Paula Broadwell’s Husband Wrote To An Advice Column About Petraeus Affair [Report]

Did Paula Broadwell’s husband turn to an advice column months ago regarding his wife’s alleged affair with General David Petraeus?

Chuck Klosterman runs an advice column called The Ethicist for the New York Times. The July 13th edition of this column includes a letter from an anonymous reader and cuckolded husband, seeking ethical advice on how to deal with his wife’s affair.

In the letter’s author details his wife’s affair with a “government executive” whose job “is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership.” There’s no love lost between the letter’s author and said government officials, praising him as “gracious” and “absolutely the right person for the job.” The author asks if he should acknowledge the affair or keep quiet to protect the reputations of the parties involved.

Gawker thinks that this anonymous letter may have been contributed by Paula Broadwell’s husband. We already know that she was Gen. David Petraeus’s biographer, and that the two spent a lot of time together, including jogging side by side. The author also says he has “watched the affair intensify over the last year,” matching the Wall Street Journal timeline (the affair began in August 2011, lasting until “several months ago”).

Chuck Klosterman responded to the author, saying:

“Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of “suffering in silence” for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.”

The affair ended quietly until Gen. David Petraeus cited it as the primary reason for his resignation as director of the CIA just yesterday. If this letter was penned by Paula Broadwell’s husband, it’s interesting that he seemed to follow Klosterman’s advice and stay quiet about it.


Klosterman’s response also included an interesting indictment:

“I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.”

It’s also possible that Paula Broadwell penned the letter herself. You know how some people are so racked with guilt that they find semi-anonymous ways to confess (So I have this friend … it’s not me, but this friend is in trouble and needs advice … what should I tell him/her?).

Of course, this is all circumstantial at this point. But we’re still interested in what you think: Did Paula Broadwell’s husband turn to Chuck Klosterman’s advice column for advice on his wife’s affair with Gen. David Petraeus?