As Elizabeth Edwards speaks out about her husband’s affair with a campaign worker in a new book, Resilience, those who know the couple predict the Edwards’ marriage, difficulties aside, will survive. “John and Elizabeth still love one another,” says John Moylan, a family friend. “I think they will make it through.”
In her new book, Elizabeth Edwards writes that after learning her husband was cheating, “my sense of what I meant to the people around me was … shaken.” She recalls that she went to a bathroom and threw up when John broke the news.
Yet in recent months, the couple have been spotted out at dinners and basketball games with their two younger children, Jack, 8, and Emma Claire, 11, say observers in their hometown of Chapel Hill, N.C. They are “taking each day as it comes,” says Moylan. “It’s obviously a difficult time in their lives.”
As Elizabeth’s terminal breast cancer has spread, John has been solidly supportive, says Moylan: “He has been with her. They are fighting through it together.”
Gordon Livingston, a friend of Elizabeth’s, points out that the Edwards have already had to cope with the loss of their 16-year-old son Wade, who died in a car accident in 1996. Having faced such a loss may make it easier for Elizabeth to cope with her husband’s infidelity, he says.
“Among bereaved parents, a common thread is that we have already faced the worst,” says Livingston, who met Edwards through a group for parents who have lost children. “Whatever is happening with her husband, however difficult that is for her, still she has that inner strength and that knowledge that she already been through the worst days of her life.”
For now it seems Elizabeth Edwards is devoted to trying to make her marriage work. As she recently told Oprah Winfrey, “Neither one of us is out the door.”
• With reporting by SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL and WENDY GROSSMAN