Modern single relationships in financial services as well as among the political elite are experiencing expanding norms. Technology has made it possible for a middle-aged 51-year-old man such as Anthony Weiner, for instance, to more systematically reach out to a wide audience and cast a dating net. The problem for Weiner, an infamous former New York City Congressman and mayoral aspirant, is that he engaged in cyber relationships but forgot two things: he’s married to a political powerhouse, and digital communication leaves a finger print.

Anthony Weiner Huma Abedin
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Weiner sends lewd photo to online relationship while sleeping next to his son

When Weiner made the decision to marry Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longest-serving staffer and regal political confidant, did it cross his mind he might not always be the center of attention in the relationship?

When he was caught for the second time engaging in lewd sexual messages with people not his powerful wife, might Weiner have recognized she was approaching the political race of her career. With the prospect of vaulting Abedin’s beloved into the highest office in the land, could Weiner potentially zipped it and adjusted his digital communication accordingly?

Evidently not. Weiner was recently outed texting lewd photos of himself to a woman he met online. The incident took place in July 2015 but was only recently unpackaged in the New York Post. One of the photos sent to the online relationship included a selfie of Weiner sleeping next to the couple’s four-year-old son, Jordan.

If he wanted to remain in the relationship and was mentally healthy, Weiner would not have engaged in such activity. Today the man on a self-destructive death spiral is headed for divorce, and if Abedin is strong she won’t turn back and the separation will be clean without emotion.

Huma Abedin is engulfed with email scandals

Perhaps Weiner might have taken some advice from those involved in wiping the Clinton server clean of potentially damaging emails. He apparently did not have the same quality of clean up crew that was required because he is again becoming a distraction in the middle of the Clinton campaign trying to bat aside transparency as well as trust concerns.

Abedin, sick of emails much like many of those supporting Clinton, has decided this latest episode was a bridge too far.

“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect of our privacy,” Abedin said in a statement.

Divorce is a black cloud, which is why Abedin would do well to remain focused on work

Divorce is a black cloud that can linger over the best of people. Divorces can be hard and distracting, with emotion often getting the better of discretion with kids often caught in the middle.

There is a path out for Abedin. If she is smart, she moves for a quick resolution with a decidedly clear divorce agreement. Once it is finalized, smile. Avoid the temptation to pull emotional triggers but rather put your head down and focus on a better life for you and your son. Try to instill upon your former life partner the importance of discretion. Based on past history of the couple, however, it might only be one party in this relationship that is concerned about discretion.

Society has changed relative to digital awareness and security, didn’t Weiner recognize the shift?

Discretion was apparently not on Weiner’s mind when he decided to engage in online sexual photography exhibitions with someone other than his wife in 2013. At the time, anecdotal evidence suggests that society as a whole was not as concerned about digital security. Some of those living a single lifestyle inside the financial services industry, for instance, were known to have a digital library with some video screenings finding an unwelcome audience in a Manhatten courtroom.

But society generally figured out that taking sexual video and pictures of oneself and/or their partners had its risks. Why didn’t Weiner figure this out in 2015? Or perhaps he didn’t care? Perhaps he was living a lifestyle that might seem out of the norm to the mainstream, but in certain circles a more permissive attitude prevails?

Depending on the person, the formula to determine forgiveness is not always uniform. The infamous Sage Kelly, for instance was granted redemption. What about Weiner?

The Weiner situation when compared to Sage Kelly is decidedly more self destructive than self perpetuating. Not only did his sexting addiction destroy his own New York City mayoral bid in 2013, but in making the same mistake two years later he is jeopardizing his wife’s career ambition of a lifetime. At least Sage Kelly got business out of his sexual escapades, advancing his career for a short time.

The best advice that Abedin could listen to is put Weiner in the rear view mirror. It is over, create a clear separation agreement and don’t look back. Enjoy being single and embrace life in major metropolitan areas. It can be fun.