On Weinergate: Could You Forgive Him?

The embattled -- and married -- congressman admits sending illicit messages and photos to women online

It was painful to watch but oh-so-familiar -- a politician fighting back tears, apologizing to his wife, and admitting to some “dumb” and “destructive” things. In this case, the politician was New York Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who has been embroiled in what the press has dubbed "Weinergate."

For more than a week, Weiner has repeatedly denied tweeting a photo of his crotch to a 21-year-old Seattle co-ed, claiming his computer was hacked. But on Monday, after reports surfaced of other women claiming to have racy online messages and photos from the 46-year-old, he came clean.

“I haven’t told the truth and I’ve done things I deeply regret,” he said during a tearful press conference June 6.

Notably, his wife, Huma Abedin, a 34-year-old longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who has weathered her own share of extra-marital affair media storms) was not by his side.

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iVillage community reaction to Weiner's indiscretions was swift on Facebook and Twitter. When asked, "Could you forgive your significant other if they had online relationships but didn't physically cheat?" here's what you said:

"Nope," said iVillage Twitter follower jenk264. "Affairs of the heart are longer lasting than anything physical." "Not at all!" echoed denimorse. "Emotional cheating is just as bad as physical cheating." Follower miracleshppn, however, was more forgiving. "An affair is a condition of the heart, not the flesh. Forgiveness can be offered freely for both and reconciliation is possible!" 

While Weiner says he won't resign, his political future -- he had an eye on the 2013 mayoral race in New York City -- is now very much in jeopardy. And as for his marriage? Weiner says he and his wife are not splitting up.

Still, we wonder what’s forgivable and what’s not. Weiner said he never had physical contact with any of these women, so does that make his behavior any less egregious? Would you forgive your husband if he sent illicit messages and photos to another woman or women -- or would you tell him to pack his bags?

Follow Kelly Wallace on Twitter: @kellywallacetv

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