Here’s a twist on the typical political affair: this time, the person perpetrating the affair was a woman. And her lover was 19. She’s Iris Robinson, a member of the Irish parlaiment and wife of Ireland’s first minister. Additionally, a radio show in Britian is alleging that Ms. Robinson organized a nearly $83,000 business deal to establish her lover’s business without declaring her interest. The program also pointed guilted the first minister, saying he became aware of the relationship and the deal but didn’t alert authorities.
I’ve written a lot about the affairs we see perpetrated by politicians ~ it’s nothing new. Typically the reasons boils down to similar reasons for just about everyone in positions of power: they’re more vulnerable to engage in this type of behavior because of stress, separation and loss – factors which I deal with in-depth in my book Adultery The Forgivable Sin, where I discuss healing the hurt after an affair. These aspects can come from a variety of places: stress from their job, separation from their significant other or family, loss of a higher position, an election, money, their youth or any one of a number of things. It’s likely that Ms. Robinson (an ironic name, we know) was suffering from any or all of these things but her transgressions go deeper.
The so-called cougar mentality (older women who give their time and affection to younger men) can rear its head for a variety of reasons.
1. Lack of affection from their partner (this is a common theme in a variety of adulterous relationships, not just ones featuring a vast age difference)
2. Low self-esteem, the need for attention and acceptance. No matter how well the cheater’s partner treats them, no matter how good the relationship is, they need a larger “audience” to boost their ego.
4. Sex addict. Just like a drug addict, the sex addict isn’t thinking about the destructive consequences to themselves or others. Their focus is driven by the addiction.
5. When a person can’t deal with reality very well, they escape by cheating. Some people escape to drugs or alcohol, some escape by playing the fantasy world.
The financial issues make this particular affair even more interesting as Ms. Robinson committed financial infidelity not just against her husband (by utilizing her finances to engage in a sexual affair) but also, potentially, against her responsibilities as a politician. Garnering such substantial support for someone who turns out to be a lover should be scrutinized. As I discuss in my book, Financial Infidelity, people typically commit this type of infidelity (and sexual infidelity as well) against their partners as a way to escape a certain problem. This could be true in the Robinson’s personal life and it could also be true in her public and political life as well.
One of the unfortunate things is that any type of affair will never allow you to ESCAPE a problem but will instead create more stress, thereby helping the adulterer spin out of control in a cycle of stress/infidelity, stress/infidelity, and so on. This sad situation is yet another example of the powerful being addicted to risky behaviors, and drives home the necessity of fostering a loving, communicative relationship where you can be honest with and about yourself, and with and about your partner.