Huma Abedin is, depending on which papers you read, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, hanging in with her husband, Anthony Weiner, because of her future political aspirations, a product of a Saudi Arabian childhood, or under the delusions caused by Nice Jewish Boy Derangement Syndrome.
These are just a few of the reasons suggested for why a woman would stand by her sexually shamed husband. I offer a simpler reason: Love.
It’s a naïve suggestion, maybe, and no one can know what goes on inside another couple’s marriage, but it’s the only reason that makes sense to me. When Jeremy and I watched the clip of Weiner explaining himself and, along with most of America probably, completely ignored whatever he was saying to watch Abedin force smile after shaky smile, I thought, “I can’t imagine being in her position.” I couldn’t imagine being married to such a well-publicized shmuck, whose brainlessness about the whole lewd scandal was even more disturbing than the acts themselves, and having to stand next to him, smile blithely and, even worse, go home with him after.
But then I thought about it and I realized I could. I could imagine being in her position. Not because, God forbid, I can ever imagine Jeremy doing anything of the sort, but because I can imagine standing by him, no matter what. Perhaps it’s not the most flattering aspect of my personality, but it’s true: I would stand by Jeremy before my principles. My love for him — our relationship — is the single guiding aspect of my life. Without our marriage, I would flounder, and I can’t say the same about anything else in my life at this point.
Isn’t it possible, then, that Abedin feels the same way about her husband? Isn’t it possible that she simply loves him and doesn’t want to leave him because, whatever else he his, he’s her husband and the man she married, presumably out of love? Not to mention the fact that they have a child together, which I would imagine makes a marriage even harder to break. Is it really so ridiculous to think that this is the reason for her loyalty?
No, I’ve never been in her position, and no, I have no reason to think that my outsider’s opinion is any nearer to the truth than anyone else’s. But, were I ever in her position, I think I might make the same decisions that she had. I know that I would put my love for Jeremy before so many other things, possibly even including bizarre sexual proclivities. I love him; it’s that simple.
Simi Lichtman is a contributor to the Forward.
Huma Stayed for Love