Daily Archives: December 4, 2009

Why did Tiger Woods commit adultery?

I don’t like jumping on celebrity “news” bandwagons unless I think there’s a moral in there, especially if it’s someone who’s a particularly overrated celebrity. 

So, the latest, of course, is Tiger Woods’ apparent adulterous affair.

Here we have the richest athlete in the world.  Now, everyone ought to know by now that wealth isn’t necessarily a cure for financial problems; indeed, it creates financial problems of its own.  But at the very least Tiger Woods has money and influence.  He can’t say, “I travel a lot for my job and don’t get to spend as much time with my wife, and I get lonely.” He could afford to take his wife and kids with him whereever he goes.

He’s married to a beautiful woman, at least according to the standards of beauty set by the  homosexuals who run the beauty pageant and modeling industries.

Why would Tiger Woods cheat?  Anyone who knows me well or has read this blog regularly should be able to guess what I’m going to say. . . 

Last year, Shania Twain filed for divorce from her husband and longtime manager (he’d been her manager since she was like 12 or something, like Celine Dion’s husband/manager), the appropriately named Mutt Lange.  When I heard the news on the radio, the DJs commented, “Why would you cheat on Shania Twain?”  Oddly enough, age and beauty can’t be excuses for Mutt–he dumped her for his long time secretary, a fairly ordinary looking middle-aged woman.  Indeed, that case, like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s divorce from Sarah Brightman nearly 20 years ago, may be one of a kind of reverse mid-life crisis: a middle aged man married to a younger, beautiful woman who wanted a more substantial relationship.  That’s one explanation, but it really only hints at the real case.

The Blind’s, I mean, The View‘s Joy Behar says Woods isn’t a hypocrite because he’s “not a right winger” (warning: linked post contains profanity).

One possibility is that his wife is intolerable.  Though the police deny it, rumors are that his wife was engaging in domestic violence when the “accident” occurred, and at least one feminist is praising her for itDomestic abuse of men by their wives needs greater media and social attention.  Abused men tend to seek release in adultery or alcoholism or addiction, which only exacerbates the cycle of abuse.  Elin Nordegren Woods may have been reacting to knowledge of her husband’s infidelity when she allegedly chased  after him with a golf club, but that doesn’t mean this was the first time she ever hit him.  (NOTE: Explanation of motives is never a justification of sin).

Then there’s the whole question of gold-diggers.

Some are suggesting that it’s a case of when a new father feels neglected by his wife, so he seeks solace elsewhere.

Another hypothesis is that he’s a man who has everything, and he’s “bored,” and adultery offers a challenge, a risk, a sense of variety.  

Both those explanations, and any other explanation someone could come up with, would only be a subset of the real answer. 

Celebrity divorces as a whole don’t make sense for some of the reasons highlighted, and the meager explanations offered, while somewhat valid, only point to the real problem: “Our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.” 

There’s something missing.

This guy dumps his pretty wife for a more homely (in the proper sense) woman: someone who isn’t so high maintenance, as it were, who feels more domestic.

That guy dumps his longtime wife for a younger woman for the opposite reason.

This guy cheats beause his wife won’t have kids; that guy cheats because he’s jealous of his kids. 

This guy cheats because he’s bored with the monotony of his life.  That guy cheats because he says he can’t spend enough time with his wife.

The motives seem contradictory, but they point to the fundamental need reflected in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

I often argue that we can learn a lot about morality from morally questionable fiction.  The iconic villain Roger Thorpe on Guiding Light comes to mind as I write this: a man driven by his quest for perfection in life: power, money, pleasure and family.  A man who, in his early life, was compelled by his appetites and then, in his later life, was torn by the compulsion of those appetites conflicting with a genuine desire to change his ways, but an inability, without Christ’s grace or the sacraments, to really do so.

So he’d  go after one woman for her money and another for her beauty or fertility, or he’d try to be back together with his ex-wife to be a real family with their grown daughter. 

Last night, at adoration, I finally returned to The Theology of the Body, which I started reading several years ago and left off after a couple chapters due to its intimidating length.   John Paul II points out that, in that passage, God uses the Hebrew word “adam,” which is more generic like “human,” rather than “ish,” which is used later to distinguish “man” (“ish”) from “woman” (“ishasha”). 

Based upon this, he suggests four meanings of Adam’s being alone:

1.  Adam, humanity in general, is alone among creatures. 
2.  Adam is alone in facing God.
3.  Adam is alone and needs other people in general.
4. Adam is alone and needs a woman, specifically.

It would be flippant to say, “Tiger Woods is just a jerk,” or “original sin” as the answers for the puzzle.

Often, we might phrase the answer as “contraceptive mentality”.  This gets a lot closer and more specific: adultery (particularly of a homosexual kind) was traditionally a method of birth control.  And, of course, in our modern age, adultery is “facilitated’ by birth control devices which take away some of the superficial “risks” of adultery.

However, even these “Catholic responses” just point to the real answer:
Tiger Woods, Mutt Lange, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, and millions of other men and women need to learn the Theology of the Body.

We could phrase things in the negative, or we could come up with motives that seem like excuses, or we could point to what is missing in all these people, the appreciate of sexuality as a gift, the appreciation that that gift is mutually reflected in the unique gift of self that is this other person.

Sanctified marital love, seen sa a reflection of and participation in our relationship with God, seen as a total giving of self, is difficult to betray.

A gift is more meaningful if it is a treasure.  We don’t give $200 gifts to our coworkers and $5 gifts to our spouses and children.  The more meaningful the relationship is to us, the more value we put in the gifts we give. 

The more meaningful sommething we have is, the more we guard it.  And if we choose to surrender to someone else something we have guarded so dearly, we can show how much they, and the gift, mean to us.

One of the other things highlighted by this case is that prenuptial agreements are not set in stone.  Prenuptial agreements are one of the worst affronts to marriage in our society, since the best way to stay married for life is to presume divorce is not an option: prenups take divorce for granted.

A lot of so-called Christians could learn from this Muslim

A while back, a gun-toting Muslim deli owner pointed a gun back at the guy who was trying to rob him–and then offered the guy mercy, some money, and a second chance.  The guy has since converted to Islam.

How many converts could we have to Christianity if more Christians showed such an example of virtue.  Note that this is a lesson both for pacifist liberals and for merciless conservatives.