Highly decorated, former four-star General and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency has helped America succeed in Afghanistan, cripple Al Qaeda, and to prevail in various military campaigns through-out the world. At the same time, his over 37 years of experience in the United States Army did little to prepare America’s top spy for the stealth, cunning, and emotional instability of his most lethal opponent – Paula Broadwell, his biographer.
He didn’t even realize he had slept with the enemy until shortly before tendering his letter of resignation to President Obama.
We were all aghast when CIA director David Petraeus admitted to having an affair with Paula Broadwell, a reserve Army officer who penned his biography, “All In”, while he was head of the US Army. Although his salacious affair and subsequent tragic fall from grace seems uncommonly amazing, it is actually amazingly common. History is replete with similarly powerful men who succumbed to this vice: such as George Washington (and the slave-girl, Venus, who mothered his only child), Thomas Jefferson (mistress Sally Hemings), Lyndon B Johnson (who had a buzzer installed in the oval office to accommodate his mistresses), JFK (mistress Marilyn Monroe), and Governor Spitzer, or Bill Clinton whose stories are all too familiar.
Like these distinguished leaders, he will go down in the annals of history as a philanderer – cheater.
However, unlike these men, General Patraeus’s selection of a mistress was amazingly poor given our access to and obsession with mass social media and email. (That said, I don’t think there is ever a good choice other than to choose to not cheat.)
Despite his superior virtues and intellect, accolades, military genius and historic discipline, the otherwise exceptionally lucky General had the uncanny bad-luck of picking a mistress whose sense of self-importance, narcissism and grandiosity had overtaken her basic maternal, survival and even her “mistress” instincts. Even worse, he had the misfortune of having sent countless, and some even explicit emails to the brazen and emboldened mistress whose newfound celebrity and power were so intoxicating she lost sight of the basic precepts of being the other woman, especially when you are successfully married and have two sons. As the Greeks would say, “Hubris Nemesis” (pride before the fall) would make his down fall inevitable: it wasn’t a matter of if the General would fall, but when.
Let’s take a closer look at General Patraeus’s “7 Fatal Mistakes When Selecting His Mistress – And How to Avoid Them!”
We all know casting makes or breaks a movie. While casting an actress with supporting actress talent into the leading role is painful to watch, casting an actress with leading lady talent into a supporting role is excruciating. Throw in the biggest military icon since General Douglas MacArthur commanded the Pacific theater during World War II and you have the recipe for becoming the biggest media sensation this side of the Tiger Woods.
Make no doubt about it, Paula Broadwell had star power in her own right. So why do you think she would possibly want to give up the accruements or celebrity that accompanies being the leading lady to be the other woman. After being on National media, did he really think she would be relegated to irrelevance? It’s hard to imagine he didn’t see a star was being born.
Believe it or not, one startling phenomenon I’ve observed is that a mistress will lose respect for (and even come to resent) the cheater once it comes to her attention that he has yet another other woman. It’s one thing to lie to the wife because she’s all things evil, but quite another thing to lie to her. Now you aren’t someone cheating because the two of you have an amazing connection, but because you are, well, a cheater.
Talk about unmitigated gall.
Note to self: People think very carefully about what to title their books. Pay close attention to that.
By no means am I advocating infidelity, and frquently I've seen it be akin to switching seats on the Titantic for spouses who do. However, if you have to cheat you might want to avoid these 7 habits of the highly unsuccessful cheating General when selecting a mistress. The career or family you save could very well be your own.