Tiger Woods Syndrome: The Cost of Monogamy

By Matthew | July 24, 2013

In light of the recent study released announcing that sex addiction is not a mental disorder, I’d like to repost these thoughts from my partner, Matthew…

Tiger Woods Syndrome: Having what society commonly refers to as “everything” (Success, Wealth, Fame and Family) at the cost of one’s true self.

Tiger Woods is one of the most well known athletes in the world, and reportedly the highest paid ($90.5 million from winnings and endorsements in 2010 alone). He has 113 tour wins including 14 major championships and holds a number of records in the golfing world.

Get out of the cage Tiger!

Was he living The Dream? Depends on who you ask.  I think he was living A dream. Someone else’s. Not his. Certainly not mine. I don’t make a thousandth of what he makes and I feel completely satisfied with my life and relationship. I can’t imagine making that much money and not being able to be true to myself, be honest in my relationships and own my life.

Some say he had it all and that he threw it away when, in 2009, it was revealed that he cheated on his wife.  I beg to differ.  I think the point at which he threw anything away was when he relinquished too much of himself in order to satisfy traditional wedding vows in 2004.  His mistake was agreeing to be in a relationship with guidelines to which he could not adhere.

The Cost of Monogamy

I was monogamous for over ten years because I committed to it.  I wouldn’t change anything about my past, but believe me, I won’t be repeating it.  Looking back, I am quite aware that there were aspects of that relationship which hindered me. I do not believe, however, that monogamy was one of those aspects. I am a true believer that monogamy does work for some people.

It is clear to me that Tiger Woods is not able to commit to traditional monogamy.

A friend of mine, who is struggling over whether or not to stay in a relationship that would keep him monogamous, told me that one of his reasons for staying would be to “make an honest woman of her”.  My friend is not monogamously minded, even if he commits to it. So, I asked him if making an “honest woman” out of her was worth making himself a “dishonest man” in the process.

To me, this is exactly what Tiger Woods did.

I certainly understand wanting to make people happy – your family, your partner, your boss – but doing it at the cost of your happiness is seriously detrimental. I think Tiger Woods certainly could “have it all” now, but the only way for him to do that is to be completely honest with himself first. Life sure does have its lessons.  I know that I have learned some great ones. I wonder if Tiger will….

If someone wants you to change, they are either scared of who you are, don’t trust you or don’t respect you. In order for you to know if they want you to change however, you must be completely honest with them.  Most people have a terrible time doing this.

What is more valuable to you?  Being honest with yourself and true to your wants/needs/desires/expectations in a romantic relationship?


Placing someone else’s wants/needs/desires ahead of yours in order to do the “right” thing; all the while caging yourself?

It would take a whole lot more than one woman, society and someone else’s expectations to cage me in that regard.  Maybe I just play with bigger balls than Tiger does.


Sonora 2011-06-03 20:37:08

For years, I maintained relationships based on societal expectations. In nearly every one of those, I ended up being either cheated on or cheating, and both felt equally awful. When my last marriage failed, I vowed never to sacrifice my own desires for those of another (or, for fuck’s sake, what “they” think I should be doing!) and have pursued my poly side since then. I may have missed the May 21st rapture, but I’m getting closer to finding heaven on earth in every day that I live being true to myself and my desires.


sambo 2013-07-25 17:12:23

We are are social creatures as we live in a society, and society is organized in a certain way.
While monogamy is by no way an ideal situation it is expected in marriage.
It is easy to say that we are not being honest to ourselves when we get married and still want others, I personally dint think it is the right thing to say. How each one perceives a relationship is different, it is not black and white.
As for Tiger, he got married to project a certain image. Was he in love with Elin when he got married, I am sure he was. Marriages go wrong, but that does not mean that monogamy does mot work.
In my case it did not.


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