Is the Mistress (or "Third Person") to Blame for the End of a Marriage?

In a new Oprah interview, John Edwards' mistress says No.


Oh, the John Edwards affair. Still in the news. (I know, I know: I'm helping to perpetuate it.) He and Rielle Hunter not only created a human baby, they created an unstoppable media Minotaur. Last month, the new issue of GQ featured pictures of the one-time presidential candidate's former mistress and baby momma in underwear, a white blouse and a pearl necklace, amid her child's toys. (The effect was remarkably white-trashy, fancy jewels aside.)

And now Hunter has visited with Oprah in order to defend her role in the affair. The interview she gave the talk-show mogul aired yesterday.

I won't bore you with the details; I'll let Salon do that.

I'll simply note that, in the interview, Hunter denies being a homewrecker, saying, "It is not my experience that a third party wrecks a home. I believe the problems exist before a third party comes into the picture.... I do not believe I wrecked his home."

And I have to say I agree with her. Of course she's not a homewrecker. Rielle Hunter didn't promise Elizabeth Edwards that she would stay faithful to her through life; John Edwards made that promise. And if a guy values his marriage, and his wife's trust, then--in approximately 999 cases out of 1000--he's not going to cheat on the mother of his children, certainly not with the first (or, who knows, maybe the 10th) dopey bimbo who comes down the pike. (Not that I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Edwards either. But that's another story.) If he doesn't value his marriage, if he's bored or unhappy or looking for a little action on the side, he'll find it somewhere.

(Let me pause here for a moment and say: Yep, I used the word "bimbo" up there, and I do think this Hunter chick seems like a bimbo--whereas, perhaps it's worth pointing out, Edwards was an incredibly smart, savvy and successful guy who managed to get into one of the most elite groups in the country: the presidential candidates group. Hunter, on the other hand, was living out of her car at one point in her life, barely scraping by financially. If ANY one of the two of them should have been able to understand the bigger picture, etc, I'm gonna say it should've been Johnny. With great power comes greater responsibility, and all that.)

So, my point for today is this: I think if someone's gonna cheat, he or she is gonna cheat--and a person who is IN A MARRIAGE and cheats is MORE blameworthy and despicable than an unattached person who helps a cheater to cheat.

Do you peeps agree? Do you think I'm being overly simplistic?

I mean sure, in an ideal world, no one would cheat--not married people, and not the single people they cheat with. But we don't live in an ideal world.

(Enjoy your weekend.)