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Filthy Rich: Permission to Cheat?

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Momlogic's Jenny: The idea of infidelity has always seemed inexcusable to me, until I saw "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" ...

rich wife covering eyes from cheating husband

I'll admit, I'm the jealous type. I have very little tolerance for tales of relationships gone awry due to infidelity, and have always said that I would leave my husband in a heartbeat if I found out he was having an affair. But as I sat glued to the television, watching the uber-glamorous cast of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" show off their palatial estates and over-the-top lifestyles, I had a change of heart: If we were that rich, I might be able to turn a blind eye.

We've all heard the rumors and stereotypes about how athletes cheat on their wives and how the wives stay with them anyway because they are all so filthy rich. When Kobe Bryant had that scandalous and supposed "one-time" extramarital affair, many people, including me, could not believe that his wife Vanessa chose to stay with him. But as I watched "TRH of Atlanta," with every new scene and shining example of financial freedom, I kind of understood it. Everything in their life seems easy and effortless and it's all due to MONEY. I mean, if I could just buy a $3000 purse whenever I felt like it, or get my hair done by my personal hair stylist in my personal, custom-built beauty parlor in my new custom-built 15,000 sq. foot house, or host a game night in a two-lane bowling alley IN MY BASEMENT, I might not care if my husband (assuming he was an NFL or NBA player) indulges some lucky fan when he's on the road.

Obviously, not every athlete cheats when he's on the road, but "women are vultures," according to one of the stars of the show Lisa Wu Hartwell, who is married to NFL player Ed Hartwell. Lisa said that "even though they know he's married, these crazed fans will go after him even more. They're at the hotels waiting for them." But Lisa thinks that it comes down to trusting that your mate will do the right thing. "There are lot of women that I know that don't trust their mates and have caught them cheating," she says, "and it comes down to deciding whether you will tolerate that behavior or not." Lisa feels blessed for being married to someone who is so family-oriented and says she wouldn't stay married just because of their lifestyle. "You have to have your own identity," she says. "And I believe that women that are too dependent on their spouse will tolerate a lot of things."

Angela Wilder, ex-wife to famous Laker basketball star James Worthy, knows all too well what it's like to "tolerate" a cheating husband. After her husband was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, Angela tried to stay and save her marriage, which ultimately ended in divorce. In her book, "Powerful Mate Syndrome," she writes, "I enthroned [my husband] as the king of my world and, rather than doing what it took to be a powerful queen, I assumed the role as the king's subject." Well, in my mind, this makes total sense. Just look at Queen Katherine who was married to Henry the VIII. She knew damn well that he was having an affair, and madly in love with Anne Boleyn, but she fought until the day she died to stay married to Henry anyway. Um, can you say crown jewels??? Hello! (BTW, "The Tudors" on Showtime ... love! Cannot wait for season 3!)

The point is, while I don't condone cheating, I can totally understand why these crazy rich women are staying in marriages knowing that their husbands have been unfaithful. And honey, if you read this, while I know you'd love to be a professional baseball player, can I just say: I'm sooo happy you're not.

Watch the second episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," tonight at 9PM ET/PT on Bravo.

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127 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sara  October 14, 2008, 9:58 AM

I guess if the money and lavish lifestyle are what makes you happy, then yes a cheating husband would be tolerable. My own opinion is that money doesn’t buy you happiness, and that being happy and being married can coexist. I live in a modest house and make a modest living along with my husband, but I wouldn’t trade it knowing that my husband and I wouldn’t be happy with each other anymore. How would that affect our children? That’s the problem, some people don’t care about the values and morales they’re teaching their children. I will take middle class America anytime, and I’m pretty happy about that!

Nikki October 14, 2008, 10:18 AM

Money vs. cheating husband…are you kidding me…These women act like little teenagers that need to have the freakin face slapped…Hello women…wake up….These are just material possessions, if that is really what you need to make you happy, then you really do have a lot of growing up to do, I guess if you would rather sleep with a $3000.00 purse than a person who respect and loves you, sounds like a pretty lonely life….and sad to say that once you figure this out, that that purse isn’t giving you any love and affection you need…that is when the depression steps in, and well, lets hope it is not to late

cara October 14, 2008, 11:29 AM

I don’t know…I’m on the fence with this one. I’ve spent the last years of my life being the “I don’t care about $$ girl” and I ended up getting used. Now, as I am not feeling like sex, I think I would gladly take a house, investments & fat bank accounts, all in my name-soley & turn a blind eye, if all he was getting was sex.

CF98 October 14, 2008, 11:32 AM

Look if its something that both parties have a mutual agreement on I really don’t see the big deal. I mean its their marriage they have to live with it not me. Did it ever occur to you that the main reason these women married these rich athletes was because of the $$$$(and clout that goes with it). I mean a lot of these women were those the athletes met on the road to begin with so they can’t be surprised about this at all.

Wendi October 14, 2008, 1:13 PM

I could never allow cheating. It is a deal breaker for me no matter what. Money is not that important. I have been a dirt poor single mom, and was happy. I am not a middle class stay at home mom, married to the man of my dreams. To think that money could come between us and make it okay for either to have an affair it insane. You have to have morals that you live by. You can’t tell me that any woman feels respect and love when she is being cheated on.

I would rather be dirt poor and happily married than rich and stupid.

CF98 October 14, 2008, 1:27 PM

It may be an issue to you Wendi but it may not be for them. If it isn’t then what is the big deal? I mean there are far bigger issues out there for everyone to deal with than whether a woman can handle infidelity or not. I mean if they valued money more than the man’s fidelity well that’s their choice. But at the same time I find it hard to be sympathetic if they cry “betrayal” (of course these women don’t actually do that so there’s no issue there I guess). Its all about perspective I mean like I said before they have to live with it not me.

Anonymous October 14, 2008, 2:07 PM

Ah, spoken like a TRUE female.

JJ October 14, 2008, 2:07 PM

As a man, I’m not surprised to see so many women willing to let their man cheat, as long as he has cash. It only proves something I’ve always known about many women… they’re shallow and can easy be bought

maye October 14, 2008, 2:11 PM

If you have money i hate to say this but with money you can basically do anything and everything you want so why not. Mostly 80% of problems in all marriages are with money and stress related because of money so if your busnad gives you everything you want why not i mean its better than being poor at least you can buy whatever you want and go wherever you want.

Nelle October 14, 2008, 2:12 PM

Really, money is power. It gives women independence and choices… Like it or not wealth is very much a strong consideration for a women who has been enjoying it already. I understand why they would turn a blind eye. The truth is they can live life on their own terms - Women want that. They will choose MONEY, and to also have thier own affairs if they WANT. They like being able to have it all… and outsmarting their cheating husband with a open marriage will be acceptable to them.

Davis October 14, 2008, 2:14 PM

If you are poor you are jailed and not knowing the big rich guys in office you go to jail. In America you can have as many weman or men that you can afford. Use a dirty lawyer and get what you want that’s the law. Jebs Bush daughter wrote medical prescriptions and got drugs from a drug store and got caught, Is she in jail no.

Mike October 14, 2008, 2:16 PM

Sex is not the same as making love. Men see it different. Men are able to make it purely physical then walk away.
For those of you that say no matter what you would walk away have never had the opportunity to blow 50K on a weekend and not worry about the bills.
It is a different world with different expectations. Like it or not having a huge bank account does afford you other perks.

SBSB October 14, 2008, 2:17 PM

I was briefly involved with a married NFL player.

I don’t know if his wife chose to turn a blind eye, but our “relationship” was brief because he really loves her.

tommyboy October 14, 2008, 2:18 PM

JJ, you said it! As long as man has some extra cash, women will flock to him and let him do whatever he wants. all he has to do is hand them something shiny, like jewelry, and all the “i’m an indpendant woman” phoniness gets tossed out the window.

Most men know this:
cash = a woman’s soul

no offense ladies, but it’s true.
men want hot women that make them feel good about themselves and women want cold hard cash. our society of full of examples of this theory.

Helene October 14, 2008, 2:24 PM

That’s a tough call. I understand your point, and think that many marriages endure infidelity because one-half or $000 is a lot less appealing than a wandering husband, especially if she’s getting a little lovin on the side too!

Jayne October 14, 2008, 2:25 PM

You are all missing why we aren’t supposed to cheat in the first place. If you believe in God, then you know it is in the “BIG TEN” thou shalt not commit adultery. That’s the only reason I know of. If you don’t believe in God, then go for it. Men and women alike. There is no reason not to cheat. Right?But since it is in the big ten then I personally wouldn’t do it. Lot’s of people say they believe, but I don’t think that they really do. There is lots of pointers of how to live your lives in the bible. But come on people, the “BIG TEN” has to be important. So for me cheating is not an option. Plus heaven seems like it will be full of women. So I hope sex isn’t a factor in heaven. Or there will be a lot of women with out men.

Angel October 14, 2008, 2:26 PM

My husband is by no means rich nor am I, but I would stay if he cheated so I don’t think these women necessarily stay just for the lifestyle (I’m sure some do, but not all). If the love between them and their husbands is real, then there is much to be said for that. I would never let one moment of weakness and stupidity destroy the relationship we have built together and the bond we have. Whether rich or poor, I would tolerate cheating (once) because I love my husband and I know he’s not perfect. I can only hope he would do the same for me if I am ever “weak”.

John in Delray October 14, 2008, 2:26 PM

Your honor is a gift that you give to yourself.
Your honor is all that you have when you are alone with G_d.

Kelly October 14, 2008, 2:35 PM

I’d rather have love with little money rather than money and a cheating husband. My life proves it. Seems the other way around would make me feel empty.

Alison October 14, 2008, 2:36 PM

Oh dear, this sort of thing is now news worthy?

To be clear, Katherine of Aragon’s motives were completely religious and in attempt to protect her daughter’s birthrights. She lived in an age when kings were expected to have mistresses. She was well aware prior to the divorce how well she would be kept when the marriage ended.
The Tudors may be entertaining but in factual areas is a disaster. I cannot watch it any longer, cannot stand the portrayal of Henry in appearance, manner and again, accuracy.
Some of us are relieved when a spouse takes a lover for whatever reasons that may be.

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