The Tiger on Trial

Buzz, Heartbreak

Wow, the media is having a scandalous blast with the marriage infidelities of Tiger Woods.
I flipped through the pages of a recent US Weekly whose headlines
pointed to Elin Nordegren's distress and confusion over what to do
next. Did they have any quotes from the source? No, of course not.

I read that she's moving out, and hear that he's taking at least a year
off of the golf circuit... honestly, I just wish the media would lay
the hell off and give this couple a chance to work things out together
whichever way they choose to go.

I feel sorry for them both. In my opinion, nether one is the bad-guy in
this situation. Admittedly, I have no idea what went on in the privacy
of their home and hearts - AND NEITHER DO YOU.

It's easy to project our own history and experiences, to fill in what
we don't know with what we suspect, or with what makes sense given the
little that we've heard, but we don't know the full truth, neither does
ANYONE at this point, and I think the popular media is giving them the
short end of the stick... and beating them with it.

End tirade. Begin sensible feedback. If they were my clients, here's where we'd start...

a lot of cleaning up to do here. Lies have been told, expectations
unfulfilled, agreements broken, and the word "betrayed" likely applies
to Elin's emotional perception. First, I think that Tiger needs to come
clean with Elin and tell her the whole truth - every ugly, hurtful,
unpleasant kernel. The more details that remain to show up unexpectedly
and surprise her, the worse it gets for them both. Coughing it up
now is the best thing he can do.

hardest part (or one of them) would be for Elin to listen to what he
has to say without storming out of the room in an emotional backlash.
But once she knows it all,
she knows it all, and there's no longer anything else to fear. That is a very powerful place to stand, and I'd suggest that she grab it.

I would remind Elin that Tiger's actions have nothing to do with HER,
his actions are about HIM. Easily said, right?
But that's true for all of us, all of the time.
I am a fully-functioning, adult human being, and I bear ultimate
responsibility for my actions because I have something called Choice
and an ability called impulse control. Tiger chose to cheat and to hide
(I SO wish he hadn't), and actions have consequences. But they are his
choices, and his actions, and as a sane adult, he doesn't get to blame
them on her, and neither should she.

I don't know what went on in their home... How was their sex life? Has
parenting changed their desires? How long was he gone at a stretch? How
did they connect intimately over the distance? Was he happy in their
monogamous relationship when they got married, or did he agree because
it was expected of him? Did they ever discuss other options? We just
don't know, so I'd advise everyone
who's not them to stop blaming and get a grip.

Oops, I slipped into the tirade again... back to the matter at hand.

on that note, while it's supportive to have a family that's always on
your side, I'd advise Elin not to buy into the story that she married a
monster who should be punished, no matter what her family and friends
say. Their's are not the voices of reason, and may not lead to her
ultimate happiness.

let's assume that Tiger has now told the truth and that Elin has
allowed herself to hear it without taking it personally. He did what he
did, and didn't do what he didn't do. The same goes for her, and
there's no changing the past. It might take some time and a lot of work
to get there, but let's assume that they've stuck it out to this point.

The next
question in my mind becomes, are they willing to consider building a
new relationship that honors them BOTH? Is the love they've shared
worth that consideration? It may or may not be. Being willing doesn't
mean that they promise to stay together, only that they're willing to
look newly, to ask and answer the hard questions, and then to choose
whether they are ultimately compatible as life partners. They may not
be, or they could create a relationships that far exceeds what they
ever dreamt was possible. Only they can make that determination.

every individual is different, and coaching always follows the client's
agenda, so it's unlikely that my conversations with them would directly
follow the path I've laid out above. Nonetheless, as a specialist in
non-traditional relationships, here are some of the questions I'd love
to pose to them separately...

  • Is sex with only one partner a concept that feels right to you? Deeply fulfilling and grounding?
  • If
    you were able to know that you would never lose the love and lifetime
    commitment of your partner No Matter What, would monogamy still be your
    first choice?
  • Have you ever fantasized about adding a third person or another couple to your sexual escapades?
  • How about falling in love with another person and still having an incredible marriage with your life-partner?
  • How often do you want to have sex, ideally?
  • Do you enjoy sex with your spouse?
  • When you and your spouse are sexually intimate, do you feel that your needs get met?
  • What about your need for emotionally intimacy?
  • What about your needs for companionship?
  • Do you feel that your spouse really gets you? Understands and supports who you are and who your want to be in this lifetime?
  • If
    you could wave a magic wand and have any kind of relationship
    structure, and live any kind of lifestyle, with NO concerns or
    repercussions, what would you choose?

they'd told the truth to themselves, I'd ask them to share their
desires with each other. Maybe they'd create a relationships that
inspires them both, or maybe they'd divorce. Either way, they both
deserve a loving relationship with a partner who wants, and chooses to
live, a lifestyle that leaves them
both fulfilled!

the possible long-term impact on their children, the saddest thing is
that it didn't have to go down this way. Why didn't Tiger tell her from
the start that he wanted more, or call her when he noticed that he was
considering acting on his impulses to see other women on the road?
Because our society makes that Wrong -- God forbid you tell the truth
to your spouse if you're not saying the Right thing. Better you should
lie about it, but when you get caught, we'll victimize you. That
double-standard has run it's course, and it's days are numbered. That's
why I'm here.

wish them the very best of luck in healing the hurts that brought about
this break in communication and honor, and I hope they have the courage
to create the relationships of their dreams... together or apart.

M. Makael Newby, 2009 - All Rights Reserved -