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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
CF98 October 14, 2008, 3:31 PM

I think it depends on how you view the relationship. Not everyone sees marriage as “love and romance” some its just a business arrangement nothing more. In some cultures marriages were arranged so if the spouse cheated its not nearly as bothersome because of how the relationship began. They agree on kids and how it looks but lead separate lives. I personally don’t see an issue with it only because everyone’s marriage is different and I would not foist my expectations onto other couples and I would not want the same to me.

Bette October 14, 2008, 3:35 PM

How desparate are you for money? Enough to risk your health (STDs) and self-esteem to keep in a non-exclusive relationship. Haven’t these people heard about alimony and child-support. If being rich causes infidelity I can understand why there are so many divorces among celebraties.
Frankly, if I were rich I would not want to buy a $600 purse or have my own bowling alley. I would like to do something worthwhile with all that money -scholarships, charities, cultural sponsorships, etc. I admire people like Bill and Melinda Gates and Paul Newman and his wife for their charitable use of their wealth.

giva October 14, 2008, 3:35 PM

Rich is in the home.. money or no money my baby is gonna get his lap dance ( triple affect) from me!!! I agree with those who say money is not everything.. dirt poor and respect vs. rich and lonely.. hmmm I have GOD in my life so am always rich and a mna that truely loves me.. I am Blessed..
(SOME WOMEN CAN BE EASILY BOUGHT) not the good ones though…

earth mama October 14, 2008, 3:36 PM

What happened to self reliance? What happened to being a complete person first to attract a complete person? Money and things are transient in life, they do not keep you company, comfort you in bad times nor make you a better person or self esteem…Love cannot be bought for any amount… TRH of Atlanta have no value in the real world… these women are some of the most shallow, immature souls I’ve seen…

Stephen October 14, 2008, 3:37 PM

I think CF98 is correct about it being their business. What business of ours what happens to other people. That said, a lot of people do have infidelity, both male and female, and more often than not, breaking up the marriage or relationship is worse than the affair. Some of these self rightious people need understand forgiveness rather than vengence. Perhaps that’s why we have a lot of single parents and children in poverty!

Michael October 14, 2008, 3:40 PM

Wow, I’m actually surprised by this and many of the comments!

Has marriage actually become nothing but a title change for so many people?

Infidelity is not something to take lightly! I can understand forgiving your husband if he shows remorse and promises not to do it again and shows he won’t, but to turn a blind eye any time he cheats and saying it’s fine and understandable … NO!

I can’t believe the sanctity of marriage has fallen so far :(

Jane October 14, 2008, 3:43 PM

How disgusting and pathetic can you be? You value $3000 purses over real love and commitment. I can’t STAND to watch these Real Housewives shows. I watched about two minutes and changed the channel. Women like this make me SICK to my stomach. Life and happiness ARE NOT about excess, indulgence, and wasteful materialism. If you want facts, google studies that show that the quality of our relationships have a MUCH more significant impact on happiness than money. So while you’re enjoying your $100,000 shopping spree, as soon as you get home the “high” you are feeling will fade, and the only thing that will fill you up again is another shopping spree. Do yourself a favor, strengthen your relationship because that will bring you eternal happiness, no credit card required. You think these women are happy? They ARE NOT. If they were so happy, they wouldn’t have to keep filling their empty lives with material things. We are in a financial crisis because EVERYONE thinks buying expensive things equals happiness. Just because you can afford these things rather than put them on credit cards doesn’t change anything. Just the fact that you WANT this much stuff means that you are trying to fix your problems by buying things. Their skank husbands let them blow the money hoping they’ll turn a blind eye, and the women feel entitled to blow the money since they are “putting up” with these husbands. If you seriously think this is better than living a modest life with a marriage full of love, then by all means good luck with that. I’m not a religious person by any means, but since the beginning of religion thousands of years ago, such as in Buddhism, it was noted that in order to find happiness we must TURN AWAY from obsessing over money and material things. If you think buying $3000 purses is better than having REAL happiness and love, I feel sorry for you. Please keep in mind that some women realize there is an alternative, aka Mrs. Michael Jordan and Mrs. Alex Rodriguez. They put up with their cheating husbands until realized they could STILL have the money AND get a divorce. Not to mention that these men could easily LEAVE YOU for a younger wife. Would you still be happy as long as he buys you a nice diamond before throwing you out of his life? Think about what your heart and soul are worth, don’t sell your soul in order to afford a $3000 handbag.

Ron October 14, 2008, 3:44 PM

If you are rich you can do pretty much anything you want.That’s a well known fact.Also most women are basically whores willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder so it’s no surprise that most women would “allow” their husband to cheat if they were living a lavish lifestyle.Women don’t marry rich men for love.They marry them for money so what do they care if hubby cheats as long as they have their fine cars & houses & all the things that go along with being the wife of a rich man??

earth mama October 14, 2008, 3:47 PM

I agree with Lilith 100%… I AM ONE in a million… and just kick my guy to the curb for testing my boundaries… his loss

Jan October 14, 2008, 3:48 PM

Sorry but why are these people on television?! It’s a joke and they don’t deserve the attention they’re getting. These men cheat because they don’t really love or respect what’s at home and why should they? Any decent guy out there can tell the difference between a real woman and a superficial hootchie looking for a meal ticket. In my opinion they all deserve each other! REAL marriage is based on love, trust, respect, etc., not money. Sure money is nice but I’d rather go to bed at night not wondering who my husbands out cheating with.

Geri October 14, 2008, 3:49 PM

I don’t understand why rich people even bother to get married. Especially if they can’t remain faithful.

Deidre October 14, 2008, 3:52 PM

Duh! Queen Catheryn fought to stay married because as a Catholic, she felt divorce was a horrible sin! She also wanted to prevent her child, Mary from being considered illegitimate and being denied her right to rule as the king’s first born. Henry offered to continue supporting her as the crown’s “beloved sister” as the “widow” of his older brother, whom she was engaged to before his death which left Henry the king and eventually her husband. So it had nothing to do with any jewels! Stuff like this is how people get history all wrong and why the rest of the world thinks all Americans are stupid. It’s called fact checking, so if she got that wrong, what else in her article was wrong?

Melissa October 14, 2008, 3:58 PM

This is very very sad. Money isn’t worth the self esteem and dignity you lose when you have a cheating spouse. and if it is worth it to some, then those some are very sad, lonely and pathetic. I suggest using that money to go to a psychologist and working on their self esteem issues.

Stan Kabrt October 14, 2008, 4:00 PM

The term is not rich man’s wife. It is rich man’s courtesan. The most solemn vow you can take is the public marriage vow you take before family, friends, and God.

After 36 years of marriage, my “maleness infidelity factor” still kicks in. My vow, love, and loyalty kick it immediately out.

Males are supposedly genetically programmed for infidelty. We are also programmed for murder, robbery, thuggery, and rape. We can can control and sublimate our predispositions. Wealth is no excuse for breaking your most solemn vow.

tmack October 14, 2008, 4:01 PM

I guess the best way to get back at a cheating husband is to stay married. Once you divorce them they are free to marry whomever. Besides if they can have a side dish so can you. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. And why settle for alimony when you can have everything.

Semi - there October 14, 2008, 4:07 PM

My BF ( not mega rich ) but is pretty good to me and me to him! He LOVES to flaut what he has ( nice car, his prized rolex etc., )He often puts on his charms with other women in front of me .. tests the waters so to speak… and I have caught him contacting other women online “working women” I HATE IT and he’s in therapy now because it’s either that or me … so i guess i rather be broke … keep the $$ & lifestyle, that’s no excuse to be a PIG!

Anonymous October 14, 2008, 4:07 PM

These woman suffer from very low self esteem. Selling your sole to the devil is never right — regardless of the “price.” Turn off the TV and get into the real world and take charge of your own life and assume some responsibility for yourself. The only difference between a 1,000 sq. foot home and 5,000 sq. foot home is 4,000 extra sq. feet. Being with someone just because they shower you with a lavish lifestyle doesn’t give you freedom. In fact, it robbs you of your independence.

REAL_REAL October 14, 2008, 4:09 PM

Lets keep it real. Men cheat…Sex is sex… sex is not love. It is in a man’s nature to look outside of his own pastures… Most men who cheat LOVE their wives… but I’d rather take half of the money and live well without his cheating ways.

Amber October 14, 2008, 4:09 PM

I would NEVER be ok with my husband chesting no matter how much money he has. I am happily married, no we are not rich with money but we are rich with love, respect and trust for each other and our family, and thats whhats important to me.

jo October 14, 2008, 4:09 PM

i had it all, mu ex husband bought me a house an suv and a huge diamond ring so i wouldnt leave him. i let the car get repoed, i walked away from the house i let him have it and i sold my diamond ring so i could go on my second honeymoon with my husband who is a blue collar worker and my soul mate. Screw the money it helps but it gets lonely. i have seen several rich people die alone its very sad. so to those men who think woman are shallow,and are small minded not all women are like that

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