Dealing with a cheating spouse is no easy thing to do, but what would you do if the person your spouse ignited an affair with was a well-known public figure whom you both knew and respected? Meet Scott, the husband of Paula Broadwell.
On Friday, CIA Director David Petraeus resigned from his position after admitting that he had partaken in an extramarital affair. It was later confirmed that his mistress was his biographer, author and Harvard Researcher Paula Broadwell. Both parties were married. But some have alleged that Scott, Broadwell's husband, was aware of the affair after a letter written to a New York Time's advice column bared striking similarity to the case.
"My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership," the anonymous person wrote seeking advice from "The Ethicist."
The writer reveals that he has met with the man his wife is sleeping with and not only respects him but feels that he is "the right person for the job." According to the unnamed writer, the affair intensified over the "past year," which is similar to the timeline that has been painted in Broadwell's case.
"I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort," the writer added in the July column. He therefore poses the question as to whether he should expose the affair publicly or "suffer in silence."
Hugo Lindgren, an editor for The Times, insisted that after some fact-checking, it was confirmed that the letter was not written by Scott Broadwell.
Even so, the situation does bare resemblance. So what did advice columnist Chuck Klosterman suggest? If the letter was from Scott, what could he have done in such a position?
"A quiet divorce," was the answer offered by Klosterman.
"Don't expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man's project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn't appear to be the case," Klosterman wrote in response. "How would the quiet divorce of this man's mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He'd probably be relieved."
Critics wonder if Klosterman correct, even from the viewpoint of an ethicist. Should the writer keep the man's affair a secret even though he is a public figure? Can a public figure be "the right person for the job" when they make unethical decisions in their personal life?
Most importantly, should CIA Director David Petraeus have stepped down from his position due to an indiscretion in his personal life? Congress members feel that his knowledge will be an essential part to counterterrorist efforts and understanding what happened in Benghazi earlier this year.
Petraeus was also scheduled to testify before Congress on Thursday about the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate.