Yesterday I read this news of Minister of Parliament David Ong committing adultery with a very pretty party member Wendy Lim. Recently I’d been researching on divorce procedures in Singapore, so the news caught my attention.
Well, adultery is one of the three grounds for divorce, and being cheated on is obviously quite painful for the other party in the marriage. Apparently it was Ms. Lim’s husband who reported the affair to the political party.
Having said that, I was truly in awe of Lianhe Zaobao’s speed of digging up news! Their investigative journalists are impressive–within a day they dug up who David Ong had the affair with, who was angry about the affair, effectively ignoring any pleas of David Ong for privacy. The scandal spread like wildfire too, especially on hardwarezone forum. And I was also surprised to note how pretty Wendy Lim is, despite being in her 40s. By 6.30pm she had to fully privatise her facebook account.
But today I want to blog about the one simple reason as to why I think male politicians/ businessmen commit adultery. For example, why would Christopher Kubasik, David Petraeus, Bill Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, JFK…have affairs, in spite of knowing the possible perils of this “sin” on their political career?
Why would someone as wildly successful but plain looking as our established Singaporean director Jack Neo have the ability to “get” so many hot and young girls?
I think the reason for committing extra-marital affairs is simple– it’s the grandiose narcissistic syndrome.
In layman’s terms, this means that it is possible that male authoritative figures have affairs because they really do think that they are awesome, and their awesomeness is to be shared. 😀 Even in the bedroom.
From my observation, men in power who have this grandiose narcissistic syndrome often lead by charismatic leadership. This means that these leaders inspire and herd the masses via their personal charm and speech. I would even posit that it is necessary for effective leaders to have some degree of grandiose narcissism in them, because it is this precise trait which inspires confidence, positivity and therefore could impact the masses.
Now, charismatic leadership can be trained, so I do think adultery is a system as well. My inclination is to therefore expect narcissistic males in power to have affairs, rather than not have affairs.
Most of the time, charismatic leadership has nothing to do with looks. Yes, having good looks help men get mistresses (note that mistresses may or may not be female, depending on the sexual orientation of the charismatic leader). But being good looking also do make others more suspicious of them, so there is a higher risk of being caught due to the good looks.
It is therefore in a sense “safer” to have an affair with a charming, but not-so-good-looking person with power. You’d still get showered with attention, love, sweet words and perhaps gifts and money.
Note that I am not trying to play God by saying if it is right or wrong to have affairs–I am simply saying that I would expect some successful, narcissistic men to have affairs. I would go further to expect that they hide and manage it well. Not because they think it is wrong (remember that it is possible that they sincerely think that they are God’s gift to men/women) but because the masses is likely to frown upon it (in Singapore’s context), or that it is likely to make news.
In America’s context, it might not even be a bad thing to have an affair as a politician, because they make news and the public is constantly reminded of them. Scandalous news reports do stir the public’s imagination, and place these politicians constantly in the media’s limelight. Sometimes people might even sympathise with the said politician, depending on how his wife reacts, and the general angle taken by the press. As a result, the politician’s career might even reach even greater heights than before!
It also depends on the skill of the politician’s spin doctor lah. It’s also easy to spot traits of grandiose narcissism. (: I’d leave it up to you to figure out how. Another question that comes up would be–should we even care about the personal lives of politicians, as long as they get the job done well?
But yes, that being said, adultery in Finland/ Singapore is a lot more common than you think. I do personally know people who have extramarital affairs, and I don’t judge them because I am not God. I can only imagine that it takes a lot for the equilibrium to be disturbed and for the extramarital affair to be exposed.