Now Elizabeth Edwards, in her new memoir, "Resilience," reveals why she stood by her husband, former 2008 presidential hopeful, John Edwards, after she learned he cheated on her with a former campaign worker, Rielle Hunter.
Edwards, who has terminal breast cancer, appears on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Thursday to talk about her new book and how she learned Edwards was cheating.
In the taped interview, Edwards says John Edwards met then-42-year-old Hunter at a hotel. Her pickup line, according to Edwards, was "You are so hot."
Elizabeth says she cried, screamed and vomited when she learned of his infidelity. But even after John initially revealed the truth to Elizabeth -- just days after declaring his presidential run in 2006 -- she stayed with him.
"He should not have run," Edwards wrote in her book, adding that she wanted her husband to drop out to save her family from media scrutiny. The Edwards have three children: Cate, Jack and Emma Claire.
On The Early Show Wednesday, Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychologist and contributing editor of Cookie magazine, told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez why many political wives stand by their cheating spouses.
"You know, (the wives) may understand that with these kinds of people -- these men are in the spotlight, they're very powerful, there are women throwing themselves at these kinds of men," she said. "I think, in some way, (these women) make a deal, whether it's conscious or unconscious, they understand that, if you enter into a political relationship, you might be dealing with a guy who might cheat, and to really keep the whole picture in mind. Do you want to maintain your life? Do you want to fight for a person you love? Maybe at the end of the day that's what's important."
Beth Frerking, senior editor of Politico.com, has a similar take on political wives.
"I think, when people ... go into politics or have ambitions to go into politics, they know that this is part of the package," she told CBS News correspondent Bianca Solorazno. "And I think really, it's the exception when that spouse leaves."
In the case of Elizabeth Edwards, Ludwig said there could be many reasons she stayed with John.
"...We have to give her credit, maybe she did make the right decision," Ludwig said. "You have to think about keeping the family intact, she has health issues, it's a business, too, they're a political couple. ... She probably loves him; when you love somebody, you understand the reasons they digress, and maybe it's not right, but...we don't know what their relationship looks like, really behind closed doors."
Rodriguez also asked about the possibility of a strong marriage after infidelity.
Ludwig assured that it's possible.
"An affair is like a conversation that you haven't had," Ludwig said. "You have to understand the symptoms, what contributed to the affair, and if you can understand that, get through that, then you can come out stronger at the end of the day."
And Elizabeth Edwards is still standing by her man now, Solorzano points out, even as the former candidate is reportedly under federal investigation for misuse of campaign funds -- more than $100,000 paid to his Hunter's production company.
John Edwards has denied any wrongdoing.
This is Elizabeth Edwards' second book. Her first memoir, "Saving Graces," focused on the death of her 16-year-old son, Wade, in a tragic car crash and her ongoing battle with cancer.