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Infidelity: Not What Iím Here For
5 years ago

November 12, 2012  by Jacey Eckhart

How widespread is infidelity in the military anyway? Is it common? Pervasive? Inevitable?

One of the results of the Petraeus admissions is that the question of fidelity between military couples rears its ugly head. I cannot bear all of the shrugging off of fidelity I have heard this weekend, as if infidelity for military couples is the logical result of spending so much time apart.

I’m not here for that.

I’m not here for infidelity. I don’t care whether every other couple in the military are swingers and serial cheaters and bound to show up on Maury Povich with a paternity claim. I’m not here for that.

I am not the kind of person who can wait here during deployment if I think I am married to someone who does not respect what we have between us. I can’t drag around for 16 moves if I think I can’t trust him when we are apart.

I’m not here for that. Neither is he. My sailor does not have direct deposit so that I can take my boyfriends to dinner. He doesn’t spend his weekends painting our kitchen so I can entertain some other guy. He isn’t scrimping on himself to send our kids to college so that another man can have his picture with them at graduation.

It isn’t only the economics of marriage that are at stake here. No matter what every other couple in the world might do, the two of us are not here to put our own pleasures or emptiness or anger in front of our marriage. That isn’t who we are. How do people go on in a military relationship without that assurance of that most basic trust and respect?

I may sound dangerously Kathie Lee Gifford-ish, but I think we military couples ought to be able to expect a little faithfulness from each other, dammit. And that we shouldn’t have to be eternally young and maniacally thin or fantastically rich to make that happen.

I’m not saying that every military couple is perfect. Or that infidelity does not ever happen. I just think when you wait for someone — when you braid their daughter’s hair and shovel their sidewalks and go to three stores in search of their favorite flavor of Cheez-its — that you ought to be able to rely on them to cleave only unto you.

I don’t care if my sailor is surrounded by topless mermaids, I think I ought to be able to count on the guy because we are married. He should equally be able to count on me. Even if I am a topless mermaid in my own right.

The thought that we should expect a little cheatage to come our way simply because we spend too much time apart is a poison in our culture. Infidelity is not acceptable. It is not inevitable.

Faithfulness is not too much to ask for military couples. In fact, I think that it is because our military lives are so demanding on both the servicemember and the spouse that faithfulness is required of each of us. Every day. All the time. Physically. Emotionally. Financially.

Faithfulness is how we roll.

5 years ago

Sandra; they are going to diminish the MILITARY and the easiest way right now is with sex scandals and making the stories trashier and worse than they are in reality. The MSM is great here; they are dogs ready to tear them apart because like Obama they think a weak America sends a signal that it is not important to bear arms and build up weapons.

It is better to disarm and show the world we are leading from behind. We will not have a strong military, missile defense, nuclear subs, armed forces around the world, tanks, planes, etc.

We will show the world we are betting the whole world will follow our lead and disarm and military is no longer important.

Yeah, Russia and China and the third world countries with the Nuclear bomb are laughing their arses off, maybe partying that we are so dumb. America is DUMBED DOWN FROM THE TOP FIRST.

5 years ago

Sandy, there are so few things left, it seems, that are sacred and marital fidelity is one of those areas that we must expect and hang on to as there is so much at stake if we don't.  It is the basis of trust, integrity and honesty.  You give your life to that special person and they to you and if you both don't honor what that means, you will not honor any other commitment you make in your life.  

Marriage requires effort and is the most important "job" of one's life.  If we are unable to put forth our best effort to make it work and to honor the vows we take when we marry, if we can't consider that the most cirtical and valuable "contract" we make in our life, we have failed and miserably.  

What is difficult to understand is why we have taken such a lax stand on this subject; we have allowed men to serve as presidents who have been unfaithful to their wives, we watch our entertainers and athletes commit adultry and sit back and accept this, and now it has become acceptable as part of our society; what is wrong with us?  Is there nothing that is considered of so much value any more, anything that we are not willing to compromise?

5 years ago

People are human.   Some, in long term lackluster relationships that have deteriorated over the years who have lived without love and respect in these marriages are vulnerable to someone who actually shows them that love.   I believe this is what happened to Patraeus.   It has happened and will continue to happen to people who have bad marriages. 


The divorce rate is well over 50% and there's your answer.

5 years ago

We know that for a fact. WHY all the details now about 3 generals? They are doing a wide assault on the military, how to do this Obamastyle: embarrass them and diminish them and get the morons to side with you ... who needs all of these military people who do nothing but write emails, have affiars and charge expensive trips.

That is their motive. Forget about the infidelity, it has been going on for years and years.
They have an intent in mind here.

5 years ago

Given Petraeus' overarching concern for his career (& I was told yesterday by my husband that his students all agreed that they've never seen anyone as driven as Petraeus to advance his career), to take a chance of ruining it like this...but perhaps he thought that he could still keep his job.  He did need to resign though.  Interesting that Allen still has his job...for now.


Yes, why all the details when e.g. all that was necessary for Petraeus to do was to say that he was resigning for personal reasons.  Why spell out that he was leaving because of an affair?


Of course, the timing is all too convenient.


Diane, people may be only human, but that still does not make bad behavior acceptable.  Get a divorce was what he should have done, but then that wouldn't look so good for a man obcessed with his career & he, no doubt, didn't expect this affair to come to light.

5 years ago

Sandy, I'm on your side as that is what I believe, too, get a divorce and then do what you want to do.   Unfortunately, as human beings, people make mistakes.


I believe that Petraeus knew exactly what he was doing and he knew many would find out...just a matter of time.    Why he did it....because he was a weak man and caved.

5 years ago

Just a rather strange occurrence about this whole situation. 


Today, the full story on all these subjects, their roles and who done what to whom was in the morning paper -------IN THE SPORTS SECTION!


Yep, you read it right.  Right there in the middle of college football, the BCS allignment, Pro Football, Basketball, soccer, fishing and NASCAR! 


So, I called the editor of the paper and asked the editor if the newspaper was inferring that infidelity is now considered a SPORT!





5 years ago

Pete's theory is PTSD caused him to take chances where he might get caught. People who know him seem to have very similar opinions of him, both the good & the bad.   An affair though was not something they thought he would have done. 



5 years ago

I listen to many interviews and people have stated he thought he could keep his job; who knows.
The Obama WH play hardball and throw you to the wolves; they are Chicago gangland style.

Petraeus ruined his reputation and he could lose his pension. He sacraficed a life-long career which was notable for scandal which will be his legacy.

Allen is not getting the plumb job he wants and he has now forfeited a stripe. The other general who spends extravagently got demoted as well.

Obama is putting in his choices for all of these positions. Whatever that means, control perhaps.

5 years ago

"I called the editor of the paper and asked the editor if the newspaper was inferring that infidelity is now considered a SPORT!"


Someone at the newspaper had a warped sense of humor.  I'm surprised my local liberal newspaper, The Kansas City Star, hadn't thought to do that, too.

5 years ago

Valerie Jarrett is behind the scenes working her "magic" in this no doubt. 

5 years ago

Sandy, it didn't stop Dwight Eisenhauer during WWII and he was very public with his affair.  It didn't stop his career, either, he became President.  But I think that Petraeus may have taken a risk he now regrets.  I agree with both you and Diane, if you are in a bad marriage, get out before having an affair.  Just because you are unhappy does not give you the right to hurt so many others and affairs don't just hurt the spouse, they hurt all the extended family members and friends.  

I do think that the higher the rank the more they think the are above any serious disciplinary action; he may find out that this is not the case.  As for WH, Obama is looking for anyone he can find to deflect the attention from himself and Valerie Jarrett is working overtime.

5 years ago

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a past president, Bill Clinton, who was IMPEACHED for lying under oath about his role in having sex in our Oval office.   Think about it.   The democrats are fine with a sitting president having his "BJ's" while his wife slept in another room of our White House and they honor him, yes, honor him, by allowing him to campaign for our Chicago Thug president.    So, what's the deal with that?    Patreus did the same thing.   Only he didn't lie.  



5 years ago

My position can't have it both ways....the democrats honor Slick Willy and his wife, Hillary, who have had at least three "affairs" on public display but the vital one, the important one, is that Bill Clinton, as a sitting president, was impeached for having an affair while residing in our White House.   However, Billy Boy, gets a pass. He campaigned long and hard for Obama as an impeached president who lied under oath.      I don't want any of us to forget who Bill Clinton is and how well respected he is among the democrats.

5 years ago

Diane, don't forget LBJ and JFK, both sitting presidents that were entertaining other women in the WH with their wives in another part of the WH at the time.  And they were sitting presidents at the time and nothing happened to them at all.  So that is 3 that were having affairs while president and they all skated; but it doesn't seem to matter to the left at all. They are more upset over a dog in a carrier on top of a car than they are about this sort of behavior.  Their priorities are messed up and they have no integrity.  They just saw an example of a man with nearly impeccable integrity and they chose the thug and an America hater over him.  No, don't want to go down that road again.  It just makes my blood boil to see the reports of definite voter fraud and what in the heck can we do?  Why is it permissible for the liberals to break the law over and over and no one cares; we speak out and we are considered idiots and fools.  Well, guess who will get the last laugh as these very people are soon to find out what it is like to see their entitlement programs go down the drain and they will then have nothing but their thug and America hater who will be blaming the Republicans.  

5 years ago

And there was also Eisenhouer - and he became President.  McArthur although he never ran for office.  They tried to get him to run but he refused.  Wonder if his affair had anything to do with it. 


I wonder that when you become a high ranking person you feel you are invincible and nothing will stop you!

5 years ago

They are villifying Petraeus and it is unjust. The past liasions of all the democrats were far worse and Petraeus made one stupid indiscretion. Believe me, if there were more ... they would be lining them up.

He was a scapegoat and a rouse used to get the media NOT to focus on Obama on Benghazi.
However, this may just blow up in his face.
McCain is relentless and he is a military man that they cannot bull shyte. I say PAYBACK time and revenge is sweet especially when you are the silver warrior standing for truth, justice and integrity.

5 years ago

Agreed, this is yet another distraction from Benghazi.   I do think he needed to resign though rather than keep his job, but why come out & say it was due an affair? Too bad Democrats who have done the same didn't believe in doing the honorable thing.  Bill Clinton, lied under oath & is a slug, yet he is held in such high esteem by Democrats.  Pathetic.  Democrats are interested in having power, not doing what is right. 


I wonder that when you become a high ranking person you feel you are invincible and nothing will stop you!


General Patton had it right: “The more stars you have, the higher you climb the flagpole, the more of your ass is exposed.”


While I normally prefer to read what Maureen Dowd's Republican brother has to say rather than her, there are a few parts of her recent column that are'll easily know which parts those are.

This post was modified from its original form on 15 Nov, 9:26
Reputation, Reputation, Reputation
5 years ago

By MAUREEN DOWD  November 13, 2012

As Lyndon Johnson said, the two things that make leaders stupid are envy and sex.

Macbeth kills a king out of envy. Egged on by an envious Iago, Othello smothers his wife out of a crazed fear of her having sex with his lieutenant.

Now another charismatic general has shattered his life and career over sex. When you’ve got a name like a Greek hero, and a nickname like a luscious fruit, isn’t hubris ripe to follow?

It’s been a steep fall for Peaches Petraeus, once the darling of Congress and journalists, Republicans and Democrats, Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley.

Washingtonis suffused with schadenfreude. Yet President Obama and others felt genuinely sad to see a man so controlling about integrity and image — he warned protégés that “someone is always watching” — spin out of control on integrity and image. As Shakespeare wrote in “Othello”: “Reputation, reputation, reputation.”

As aWest Pointcadet, David Petraeus clambered up the social ladder by winning the superintendent’s daughter; now he has been brought down by his camp followers clambering up the social ladder.

Even when he was the C.I.A. director, Petraeus’s ego was so wrapped up in being a shiny military idol that, according to The Washington Post, he recently surprised guests at a D.C. dinner when he arrived to speak wearing his medals on the lapel of his suit jacket.

His fall started as Sophocles and turned sophomoric, a mind-boggling mélange of “From Here to Eternity,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “The Real Housewives of Centcom,” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” It features toned arms, slinky outfits, a cat fight, titillating e-mails, a military more consumed with sex than violence, a plot with more inconceivable twists than “Homeland,” and a Twitter’s-delight lexicon: an “embedded” mistress named Broadwell, a biography called “All In,” an other-other woman of Middle East ancestry who was a “social liaison” to the military, a shirtless F.B.I. agent crushing on the losing-her-shirt-to-debt Tampa socialite, a pair of generals helping the socialite’s twin sister with a custody case, and lawyers and crisis-management experts linked to Monica Lewinsky, John Edwards and the ABC show “Scandal.”

“This is The National Enquirer, ” an alarmed Senator Dianne Feinstein told Wolf Blitzer of CNN. If only it were that highbrow. Now that erotic activity is entwined with the Internet, rather than closeted in hideaway Capitol offices and Oval Office pantries, it’s even more likely to be a trip wire for history.

It is disturbing that an ethically sketchy, politically motivated F.B.I. agent could spark an incendiary federal investigation tunneling into private lives to help a woman he liked and later blow it up to hurt a president he didn’t like.

It’s also worrisome that the nation’s spymaster — who had presided in a military where adultery could result in court-martial — could not have found a more clandestine manner of talking naughty to his biographer babe than a Gmail drop box, a semiprivate file-sharing system used by terrorists, teenagers and authors.

It’s understandable that men accustomed to being away from their families and cloistered with other men in Muslim countries where drinking and blowing off steam are frowned upon might get used to cavorting on e-mail.

But Petraeus should have realized that the Chinese and Russians were snooping and sent Paula Broadwell an Enigma e-mail: “I would like your insights into the debate over COIN versus CT inHelmandProvince. Our HVT kills are falling a little short of the mark. Let’s discuss.”


5 years ago

And Broadwell could have sent ones more like: “I’ve been reading Chapter 3 notes and the Galula theory of counterinsurgency confuses me. Hope you can clarify.”

The scandal is a good reminder that, although John McCain and Sarah Palin urge total trust and blank checks for the generals, these guys are human beings working under extremely stressful circumstances, and their judgments are not beyond reproach.

Petraeus’s Icarus flight began when he set himself above President Obama.

Accustomed to being a demigod, expert at polishing his own celebrity and swaying public opinion, Petraeus did not accept the new president’s desire to head for the nearest exit ramp onAfghanistanin 2009. The general began lobbying for a surge in private sessions with reporters and undercutting the president, who was trying to make a searingly hard call.

Petraeus rolled the younger commander in chief into going ahead with a bound-to-fail surge inAfghanistan, just as, half a century earlier, the C.I.A. had rolled Jack Kennedy into going ahead with the bound-to-failBay of Pigsscheme. Both missions defied logic, but the untested presidents put aside their own doubts and instincts, caving to experience.

Once inAfghanistan, Petraeus welcomed prominent conservative hawks fromWashingtonthink tanks. As Greg Jaffe wrote in The Washington Post, they were “given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft to tour the battlefield. They provided advice to field commanders that sometimes conflicted with orders the commanders were getting from their immediate bosses.”

So many more American kids andAfghanistancivilians were killed and maimed in a war that went on too long. That’s the real scandal.

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