Her story is not unlike that of a folk hero, Bernie Harris. Both of them supported their lawyer husband's career, in the process sacrificng their own. In the end Bernie got left for the other woman, and she enacted her own revenge.
|I got your secretary right here!!!!|
Mellie played her cards differently. When we're first let in on their relationship, we see that Olivia had to force Fitz and Mellie to act like they loved each other. We don't know what the cause of the problems was. Was the campaign taking a toll? Were they fighting over something petty that neither of them was adult to let go? Or had they simply grown apart? We don't know yet. But we do know that Mellie stood by her man, doing what she thought was best for him, for them. Although some people say that Mellie's ambition is too much, she's pushing Fitz to work towards his dreams. We may not understand that push when it comes to being president, but we definitely understand strongly encouraging the men in our lives to finish that class, to go for that promotion, to do what it takes to get to the next level. She has stepped in every time it seemed as though he was going to falter. "We haven't cuddled cause we lost a baby", "it's time to improve your approval rating, we're pregnant", "you can't possibly win Ohio, let's fix the election." Wives step in, that's what we do. Helpmate.
The thing is, while Mellie was busy working towards their dream (and yes, it had to have been their dream) Fitz was following a different dream. He figured out that Mellie really wasn't the one for him. Or at least he doesn't think she is right now. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's a typical cheating relationship. Fitz found someone who gave him something that he felt was missing. And he went all out. They hid the relationship, and you can tell that at one point Mellie really felt Olivia was a confidant. Whoops.
We know Mellie knew (even if she told herself she didn't) about the relationship before Mr. Secret Service Man outed them. She had choices. She could've left Fitz, created the scandal of the century, a sitting president cheating on his wife in the White House. Think Monica Lewinsky times 10. But if she destroyed Fitz, she would've destroyed herself, and everything she gave up to help him be the man he wanted to be would've been for nothing. Hillary Clinton dealt. The wives of athletes and actors deal. Heck, the wives of every day people deal. Maybe because they tell themselves "It's just sex", maybe because ending the relationship would hurt them as much as it would hurt him, maybe it's because they've worked too hard building a life to let another woman take it from them, maybe it's because they really meant it when the said "until death".
Whatever the reason, I believe Mellie has gotten a bad rep. She's no different than a million other wives out there, except her adversary is THE Olivia Pope.