Former State Senator Talks About Infidelity and Technology
(Memphis) Former State Senator Paul Stanley, a Republican who represented the Bartlett, Cordova and Germantown areas, has a message about marriage, on the heels of the scandal caused by Gen. David Petraeus’ affair.
Stanley had survived some of the same public humiliation, when he had an affair with an intern, leading to his resignation from the state senate in 2009.
“It’s a tough fall. It’s a hard fall. And Gen. Petraeus, in his situation, was trying to use technology,” Stanley said.
Stanley referred to reports of Petraeus and his biographer, Paul Broadwell, using draft emails in a shared account.
“They were not sending emails, they were composing them, putting them in a draft folder, and the other person would read them. That’s also common in the terrorist world, which is I think what alerted FBI that something may have been going on,” Stanley said.
He now advises married couples to prevent similar downfall by demonstrating complete trust and transparency.
Stanley recommends partners allow each other access to all their electronics and online accounts.
He said that email and social media are wonderful tools, but can also be highly destructive. “I think that couples need to be to the point where they can lay cell phones down, they can leave email open for extended periods of time, and not be embarrassed.”
While technology cannot be blamed as the cause of affairs, Stanley believes it fuels inappropriate behavior.
While his own relationship involved some texting, it mostly resulted from close proximity with the woman in the same office.
A similar situation occupied national headlines when President Bill Clinton had an affair with his intern.
It’s a story we’ve heard before and will likely hear again.
Recently, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, who represents East and Middle Tennessee, was found to have told his former mistress to get an abortion.
The woman was a patient of DesJarlais, who is a pro-life physician.
Stanley said he’s an evangelical Christian, and was religious even when he was having his affair.
“Just because I have a high moral standard, and I fall below it, doesn’t mean that lowers the moral standard,” Stanley said.
He added, “You have to ask forgiveness for what you do; you have to stop doing the things that got you in trouble.”
Since resigning from the state senate, Stanley has become the politics editor of The Christian Post. He is now writing a book called, The Extortion of Forgiveness.