We've learned a lot, maybe too much, about Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell over the last week or two. We know all about the motorcycle accident, the texts, and the (oh, lord) yet-to-be released naked pictures. We know about the firing and the forced administrative leave; we know about $20,000 gifts. But there's one tidbit of info, one person, that hasn't really been discussed. Bobby Petrino's wife Becky has, to her credit and to most of our amazement, remained out of the spotlight. Who is Becky Petrino, and what the heck must she be going through right now? She doesn't deserve to be in this mess -- no one really does -- and what should she do now that she's unwittingly in the middle of her husband's sex scandal?
Unfortunately, there are other women who've been put in this terrible position before who Becky can look to for examples in her time of need. Hillary Clinton chose to stay with Bill, Larry Craig's wife, Suzanne, stood by her husband's side, and so did Eliot Spitzer's wife, Silda. If Becky decides to forgive Bobby, she wouldn't be the first magnanimous soul to stay in a marriage after public, and private, humiliation.
There is, however, one woman who comes to mind who made a choice to get a divorce after it was discovered her husband, the governor of South Carolina, was flying down to Argentina to be with his mistress when he said he was going to hike on the Appalachian Trail. Jenny Sanford did not attend the press conference when husband Mark admitted to his wrongdoing, and filed for divorce just a couple months later.
Whatever Becky decides, to stay with Bobby or to leave him, I hope she comes to the conclusion with clear eyes and a full heart. You can't lose that way. (Thanks, Coach T!) There are going to be expectations coming at her from all angles -- everyone will have an opinion about what she should or shouldn't do, but now's the time to look inside.
You can't follow Hillary Clinton's path because it "worked out" OK for her, just as you can't follow Jenny Sanford's lead because she was "better off" for it. There's nothing Becky and Bobby can do now but listen to their hearts and follow their own path. No one envies the position Becky's been put in, no one, and I think we all wish her the best. And if that means staying with Bobby or leaving him in the middle of the night, so be it.
What do you think Becky Petrino should do?
Photo via Chris Greythen/Getty