Tiger Woods has become the focus of much ridicule recently as a result of his admission to having had extra-marital relations. One publication suggests Tiger had 14 mistresses over the course of his short marriage. Wow! That’s a lot!
Some have focused on Tiger being caught as a result of his use of text messages. This is a fascinating new development unheard of ten years ago. May I suggest the thoughtful blogs written by Dick Price, Ashley Russell and Daniel Clement for this angle.
But my friends all ask the same question: "Why would anyone in Tiger’s position do this?" Tiger seems to have it all – money, fame, a career playing a game he loves, a beautiful wife, two healthy children – yet he appears to have thrown it all away with these acts of indiscretion.
The answer … perhaps it was childhood wounds but I don’t know Tiger personally so I can’t speculate… sorry….
If your marriage has been rocked by an affair you are not alone. USA Today reports that 15% of wives and 25% of husbands have experienced extramarital intercourse. Can you believe those stats?
I recommend you read "After the Affair" by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. In fact, both Tiger and his wife Elin would be wise to read this excellent book. It could help them answer "why?" It could help you too.
The author suggests that it is possible to rebuild trust in a marriage when a partner has been unfaithful and she even suggests how to do it. Even if reconciliation is not likely in your situation, this book is still worth reading whether you were the unfaithful partner or the hurt partner. If you know "why", you might avoid making the same mistake twice.
Dr. Springs suggests it all stems from child-hood wounds. She says:
… if you missed out on the development of the following critical growth experiences, you may never have developed into a healthy, secure, competent adult:
1. Being safe and secure.
2. Functioning independently in the world.
3. Having solid emotional connections with others.
4. Being valued.
5. Being free to express yourself.
6. Being free to let go and have fun.
7. Living with realistic limitations.
So, essentially, Dr. Springs suggests that your childhood emotional wounds can haunt you in adult-life leading to extra-marital affairs as an attempt to heal your wounds or in reaction to those wounds.
I am over-simplifying Dr. Spring’s ideas. You need to read her book to understand her theory and apply it to your own life.
Neither Dr. Spring nor I are attempting to justify having an affair – I feel it is wrong and tremendously hurtful to have an affair – but rather I am suggesting that Dr. Spring’s book can help you discover the childhood wounds that may have lead to the adult indiscretions. She then offers ways of rebuilding the trust in your damaged marriage, and offers life-lessons for the rest of you whose marriage won’t be able to recover from the deceit of an affair.
I commend Tiger for taking time away from his career to look deeply at his marriage and life. I hope he reads Dr. Spring’s book during his time away from the golf course. Likewise, if your life has been rocked by infidelity, whether you were the unfaithful partner or the hurt partner, I strongly suggest you read Dr. Springs book… and take some time away from the golf course, if you must!
It appears that Tiger is heading for divorce according to US News.