The Tiger wants us off his back. He's hoping his public confession today will get us to jump off of it, once and for all.
Well . . .
Because actions speak louder than words. At least, that's what my mama always told me, and here it is in pixelated HD TV as proof that she knew what she was talking about.
Because I write novels in which infidelity — and yes, redemption — are major plot points, I can tell you, first hand, that the whole Tiger Woods meltdown is stranger than fiction, to be sure. As a woman, I can't help but feel that his point in apologizing is to appease his endorsement sponsors and his golf fans, as opposed to his wife and family.
If he really wants to say he's sorry, then I hope he's in counseling with his Elin. I hope, when he says he loves his wife, that he respects her wishes that he ends all affairs. Yes, he can have anyone he wants. But if, who he wants is her, he'll have to earn back her love, her trust, and her respect.
But I'm no expert. I'm only a woman, and a wife.
That said, here's what Lee Dixon, an assistant psychology professor and relationship expert at the University of Dayton, reads this into Woods' statement today will affect Woods' relationships with his family, friends, business associates and competitors:
“Tiger acknowledged wrongdoing, expressed remorse and offered compensation, which in this case is treatment and therapy. That's conducive to one being forgiven. He also did a good job helping others feel empathy for him, which aids in one being forgiven as well.
“He really had a tight focus on the people whom he really hurt. If he had apologized to the whole universe, it wouldn't have worked as well. Apologies backfire if they are perceived as insincere or manipulative. He avoided that by apologizing to the people he hurt the most and not everyone in some sort of blanket apology.
“Getting in front of the camera will help for some people like his fans and business partners. But, Elin is right. For her, the rest of his family and those people closest to him, it's going to be about how Tiger lives his life and not what he does in front of the camera.
“I will say, for people who headed into this being skeptical, this probably didn't help Tiger at all. They could say this looked too scripted. But, for people who went in willing to hear Tiger and forgive him, I think this helped a lot.
“Also, in my opinion, I wouldn't read too much into Elin not being there. Because I felt he seemed sincere during the apology, it could be possible that he couldn't have gotten through the statement with his wife sitting there. If you put Elin in front of him, there could have been a meltdown. Also consider that he may be trying to protect his family. It would have been hypocritical to have his family there for a photo-op.”
Here's to walking the walk,
Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press