Why did Anthony Weiner's wife wait so long to return to Washington, D.C., in the wake of her husband's sexting scandal? By asking that question, I'm not necessarily condeming Huma Abedin. Rather, I believe it's a fascinating question that deserves analysis.
Huma Abedin, who is pregnant with Weiner's child, was on a business trip overseas with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, for whom she works. She came back to Washington in the middle of the night, and entered their home, where she's staying alone while Weiner is in rehab for sex addiction.
Abedin, notoriously private, is reported to have worn her wedding ring on her business trip, but she hasn't yet issued any kind of statement about her husband's behavior, or his repeated lies regarding it. She and Weiner have been married for 11 months.
The thing I keep coming back to: Why wasn't Abedin immediately at her husband's side after the scandal broke?
Actually, there could be several explanations. First, she could be planning to leave him. Silda Spitzer publicly stood by her husband, Elliot Spitzer, after it was revealed that he'd been visiting a call girl. Silda and Spitzer are still married today.
Because Abedin is a political figure -- she's Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff and has been working for her since 1996 -- it's very unlikely that she'll make a big, splashy statement revealing heartbreak and a pledge to leave her husband.
It's also unlikely that she'll make a quick decision about the future of her marriage. Her absence could be a sign that she's making plans to end the marriage, but that she wants to make sure any decisions and statements she might make won't have an impact on her career.
On the other hand, maybe Abedin is used to her husband behaving this way. Perhaps, in exchange for a politically advantageous marriage, she has chosen to turn a blind eye to his cyber-infidelity. Maybe she doesn't even consider what he did to be cheating, since there was no physical contact (that we know of).
Perhaps, to her, his sexting is akin to flirtation rather than a betrayal of marriage. Of course, since he engaged in this behavior with six women over three years -- and those are only the ones we know about -- Abedin would have to be extremely forgiving if she decided this was just a "bit of fun" on her husband's part.
Abedin has been called "mysterious," and her behavior so far definitely lives up to that reputation. USA Today reported that Weiner described Abedin's reaction to the scandal as follows: "She was very unhappy, she was very disappointed, and she told me as much. And she also told me that she loved me and we're going to get through this."
It remains to be seen whether Weiner is telling the truth about his wife's reaction: Given his track record thus far, it's probably a good idea to take his words with a grain of salt.
Photo: NY Daily News