While continuing my call for an end to the nonstop voyeurism that has spun the Tiger Woods story out of control — including nude pictures headed for skin magazines, sex tapes ready for imminent online uploading and salacious television interviews with a dozen or so willing home-wreckers — I feel compelled to offer Mr. Woods some unsolicited advice. This recommended course of action will be in the best interest, long and short term, of Tiger’s career, his reputation, his personal life and his distraught, humiliated wife. Are you ready for it?
Tiger Woods: Divorce your wife.
In virtually every case of prominent men who cheat on their wives, the focus is on whether or not the wives will stand by their men. Jenny Sanford, the jilted spouse of Mark Sanford, announced last week that she will be divorcing the straying South Carolina governor.
When former presidential candidate John Edwards was busted in a 2007 affair with a campaign worker, the question was whether or not his cancer-stricken wife would dump him. In 2003, Kobe Bryant bought his wife’s loyalty and forgiveness with a $4 million ring. And a decade ago, an anxious world wondered if Hillary Clinton would move out of the White House when she learned that her husband was indeed the Philanderer in Chief.
Now it’s Elin Nordegren’s turn. And if Tiger is smart, he won’t give her the chance. Divorce your wife, Tiger.
If a man has a single affair, or a one-time lapse in judgment in a moment of weakness, he may still legitimately claim that he still cares about his marriage. But when a man has thrown himself into as many affairs and sexual dalliances as Woods has in the past several years, any claim to being emotionally or physically invested in his marriage would be laughable.
So, rather than taking his “indefinite leave” from golf to work on becoming a “better husband, father and person” — which translates into “begging my wife to take me back so I can repair my family-man image” — Tiger would be better served by coming clean and admitting that marriage is just not for him. At least not currently.
Ask yourself: Which of the following statements would sound more believable at a news conference, coming from a man who has apparently slept with everything from fashion models to pancake waitresses while his wife was home with his kids:
A. “I’m not perfect and I made some mistakes, but I really do love my wife and am rededicating myself to her.”
B. “I apologize, but I have come to realize that my marriage has failed in large part because I am not truly committed to it. I intend to end this union, while taking full responsibility for my children, and giving Elin an opportunity to recover and move on with her life.”
Obviously, neither of these choices fixes everything, but if I was Tiger, I’d choose B.
Being a divorced man, he could rejoin the PGA Tour immediately, continuing the quest for golf immortality he has been on since the age of 3, and he could “date” as many women as he wanted — with a clear conscience. His followers and golf fans would appreciate his honest account of a failed marriage instead of a fraudulent attempt to play “family man,” and his wife wouldn’t have to endure years of wondering if her husband is being true to her … this time.
Without question, there will be pain all around, no matter what course Tiger takes from this point forward. But if he’s honest with himself, and with his wife, about his desires and his future, there is but one move to make: Tiger, divorce your wife.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.