The outing of cheating celebrities is rampant these days. Someone posted a question on my blog asking what my thoughts were about the Tiger Woods debacle from Tiger’s perspective which inspired me to write this post. First let me say that I can only guess at what motivated Tiger to do what he did. Short of jumping into his head and rummaging through his brain cells to find the truth, I can’t really know. But here are some possibilities:
In one interview, Tiger said that he did it because he could, which is much the same explanation that Bill Clinton expressed. There is no doubt that celebrities have a gazillion opportunities, which is a temptation that many of them find hard to resist, so they don’t. They are coddled and revered so much from a young age that they develop this outrageous entitlement mentality. “I can have or do anything I want without consequence.”
Because Tiger was so blatant (another word might be “stupid”) in his dalliances, I’ve wondered if he might not have wanted to get caught. Why? Because some kind of change was needed, whether it was with Elin or in some other aspect of his life, and a gigantic upheaval will inevitably bring about change. Think this public humiliation was gigantic enough?
Another thought, perhaps on some level, the unreality of his goody two-shoes image weighed on him. I say “on some level” because I’m quite sure this wouldn’t have been on a conscious level, but it does seem he was itching to let go of something. Either that or his arrogance was so off the charts that he thought he could get away with anything.
I don’t know if he was pushed too hard by his father from a very early age, and whether that might have played a part in all of this as well. You know, by tarnishing his well-oiled image (the Tiger his dad wanted him to be) he could get back at Daddy. Again, if this were the case, it would be on an unconscious level.
Tiger went to rehab, allegedly for a sex addiction. Addictions are used to cover up pain. We can only guess at the kind of pain he might have been experiencing: pain in his marriage, pain in some other aspect of his life, pain deep in his being. I don’t know. But I do know that addictions work for a while, but inevitably end up piling more pain on top of the original pain, which is what happened to Tiger.
Now, it seems he is truly repentant, taking full responsibility for his actions, not blaming Elin or anyone else, and that he has a strong desire to keep his family together. This is a good beginning, but it’s only a beginning. What really matters are his actions over time. We’ll have to wait and see for that.
But let’s stop thinking of Tiger or Jesse James or any of the other people out there who have cheated as the devil incarnate. They are not. Their behavior was childish and painful. It deeply hurt not only the people they supposedly loved, but it hurt them as well. However, if we scratch their surface, we will find lost souls who are making incredibly painful choices in order to learn valuable life lessons; lessons that would enable them to move to a higher, more conscious, more joyful level of living. Could they have learned in another less painful way? Of course, but they didn’t.
In Tiger and Jesse’s case, they needed immense pain to “get it,” and hopefully they are now on the right track. They may have to lose everything in order to gain the insights and wisdom they need to move forward. Will they seize this opportunity? We don’t know. But be assured that if they don’t, the universe will keep sending new ones. Let’s hope for their sakes that this time will be enough.
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, to learn how my husband and I got through our crisis and made our bond stronger than ever. You can read a synopsis of the book on my website, http://www.infidelityandaffairs.com and buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The book gives you great tips and insights on relationships, as well as how to deal with this painful circumstance.