Tiger Woods’ AffairS: Why?

I’ve been scanning the media coverage and blogasphere responses to Tiger Woods’ now-being-revealed series of affairs.  They seem to hang on only a few hooks:  Hook 1: “Who’s next?  How Many?” Hook 2: “Advice to the Wife?”  Hook 3: “How Can You Tell?” Few people focus on why?  What drives a man to cheat on an attractive, loyal, apparently adequate wife?

Theologically, the Bible doesn’t explain much about the details of the dynamics of an affair.  It deals more with the big picture:  It’s bad; Don’t do it; God will judge it.  However, the Bible does describe it as an act of the flesh.    This helps.  I think it provides a practical  mentality to bring into play as we make our decisions in life.  We all have needs.  Every time we choose how to meet a need, we can opt for a path that will bring pleasure to God OR we can opt for a path that brings pleasure to us and ignores God.  Sometimes the pleasurable option is also pleasing to God, like satisfying sexual needs in marriage.  Other times, the pleasurable option parts from God’s ways and brings on incredible complications.  Example . . . Tiger Woods.  [edited insert on 1/7/2010: Click here to listen to Brit Hume saying very clearly and compassionately that embracing the Christian faith would offer Tiger what he needs at this point in his life]  The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook contains some helpful perspective on dealing with adultery from a spiritual and biblical point of view.

Psychologically, we all live with a public life and a private life.  Celebrities tend to live most of their lives in the public realm.  Furthermore, our adult lives blend adult segments mixed with unresolved needs and issues left over from childhood.  For example, if a man grows up with strict impersonal parents, he may carry a need for repetitive affirmation into his adult life.  He may or may not be aware of how that need influences his choices and behaviors.   But imagine how alluring it could be for such a man to have beautiful women available for him everywhere he travels!  Constant, repetitive affirmation.  This could easily become addictive.  Of course, this is all speculative.  But my advice to The Tiger (as well as anyone else who turns to women outside of his marriage to get his intimacy needs met) is to commit yourself to a competent Christian counselor to sort these things out and learn how to find happiness within godly bounds.

Additional Resources:

In the process of checking out what others are saying about Tiger’s situation, I ran across Ruth Houston’s blog which offers a wealth of advice and practical perspective in the area of infidelity.  I’ve also written a paper on the topic from a counselor’s point of view.  Last month, I posted some thoughts on the topic as well .

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4 Responses to Tiger Woods’ AffairS: Why?

  1. leejagers says:

    I thought this piece that came to me from Cheryl Wetzstein through SmartMarriage is substantive:

    Taming the Infidelity Tiger
    Cheryl Wetzstein
    The Washington Times
    December 9, 2009

    Golf star Tiger Woods’ admission of “transgressions” — and a growing list of infidelities — may soon land him in a very expensive divorce court. Or,if wife Elin is magnanimous enough to give her husband and father of their two babies another chance, they might land on Oprah’s couch, where he can do a full public grovel before an outraged audience.

    For the rest of us, this sad but familiar story opens the door to endless conversations about marriage and monogamy.

    A few talking points:

    € Adultery is devastating to any marriage, so if Mr. Woods’ purported girlfriend(s) are telling the truth, he has indeed wrecked his home. But many couples recover completely from infidelity because they learn to
    rebuild their marriages so they’re better than before. This takes time — the Beyond Affairs Network finds that betrayed spouses need at least two years to get past their initial grief and hurt — and significant, lifelong behavioral change.

    For starters, Mr. Woods could overhaul his retinue. His staff has aided and abetted Mr. Woods, and/or looked away as he indulged himself. A first step would be to fire such feckless employees and hire bodyguards with moral backbone who will protect Mr. Woods from both his baser instincts and all those heat-seeking cocktail waitresses. I’ll bet wife Elin can suggest some
    suitable handlers.

    Another change involves the cellular phones.

    To be trusted, one must be trustworthy, and to be trustworthy, a couple must build transparency into the relationship, says Willard F. Harley Jr., founder of Marriage Builders and author of many books about preventing affairs.

    Mr. Harley recommends all committed couples give each other full access to their cellular phones and e-mail accounts.

    Then, should infidelity occur, couples can take more stringent steps, such as conducting phone conversations openly, around the spouse (instead of secreting oneself), and refraining from erasing phone messages, texts or e-mail conversations until both spouses have read them. These sacrifices are tiny when compared to the good will and honesty they build.

    Facebook (or other social-network sites) should be accessible to both spouses, too. Spouses should know each others’ user names and passwords, identify themselves as “married” online, and write kind words on each other’s sites to publicly reinforce their connection, say K. Jason and Kelli Krafsky, whose book, “Facebook and Your Marriage,” is scheduled to debut in
    February. The Krafskys’ “no-no’s” for Facebook include “friending” old flames and engaging in private chats.

    € Couples who get marriage education stand a better chance of avoiding extramarital attractions.

    For instance, the Woodses are parents of a toddler and a newborn, and research shows that marital satisfaction declines when children arrive. Wise couples anticipate this sea change and take steps to not only become good
    parents, but protect and nurture their marital bonds.

    “Many couples seem unsure how to overcome their inevitable problems, and we know we can help them,” says Dennis Stoica, president of the California
    Healthy Marriages Coalition, which has taught marriage education to 20,000 people in the last year.

    “We regularly see couples in our marriage-education classes turn their marriage around,” Mr. Stoica said. “Couples on the brink of divorce recapture intimacy, trust and caring, and those with an OK marriage can take
    it up to levels of satisfaction they never experienced before.”

    Mr. Woods has offered a “profound apology” for failing to live up to his “values,” and promised to become “a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves.”

    His wife, children, family and fans certainly hope this popular sports icon will do so. Perhaps he will update his private motto and “just do it right.”

    € Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

  2. You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

  3. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  4. Dr. Lee Jagers says:

    Good article by Jim Denison on how Tiger Woods explained his arrest (May 30, 2017) https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15c58fb353bf73fd

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