“Of all the exceptional men and women I have worked with over the years, I can honestly say that Dave Petraeus stands out as one of our nation’s great patriots.” DNI James Clapper

BREAKING NEWSDavid Petraeus found to be human. Alert the media, because he’s been treated like a god up until now. I don’t know how the wider media will recover form this revelation. We may have to bring Dr. Phil in on this one.

It’s the bookend to the Stanley McChrystal implosion, which took down another vaunted military figure that was worshiped in his world, though for very different reasons.

I bet you Tom Ricks would like to add an addendum to his new book, stat.

Paula Broadwell has now been identified by Richard Engel on “Hardball,” as being investigation by the F.B.I., because besides having close contact with Petraeus, she may have had access to emails in her research. Broadwell is Petraeus’s biographer, writing “All In,” which required traveling with Petraeus, including in Afghanistan. [update]

Fox News Channel jumped into the TMZ – National Enquirer zone almost immediately, speculating about Benghazi and the hearings this coming week, ready to twirl off into the Twilight Zone even further until Chris Wallace quickly slapped them back into reality. To his credit, Wallace wasted no time in saying that Petraeus has earned the respect to take him at his word on his resignation.

That is absolutely correct.

Jennifer Griffin, a bit later, lauded CIA David Petraeus on air. She praised his “intense moral fiber,” adding that she got a personal note from Petraeus during her battle with cancer. Griffin is the Fox News personality that falsely reported the CIA was asked to stand down on Benghazi. The coziness of this confession, revealing a relationship beyond professional is worth noting.

One idiot male, Greg Gutfeld, on “Fox Five” said the affair would trump Benghazi and the four dead. It leaves you speechless.

Mark Halperin was brought on MSNBC to opine on the politics of it. He didn’t have much trouble stepping into the quicksand of Benghazi speculation, even though he has no expertise on the subject. Weirdly, Halperin said there shouldn’t be speculation about the timing and the election, which seems odd to me.

Mr. Petraeus was right to wait until after the election. We’ll have to wait to see if the resignation was timely. But it’s a very serious issue and much more information must be known before playing a dangerous guessing game, the speculation abounding on talk radio, cable and beyond. The only issue right now is the affair cited by Petraeus.

The position Petraeus held in the national security structure of this country demands that he not put himself or this country in a position of danger and that includes blackmail for such a personal failing, which could compromise American security. But what we continue to learn is no amount of responsibility can keep a man from indulging himself, no matter the potential consequences. He’s also holding himself to the same standard of the men and women he has led, so for that alone his integrity is intact.

Even vaunted American patriots are fallible and I can hear Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin second that from the beyond.

Putting on my Dr. Taylor relationship consultant hat…

The shock we’re hearing expressed is fairly predictable, everyone quick to talk about his military career and his service to this country. Few understand how people in power fall so far because of lure of sex, sometimes love, but always because they crave new intimacy.

The other issue is the 37-year marriage of Petraeus in an era where women’s roles have changed, as has the length we live. It provides more temptations than the beginnings of marriage anticipated, back when it was about property and children, with women having no choices but to live their lives predicated on biology.

What ’til death do us part means today demands forgiveness as primary to any agreement, otherwise the statue can rarely be met over time. We’ve been here before, powerful people and institutions brought to the ground.

John Edwards, with the help of his wife, the late Elizabeth Edwards, was willing to defraud the entire country to gain power.

Eliot Spitzer handed his enemies on Wall Street the dagger to take him down through a series of successive and stupid trysts with high priced call girls, which not only ruined his career, but allowed Wall Street crooks to get away.

Governor Mark Appalachian Trail Sanford went AWOL from his job to meet his mistress, whom he is about to marry.

That’s separate from what it means to the director of the CIA to put himself at risk like this, for the sake of sex or love, but we’ve seen similar behavior.

We’ve seen countless Republicans from Larry Craig to John Ensign to Strom Thurmond, but also including the infamous Duke Cunningham bribery and prostitution case that ensnared defense contractors, as well as the Defense Department website peep proclivities that pulled back the curtain on scandalous behavior in our national security structure.

Few could fathom William Jefferson Clinton’s consensual affair, all that he risked, especially given he was married to one of the most fabulous women in the world. I wrote about this in my book, because the risks men take to satisfy their urges is a fascinating human subject.

The heart wants what it wants and so do our loins.

But David Petraeus? Not him.

How do you stop it from happening? Walk away. The second it hits you, stop it. Refuse it. Have an agreement with your spouse or partner that when you feel a sexual tug to another human being you tell him or her. You talk about attractions. Each person in the relationship also has to make sure that sex is happening between you. There are relationships that are dead, with only friendship living, but these are rare in today’s culture and the Millennial Generation is very unlikely to experience them.

The most important thing in a modern marriage is not friendship. It’s intimacy, which can include friendship, but it’s not what it was in the 20th century, because it has to be on a deeper level. It must include honesty on a level that allows two people to talk about interactions when you’re tempted.

Secret feelings are where illicit affairs grow in power and seductiveness. The thrill of the hiding and newness, especially after a long marriage. On a business trip when no one else will know.

It’s heartbreaking for anyone, but for someone like David Petraeus the shame and dishonor he’ll feel without thinking of the media speculation will be choking. It’s just so sad for him. But the public humiliation is something Petraeus will bear, because he’s got broad soldiers.

The crushing disappointment and humiliating public disclosure for his wife is another matter. People think that women don’t have sexual egos. How wrong they are.