What would you do if you were Elizabeth Edwards?
Irish and Irish American women respond to Edwards' memoir 'Resilience'
Jessica’s mother, Barbara, 53, thinks about the situation differently than her daughter. “Once again, this is proof that women are the stronger sex,” she said. “John Edwards was despicable to treat his wife with such disrespect, but it's not surprising that Elizabeth stayed with him. She's a woman who's dying and she is putting her children first, keeping the family together so that they don't have to deal with any more heartbreak.”
Ashley Wallace, 23, a New York City-based actress, thought of Elizabeth's children as well. "I would try to understand Elizabeth's choice as a mother because she was protecting her children from what is now an onslaught of publicity," she said. Wallace is, however, skeptical of Edwards' sharing of secrets in her book. She said, "Now that she is so willing to bring the affair to the public eye, I wonder if she truly has her family's health in mind. Perhaps it would be wiser for her to take time away from the media rather than invite more publicity into an already damaged family."
The Irish women we polled felt that Elizabeth should have dumped Edwards.
Brigid Corrigan, 63, a married woman from County Tipperary said: “I think she stayed with him for her own good and much as his. I think she was foolish to do so because he doesn’t deserve it, but she stayed because she wants to and she thought she was better with him than without.
“If he hadn’t been in the public eye, she could have easily told him to get lost if she was as devastated as she said she was.”
Susan Elliott, 30, of County Dublin had some choice words for Elizabeth as well. “Pathetic, maybe, but what best describes her is a woman in love. People do strange things and even stranger when they are besotted with a man. When the blinkers come off then she may realize that she is the pathetic one and not the mistress,” she said.
But some, such as Kathleen Overbeck, a 26-year-old Irish American from Minnesota, see the matter in an entirely different light. “Cancer is an ugly, unforgiving disease,” said Overbeck. “Elizabeth has found forgiveness in herself and beauty in the reflection of her husband's eyes. And if that brings her comfort, then it is comfort well-deserved.”