A newspaper ran a story yesterday about why high profile spouses stand by their man.
In literary terms, it is a hackneyed trope: the political wife, smiling, demure, standing silently by her embattled man. Taking one for the team and presenting a united front.
However you phrase it, standing by your man in cases of infidelity, rumoured or actual, is a political cliche.
The “faithful wife” has found her way into our pop culture canon. She was dissected in American drama The Good Wife and parodied in comedy show Little Britain.
Colin Craig’s press conference on Monday saw “the good wife” make her most recent public appearance.
As he awkwardly skirted around questions of sexual misconduct in his relationship with former press secretary Rachel MacGregor, wife Helen stood beside him, lending support.
Alternately smiling, pursing her lips and tilting her chin she finally declared she “chose to stand with my husband today in full love and support of him whom I believe to have been falsely accused”.
From Len Brown’s wife Shan Inglis to Victoria Beckham and Hillary Clinton, history is littered with such women. And even as the wife’s loyalty to her spouse and his “brand” provides a potent means of damage control, its authenticity is often questioned.
Although some may ask: “If she has forgiven him, shouldn’t I?” the less charitable will take a more cynical view.