Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #8: The Curious Case Of A Real-Life “Good Wife” Maria Shriver

Ah…so many lessons can be learned by studying the choices of others – particularly women of privilege who are purported to “have it all”.

A story loosely based on the Schwarzenegger marriage may likely be a Lifetime Movie Of The Week that will air this Fall. I’d bet money on it! Hey ya’ll, just a few thoughts are going to be dispensed rapid-fire style so saddle up! The public revelation of the long-term infidelity and betrayal of Arnold Schwarzenegger that has finally culminated in the break-up of his marriage to Maria Shriver should not have come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. If you lived in California during the time of his and the Republican’s “Total Recall” election sham that ousted Governor Gray Davis you would have noted the allegations of his long-history of cheating and sexual aggression enacted against other women.

I applaud those who managed to keep this bombshell a secret FOR TEN YEARS though {HOW!!!} – he never would’ve been elected had the public gotten wind of it!! I know Newt Gingrich is planning a run for the White House and I laugh! If some people want to vote for a serial cheater who has been married multiple times and abandoned his former wives when ill – while espousing family values, I’ll call a FOOL a FOOL. From a political standpoint the Ah-nuld debacle is even more frightening than most have still processed because some of those political yahoos were talking about amending the Constitution to allow a foreign-origin President – him! Those are some powerful allies at work who wanted to deploy a Trojan Horse scenario. Look at the condition of California post- Ah-nuld. Not all of it has to do with the economy, but of course many aspects that have damaged this country are a direct result of policies enacted by (and in collusion with Democrats) Republicans.

WE DODGED A MAJOR BULLET!!!!

This would’ve been even worse than the Bush years in my opinion. That type of greed, ambition and lack of morality is NOT to be ignored. At least Shrub and Laura seem to genuinely love each other. I don’t care how famous or wealthy or popular someone is. Schwarzenegger never should have been elected in the first place, but the idiots people who selected him were blinded by the movie star light instead of asking the important questions like: does he know what he’s doing? Many of them lost their jobs and homes but did they learn their lesson or become Tea Party members instead?

Okay, I’m done with my political rant. This is not going to be a poor Maria post, however. I’m fairly certain she knew what or so she thought she was getting into and for her the benefits of being married to Ah-nuld outweighed the less pleasant aspects. Also, we don’t know what Maria has been up to behind the scenes, either. Perhaps she’s more discreet. I have no idea….nor do I really care to be frank. She’ll be fine. People make their choices and have to live with the unknown potential or ramifications.

Is Maria Shriver going to do a round of television interviews discussing how she had low self-esteem and other internal struggles which left her vulnerable to such a charismatic but flawed man? Is she going to present herself as a woman wronged and a victim? I highly doubt she’d admit to having been willing to tolerate some of the things Ah-nuld did for her personal gain or to please her husband (where the press will suddenly have “new” information about other compromising or embarrassing revelations), but hit a wall over the kid he had with another woman.

I haven’t even discussed the pink elephant in the room regarding the way the Kennedy’s became wealthy or the history of cheating, rapes and dead bodies that have allegedly been at the hands of various males in that family. Are we supposed to ignore the ugly underbelly because they’re a marquee name? Wouldn’t Ah-nuld’s behavior simply be par for the course? Whatever compromises and sacrifices that took place Shriver has not been decimated monetarily — unlike many women in a similar situation.

Here we see the results of a calculating woman who created an opportunity to connect with a powerful married man who isn’t her husband had already shown signs of betrayal. Of course such a person would make herself readily available – and getting pregnant accidentally on purpose only cements the tie. If the wife thinks there is room for a yardstick to parse out betrayal she may find herself in for a rude awakening. Some men are very easily led by their you know what. Reading that the home-wrecker/opportunist Mildred Patricia Baena had unprotected sex with him makes my stomach turn, but people will do dirt when they think there’s going to be payday.

It has always bothered me the way Shriver was described as “having given up her career in journalism” when she married Ah-nuld. As a young girl something didn’t ring true. Some women need outside stimulus in addition to having a family and they should have those needs met in some capacity. I’ve always wondered if Shriver compromised an important part of her identity to be with a man who had to have a dominant role. It takes a strong woman with a solid sense of who she is to be able to handle certain men, so there isn’t a huge imbalance. We can and must ensure patriarchy works to our advantage and not allow ourselves to be run over by men.

This is why black women are experiencing these diminished personal relationships with black males because they are reacting to a “man shortage” and lack, instead of choosing from a variety of racial and ethnic groups, being expansive. The massive out of wedlock, never-married and HIV rates are the culmination of too much compromise and lack of integrity. Other women can also find themselves abused, abandoned and ridiculed. Newt Gingrich’s first wife was battling cancer when he walked out on her. Later on, after claiming some ignorance of the details, the second ex-wife has come out swinging – but that was after he dogged her out, too. Hadn’t he already shown who he was? The sheer gall of his reprehensible behavior was only topped by his political hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for…..yup cheating.

If Gingrich thinks he’s going to trot out yet another home-wrecker/opportunist as the next First Lady after Michelle Obama he’s forgetting that WOMEN vote, too. I’d hope that even Republican women would enact those “family values” that’s part of their party’s official agenda and send a message of rejection with a quickness. Where‘s Sexy Sarah [Palin] when we need her? The Republicans are so vocal about promoting the idea of being in support of the hetero family structure but as we see often stumble publicly in practice. From the foot-tapping men looking for bathroom hook-ups with other men, to the ones who start second families with women who are NOT their current wives without an ounce of remorse [so it appears] this goes far beyond a single mistake that can be worked on.

This is why it is 10000000% important that a woman EVALUATE and VET and TEST her mate. Not just during courtship, but after marriage. Keeping a tight lease on any women in your vicinity when you’re married to an alpha male is not something any wife should have to worry about if she’s chosen a man of caliber — but an ounce of prevention is certainly smart. Obviously, I think Ah-nuld (Newt, John Edwards, etc] display the worst qualities of an alpha male gone rogue who’ve been allowed to run roughshod over their wives and dominate without wisdom. This is also a prime example of DBR behavior and they are TOXIC. These men have failed to PROTECT their families. Since they mostly have ADDED strife they’ve also failed at PROBLEM-SOLVING.

A relationship is only as good as the two people involved and how much they value it. I do think the fact that her soon to be ex-husband knocked up a household staff member (hello sexual coercion and harassment law violations) and kept it a secret for a decade (HOW????) was beyond LOW. I suppose the impact on the Schwarzenegger children finding out they have a bastard half-sibling was likely too much to overlook. I mean come on! How is that gonna look? What is going on with these men and unprotected sex in the age of AIDS?!!  Gah!

We’ll never know what Maria knew, when she knew it and how much it matters. Nor do we need to. Really…it’s none of our business. I do find the political ramifications and maneuvering important to pay attention to though. Being married to a Kennedy was a huge boon for Ah-nuld. He has always needed Maria’s family clout, prestige and money (though he earned his own) to help solidify his ambitions. I don’t know what she got out of the marriage because I never understood the appeal beyond his supposedly not being intimidated by her background.  Apparently, not if he’s running around impregnating paid employees that lived in Maria’s house!

That is the ultimate example of disrespect, but I can’t help but wonder how many other “little” betrayals added up over the years….but the hubris of this….wow! This can’t be filed under the “celebrity shenanigans” file either. The repercussions that may negatively impact the children cannot be discounted. The fact she didn’t even know blows my mind. That may also be press spin. Either way — yuck!!!

****

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter in the Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage series. Check out Vol 1.  – Vol. 7.  My “The Good Wife” television show Season Two wrap-up will be the companion piece to this post to be published on Monday.

29 Replies to “Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #8: The Curious Case Of A Real-Life “Good Wife” Maria Shriver”

  1. Poor Maria—don't forget she CAME from a cheating family (the KENNEDYS) and either didn't know better, or got 'attracted' to it…education sometimes DOESN'T make a woman smart when it comes to her emotions, and what feels right….Maria could even be a general and she will still been cheated on…….One thing that surprized me, was that many educated women could make some of the stupidest decisions on when it came to whom they had their children by——black women especilally--we were supposed to be liberated, remember?

    1. No woman is 100% guaranteed a faithful and devoted husband the entire length of their marriage. I highly doubt there weren't PLENTY of warning signs, flashing lightbulbs and alarms going off though. Unlike most other women she still has money, fame and family to catch her from falling too hard.

  2. "This is why black women are experiencing these diminished personal relationships with black males because they are reacting to a “man shortage” and lack, instead of choosing from a variety of racial and ethnic groups, being expansive. "

    100000 times THIS. I have seen this happen to too many black women in my life. They look at me as if I am insane for having the "nerve" not to waste my time with the thug clones that roam the streets, call me a sell out because I have the "nerve" to date men who aren't black. And where are they? Having babies by the men who are cheating on them with 3 other women, giving them STDs and leaving when they feel is due. I can't help but pity them, because in the end they are choosing the life of a man who won't give a thought about them when the going gets tough.

    1. Excuse my late response, but I was working on another post that would cover that dysfunctional line of thinking as you can see from the later posts. What usually happens is those women defend their choices and want to attack any other woman for choosing BETTER. It highlights to them where they failed and instead of trying to change they'd rather sink every other woman in the process. Then there's the ones who argue about their one "good" or "decent" black male they know. As if ONE guy is going to make up for the 99 CRAPPY ONES!

  3. It seems he has an enormous disrespect toward women. He cheated on his wife and did not love or respect her enough to take precautions to ensure he did not pass any of the myriad sexually transmitted diseases on to her. I wonder does this man value his children? This is an example of what can happen when you marry a 'bad boy'. He is DBR and this is the type of man women need to handle with lead gloves. Just like Jesse James or Sean Combs; money and power does not make a man commitment/marriage material.

    I agree 100% women can not slack up on the 'game' once they get married. Whatever she did to attract him initially, she needs to continue (and refine) to keep him.

    Peace

    1. Southland Diva: I'm now wondering — did I need to specifically mention Ah-nuld is a DBR or has the audiene already fogured that out on their own? Thanks for your feedback.

  4. Situations like the Maria Shriver's are why I've come to the conclusion that discussing your relationship publicly is almost always a bad idea. When you talk about how good your man is--especially if you've married a so-called alpha male--there are going to be other women that want to get a taste of what you have and they don't care about how they affect your relationship. Also, the things you say can come back to bite you when your relationship does fall on hard times because then everybody starts wondering what you've been hiding all these years under your smile.

    I think all women have to learn how to be discrete and protect your relationship from invaders--whether that invader is the media trying to get a juicy quote or telling your husband he can't have a female assistant or that the only household help is not allowed to consort with the family. Whatever it takes. Because a relationship can go right for 20 years and then something or someone else manages to slip into the picture and tear things apart.

    1. You bring up excellent points Jamila. I've often felt a hint of bragging from Maria Shriver -- not pride in her marriage which extended from being led by her ego and the outside appearance of "success". For a man, a husband to have kept an OOW child a secret for nearly half of my marriage I'd have to concur that I really didn't know him at all or was deeply entrenched in living a lie for appearances. We, don't know if the story as presented is true either. None of the people involved have any credibility. I do feel tremendous sympathy for Maria's children who may likely be feeling rather humiliated and disappointed right now -- in both of their parents.

      1. "For a man, a husband to have kept an OOW child a secret for nearly half of my marriage I'd have to concur that I really didn't know him at all or was deeply entrenched in living a lie for appearances."

        I was thinking the same thing. And since she was telling the media how great her relationship was, and how she relished his bad-boy side, that was just a recipe for trouble. 'Cause you start with appearances, then you have to maintain that appearance. She allowed the nanny and the boy to go on family vacations over the years too. Huh????What are you doing allowing your housekeeper and her son to go on vacation with your family like you all are best-friends/equals unless you are intentionally turning a blind eye to/in denial about what is going on right under your nose?

        1. Oh..ok…so it was like that, huh? SMH…cuz the opportunist/home-wrecker does also have other children. Were they ALL allowed on these family jaunts? SMDH.

          1. Maria, thought she was marrying a different type of man from what she was used to being around. Turns out she was marrying the same type of man. Many of the men in her family where known for cheating and she in turned married a cheater and a lier.

          2. Lois, I honestly have no idea what Maria Shriver was looking for. This is a lesson for ALL women to dig deep and KNOW THYSELF. She attracted and selected him after all. Plenty of women choose rotten men — or remain alone. This is why we need to be on top of every aspect in our lives.

    2. Jamila said: "I've come to the conclusion that discussing your relationship publicly is almost always a bad idea. When you talk about how good your man is--especially if you've married a so-called alpha male--there are going to be other women that want to get a taste of what you have and they don't care about how they affect your relationship."

      ^^This. Also, I've come to realize that those who tend to brag about things more than likely have the least to brag about.

  5. @ Nia, I suppose Maria did have her eyes opened like many bw but, chose to ignore the behavior, until the world found out exactly what type of character she was married to. Yes, I know she will be OK. She has the sympathy of the world. I always thought she married below herself but, she was attracted to his high self value and his I don't give a ##)#*@ what people think mentality.

  6. Remaining quotes from Maria -- When I started going out with him, people were like, ‘What?’ And he was never bothered by that. The thing I admired about him was that he never tried to play it safe. People say to him, ‘You can’t do this or do that.’ He doesn’t care.” Arnold tells me, “This is what she fell in love with—me. This is the way I am—outrageous, out there. And it comes with things that are not all rosy.”____

    Not rosy -- what an understatement!!

    1. Like I said, I'm not invested in their marriage. This is for women to remember who they are and to set standards. Let's keep focused on the larger message at hand and not segue into gossiping.

  7. Here are some quotes from Maria given in a 2005 Vanity Fair interview: ____“I did not marry the boy next door. I did not want to. People at first were like, ‘You married the other side of the tracks!’ They have trouble with the class thing. You are supposed to live a life that they project onto you.… Everyone assumed that I was supposed to marry someone like a John Kerry, some preppy that had gone to Harvard or Yale. I didn’t want to marry those boys—I did not like them. I had been around them my whole life. I interrupted the story line. I wanted out of that suffocation. I wanted someone different. I married my authentic self. And after all these years we are still engaged with each other, hot for each other, into each other. There hasn’t been a moment when I have been bored. I have worked and worked on my marriage, and it has paid off. All of my friends say, ‘I want what you and Arnold have.’____“

    1. Whether Maria was experiencing that in her own mind or projecting we'll never know. He had had the OOW kid by then after all. Sometimes we don't want to listen to other people's advice about steering us towards certain people and situations. Obviously, she was happy at some point and perhaps she tolerated certain indiscretions like I said. We never know how things are going to turn out and she had a good run considering.

      1. My thoughts are jumbled as I write this, so I hope y’all can make out what I’m trying to get across. I think what might have happened relates back to what another poster wrote about her comments about marrying him, a person from "the other side of the tracks". Her use of the word “preppy” and her explanation just stuck with me, and saying things like “I married my authentic self” just seems like she’s trying to run away from what she is.
        It’s like a girl from the suburbs who would date thugs because it seemed soooo cold and hip, and in direct defiance of her parent’s wishes. Maria probably was raised by people who constantly drilled in her a classist mentality, and as such, she went out of her way to be with, and eventually marry, a good enough man who wasn't like the person her family and friends wanted her to marry. By doing so, she in essences proves to herself that she is not like them. However, she fails to realize what she has truly gotten herself into by ignoring the ills in the man she has chosen to call her husband. But if his wrong doings go public, everyone will know that not everything is as peachy as it seems and that she made a terrible mistake, proving her parents right. So she covers up what he does by doing things like ignoring complaints from various women on his harassing behavior, or overcompensating for his faults by bragging about what’s nice about him to various media outlets. I think she reached a breaking point in terms of how many lies she needed to keep telling herself and others in order to hold everything together before “fit hit the shan” with the son of the housekeeper, and then it was over.

    2. LOL, I wonder does her friends still want Maria's marriage.
      The grass is not always greener on the other side. Hmmm, I wonder how many of her friends did Arnold "have".

  8. Faith you are correct when you said, "Women are the Prize." AA women do not forget that. Vet all men.

    I was watching Oprah today and she was interviewing Dr. Tererai Trent. She is phenomenal. AA women can learn from her.

    1. Oh really? I know Oprah's daytime show is winding down. I had to back off after she bombarded us with too many rape-oriented shows back to back at the beginning of the season. And Tyler Perry — talk about distasteful! What was the guest discussing?

      1. I will not watch her show if I do not care for the subject matter. Everything is not for everyone.
        However, Oprah does seem to have a passion for Tyler. Since she was a raped victim I supposed that is a subject close to her heart. Let's face it there are many women and girls who are being raped in this country and are too scared to report the incident. On the other hand, the people who usually talk about this subject matter are usually ww or wm.

        1. Yes, Lois Perry and Winfrey seem to have bonded over a mutual traumatic experience and since neither has gotten therapy or resolved things (as best you can considering), then they continue to circle these issues in the most unhealthy ways. Black people seem to have a deep aversion to seeking professional help and instead want to rely on man-made religion which does nothing to help you move forward. I also take issue with using that dysfunction as an excuse to denigrate other black women, as Perry does in his films.

  9. Of all of your comments the one that stuck out to me most was: "This is why it is 10000000% important that a woman EVALUATE and VET and TEST her mate. Not just during courtship, but after marriage." I have recently been reading a series of relationship books about passive-agressive men, dating, and vetting. One of the most interesting concepts that has come up is that some men will try to push boundaries and buttons and create distance EVEN AFTER marriage. The books I have been reading suggest that you keep your husband on his toes at ALL times through implementing a variety of tactics, some of which you have mentioned on your site.

    I believe that many women think that once they have gotten married, they have won. In a manner of speaking -- yes. However, it is similar to professional boxing. Just because you win one championship does not mean it's over. Someone is looking to come up from behind and either inflict heavy damages and gain a hefty purse or win the title for themselves. You can not afford to become lax after marriage. Some of this can be managed based on the man a woman marries, but you can never take your partnership for granted.

    1. LDub512: Welcome and thanks for your feedback. We can never become complacent in any relationship, be it work or personal. Lust and the thrill of that initial coupling wears off even for married folks…so it's important to keep things interesting. Not drama-filled, but not taking anything for granted. Women must keep up their appearance and always be prepared to WALK if said man acts out of turn in any significant way. A man should never be so secure that he's bagged a woman for good that he begins to get lazy or abusive. It's up to the woman to set that tone: which is why we MUST KILL THE IDEA THAT MEN ARE THE PRIZE when it comes to relationships. No…..it's WOMEN AS THE PRIZE. Not to mention the fact many women get with a guy they know is inadequate or troublesome in a significant way but ignore it..until it rears up to shatter her life. See my extended piece on The Good Wife and lesson we can learn from Alicia on Monday.

  10. "A relationship is only as good as the two people involved and how much they value it." AMEN!!!!! My friends discuss infidelity all the time perhaps b/c that is our greatest fear in a relationship. In our discussion of vetting men, I've come to the understanding that the underlying attitude that is the most damaging is the entitlement mentality. With certain men, it seems that above all, nothing is more important than their own personal desires. I want/deserve/and will have at ANY cost WHATEVER I WANT. This seems to be the thing that screams out at me as the type of mentality that leads to behaviors like infidelity. In my "male behavior re-education" (thx WWNH!), I'm still trying to figure this particular entitlement mentality out.

    1. Much of the entitlement mentality you speak of is the direct result of how these inconsiderate males were raised…by WOMEN. I'll be tying this into pop culture references and using examples of non-black men in my Monday post on the Season recap of The Good Wife tv show. The husband on that show is a classic low-value male. I'm not quite prepared to refer to him as a DBR because he was supposedly a good father…but we'll see about that as Season 3 unfolds. Peter Florrick is selfish, entitled, expects to be coddled and was quick to throw blame at his wife instead of taking full responsibility. If you look at the relationship he has with his mother, you can see exactly why he behaves the way he does. Which is why his marriage to Alicia is over. Or at least it should be…

Comments are closed.