When word came out that Arnold Schwarzenegger cheated, I was not surprised. When I saw the photos of who he cheated with (Patricia Baena), I was even less surprised.
Patricia doesn't represent what most people think about when they hear the word "mistress". For one thing, she worked for the Schwarzenegger's as a housekeeper which, let's face it, isn't exactly the most glamorous job in the world. I have nothing against housekeepers, the only reason I bring it up here is to establish the huge power disparity between "the impregnator" and his lover.
Arnold is known for being a wildly successful actor who, in the past, commanded a multi million dollar paycheck. The jury is still out as far as what his "going rate" might be if he were to re-enter the Hollywood scene. Some even speculate that this new and unsavory revelation might put the kibosh on his purported return to acting, although, I find that highly unlikely. Of course, most people know that he was the governor of the State of California between 2003 up until the time Jerry Brown took office in 2011. Rumors say that Patricia (known as Patty) had worked for the family for 20 years, that her employment ended recently, and that she pursued him sometime in the late 1990's.
So why did he cheat? It is difficult to point to one specific reason why married people engage in extra-curricular dalliances. It's never as simple as "my wife is mean to me". Rather, cheating usually involves several factors including (but not limited to):
- Lack of intimacy
- Lack of attraction to your partner
- Lack of partner libido
- Having feelings of resentment towards your partner
- Having the opportunity/proximity
Opportunity/proximity can not be discounted when talking about marital infidelity. It sounds so basic, doesn't it? The fact of the matter is that people are fucking lazy, hmmm, I guess you can take that in a literal sense. In other words, we flirt with, date, and have sex with people who are literally in front of us. Think about how common it is to hear about celebrities having torrid affairs with nannies (Jude Law), co-workers (Brad Pitt), and friends (Mutt Lange who is the former husband of Shania Twain). Proximity isn't a factor that is exclusive to celebrities. I'm sure you know of at least one friend whose spouse had an affair with a administrative assistant, personal assistant, co-worker, or some other family and/or social friend. Proximity is key to many affairs because, like I said earlier, we are fucking lazy. Still don't believe me? All I have to say to you is one word, groupie.
It would be much more out of the ordinary, and much more interesting to me, if Arnold had an affair and fathered a love child with someone who was not convenient to him. That is why his choice makes perfect sense to me. I should also point out, if it is not obvious, that Arnold had power over Patty because he is not only a famous celebrity and governor of California, but he was also her employer. When most people think of Arnold, they have come to think of him in terms of "Arnold & Maria (Shriver)". Besides coming from American royalty, Maria is famous for other reasons than just being married to Arnold. Maria has written some seven (7) popular books as well as being an award winning journalist. Some might even say they are equally famous.
I would even bet that as her celebrity began to rise, her marital relationship with Arnold declined significantly. If you are used to being thought of as the more famous and powerful person in a relationship, it can be a kick in the balls when that is no longer perceived to be the case. And I get the feeling that Arnold, who won medals for both Mr. Olymipa and Mr. Universe, somehow cares about being seen as powerful, and loved having his ego and penis stroked. *Can you detect my sarcasm?*
So if you put the need to feel powerful in a relationship, are being physically pursued by someone who looks at you with googly eyes and treats you like a superstar, and then add proximity/opportunity to the equation, you end up with a love child.
Most people are pretty surprised by Arnold's choice in Patty. After all, she seems to not be height and weight proportionate, is not what most people call attractive even though she looks like she has had cosmetic surgery (I would also bet Arnold funded it), and dresses in a very un-sophisticated manner. This appears to be the antithesis of everything Maria Shriver represents. Maria is a "Shriver", always looks well put together, polished, and sophisticated, and is very slim (thanks to Arnold putting her on an exercise routine prior to their marriage...seriously, google photos of her pre-Arnold).
I am not entirely sure how he was even able to keep an affair let alone a love child, who does look suspiciously like him, a secret for all these years. Now that is what really surprised me about the story!