Tiger Woods and the Meaning of Marriage

Today’s apology by Tiger Woods, and the MSNBC.com photo of him with his mother after the televised special report, got me thinking about marriage.

I like being married. I think gays and lesbians should be permitted to be married if they want.

I Googled the question, “Who invented marriage?” and found out that many people believe God did when he tore out Adam’s rib and shaped it into woman, er, Eve, who Adam declared bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. Too bad Eve wasn’t created first. Maybe the world would be run with a different point of view.

I also learned through my research that marriage was a contract between clans, with dowries to help seal the deal, with the agreement reinforcing the strength of the group.  Love became an added-value benefit. I guess people either grew on each other or threw themselves off the cliff if they couldn’t take it.

Should we shelve marriage since we no longer need to trade women for cattle or arms to reinforce the strength of our relationships with neighboring clans? Should we shelve marriage so men and women can have sex with each other without repercussion?

Materially, messing around on your marriage is messy. I’m with Elin. I would have reacted the same way. I would not stand by my philandering ho of a man. It doesn’t only affect a man and a woman (and a woman and a woman and a woman, or a man, and a man, and a man), but it affects each of their families. And it does affect the third party and all that they’re about, like maybe roommates, spouses, etc. See? It gets really, really messy.

There are also a lot of camps when it comes to infidelity. Some say you’re cheating even if you fantasize about someone. Isn’t everyone guilty of that? Some say it’s cheating when you DM someone Tweet romantic nothings. Some say it’s when you steal a kiss in the elevator or in the parking garage with someone you really shouldn’t.

What do I think? If you’re a cocktail waitress and the king of professional golf wants some of your action, chances are he’s not looking for a meaningful relationship. If you accept, and you two have fun, he’s going to have as much fun as he can. He doesn’t plan on leaving his wife or his family, and you will remain a cocktail waitress, or a professional pole dancer or the cute little chick in the pro shop. You are not marriage material. It’s for fun. It’s a fling. It will end. Especially if he gives you his phone number and you sext him. It will so totally be over.

Few of us will get hit on by men or women in power, so we’ll never really know the tingle of having someone like that casting a smiling eye our way. We’ll entertain the thought of someone higher up the food chain at work, but then we think about blowing their minds with our amazing talents in bed and then having to call the coroner because we killed them. Think Private Benjamin, but with someone else’s husband. Yeah. Don’t go there.

Instead, think about the amazing time you and your spouse could have in bed. Go THERE. Think about THAT. Dig up those memories from the early flirting and dating days with the person you married. That fire is already smoldering, so breathe some life into it.

Marriage is the fabric of our society, it is base camp for couples, children, grands, the clan. Maybe it should be put off during the spring break of life, and only considered once we hit our 30s. Marriage is when you decide not only to have fun in bed with someone forever, but to also put up with the pain and hardship that will no doubt descend upon you from time to time. You stay, you endure, and your life together is a patchwork quilt, worn more here, reinforced there, a soft and comfortable cover for the family.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. I so love what you wrote at the end. It encompasses everything I feel about marriage. Sad to say some people think it’s better to move into a new relationship and forget about the current one. Some people don’t fully understand the repercussions. And sadder still is the woman who knowingly goes into a relationship with a married man because, really, what does that say about her? Or even both for allowing it to happen?

  2. I second Melody… I LOVE the last paragraph you wrote (and the post overall). You have a way with words.

    Also, regarding your last post… I noticed you said you were worried about missing opportunities. Remember that being outside of your normal environment and lifestyle has the potential to unearth entirely different opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise come across! Last September I had to take a month off of work due to strange and stressful circumstances. I was initially very upset about it, but in the long run it ended up allowing me to accomplish something very important (I don’t mean to be so cryptic, but its nothing I’d like to get into specifics with publicly)… looking back I know it all happened for a reason and ended up allowing me to conquer one of the defining challenges of my young life. Best wishes Paula!

  3. it’s ironic that tiger alluded to his buddhist parts to somehow atone for the problems he caused cause isn’t there something about honour in that religion, and something about honour in the religious contract of marriage, no matter under whose banner that marriage was locked?

    seems pretty sad to me that there can be folks who cheat while promising to honour someone, or folks who think “bad situations” are excuses to kill all of that honour.

    sad i say.

  4. Tigers doesn’t have to justify or speak to anyone about anything to do with this issue. It is no one else’s business; period. If he has women lining up to bang him, so what? It’s the same thing his wife had going on not too long ago.

  5. 1) Private sexual activity may be no one’s business, but marriage is inherently social. The government is still deciding who can marry and who cannot. There is a strong argument that the government should just exit the matter completely, but I think Paula touches on one reason it doesn’t. Marriage is an agreement between two people that involves property, child-rearing, all sorts of issues that are part of the fabric of society. If you don’t want to honor marriage vows, don’t get married – that way you haven’t shamed your relationship with yourself, your spouse and society.
    2) It is possible to be a celebrity and maintain a low profile. Tiger solicited fame and endorsements. He invited the public into his life and now the public has a few comments about how he’s been living it. Fair is fair.

  6. Well said Melody & DK. I thought it strange for him to pull his Buddhist beliefs out of his back pocket like that.

    It was a horribly choreographed statement, period.

    I think he should have just went out there and said this is none of your business and off to play some golf… I don’t need a public apology from him. What was any worse than John Mayer oh he’s not married…

  7. Eh! Don’t pick on @JohnCMayer, LOL! So young, so handsome, so needing to hire a sharp-witted and savvy PR person!

    I don’t think Tiger needed to make a statement. It tore the scab off the wound, and I doubt anyone wanted to be confronted with that again.

    So who wants to wager a 2011 calendar for the Harem of Tiger Woods? Maybe three a month or so? When THEY start monetizing this experience, I’m going to hurl.

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