Sunday, December 13, 2009
For the past couple of weeks since word of Tiger Woods’ serial infidelity made it to the news, I’ve been wondering: Am I the only married man who doesn’t get Elin Nordegren Woods?
She’s certainly beautiful, and I mean that in an “Oh my God!” kind of way, but my wife is beautiful too. (I say that because it’s true, and in case she’s reading this.) If it were me, if I were the one who had been unfaithful – once, twice, 11 times and counting – I can’t imagine the rage, the hurt that she would be feeling. Maybe that’s what’s going on here, in the head and heart of Mrs. Woods, and we’re just not seeing it because it’s none of our business, and because the Woods have the good taste, common sense and money to keep the media at a distance.
True, it really is none of my business, but then I’m not the one who so flagrantly disrespected his marriage. I’m not the one making, or the media producing the headlines. For me, it’s like a movie. None of these people are real.
For one thing, by all accounts Tiger Woods is a billionaire. If Elin walks, she gets 30% of his wealth according to the rumored terms of their prenuptial agreement – and leaves with her pride intact. Who would blame her? In fact, the real question is, “Why would she stay?”
Well, for one thing, they have 2 very young children. Keeping it together for them would be perfectly understandable. Love, for each other, would be another good reason. There’s the potential to make even more money from continuing, renewed and even new endorsements when he returns to tournament golf with got-to-be spectacular ratings. (Maybe Church & Dwight, the makers of Trojan brand condoms, might be interested.)
And then there’s the argument that he’s guilty by reason of mental defect. To quote the great Robert Palmer, he’s “addicted to love.” Sexual additions are real, I guess. I’m no psychologist, but the plea suggests that, if you’re going to be unfaithful once, better to do it all over the place, as openly as possible including lots of text mail, so you can claim to be sick instead of just a jerk.
Tiger Woods, according to media reports, responds to all this by offering Elin money. I’ve read $5 million immediately, then much more over the next few years if she stays with him, and maybe an increase in the 30% limit in their pre-nup. Of all the things I’ve heard about Mr. Woods, this is the one that disturbs me most – if it’s true.
Are the 11 alleged instances of infidelity troublesome? Absolutely. Does every red-blooded male look at Elin Nordegren and wonder what Tiger was thinking? Yeah. (Sorry, ladies, it’s a hormonal thing.) And then there’s the text mail which begs the question, “Is stupidity grounds for divorce?” But to offer his wife money to stay with him, to trivialize marriage and parenthood by making them nothing more than a continuing financial transaction, is unforgiveable – again, if any of it is true.
I understand that Tiger Woods is a business, and why some sponsors will stay with him, and others won’t because of what his predicament means for their bottom lines. I, on the other hand, am not a business. That he would offer Elin money is reprehensible. That she would not be insulted and appalled by that offer is something I just can’t fathom. It’s so not in the character of my wife, my mother, my daughter or any of the good women I know and respect.
Shame on you, Tiger. As for Elin, the jury is still out.