Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage #8: The Curious Case Of 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.


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

  • calpurnia

    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?

  • PlusSizeWomanist

    "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.

  • 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.


  • Jamila

    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.

  • lois

    @ 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.

  • Nia-Maya

    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!!

  • Nia-Maya

    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.’____“

  • lois

    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.

  • LDub512

    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.

  • Shermy

    "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.