves if we’ve really tried to find it INSIDE…

  2. Cynthia

    Maggie, I enjoyed your post and your mini-bio up there. Let me ask you this: What do you think is the root problem for people like Wiener? I had a debate with someone about this last week, who thought perhaps Wiener’s marriage was lacking in something – a suggestion to which I disagreed whole-heartedly. I think this “problem” had to be written on the wall long before he married, because the probelm is his EGO. Some combination of arrgance/insecurity (two sides of the same coin). I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Maggie

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! From what I understand, this behavior was present long before the marriage, so it’s probably safe to say that the marriage wasn’t to blame. It’s really important to not expect something like a marriage or having a baby to automatically change something about a person. Without a conscious effort to understand and/or change your behavior, you’re doomed to repeat history over and over again!

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