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Elin Woods and the Other Women

February 25, 2010

At the same time that pundits were weighing in on whether Tiger’s apology was sincere,  Twitter, that great common denominator of public opinion, was afire with women telling Elin, “Get out.”  “He won’t change.”  “What is he, a robot?”  No doubt these  women  have been on the other side of infidelity.  My thoughts turned to the women  who have recently  authored a response to their audience:  Elizabeth Edwards, Jenny Sanford, Hilary Clinton.  Why write about the personal trauma of infidelity?  There must be many motivations, but among them may be the wish to tell her side–whether she chose to stay, or whether she chose to go.  Because the hard work of repair after an affair, always involves the injured spouse who has a choice to make.  Always a hard choice, sometimes an impossible choice, a choice that those on the outside of a marriage might second guess or misunderstand. Another motivation  is likely the empowerment of other similarly betrayed women–to lend them a voice, and the solace of understanding.

It may sound strange to those of you who have never experienced such a betrayal, but my first advice to these women whom I see in treatment is…don’t get plastic surgery now.  Having an unfaithful partner is a personal 9/11, which rocks the very foundation of one’s self-esteem, of feeling desired and desirable, of feeling feminine.  Women, so traumatized, often seek to control something, and  that something may be the impulse to make themselves look younger, more attractive.  But the fix is deeper than a scalpel can achieve. The fix is to heal your very soul, and if it’s possible, to receive healing from the  person who most injured you…your spouse.  Like Tiger, an unfaithful partner will need to work hard and over many months and years to rebuild trust.   As Elin pointed out to Tiger,  “…a real apology won’t come out in the form of words, it will come from his behavior over time.  It’s what you do over time that really counts.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2010 9:14 pm

    Well said. My wife would not have permitted me to stay and show my improvement if that had been me.

    • February 25, 2010 10:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m glad it wasn’t you then! Take care, bh

  2. Ruth Marsh permalink
    February 26, 2010 1:57 am

    Way to go, I think you are right on with this analysis!! Ruth and Earl

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