Dear Mrs. Woods,
I'm jealous of you. In this celebrity-fueled world where all one presumably needs are your blonde looks, Sports Illustrated bikini body, and an eternal college-girl-next-door vibe, you have it all. And, because I am prone to mocking thin women whose physiques reflect a better discipline towards goat cheese than mine does, I admit that I've written physically beautiful girls like you off as airheads with dumb luck.
But, given what your husband has been up to lately, I take my presumptions back.
Instead, let me offer you something that isn't present in Tiger's desperate compensation possibilities: compassion. You didn't deserve to be as flagrantly cheated on as you were. And, you should have a life where you get to raise your family in security and dignity.
I can only imagine that it's terrible to learn of infidelity in the first place. But, to experience it to the point of having some twelve-odd mistresses coming out of obscurity is excruciating and embarrassing. I've never wanted to go against another woman for a man's sexual loyalty. You should never have had to compete at all, and certainly not against twelve other women.
And, it must be even more upsetting to know that several resemble you. Were I in your position, I wouldn't find it flattering if my spouse wanted to sleep with my lookalikes; I would comprehend is that not only am I not good enough, but I would feel marginalized and too easily replaceable. You don't deserve to be in a place where you are subjected to that sordid comparison, or to feel as though you will never be enough for his desires.
But, because you are married to a professional athlete, you have now joined the ranks of women who have been hurt by the flagrant cheating that occurs in sports circles. Whether you like it or not, you became a victim every time Tiger sent a text message, or paid off a mama-san for someone else's favors. Quite honestly, I don't blame you for going after him with his nine-iron, because he probably thought his was awesome.
Bad jokes aside, you didn't deserve that either.
So now, you are in an interesting position. Although you've been highly embarrassed, you can create any outcome that suits you and your needs. If you stay Mrs. Tiger Woods, you'll collect a hefty check. If you leave him, you would also receive a large payout, in spite of the prenuptial agreement. Regardless of how you choose to live your life, you will always have the security and means to live and raise your children. Other wives do not share your financial luck.
So, I don't know if you'll decide to retreat to Sweden and hide. I don't know if you'll want to stay in America, and put up with our crazy, TMZ-fueled obsessions. But if you do, you'll probably find that most people here have your back, even though we've never met you.
And, if you decide to stay with your Tiger, then bear in mind that he's not perfect. By now, I'm sure you are absolutely aware of that, but also know that he is vastly flawed. While I'm sure he never intended for any other woman in his life to surpass you as his cathedral, he is spoiled enough to solicit and pay other churches for worship. He is arrogant, and it is his failure as a person, not yours.
In spite of your best intentions, you may not really be enough for him.
Personally, I would never be able to forgive infidelity on the scale that you have endured it. But, perhaps you are a better, nicer person than I am; maybe you are willing to hold on to your dream of perfect wedded bliss with your Tiger. You might be willing to endure countless marriage counseling sessions, or a possible diagnosis of sex addiction. You may even be generous enough to trust him again.
However, I'm not you. I'm not blonde or skinny, nor am I destined to be a celebrity wife. In my lifetime, it's highly unlikely that I'll ever face the extreme infidelity you have. For that, I'm glad I'm not you.
Even though it's unlikely that our paths will ever meet, you're welcome to borrow my bullshit meter and think like frank, average-figured me. Since Tiger's been dumb enough to spend his money on sex without you, you may as well build yourself a whole new cage without him.
Because, darling, I know you can.
PS- If you don't want his golf clubs, my dad will take them.
An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
12.16.09 @ 5:19p
I received the following comments as a critique for this column, and thought it would be an excellent way to open up a discussion:
Your article sounds as though you are somehow blaming his wife for his shortcomings! It has nothing to do with "not really being enough", it has to do with lack of committment and respect on his part. Let's get rid of the mentality of blaming the victim. She can own her power and build a strong life for herself and her children with or without him. Infidelity is becoming the norm, not just with celebrities, but with most couples which is why the divorce rate is 50% in this country. Most people have no concept of what it takes to maintain a monogamous relationship. Chastity for all men would solve that problem. Let them know that SHE makes the rules and teach men to treat us as the queens and goddesses that we are! Check out my book, I Am the Gift~~Everyday Inspirations that Empower at http://www.stores.lulu.com/afewpasewarkbooks
To the person who submitted a critique for this column- I wish you had opened up a discussion, rather than just submitting a critique.
No, I am not blaming Tiger's wife for his shortcomings at all. The point of this piece is to let her know that she didn't deserve to be cheated on, and that she does have a pretty strong choice in whether or not she should stay with him.
In saying that she may not be enough, I am stating that in spite of her best efforts, resisting temptation may not be realistic. It isn't her fault that Tiger hasn't shown himself to be the kind of person who is disciplined enough for a sexually loyal relationship; he's a pro athlete and in a life where women throw themselves at him constantly, and won't stop doing so. Even if she raises their children beautifully and provides an excellent partnership, the temptation to cheat will still exist in their marriage. Why stay in a relationship where that temptation is constant? If anything, I think she should think about finding someone where she doesn't have to have that temptation looming as an everyday part of life.
To say that chastity for all men solves all problems is a pretty uncomplicated way of looking at the Tiger Woods situation that doesn't fully take all the parameters into account. And, while it's pretty easy to just plug a book like a hit-and-run, I don't quite plan on reading it. Instead, I hope you return to participate in this discussion. Thanks.
12.18.09 @ 1:20a
As a gay male Pagan and practicing hedonist, I applaud Tiger Woods for not conforming to the antiquated rules of ancient customs that should've faded with the last century. Monogamy is highly overrated. Live for the moment, enjoy life. He just took theeasy way out by cheating rather than playing the mind games so many other play; the games where "it's not cheating if it isn't in the same town you live in", or "if you don't kiss on the lips it isn't cheating," or "we can sleep with other people on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
Cheating might be frowned upon by many but I applaud it. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
12.18.09 @ 9:49a
Throughout most of my life I've been a free-love advocate, too, Robert, but if you sign up for monogamy and the person you sign up with also signs up for monogamy then it's probably a good idea to remain faithful. My belief system includes the one that men are just not faithful period end of story. I don't know why. I don't really even care why. Men are just not monogamous. I'm not sure even most women are, but we seem to have better control of our sexuality than THEY do. I personally am not monogamous, but that's another long story for another time. I used to admire Tiger not just because he's maybe the greatest golfer that every lived (I HATE golf, I'm a tennis person and golf courses are so very bad for the environment) but because of what had seemed like his fairy tale life with his great love and his children. I don't care if she goes to Sweden or if he never plays another game of golf. I just don't feel the same about him as I did before all this brouhaha. I feel sorry for both of them.
12.18.09 @ 5:29p
Call me old-fashioned, but unless there's an agreed-to element of an open relationship or Eyes Wide Shut going on, cheating isn't some glamorized hedonism people are missing out on. It's sex via sneaking around, and it's a cowardly, sneaky way of making sure you have it all. Since Tiger obviously enjoys playing around, Elin Woods should have the opportunity to have a life with someone who has a bigger chance of giving her monogamy and sexual loyalty. (I definitely don't think he could take it if she indulged in the free-love principle to get even.)
And I'm not sure why we women have a better control of our sexuality. Maybe it's because we don't just go after every opportunity, and men have a harder time turning it down.
I really liked Tiger Woods prior to this brouhaha blowing up, and the extent with which he's cheated just bugs me. Hearing about one or two mistresses is one thing (and about the normal amount I hear about), but having 11, 12, 13... I'm not sure whether I think it's greedy or disgraceful, but it's somewhere between.