Can their marraige be saved?

August 19, 1998|By Sarah Pekkanen | Sarah Pekkanen,SUN STAFF

Hillary Rodham Clinton is standing steadfastly by her man, but should she be? We put the question to people who tackle the issue of infidelity during the course of their workday -- from hairdressers who dispense marital advice along with styling gel to divorce lawyers who get clients ready to take off their gloves in court. Here's what they had to say:

NO

Craig B. Spicer, private detective for Intercept Investigations, Owings Mills: "People who commit adultery do it again. It's not like you find God and you're cured. At least, not since I've been doing this, and I've been doing this a long time. If [President Clinton] ever gets the opportunity again, he will. I always think about this with my clients: Even though you forgive and forget, are you ever going to be able to look at that person and believe them unconditionally? Do you always want to be wondering ..."

Terri Hagen, stylist for George of New York, Columbia: Hillary Clinton "wanted to become first lady. She knew how this man was -- she had to years ago. She accepted it to become first lady. She knew if she did voice her true opinion, he wouldn't have been in office. I don't think the public would have accepted him if she didn't accept his behavior. [But] I think there's going to be a major change as soon as he's out of office. She may move on, she may leave the relationship. Do I think she should? I personally do, yes. How humiliating, how degrading for this man

to do this."

YES

Arnold Sell, director of MarriageWorks, a Baltimore counseling center: "These are solvable problems, if a couple wants to solve them. ... To me, an affair is, with rare exception -- this may be one of those exceptions -- a symptom of a relationship problem, just as an elevated body temperature is a symptom of something going on with the body. I think at some level he's probably very dependent on her, despite his sexual acting out. She seems very strong. Each seems to have what the other lacks: He's this

effusive, warm, 'Come on, give me a hug.' She's distant, tight, controlled, one step removed. As a unit, they are powerful. ... [But] who knows what goes on behind closed doors? She may dominate him sexually, who knows? She may be totally sexually unavailable."

Dr. Joyce Brothers, New Jersey psychologist and syndicated columnist: "About 85 percent of women who find their husbands unfaithful are able to continue the marriage, and if there is no further infidelity, are able to make that marriage last. The figure is smaller, no one knows how high, for men, who are much less forgiving. ...

"Sometimes it makes the marriage stronger because you're willing to explore what it was in the relationship that allowed a third person into that relationship, to create a triangle. But for the children, in a relationship where there has been adultery, there generally is a pretty high price to pay because statistically, they are less likely to marry, and if they do marry, they find problems with the issue of trust. But I don't think you need to worry about Chelsea. ... The report back is that she is an extradorinary kid."

Susan Green, attorney, Baltimore: "Anytime two people are committed to working on a marriage they can make it work. ... [But] if she came in here ... I would tell her to take the lint off his socks."

Mrs. Rebecca, psychic reader and adviser, Baltimore: "Their future is wonderful. Hillary will stand by him. Never mind asking me how did I come [to this conclusion], but I know that Clinton and Hillary will be together."

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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