Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
It has been reported that John Edwards has acknowledged he is the father of Rielle Hunter's baby girl. This confession confirms the belief that many people expressed, but that were previously denied by Mr. Edwards. According to press reports, Mrs. Edwards refuses to publicly discuss the status of her marriage.
The press also continues to speculate as to whether Elin Nordgren will pursue a divorce from Tiger Woods. These discussions include speculation about continuing the marriage for the sake of the children or trying to renegotiate the terms of a prenuptial agreement.
Elizabeth Edwards' story is certainly a sad one. While battling cancer, having to deal publicly with the paternity of this innocent child must be difficult. There are undoubtedly people who will criticize Mrs. Edwards in the event she continues in her marriage. Others will understand if she stays and assume she does not want to die alone or wants to spare her children a divorce. Still others will believe she should immediately begin divorce proceedings.
Only the person trying to decide whether he/she wants to stay in a marriage can truly understand the intricacies of the relationship. People often have opinions about other people's relationships. Some of these opinions relate to truly caring about some-one's well-being, while others consider it more of a sport or a diversion from the issues surrounding their own lives.
There are times when expressing concern such as issues involving domestic violence, or addiction are understandable. Often times these victims of abuse ( women and men) need professional help and support, including organizations that support abuse victims to exit their marriages.
Decisions regarding other issues as to when to stay or when to go involving infidelity, financial disagreements, differences over goals or child rearing should be the province of the individuals involved. Trying to force your opinion or judgement regarding another person's decision as to whether he or she should divorce can often have long term effects on your relationship with that person.
Regardless of your personal feelings involving the relationship of your family member, friend or acquaintance, the most important thing is to try to be supportive of the person trying to make a difficult choice.
Some people believe infidelity is abuse and that may indeed be the case, but perhaps the other person is not at a point in his/her life to choose to make the decision to divorce. The person may also decide that divorce is the best thing for them, while others believe they should stay in the relationship.
Recommendations that people considering this life altering experience seek professional help are certainly understandable. Otherwise, it would seem prudent to be a good friend to a person dealing with a difficult situation and decision.
Hopefully, the friends and family of Ms. Edwards and Ms. Nordgren will be supportive of them. This should also be applicable to those of us in the public reading about them.