The Kennedy clan's credo is "don't screw where you live." So long as Arnold observed that golden rule, Maria gave him his leash. But -- when he violated it -- there's no going back. Joe Kennedy wouldn't permit it.


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, May 17, 2011. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

Is Maria Stupid? Or Did Arnold Break the Kennedy Family's Golden Rule for Cheating?

This post is a response to Reckless Sex and Power III: The Top Seven Kennedy Sex Scandals by Stanton Peele


When I wrote about the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James break-up more sympathetically to the James perspective than is usually done, I received generally negative reactions, including this one from Crimson: "Chapter 2 to this reasoning will be 'Arnold Schwarzenegger Resents Maria Shriver.' Can't wait for the update!"

Crimson -- psychology isn't about taking sides in family conflicts -- it's about considering all sides.  My point wasn't that Jesse was better than Sandy.  It was that both brought something to the mix that ignited and led to a less than ideal outcome -- particularly for the children.

Maria Shriver stood up for husband when his racy past was revealed as he ran for Governor of California.  Naturally, you wonder what's going on in her mind (as with the wife of the alleged French rapist).  Did she really think Arnold was innocent?  Or did she know and accept that Arnold considers it a prerogative of superstardom to take sex wherever he finds it whenever he feels like it? 

This was, after all the Kennedy family credo set out by her grandfather -- Joe Kennedy.  Recall that poor Joan Kennedy -- who was less resilient than other Kennedy wives -- unfortunately got to hear on the wedding video her parents had made brother-in-law Jack telling her husband Ted -- well, here, let me quote the Boston Globe:

During the festivities, Jack, Ted's godfather and best man, wore a microphone because the Bennetts had hired a film crew as a wedding gift. Later, watching the footage, Joan would hear Jack whisper to his brother that marriage "didn't mean you had to be faithful."

But, as a part of that sexual modus operandi, the Kennedy rule was "Never bring it home."  For Joe, this meant leaving it in Hollywood, in Gloria Swanson's boudoir.  Jack and Bobby didn't gossip around the house that they had screwed Marilyn Monroe!

Nor, of coure,did they have sex with household employees (well, one cousin did -- and almost as though he were being struck down by the Kennedy family deity, Michael soon after met his maker).

But conceiving and raising another woman's child in the family home!  That takes it one step farther than even the worst full-blooded Kennedy had ever done.  So much so that, finally, it broke Maria's resolve to look the other way.  What did she get for doing so up until then?  I don't know -- being the wife of a wealthy superstar who became the most powerful man in California?

For some women, that means a lot.

(Crimson: Was I too forgiving of Arnold?)