I may be a little late but I only found out about the situation Wendy Williams was dealing with regarding her husband while at my hair stylist this past Friday. I was aware of her fainting on her show but not of her current personal struggles. The owner of the salon, an avid fan of Wendy was discussing Wendy’s situation, specifically that Wendy’s husband had apparently purchased an expensive house in the same neighborhood as the marital home and had bought his mistress a ring that rivaled the ring that Wendy herself had received. She posed a question to all of us in the salon. Should Wendy stay?
When writing my book Please God Send Me a Husband, I had the honor and privilege of speaking with many women about personal details of their marriage including those who had to endure infidelity. Some of the women remained married and even continued to have happy marriages, some stayed in unhappy marriages and some divorced.
What I learnt from some of these courageous women is that the act of being unfaithful is sometimes only a small part in the decision to stay or leave. Women who stayed and were able to enjoy a happy marriage described this in common in their spouses. “He fulfilled his responsibilities to the marriage”. For some of these women, part of the responsibilities included being a good father to their children, fulfilling any financial obligations, continuing to support them as women, allowing them their independence and otherwise being respectful.
One woman who divorced her husband stated that the infidelity played little if any part but the final straw was when he failed to make good on a promise to their daughter. Specifically, a promised Christmas gift that he failed to buy because he told her that “didn’t have time”. She remarked. “He could have asked me. I was mad, I did not buy his excuse, and I decided then and there that I was not doing this every Christmas.”
For one woman who did stay but has remained unhappy in the union the decision is financial because she feels unable to support herself on her own. She struggles with the lack of respect that her spouse continues to show.
So my instinctual reaction to the question raised by the salon owner is no. Wendy should leave but it has less to do with the infidelity and more to do with the other factors involved. I cannot understand how a man who loves her can continue a relationship with another woman for ten years. I cannot understand how a man who loves her would buy such an expensive house and ring for another woman. I can’t understand that a man who loves her would not make a public apology given her being a public figure.
But I am not Wendy Williams and I have not been in her marriage for twenty years so I really can’t answer the question for her. However the only question I think she needs to ask herself in deciding whether or not to stay with him is, does the decision she makes allow her to love herself at least as much as she loves him.