By Nicole L. Hill

After her husband Peter (Chris Noth) has a very public political scandal, Alicia  (Julianna Margulies) returns to work as an attorney to support her husband and find herself again.  She ends up finding a lot more when her boss admits he has feelings for her and she sees her husband embark on his own path of redemption.

Alicia is the epitome of womanhood.  Every woman claims that if her husband cheated on her she would pack up and leave.  Yet, Alicia shows us that things aren’t as black and white.  Alicia has two children, still in school, who need her love and support.  She also has a life that she’s built, extended family, and a comfort level, having been married to Peter, her husband, for many years.  Most important, Alicia loves Peter.  It’s not a simple kind of infatuation with his status or physical looks.  It’s a true, unconditional love that a woman has for a man she’s known for a long time and been through a lot with.  Alicia chose to stand by her man, not because she’s weak, or unable to care for herself, but because she strong enough to put the infidelity in perspective as she decides what she wants.

That being said, the reason the show works, is because Alicia stayed with Peter, not on his own terms, but on hers.  The choice to stay was accompanied by the decision to practice law as a defense attorney and sleep in separate rooms.  All women have gone, or will go through some sort of tragedy in their marriage, whether it be infidelity, job loss, sickness, etc.  We all will face a point in our marriages where we will have to make a choice.  The choice may not be as drastic as whether to stay or go, but, it will be an important choice nonetheless.

Alicia Florrick’s choice was handled with the utmost maturity, and realness that the writer’s could muster.  It seemed not only natural, but, principled.  As a viewer, I have never found myself resenting Alicia for her decision, nor have I ever felt her character was a slap in the face to all women.  I felt Alicia was a strong woman for choosing to strengthen her family and herself by staying.  The writers have even made me feel sorry for Peter, and uncomfortable with Alicia having the option of leaving him for Will, her boss (Josh Charles).

The Good Wife may be a procedural on its face, but Alicia Florrick’s character brings the dramatic aspect that keeps women viewers tuning in week after week.  We struggle with her as she chooses between complete forgiveness of Peter, and indulging in the attraction she feels for Will.   Alicia Florrick is every woman, because she understands that no matter what is going on around her, her family’s success depends on her.