Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the Band Wagon

What the hell. Everyone else is talking about it, and I've answered enough blogs about it, so why not join the party? Tiger, like it or not, has awakened the world to the topic of marriage infidelity. Is he guilty? Obviously. Was he wrong for doing what he did? That remains unclear.

For me, infidelity in a marriage is unforgivable. I have first hand experience at this as my Ex had an affair with a married man. That affair continues to this day and to my knowledge the married man's wife does not know. She may though. I know who they are and while we don't run in the same social circle, we're only one step removed. Ex refuses to admit her infidelity during our marriage but it has been confirmed to me by two of her friends who were disgusted with her behavior and thought I should know. Should I do the same for this woman? I'm honestly not sure. For now, I choose to stay in my world where most likely I belong.

Here's the my marriage, infidelity by me or by Ex was wrong because we decided together that it was so. We discussed it and while she did grow up in France where such indiscretions are many times overlooked, we talked about it at length both prior to marriage and during and both agreed that it was off limits. Period. No concept of open marriage, no "just once is okay." Never, not once, completely unforgivable. Our reasoning for this was simple: if I respect my spouse as my life partner and best friend, crossing that line destroys every bit of trust and respect that had been built. My personal reasoning is that I wouldn't be able to do it and live with mysefl and therefore expect that same from my partner. She knew this, did it anyway, and thus, end of story and marriage. For those of you who are wondering, I can't answer the question of if it was only once would I have forgiven it because that's not the way it happened. It was over the course of several months and has continued almost two years later.

With Tiger, we don't know what kinds of boundaries were decided in his marriage. In my eyes using my morals and values, he's an A-hole and she should take him for everything he's worth. Thing is, my morals and values matter squat in this case. It is highly possible that they had an open marriage, even if it was just only Tiger who was allowed to "cheat." We'll never know.

What I can say definitively is that the carelessness with which he did what he did is astounding to me. How was this not revealed sooner? People on the Tour had to know, which implies that this is a widespread thing that is simply accepted. People with that kind of money and power many times have different standards for their behavior. I don't agree with this, but maybe that's why I'm not one of them. :)

I'm no "hitter" by any stretch, but I do work in investment banking in New York: home to the biggest (many times underserving) egos on the planet. I can tell you that I know if several (not a ton but several) instances where the husband cheats and the wife goes along because of the bankroll. Makes me want to puke and while I can't avoid doing business with many of these guys, my motto has always been "if he can't be trusted not to cheat on his wife, he can't be trusted in a business deal either." I tell this to the guys who work for me as well. Doesn't mean I don't do deals with these guys; I have to. I make sure, however, to take everything they say with a grain of salt, compromise very little and smile the whole way while I'm trying to take his shirt (without being dishonest).

My point is this: Tiger is not the only one to do this nor will he be that last. The sad thing is that he has tarnished his legacy, put a blight on the golf and the institution of marriage, and disappointed millions who wanted to believe he was a stand up family man who had his priorities straight. Whether or not he violated the vows of his marriage, however, is beteween Elin and him. No one else. Personally, I'll most likely never be able to root for the guy again. Not because he made a mistake, but because of the seeming entitlement with which he did it. The Ego is a funny thing: it can drive people to huge success and if not well managed, can drive them even faster into ruin.

For their kids' sake, I hope Tiger and Elin manage this well. They are the most unfortunate victims of this whole mess.


Senorita said...

Even though this is out in the media, we truthfully can't really say what is going on behind closed doors with Tiger and Elin.

He admitted to cheating, and I think he is wrong for that. But we don't know Elin's side of the story.

I can speak for myself, and cheating is never okay with me. I don't care how rich the man is. I know it's easier said than done, but I have broken up with my ex right before he was about to be paid handsomely and promised to provide for me and have not looked back.

I am sorry you faced cheating in your marriage.

T said...

WOW. Great post.

And honestly, the "seeming entitlement" is because the entire world has been handed to him since childhood. He's been a phenom and told that he was basically a "god" and of course, given whatever he asked for. That's why he felt entitled. Because he's always been told that he should be.

Who knows... guess we'll see what happens. But I agree, for the sake of their children, I hope they can be civil.

MindyMom said...

Hey, glad you could join the party!

Everyone's ideas about marriage and infidelity are different. For me personally, whether or not I could get past one affair is hypothetical, I don't know but I'm sure it would depend on the circumstances. I do believe that people who stay in a marriage because of the money and despite the affairs dont really have a marriage, they have an *arrangement*. For some, that may be enough, but not for me.

dadshouse said...

Tiger has a huge ego. It might have just come crumbling down. We'll see how much introspective work he's willing to do. He could take this as an opportunity to become self aware. Or he could buy his image back, re-inflate his ego, and keep on wondering why he is searching elsewhere for fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

A very thoughtful post. As for the issue of wives (typically) who look the other way due to the "bankroll," let me say that those with the better attorneys "win," often leaving the other party on a downward spiral financially that is long and deep. That looking the other way may also be to protect children from exactly that. It can't be pleasant, but it is another sort of responsible parenting. And survival.


Big City Dad said...

Dave, I hope you're right that Tiger may take the time to rebuild his image by rebuilding his character. Not sure I see it happening though. Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right that we'll never know what went on between him and his wife behind closed doors...nor should we, really. That's between the two of them.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Yes, great post. I also tried to keep Tiger off my blog... but something about his actions really do trigger a lot of feelings in many of us.

I appreciate hearing your own experiences/feelings in response to hearing about Tiger's, um, transgressions.

Nicole said...

Tiger has given the blogosphere much to comment on. And I think you definitely have the right approach in your business dealings. I can't imagine navigating in those shark infested waters. (I watch a lot of movies...)

PS. It's Nicki...over at Suddenly Single Journey! I outsmarted your blog. Look who can comment now. Mwah ha ha.
PPS. Today is going to be a VERY special day. I can tell...

Barry said...

I guess the biggest problem we have with these celebrities, is we think we know them. His carefully managed profile and controlled interviews. He always looks great. Regardless of what or was not going on in their marriage, he had two children during his alledged affairs. Maybe he is just an ass with a big smile an an amazing golf game.

Anonymous said...

Tiger and his ego ... Apparently just one affair wasn't enough. Or two. Or Three ... Or four ... OR FIVE? Come on dude. And I couldn't agree more with you about the kids. It's sad.

Debbie said...

great post..a tough issue! I appreciate your stand on infidelity! as the wife of a chronic 'cheater' I know how much it hurts and how deep the wounds go! Tiger was fallible and human, but it is sad when so many look to him as an example of what a 'gentlemen' should be.

Kim said...

You know, it's always tough to comment on somebody else's marriage. There are just some things that happen behind close doors that we will never truly understand unless we are there.

That said, I strongly believe that there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for cheating. If you want out, be man enough to tell your spouse that you're not happy and leave. Don't humiliate her further by becoming front page news.

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