Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thinking about Marriages

There is such a cynicism about Hillary and Bill Clinton's marriage - that she is opportunistic or scheming - that she is a pawn, that he is a pawn.....that they can't be trusted because no one trusts that she would stay in such a marriage.

I have no good advice or worthy opinions on other people's marriages. I failed at one marriage myself and I am the child of divorced parents. Funnily enough I still believe in the institution, even though I don't understand it. It is similar to my love of opera - I can't sing it myself, I often don't understand it, but I still admire it.

Now we have another President's complicated marriage to dissect and examine. Historian, Joseph E. Persico details the marriage of Franklin Roosevelt in his new book "Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life". Lucy Mercer was hired as Eleanor Roosevelt's social secretary in 1913. Five years later, a stricken Eleanor discovered a bundle of love letters from Lucy to her husband. Eleanor has written that "the bottom dropped out of my particular world" and she offered Franklin a divorce, but his mother threatened to disinherit him, and his political adviser cautioned that accepting it would destroy his chances of becoming president. FDR returned to his wife, promising that he would never again share the marital bed — or see Lucy Mercer, who married a man 29 years her senior. Persico's book makes it clear that FDR didn't keep his promise (he and Mercer had continuing relations for decades) and that there were other women. Take a look at this article to find out more about Persico's book

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