Because while the cameras are always focused on the errant husband, we are transfixed by the wife. From Clinton to Craig to Spitzer to Edwards to Ensign we wonder: Why does she take this? Why do we take this? So when Jenny Sanford broke the mold and dispatched her husband to face the cameras alone, we cheered. Maybe this time she’d leave him. Maybe there was hope for us.
Well, yes. But she left out an important recent example: Dina Matos McGreevy.
When the erstwhile Garden State governor outed himself as a "gay American" -- the phrase still grates, five years later -- she stood beside him on the podium. She was expressionless, except for a small wince when he acknowledged "the pain I have caused ... my wife." He called her "extraordinary," even as he alluded to the "likely impact" of his sexuality upon his family.
But since then, they have had an especially nasty public divorce and custody battle. Books have been written, Oprah's couch has been bounced upon. For a while there, Dina was on the warpath, Kramer-vs-Kramer style. Nobody could blame her; the eventually-to-be-Rev. Mr. McGreevy is a sleazy guy, and she has every reason to make herself and her children visibly, patently, distinct from him. And that required some baring of the teeth.
And we at the Egg do admire the patrician reserve of Jenny Sanford, who seems like a hell of a woman. But we also admire Dina Matos, in the ring, fighting for her dignity.