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W.S.E.D? What Should Elin Do?

Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about this.  From what I can tell the vast majority of people believe Elin should divorce her husband.  My first instinct is to agree with this opinion but I would like to explore it further to understand why we feel this way and if it makes sense to feel this way after more analysis.

It is easy to understand anyone’s natural tendency to believe Elin should leave her husband because his betrayal was so extreme.  Let’s face it, a husband who slept with possibly dozens of women including prostitutes isn’t considered a quality marital prospect by any standard.  In fact, his behavior is disgusting even for a single man.  I think it is safe to say a typical women would not marry a man even if they learned of a similar dating history before she met him. 

Knowing all that it even seems somewhat shocking Elin appears to be staying with him.  Keep in mind none of us know what her real plans are.  Her actions on the surface are likely far different from her inner intentions.  She may be a person not prone to knee-jerk reactions.  She may be the kind of person who needs a long period of time to incubate her thoughts before making a decision.  She may also feel she needs a certain level of life normalcy before she can make a decision.  Remember she was suddenly been hit with a lot of stuff.  It is more than most people could handle.  Like all of us, she has her own way of processing all of her priorities the biggest of which being her children. 

The fact is it is impossible for any of us to understand the kind of decision Elin faces and how she is affected by it.  There are so many extreme circumstances in this situation.  Most of us have difficulty relating to any of them.
So let’s keep it simple and ask the question, WHY STAY?

Let’s assume the couple took traditional marriage vows.  If Elin is a religious person and believes she is obligated to stay married ‘for better or worse’, then that’s that.  The question is answered.  If Elin deeply believes divorce is not an option no matter what the other person’s acts are, then staying married is the only option.

However, considerably less than 50% of people today believe in marriage vows that strongly.  Therefore it is likely Elin does not either.  Most people believe betrayal is a reasonable reason for divorce.

So in an extreme case like this, it is unlikely Elin considers her vows a reason to stay.  Women have ended marriages for much smaller indiscretions than this. 

Sure, it’s possible he has a disease.  Not likely.  Newsflash: Every bad thing we do is not caused by a disease.  Trust me the general public does not believe this is a disease.

It is more likely he did it because he could.  Like most men and women who cheat, he did because he had the opportunity and the means so he took advantage of it.

The difference is, the average man probably gets one or two opportunities per year but Tiger Woods got approximately 1,000 opportunities per year.  Unfortunately, half of all men take advantage of their one or two opportunities per year and their wives usually leave them for that.  Tiger took advantage a certain percentage of his 1,000 opportunities and even if the percentage is small, the betrayal is still enormous.

Presented with a lot of opportunity, the truth is about half of men will falter.  If a man proves he cannot handle it then he is in the wrong half.

Elin needs to look at this really clearly.  He apologized because he was caught.  He went to great lengths to avoid detection including conspiring with women he cheated with to remove their names from their cell phone greetings. 

Amazing how getting caught can make someone so apologetic.
Unfortunately there is simply no way to know if he is genuine in his commitment to her.  If she believes him she is simply playing the odds.  She may also believe certain horse will win the Kentucky Derby but that isn’t something to bet a marriage on. 

Elin must also remember HE WILL SAY ANYTHING to get her to stay with him.  This is extremely typical.   He wants to avoid further embarrassment and protect his public image.  He will beg, lie, and deceive as much as possible to keep her.  He understands staying married will play a huge part in how the public and therefore his sponsors will see him.  Staying married is possibly worth hundreds of millions of dollars to him. 

Well sure, we all want parents who literally hate each other to stay together right?

The truth is many people believe there could be nothing worse for children that living in a dysfunctional family situation.  Tiger was admittedly a horrible husband.  So guess what, this automatically makes him a horrible father.  His kids will have to live with this scandal for the rest of their lives.  Also, the children will sense the disrespect Elin will show him as a wife from this point forward.

I believe she will leave him but she will pick the right time.  In order to make the decision she needs to remember everything above, but also she needs to have the strength to understand it will not be easy to leave him.  

For the rest of her life she will hear stories about his new model girlfriend or his new actress wife.  She may hear about his perfect marriage.  In fact he will likely seek additional media attention to show how perfect his next relationship is.  He will do interviews saying how he was too young and immature to be married the first time but now everything is perfect. 

This is just a fact of life she will have to cope with.  Lots of stuff happens post-divorce.  It sucks to hear about it.  But it gets easier with each passing season.  Remember that Elin.  Enjoy the $600 million settlement and move on.