When you are married to a political figure, there are certain sacrifices you expect to make and some you don’t realize you’ve made. Some spouses may learn the hard way that, unlike most marriages, you are required to share the person you married with millions of other people. As a public servant, your spouse doesn’t answer only to you, but to the people he or she serves. What may be even harder to come to grips with is the fact that your needs will rarely come first.
For Heidi Cruz, wife to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, it appears that you must also convince yourself that always coming in last is for the greater good.
In her recent profile in The Atlantic, Heidi Cruz discusses the early days of her relationship with Ted, as well as their subsequent marriage and his various political goals. She also shares that, at Ted’s insistence, the song from Aladdin “A Whole New World” was played at the end of the ceremony. Ted considers it a theme for their lives. Heidi, of course, let Ted have his way.
At face value, Heidi does not appear to be subservient. She has always been a career woman, high achieving, not afraid to speak her mind. She is the perfect republican wife: an educated, white woman who even gives the appearance of being superior to her husband. However, when you read her story, you see a woman who has continually chosen to take a back seat to her husband. In other words, Heidi Cruz is a woman who knows her place.
Heidi twice left jobs where she had achieved tremendous success to support her husband’s political aspirations. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, as many spouses make similar sacrifices for their partners. The difference is that Heidi was miserable for having to have done so, and that it didn’t matter, because Ted’s career came first.
For most of their marriage, Heidi, has had to do it all: be the primary earner in the family, raise their daughters by herself (as Ted spends most of his time either in Washington or campaigning), and still do enough to convince people around her that she’s extremely happy. Sure, she’ll be honest with you that in the beginning, it wasn’t so good. In fact, she opens up about how she was so depressed after sacrificing a job and a life that she loved to move to Texas, that she ended up alone, on the side of the road.
Heidi was so clearly suffering that police were called because she seemed at risk for self-harm. She also reassures us that Ted wasn’t even angry with her. Apparently, the perfect republican wife has to be concerned that a breakdown would anger her husband. Of course, Ted also let us know that despite how bad things were for Heidi, making changes to his career path was never discussed. Heidi appears to have gotten over this deep depression by spending a weekend away at a religious retreat.
On the surface, Heidi Cruz is the perfect conservative wife. She will say all the right things, tell you that all the sacrifices have been worth it, because her husband is meant to do what he’s doing. It’s all about the greater good and apparently, it’s her calling as well. But dig a little beneath the gloss and shine and you’ll see that the calling isn’t quite as personal as she claims. Currently, Heidi only campaigns on the weekends “if she has time.” Ted is locked in a tight race against Beto O’Rourke for re-election, and it is his career that remains the focal point of their marriage (if not her main priority). But what happens to the perfect republican wife if Ted Cruz loses? I doubt Heidi Cruz has any idea.
Wendy Luxenburg writes for Palmer Report