This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, July 4, 2008

How Brinkley can avoid the "victim" role

Christie Brinkley, who is divorcing her husband of 10 years because of his affair with a teenager, is in for a long healing process.

She's been criticized, I've read in the news, by her husband Peter Cook's attorney for being angry and perhaps using that anger to get back at Cook. But it's good to see that she can respond to that criticism fairly. Of course, she's angry. She has a right to be angry. Her husband cheated on her. It's a classic case. There's nothing new here. And it's typical that her husband and his lawyer are trying to paint her as somehow wrong for feeling that anger, that it's a detriment to her children.

I'm sure she's handling this in the best way she can, given the circumstances. And I hope she stands her ground. No, she doesn't want to stay in a place of anger for long. Of course not. But she's still right in the middle of a really devastating experience. If you haven't been the "woman scorned," if you don't know what it's like to feel so discarded, then you probably won't understand her anger. But I know from my own similar experience that she has to allow herself to feel that anger. For too long now, I bet she's felt nothing but numb. There was testimony that after she learned of her husband's affair that she felt sick to her stomach, that she couldn't eat for days, that her friend found her on the street, hunched over--almost in a catatonic state.

I felt that exact same way. You can't believe what you're hearing, you don't want to believe it, but you know it's true. How are you suppposed to deal with this kind of betrayal. We don't get involved in long-term relationships, bringing with us our manuals that describe what to do in circumstances like this. We don't do that. We don't expect we'll ever need to know how to deal with this ultimate betrayal.

It makes sense then, that when it occurs, it's difficult to absorb such a difficult truth.

Oh, Brinkley will want to temper her anger as best she can, but it's ridiculous to think she shouldn't be feeling it. To deny her true feelings would be like pretending that what happened was simply a mistake. Adultery is not a mistake. It's a choice. Cook made that choice, and he may, in fact, be sorry about it. But it's not something that you can just apologize for, as his lawyer is insinuating, and move on.

The betrayal, the many lies it takes to continue living an affair, the person you become when you're in the middle of it, how you treat the woman you're supposed to love, honor and cherish, the guilt that you block out--all of that has an effect on the spouse who's being cheated on...and on the children as well. Brinkley's just now learning and realizing all of this. When you have to come to terms that your whole life with a spouse who cheated on you repeatedly is lie, you question everything you've ever said, thought or believed about him--and yourself as well. Your whole mindset is one big chaotic mess, and you don't know for sure if you'll ever survive it and be whole again. You don't know what you know anymore. It takes more than a few years to absorb that, understand that, get to the point where you can move past it--To even start, you have to have the whole experience behind you first. These people are not there yet.

There is no way to fully understand the depth of the pain this kind of situation can cause. Her husband really did, as it's been reported she said, destroy her life as she knew it. And maybe that life wasn't as perfect as she thought it was, maybe it wasn't as perfect as she wanted to believe it was. Remember what I posted about yesterday, that sometimes we aren't well trained to pay attention to our gut instincts. Maybe this is true in Brinkley's case. I don't know. But for whatever reason, she was drawn to a man who felt less than he is. That could be why he cheated. That could be why he turned to pornography. That could be why he led the secret life he did. My guess is that he had a history of some of this even before meeting Brinkley. Maybe he thought with her things would be different. We do that sometimes, don't we? We do that when we're not being honest with ourselves.

But now she's facing the deeper truth, and it's just not going to be that easy to overcome. She will overcome it, I'm sure of that, but it won't be when someone else expects it of her. If we can learn anything from spectacles like these, it's that. You can't push someone into "getting over it." Some may never do that. Some may not want to. But most of us, I'd like to think, will get there when we get there. If we can learn to have that kind of undertanding about human behavior, we'd be so much better off.

Whatever decision the court comes up with as to the custody issue of their children, well, that's not going to end the pain, either. No matter if she gets full custody, or if they share custody, it doesn't end the pain. In some cases, it could be the beginning of a whole new kind of pain.

I feel for her. It's hard for me to feel for Cook, of course. But I do feel for her. She's being criticized for causing this trial to be made public. But I don't know if that's the entire story. Of course her husband would want it kept private. He's admitted to behavior no father should want his children to know about, and certainly not his mother to read about in the papers or see on TV. For Brinkley's sake, I hope she's not involved in a public trial to get back at her husband. That won't serve her well in the long run. I doubt that she is; I think she's doing exactly what she feels is best for her children. It just may not look that way to outsiders who don't have access to all the information and may not be able to understand what this family is going through.

What will serve her well in the long run, however, is if she can come to terms with what he did, realize it was his issue and not hers. And it will take daily, conscious effort to let go of what he did and just focus on what she needs to do to move forward. That takes a really strong sense of self, courage, trust and faith. In my life, that's called BIKE.

I'd love to teach her how to ride.

All my best,


Stanley said...

We will NEVER know 100% of the story on this one and perhaps that's a good thing.

Stanley Bronstein

The BIKE Lady said...

It's a good thing, Stanley. No one needs to know the full details. That wouldn't forward the understanding; it would only lead to more hurt. I agree with you.