John Edwards’ Situation Looks Bleak – Can It Be Saved?

By now, the news of John Edwards’ admittance to fathering a child with a woman working on his campaign has hit the airwaves and is making its way around the media. Talk shows, news programs, morning shows ~ everyone is riffing off of this admission and everyone has something to say about it. One thing seems to be the general consensus: that following Edwards’ earlier admission to having an affair with this woman, yet denying paternity of the father, no one is actually surprised he’s reneged on this earlier claim.

Can John Edwards’ Marriage Be Saved?

Elizabeth has said she does not want the press questioning her or speculating on what she should or shouldn’t do, and this desire for privacy makes sense. But one can’t help but wonder how this all played out within their marriage. When John admitted adultery last year he made it clear that it was something he already worked out with his family – had he worked this out with them as well? That we may never know, and I don’t want to take the tack of gossip columnists and nay-sayers so I’ll simply say that yes, I still believe John and Elizabeth’s marriage can be saved.

In addition to committing sexual adultery, fathering a baby with his mistress and covering it all up, Edwards may also have committed Financial Infidelity by using money from the campaign to cover up the baby. As is often the case, where one type of infidelity is present, the other is not far behind. When looking at Edwards’ past, it’s easy to see how and why he may have slipped into a pattern of infidelity.

Years ago he and Elizabeth lost a child, then during the elections Elizabeth had a health scare due to cancer, which I believe caused a Biochemical Craving for Connection – I talk about this further in my book, Financial Infidelity. This craving is often found when people are under a lot of stress – something Edwards and fellow adulterer Tiger Woods have in common. It’s probably the case that Edwards couldn’t handle the idea of losing his wife and so he sought a way to cancel out that fear by deciding to have an affair. It’s a way of acting out – not talking out – extreme feelings in a person’s life.

What Causes Adultery?

Adultery is a disease like alcoholism caused by stress, loss and separation and the baby he admitted to could have subconsciously been a replacement for the son he lost a long time ago. While not justifiable and not something easily gotten over, this is never-the-less why adultery is forgivable, a topic I cover in-depth in “Adultery the Forgivable Sin.” It is a disease and a cry for help – Edwards had been acting out his fear of losing his wife by doing things to self-medicate himself.

The truth is out in the open and ready to be dealt with. Traditionally, men have a harder time talking about their feelings and therefore seek “comfort” by engaging in risky behavior. Once this behavior is discovered – often in the form of an affair – it doesn’t have to signal the end of a relationship.


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