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the extra notch on the cheating curve
factoring weiner's impact on fidelity
by alex b (@Lexistential)

These days, everyone knows Anthony Weiner's name.

Thanks to Twitter, Andrew Breitbart, and Opie & Anthony, any news-savvy person has their very own two-cent penile crack to make about the newly resigned Congressman. Is he hard-pressed for answers? Maybe he's not meant to last more than his near-twenty years in political life, and can try again in half an hour. Everyone's had a laugh at Weiner's expense, even as the jokes are wearing thinner than luxury brand lambskin condoms.

Everyone except Huma Abedin, that is.

Generally speaking, I don't think Weiner's a bad guy. He's got a set of average family jewels and pathological desire for a Superman costume in spite of it, but he's not a malicious person. But, he's earned a few negatives fairly and squarely with his porno-picture antics. Foolish? Check. Reckless? Sure. Narcissistic? Ninety percent likely.

Cheating? That's where things aren't automatically clear.

When it all comes down to it, I don't think Weiner had a true intention to cheat on his wife. His conversations with women didn't show any actual imperative to meet and carry on past his cheeseball banter. These women were never destined to become his lovers; like the mirrors he posed in front of at the Congressional gym for a Blackberry picture quickie, he only intended to look for himself in them.

Plus, I don't believe Weiner wanted to really rock his newly married boat with an actual mistress. Given Huma Abedin's massive political pedigree, divorce seems like folly in their made-for-power marriage. If I were a guy, I wouldn't want to divorce Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff. Apart from scandalizing my livelihood, Abedin could kick my ass through the wall. It's possible that the danger added to Weiner's titillation, for at the end of the day, he pulled the trigger- or in his case, hit the proverbial send key.

If there's anything that Weiner and any guy should understand, it's that even though no adultery actually happened, this is still a notch in the cheating curve. While no sexual affair took place, Weiner was still offensive. To have a series of secret porn-trading relationships tells a wife that her attention isn't enough. Staring at a Playboy bunny won't satisfy him, and he'd like someone to talk back to.

It's here that I sympathize with Huma Abedin. Up until marrying Weiner, I'm sure she's probably had a series of courtships where she was treated deferentially by men with varying pedigrees of their own. And because she's been so successful with her career, she doesn't seem terribly savvy to the badder side of men's behavior, nor aware of how easy it is to engage- and conceal- virtual involvement, porn addictions, and various other illicit engagements. The additional factor of being married to a politician might have made it impossible for her to sense she's the recipient of an oncoming lie- until it collided into her.

I especially feel for Abedin because she's newly pregnant with her first child. Instead of being able to experience her pregnancy with celebration and focus on her health, Abedin has seen it leaked as a means of casting a lifeline for her errant husband.

However, I can't claim to know how Huma Abedin really feels because she's maintained a stoic silence throughout Weiner's misbehavior. While some say that her silence speak volumes, I'd say divorce papers speak louder. But, especially with a child on the way, it's her prerogative to forgive her foolish husband.

As I wonder what Abedin will do next, I still can't help but feel amazed at Weiner. The loss of his Congressional seat is something he could have averted with a small dose of self-restraint. However, it's impossible to reverse the clock and correct personality defects. Especially by the time a Twitter feed exposes proof of both.


An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b


it's a question of pride
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published: 6.15.09

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william carr
6.20.11 @ 11:09p

Perhaps Weiner's not "malicious," but he is a "bad guy." We're all bad--guys and gals--because we think we can get away with something that pricks or titillates us--puns thoroughly intended. Weiner is a cement-head, and his activities--not reaching the level of irresponsibility exhibited by John Edwards, perhaps, or other notables--raise warning flags for the kind of men and women we elect to serious public office.

alex b
6.21.11 @ 8:43p

Hi William,

Yes, Weiner's a bad apple in that he wanted to successfully get away with his actions. It's a programmed human reflex to want to conceal something, and with his Congressional seat on the line, I understand why. I won't argue that it was wrong of him to do what he did, but as he was concealing stupidity, I won't hold it against him when his resignation takes effect at midnight.

John Edwards's level of wrongdoing is a lot more serious, because we're all interested in whether he purposely exercised a choice to solicit and funnel money from an aging patron for his mistress. Weiner wanted to conceal his flirtations (and accidentally tweeting his own member), whereas Edwards is at a deeper level of wrongdoing. It'll be interesting to see how his story plays out.

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