Why are we so mad at Arnold?

Are we mad because he had a child with another women or because he hid the child or because he cheated on America’s royal sweetheart? Or all the above?

A bit confusing really since we know that infidelity happens all the time and is responsible for many marriage breakups. And let’s face it  – where there is sex there is potential for a baby. Hello!  I guess the entire media craze seems just a bit surreal.  Maria has been betrayed and that hurts a lot – no question, but something about this just does not sit well. It is easy to label him as the bad guy and certainly no one would argue that he made a series of bad decisions, firstly in cheating and then concealing the child.  But he did not murder any one and there is after all a child that matters as much as Maria’s children.

Maria needs to focus on healing and the sooner the media stops labeling Arnold as the bad guy the sooner Maria and her kids can move on. Victims often do look for compensation for their victimization but the outcome is usually much less satisfying then one would expect, partly because there is no real way to escape the pain of betrayal except time.

Arnold made a series of decisions that in reflection seem selfish and without regard for those he loves but to label anything so black and white is naïve. While having any sympathy for Arnold is clearly not popular, I have no doubt that he was torn in many ways with the consequences of his actions.  Torn of course, unless he is a narcissist or sociopath, in which case the pain caused by his actions will have no real effect on him.

I wonder if his decision to conceal the truth about his son would have been different if he was not going to risk his career as well as his family. This trend of relentless judgement causes chaos in lives and perhaps is some of the root cause of other issues that America is having in the world and at home. How about the more spiritual approach of empathy and support without so much personal judgement?

Just saying….


  1. Nic says:

    Great post!

    For m,I hate Arnold for all the above.Once a cheater will always be a cheater.

  2. Nic
    I hear you and agree. While I have seen some marriages overcome infidelity those are few and fair between.

  3. Abigail says:

    “…infidelity happens all the time and is responsible for many marriage breakups.”

    This is the long term consequence of the mostly male legislatures of the early 1970s, getting rid of alienation of affection laws.

    Per WHO studies, there’s a high correlation between domestic abuse and infidelity. Both are the main reasons for marriages breaking up – something quite traumatic for children. Teen son Patrick Schwartzenegger even changed his name to Shriver to illustrate his disdain and distress over his father’s lies.

    Emotional traumas cause surges of toxic stress hormones which injure the victim’s neurology. Shania Twain was so devastated by her husband’s / business partner’s betrayal and blacking out of communication (he and his adultery partner pretended Shania was already dead), she told Oprah she didn’t want to live…even though she had a young son at the time – that’s how injurious the stress hormones caused by a marriage partner’s infidelity can be.

    Toxic stress hormones also singe the telomeres on DNA molecules, which disables healthy cells replacing themselves, and enables cancer cells to take over. That’s what happened to Elizabeth Edwards – John Edwards’ infidelity stressed her out so much, her breast cancer metastasized and killed her.

    So, it can be argued that infidelity is a form of domestic abuse, causing internal physical harm.

    Those who have experienced both physical abuse and emotional abuse will tell you the emotional abuse hurt worse.

    Children witnessing abuse, and experiencing the betrayal to family of a parent’s infidelity, also experience surges of stress hormones – except their brains are still developing. Many end up unable to concentrate in school, and many start self medicating with drugs, alcohol, and too early sex. Children of divorce are 4 times more likely to become divorced themselves in adulthood.

    As fMRIs become more readily available, we will be able to show the real physical harm caused by emotional abuse and infidelity, not just for the betrayed spouse, but also for the children.

    Those who perpetrate these injustices should have to pay restitution, especially if the adulterer gives STDs to his or her marriage partner. But, because there’s no more alienation of affection laws, they do not, and the problem has grown to epidemic proportions, 30 years after the laws were eliminated….and domestic abuse is the same or worse as during the days when women did not have the vote, only about 100 years ago.

    Lag time effects are real.