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Pat Robertson’s Advice on Infidelity

Pat Robertson doesn't know it's not the 1950s anymore.

Pat Robertson doesn’t know it’s not the 1950s anymore.

“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”Pat Robertson

INFIDELITY is expected of men, according to Pat Robertson. But that really wasn’t the worst of his advice to a woman having a hard time grappling with forgiving her husband. Pat Robertson looks to the woman, blaming her for why it happened.

The furor inspired big reaction over at the Huffington Post: 51,000 Facebook “likes”; 10,400+ Facebook shares; and over 7000 comments and counting. A snippet:

While Robertson’s co-host hedged on the question, calling forgiveness “difficult” and spousal infidelity “one of the ultimate betrayals,” Robertson got right to the point.

“Here’s the secret,” the famous evangelical said. “Stop talking the cheating. He cheated on you, well, he’s a man.”

The wife needs to focus on the reasons she married her spouse, he continued.

“Does he provide a home for you to live in,” Robertson said. ‘Does he provide food for you to eat? Does he provide clothes for you to wear? Is he nice to the children… Is he handsome?”

The Christian Broadcasting Network has been in clean-up mode ever since.

The Christian Broadcasting Network released a statement, saying, “As a first step in the process, Dr. Robertson stated that she should stop dwelling on the cheating. Next, he recommended that she remind herself of all the reasons she fell in love with him in the first place so that she might try to fall back in love with him all over again.”

“Lastly, his point was that everyone is human and there is much temptation outside of the home, so she should do whatever she can to strengthen their home and relationship. His intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame. We regret any misunderstanding,” the statement concluded.

There’s no “misunderstanding.”

Pat Robertson is a throw back from the post-WWII, Freudian fetish American society, in the lull before the sexual and feminist revolution; that time in our country when Alfred Kinsey was dropping a bombshell about the sexuality of American women, while Betty Friedan was preparing to blow the roof off of the “feminine mystique.” That idea that women can cuddle up to their appliances and just be, instead of actually doing anything.

This is that era Republicans and conservatives want to relive, because it gives power back to the old boys club, instead of the new Lean In moderns.

The Pat Robertson philosophy is also seen in the writings of conservatives on relationships, people like Phyllis Schlafly’s daughter Suzanne Venker, who declared there’s a “war on men.” The notion that if women would relinquish our power to men, all would be right, because then men could do what they’re supposed to do, which is provide for women, while we center our focus on home and when providing, make sure the man still has that as his primary purpose in our partnerships.

Feminism and women’s rise economically is not a “war on men.” What our independence reveals is that traditional men, conservatives in particular, especially religious males, haven’t accepted the sharing of economic strength, thinking that women being equal is emasculating. Women, of course, have to understand that when we make equal to our husbands and boyfriends this doesn’t negate his foundational belief that to provide and protect is his job. We still must acknowledge what he does, appreciate him for providing, something that is revealed in a simple “thank you” when he does it. When he takes you out to dinner or buys you something. It may sound corny, but nothing is more important than taking the time to acknowledge a man’s contribution. That doesn’t require we relinquish our power, but instead take turns sharing it.

It’s why Sheryl Sandberg wrote that the most important decision a woman makes is the man she marries. For modern women, nothing could be truer. A man who wants to protect and provide, but relishes allowing a woman to produce and be treated equally, without robbing him of his own joy to care for her. It’s really not that difficult if you simply honor one anther.

There is no “misunderstanding” the message from Pat Robertson. He has said these things before and will again, because for religiously conservative men, traditionalists, this is what they believe. From ABC News:

Robertson, 83, gave a similar answer when he spoke about Gen. David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell last year.

“The man’s off in a foreign land and he’s lonely and here’s a good-looking lady throwing herself at him. I mean, he’s a man,” Robertson said on an episode of “The 700 Club.”

Earlier this year Robertson was criticized when he suggested a woman’s looks might be to blame for her marital problems. Robertson told a story about a woman who asked a reverend how to stop her husband’s drinking problem.

“She was awful looking. The preacher looked at her and said, ‘Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too,’” Robertson said.

h/t Atlantic for “Jealousy” vid; graphic via Le Blow

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6 Responses to Pat Robertson’s Advice on Infidelity

  1. Joyce Arnold May 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Robertson has been making this argument for years. He’s consistently sexist and patriarchal, wrapped in his interpretation of “what God says.”

    • Taylor Marsh May 20, 2013 at 7:48 am #

      It was really heartwarming to me that the reaction to this was so vitriolic and immediate.

  2. mjsmith May 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I do not believe that “This is that era Republicans and conservatives want to relive, because it gives power back to the old boys club, instead of the new Lean In moderns. ”

    I do believe that liberals would like to have people believe this and go true great legnths to get this false message spead as often and as wide as possible.

    I see all sorts of people treat women crappy. Women executives seem to get lower pay than male executives.

    If women, according to Robertson, are supposed to be so great to their husbands that the thought of cheating would never even enter their minds, the same should go for men as well.

    I do not know if Robertson is aware of how clear it is in th Bible about being faithful to your spouse. It is very clear that adultry is a great sin and there is much more reference to this than there is about other things that he preaches so strong against. It is also clear in the Bible, in red letters, that people who pray in public (as Robertson does) are self serving hypocrits.

    • Ga6thDem May 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      I hate to tell you this but this is what the GOP itself has been saying for years. Repeatedly they have said that they want to go back to the 50′s.

      • mjsmith May 21, 2013 at 4:17 am #

        Ga6thDem – I do not here any Republicans saying they want to take America back to the 1950′s. I do hear plenty of democrats, speaking on behalf of the GOP, say that the republicans want to do that. To go by what the republicans stand for by what the democrats say, would not give any person a good understanding. Just imagine getting all of your knowledge of the democratic party going by only what the GOP says.

        Here is a complimentary article comparing Obama to a 1950′s President

        • Ga6thDem May 22, 2013 at 7:18 am #

          Then you have not been listening to what the GOP is saying. Some Republicans even want to take the country back to the Victorian Era like Newt Gingrich who advocated getting rid of child labor laws. Aren’t the Republicans always talking about how great things were in the 50′s? Yes, they are. I don’t need Democrats to tell me what they are saying. I can listen and hear them saying it themselves.

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