Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Playing away


"I think we've avoided a lot of media attention because we're kind of boring."

So said, at one time, Tiger Woods. No longer can he avoid scrutiny. But he was right in a way: how bloody boring that an incredibly successful, handsome young man of means succumbed to a constant slew of women throwing themselves at him.

It seems safe to assume that his beautiful young wife Elin didn't know about his "bits on the side", or perhaps she didn't know the sheer number of "bits" her husband was cavorting with.

Either way, it appears to be in Tiger's interest to be married to the mother of his children and so she will be able to exact a price for her continued support of him, a price far and above what any normal wife with a cheating spouse might expect. The whole sorry sage made me wonder what role being the parents of two young children had to play in Tiger's indiscretions.

Even if the infidelities predated the birth of the couple's first child - and Tiger is just, in fact, a serial cheater - there can be no doubt that having young children recasts a couple's relationship into something infinitely more stressful, even with all the help and support in the world.

As someone else has suggested, marriage is a democracy but raising children is a dictatorship! Which might explain why, despite the fact Elin is an intelligent, beautiful swimwear model, her dopey husband felt himself looking further afield.

Essentially, a woman's attention is refocused on her child or children when she becomes a mother, sometimes to the exclusion of her mate. She's also often too darned tired! It's something that, while unpalatable to think about, is in true in a majority of cases.

But how a man deals with this situation can differ. Some chalk it up as something beyond their ability and control and hope for the day when the spotlight is once again cast upon them. Others become aggressive - hopefully a minority - and others will look elsewhere to find what they're not getting at home.

Even if they don't resort to force or infidelity, to many men the issue is fraught because they believe themselves to be loving and involved fathers who give their all to the family unit, only to be sometimes frozen out of marital affections. And there are many who will argue that affection is what they miss more than sex. It's a little hard to believe from the female side!

The truth is that women themselves change irrevocably when they have children. Look at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. From sexy siren, she's become a mother hen. She's still beautiful, but she's different now, and it has nothing to do with her body shape. Might that explain why Brad Pitt always looks like he'd love to be a million miles away whenever he's with her?

None of this excuses a man's infidelity or downright dishonest and hurtful behaviour. In Tiger's case, as Dr David McDowell, a prominent New York psychiatrist told The Sunday Telegraph. "This is classic narcissistic behaviour by someone who thinks he is special and that normal rules don't apply to him...he's fawned over by an adoring public, he's a powerful guy in a bubble and he thinks he can get away with his actions."

The flipside of that being, of course, that Tiger's adoring public have turned on him and it seems unlikely he'll be able to get away with his indiscretions any more.

Dita De Boni

Pictured above: Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods. Photo / AP

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Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Dita De Boni is a columnist, commentator and TV producer/journalist. She first wrote columns for the NZ Herald in 1995, moving to daily business news in 1999 for four years, and then to TVNZ in Business, News and Current Affairs. After tiring of the parenting/blogging beat for the Herald Online she moved back to her first love, business (with a politics chaser), writing a column for Friday Business since 2012.

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