Life Simplified - Winner of 2013 Telly Award

Ode to Tiger!

Your once-adoring fans are very upset with you, but not for the reasons you think. I am sure when you asked them for some privacy so that you could work things out with your wife, you thought the reason they were upset with you was that you mistreated your wife. That is not really true. Before you mistreated your wife with your “transgressions,” you misled and betrayed your fans by leading a secretive life which they would not have tolerated had they known about it.

What bothered them about the secret life you led was not that you were a playboy, but that you were one while married. For you, the “transgressions” you owned up to were such an act of shame that you wanted to keep them a secret. In fact, playing the field to your heart’s content in your bachelor days would have been totally acceptable had you chosen to do it with the same class and dignity you demonstrated while playing eighteen holes.

If the simple pleasures in life were something that you were attracted to, your adoring fans would have given you the privacy you required to experiment and learn from the experiences. A young, rich, handsome man like you is expected to enjoy the carnal pleasures that money and fame bring. You should not have been hiding for doing what was expected of you as a bachelor. You chose instead to be secretive about it.

You took the privilege of privacy given to you by your legions of fans and proclaimed it to be your right when, as a public figure, you do not have such right. You only have right to privacy if the public is willing to give it to you. The public gives you such right when they are convinced of two things: that you do not shortchange them of what they value (watching you play golf) and that you lead your ordinary non-golf life in a manner they would not find embarrassing when they call themselves fans of Tiger Woods.

You did not need to lead a secret life given what the public would have expected and tolerated from a celebrity like you. But once you got married, you mistook the public deference to your private life as a license to keep leading a secret life that you knew they would not have tolerated once you got married.

That is why you owe your millions of fans a thorough explanation of why you abused the respect of your privacy and used it to conduct a secret life that, had you not been married, would not have been an issue. Why did you get married before you abandoned your wandering, wondering years and why on earth did you think that your bachelor life required secrecy?

Understand this, Tiger. As a married man you cannot do what you did – not because it is a violation of your matrimonial pact, but because it is a gross violation of the trust bestowed on you by your adoring fans. Given your huge following and responsibility as a role model, marriage was not yours to violate without their consent first.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

One Comment

  1. GR from Seattle, WA
    Posted 02/02/10 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Great article. It is the deception to not only his family but to his adoring fans. It just seems to me as if there are a lot of people out there who like to “see a black man fail”. I remember when he won one of the first opens and the negative/racial comments made not only by fellow PGA golfers, (one who had to apologize in the press) but so many other ordinary folks…

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