It can be devastating to have a cheating spouse, especially when you're in the public eye as much as Maria Shriver. After her husband's bombshell announcement this week, she now faces important trust issues as she transitions to a new life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger kept his secret for more than a decade, and it ultimately tore his 25-year marriage to Shriver apart. The two have announced their separation.
When the actor and former governor publicly confessed to fathering a child with a member of the family's household staff, Shriver pleaded for privacy in a statement, saying, "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal."
Though rumors of Schwarzenegger's inappropriate behavior plagued their marriage -- most notably during the 2003 gubernatorial special election -- Shriver staunchly defended him from allegations of indiscretion, saying at the time, "He's an extraordinary father. He's an extraordinary husband."
Schwarzenegger's recent admission and years of betrayal, CBS News Correspondent Betty Nguyen observed, put Shriver in territory familiar to many women in high profile marriages, such as Silda Wall-Spitzer and Elin Nordegren.
Also, in recent years, Jenny Sanford divorced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford after he confessed to carrying on an affair with a woman in Argentina. And Hillary Clinton famously stood by her man after his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Suzanne Zuckerman, a staff writer for People Magazine, said,"Maria is utterly devastated. When Arnold became governor of California, she gave up her journalistic career. So she really transformed her life to support him. Her friends don't doubt that she'll have a second act and emerge from this stronger, because she's so resilient."
But how Shriver will move forward remains to be seen. Her candid comments in a YouTube video released in March reveal a woman seeking answers. In the video, Shriver said, "It is so stressful to not know what you're doing next. ... I'd like to hear from other people who are in transition. How did you get through it?"
On "The Early Show," psychologist and contributor Dr. Jennifer Hartstein said it doesn't seem as if Shriver has outwardly cracked under the pressure of everything she's facing.
"Hopefully, we would think, she's got some people she's leaning on," Hartstein said. "She's got to be so numb to all of this at some point, and she's got to be trying to figure out what is happening and how to move forward."
So how can she move forward?
Time and support, Hartstein said, are what Shriver needs.
Hartstein said, "She has the benefit of having a close-knit family that she can rely on; she probably has long-term friends she can still trust ... and she's going to be questioning these relationships a lot and asking people and double-asking people and triple-checking, so it's going to take the time for her to build that back up."
As for Schwarzenegger and Shriver's kids, Hartstein said they are going to have to build back trust with their father.
"It's all a process. They're all in the process together," she said. "Arnold has come out being contrite and apologetic. He'll have a lot of rebuilding to do, to show his kids he's still the same guy and has to communicate to them, and deal with their anger, be able to handle that, not get too defensive, deal with their questions. He really has to be open to that, and he's really going to have to be present and accountable for anything they throw at him."
Co-anchor Erica Hill noted two of the couple's children have tweeted statements since news of their parents' split. But is that a good or bad thing?
Hartstein said it could go either way.
"It brings the public more into their space, which may not be what they want, but this is how kids communicate," she said. "So they are reaching out for support. They are getting their allegiances out there, and that's how they're communicating. We have to expect that's going to happen."
However, she said, the posts on Twitter may eventually disappear.
She said, "(It's) a knee-jerk reaction to throw it on Twitter, the post might come down or they may be asked, 'Please don't do that anymore. This is a family matter. Keep it in the family.'"Hill noted many power couples in long-term relationships have recently ended their marriages. But why does this happen -- particularly when cheating is involved?
"There's a power situation, and we can't deny people in power tend to cheat more," Hartstein said. "There's been a lot of research supporting that. ... They think they maybe can get away with it and are above the rules. ... Also,in long-term marriages, when you're out of the public eye where you may have been, where your marriage developed, you now are stuck in your marriage and have to focus on that, and you don't know how to interact when maybe there was a political office or high-powered job, and that often brings in all the problems that might have gotten overlooked before. We have to think about what the problems may be."