Comments like these are a far cry from the carefully crafted façade of perfect family harmony that traditionally has been expected of politicians’ wives. That pretense often hid a darker reality — as in the case of Kitty Dukakis or Betty Ford, who developed severe addictions to alcohol and drugs — but the public was none the wiser…

To the spouses currently expressing hesitation, [Jeri] Thompson had this to say: “Good for you. You should be. To look at that process without thinking through what it’s going to do to your relationships, your marriage, your daily life, would be really shortsighted. That’s what they should be doing as a wife and mother — evaluating what does this mean for my family.”

Being realistic about the rigors of a campaign shouldn’t be construed as being unsupportive, Thompson said. “I don’t want to sound bitter or discourage folks from wanting to contribute,” she said. “If you love them, you’ll do anything you can to support them. That’s how these people should be viewed, in my opinion.”