Huma Abedin Separates from Anthony Weiner a.k.a. Carlos Danger Finally!
Much has been said about each person, Weiner and Huma, separately and together. By chance, I took some time out last night to watch the documentary on Weiner [Amazon].
It was not an exercise in voyeurism or titillation. I was trying to comprehend, as a psychiatrist who has treated a few politicians and their wives, how this human tragedy could have come about and still continue until today. Eliminating all the salient factors related to his and her political affiliations and loyalties, I saw, in that film, a woman [not an Arab/Muslim] bearing the indignities of a Peter Pan narcissist on his deliberately exegesis on self-destruction.
I was touched and impressed how Huma had to bear the indignities of his continuous need to humiliate her and his profession as a Congressman and eventual Mayoral candidate for NYC. In contrast to the American Psychiatric Dictum that one should never make an analysis of a patient we have never treated, I will try to uncover some relevant insights to this relationship which may apply to many similar asymmetric power couples.
The beginning of a problem in any type of dyadic relationship lies in a simple fact: One of the partners is usually far more powerful than the other. In the case of the normal congressional couple, usually that would be the congressman/woman. Paradoxically, in this Huma/Weiner relationship the reverse was true. Weiner admitted in the film that his wife was always the “quiet one in the back of the room, watching the game, controlling it.”
This time around, Weiner wanted her out front to campaign for his nefarious ambitions of becoming the mayor of NYC, knowing all along that he had purposefully sabotaged his chances to become anything more than a sexual pervert and eventually end up to become an ex-husband.
Why did he purposefully sabotage his own campaign/life?
His personal gratification came not from achieving any higher political position than what he had been: apparently an effective city council man and seven term congressman. Everything changed when he decided to become a greater part of the Clinton political machinery, for better or worse.
He knew that Huma had always been close to the center of power in the Clinton machinery. Huma was the right hand woman to the real epicenter of major decisions in the USG,past and present: Hillary Clinton.
Thus, Weiner had no problem, consciously or unconsciously aping the nefarious sexual behavior of his informal mentor: Bill Clinton before, during, and after his Presidency. At least, Weiner did not have to commit the actual act of adultery in order to test Huma’s patience because Hillary never separated or divorced Bill under much worse conditions.
However, Huma and Hillary are not similar despite their close affiliations. Hillary’s background rooted in deprivation, poverty and compensatory high achievements were distinctly different from a woman born into wealth and comfort [irrespective of the Lebanese/Saudi background]. Huma accepted the dictum of Islam that the wife must remain loyal to her husband whatever travesties he may commit.
Yet that was only the beginning.
Clearly, she was trying to figure out what went wrong in her ill-fated marriage. She stayed with Weiner, lies after lies, humiliations after humiliations; until it was just too much. I suspect that the documentary film “Weiner”, made at their collective insistence, might have contributed to the fact that she could objectively witness how really absurd her loyalty was to such an infantile, self –destructive, Jewish Peter Pan.
As she revealed in the film, she had received countless hours of personal therapy which had allowed her to remain in the marriage. Whoever treated her, I think, did an admirable job.One must remember that insights take a long time to integrate into meaningful action.
As for Weiner, he has been running away from his own guilt and depression. He knows all too well how his smarter, more talented older brother walked intentionally across a highway in order to kill himself.
Death becomes Weiner.
As for Huma, she has an important lesson to teach Hillary. Sometimes, HC will try to ape her husband’s past achievements which may not be very effective or useful for this country [wars in Bosnia, flood of cheap dollars/loose credits, etc.] in the future. Huma will have to reality test both Hillary’s actions as a potential POTUS, and at the same time, try to restrict Bill from creating havoc, entering into a self-destructive mode like Weiner.
The circle of psychodynamics goes around and around in an interminable cycle of either self-awareness or self-destructiveness. I have always maintained that no matter whoever you might be, you can never escape your own dynamics or destiny.
Prof. Harold Lasswell, a political scientist, the founder of Politics and Personality[Yale University, MIT] made an incredibly astute observation:
“Politics is who gets, what, when, and how”.
For Huma, she got her life back as the right-hand person to possibly the next POTUS.On the other hand, Weiner is descending further into Dante’s Inferno!
As for the American public, our mandate requires us to keep on pushing the envelope. Question our candidates until we are satisfied that we really understand him, her, or them.
There is an old African proverb that applies to the Weiners and Clintons:
“Affectation is a greater enemy to the face than small pox.”