Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver announced last week that they are separating after 25 years of marriage due to Schwarzenegger’s revelation that he fathered a child with the family’s maid a decade ago. In response, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, Fox News correspondent, and the coauthor of Glenn Beck’s self-help book, penned a column on Fox’s website titled, “Why Maria Shriver Should Take Arnold Schwarzenegger Back.”
In it, Ablow suggests that Shriver has no cause to divorce Schwarzenegger over his infidelity because she knew should have known she was getting in to when she married him. Indeed, he claims that infidelity is never a good reason to end a marriage. And while failing to acknowledge any responsibility on Schwarzenegger’s part, Ablow fixates on what Shriver did or didn’t know — even suggesting that she take a polygraph test — and insinuating that Shriver needs psychotherapy. In essence, Ablow finds grave personal fault in her decision not to be a diligent political wife and “stand by her man”:
I doubt it can come as a complete shock to Ms. Shriver and I believe it need not signal the end of her marriage…Infidelity on the part of a husband or wife is not a reason to erase one’s marital vows.[...]
At any point in the last 25 years I would venture that a polygraph examination may well have revealed that Ms. Shriver knew in her heart of hearts that her husband had been unfaithful and was likely to be unfaithful in the future. For reasons known only to her (or which might only be revealed to her in psychotherapy) she decided to build and maintain a family with him, anyhow.[...]
Prescription from this doctor: With Arnold looking weak right now, rather than strong, Maria has a chance to have and to hold her husband as never before.
In a follow-up interview on Fox News, Ablow reiterated, “I don’t think infidelity should ever signal the end of a marriage,” and argued that Shriver should try to salvage the marriage. Oddly, throughout the interview Ablow and the host seemed most concerned that Schwarzenegger didn’t cheat with someone more attractive.Watch it:
Since there were so many signs of her husband’s philandering ways, Ablow seems to argue, Shriver has no one to blame but herself.
The offensive suggestion that a woman who chooses not to follow the well-worn script of devoted political spouse is somehow psychologically impaired and in need of therapy is, unfortunately, par for the course for Ablow. He is often called upon by conservative outlets to provide spurious medical “expertise” and colorful psychological commentary. He was recently mocked by comedian Jon Stewart for his reaction to a manufactured conservative controversy surrounding a J. Crew ad that pictured a mother laughing with her young son, who had his toenails painted. Ablow accused the mother, J. Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons, of “psychological sterilization” and intentionally launching “an attack on masculinity” with the ad. He also advised that she set aside money for therapy for her son.
Ablow is described in his column and interview as a “member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.” One hates to see the B-Team.