If one takes a quick glimpse at US political families, the power couples of the time — be it Barack and Michelle Obama or even Bill and Hilary Clinton for that matter, maintained a dignified stance when it came to their matrimony affairs, each couple displaying a certain amount of mutual respect and fondness for each other in the public eye.
However, our current presidency, which has been a first of sorts for many, barely has a genuine moment of love to boast of, at least in the public eye. Even the seemingly romantic moments between Donald Trump and wife Melania looked palpably discomforting. (First dance, anyone?)
And if a relationship expert has to be believed, the evident discomfiture in their relationship has a reason behind it. According to University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz, a sex and relationships expert, the current incidents when Melania was spotted swatting away Donald Trump's hands and even ignoring him in public, are strong-enough evidences that speak for itself.
"These people are under constant scrutiny," Schwartz told Los Angeles Times. "Has anyone ever seen a loving gesture between them?" he said.
We cannot recall any.
Perhaps, the current scandals that have rocked the White House since their revelations have collectively put a dent in their relationship.
In the wake of the first scandal in which Trump was alleged to have had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, Melania canceled her plan to travel with her husband to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, amid other reports too that suggested that Melania was spending numerous lonely nights at a Washington DC hotel, away from her husband.
Even before the fumes of the previous controversy could evaporate, another scandal followed, with a New Yorker article reporting about former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal's diary that mentions a nine-month affair she had with Trump in 2006, around the same time Trump was seeing Stormy.
Read: Scandalous! Donald Trump had an affair with a Playboy Bunny for 9 months.
McDougal also revealed that the National Enquirer, whose publisher is a friend of Trump, paid her $150,000 for the exclusive rights to her story, then never ran it.
Amid the surrounding controversies about his womanizing ways, Melania chose to show her displeasure with a display of passive-wifey aggression that came to the forefront last Friday when Melania arrived alone to Andrews Air Force Base rather than taking a helicopter ride with her husband from the White House, citing scheduling issues.
Aside from her solo entry, what further fuelled the gossip mills about an existing quarrel between the first lady and the President was a no-show from Melania's side at the Mar-a-Lago dinner, her husband hosted with Geraldo Rivera and her stepsons, according to the Washington Post.
In what seems like Melania punishing her husband for his womanizing ways, these moments reveal a deeper irony that gnaws at Melania's sense of dignity ."I don't think she ever imagined that he was going to be faithful to her," Schwartz explained. "This is a man who has never stopped pushing himself on women. The preponderance of the evidence, as they say, is pretty convincing," he added further.
Read: TIME Out! Trump made adult star Stormy Daniels spank him with a Forbes magazine during 2006 affair.
Although Melania has chosen to maintain a dignified silence, amid few instances when she jumped to defend her husband, since the Stormy Daniels incident erupted, she has taken the route of subtly embarrassing her husband that isn't going unnoticed.
In the past year, there has been a lot of speculation about how long would Trumps' marriage last, mostly focusing on Melania's tolerance levels, the public is mostly rallying behind Melania with even a tongue-in-cheek meme #FreeMelania doing the social media rounds.
Even before the controversies broke out this year, thirteen months ago, at the Women's March, there were numerous handmade posters declaring Melania to 'blink twice' in reference to the first lady's stone-faced expression.
Despite her marriage reeling under intense pressure, Melania has managed to rake in a lot of sympathetic support from the masses that has pushed her popularity ratings since last year.
Whatever the status quo may be, we only hope that the relationship between the two holds the fort until the presidential term ends.
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