SEATTLE, Washington - One of the common reactions to the recent Tiger Woods revelations is "why does he even bother getting married?" Athletes who are single, by definition, can do whatever they want with as many women as they want and it's not a scandal. Derek Jeter is often cited in such discussions - he's become a kind of reference point on how to get your groove on worry-free as a famous athlete. Don't get married at all, or get married later in life, don't gum yourself up at the peak of your fame and sexual magnetism. Why did Tiger not take the Jeter route?
This topic came up at Roissy and I made the following comment there:
Another thing to keep in mind, on the “why would Tiger get married?” question… having that “stabilizing influence in your life” wife seems to be part of the culture of professional golf.
Often golf commentators will be blabbing about a golfer’s wife, how she adds balance to his life, Jack Nicklaus talking about how being a family man made him a better golfer, blah blah blah.
And Tiger, so sensitive to the history and marketing of the situation, probably sees having such a wife as necessary.
I think this applies to “individual” sports and not team sports, where you have a team support structure and you can be Derek Jeter and bang hot chicks for 15 years and not be married and not be out of line with the culture of your sport.
As I said above, Tiger Woods is especially sensitive to image and tradition, and probably takes it as a given that he must have the Golfer Wife - you can't step off the green after winning the US Open and be greeted by a Vegas cocktail waitress, or attend a banquet at Augusta with a nightclub publicist.
And if recent reports about the reworking of his prenup with his wife are to be believed, he's willing to shell out millions of dollars to maintain the tradition. In addition to modifying the dollar amounts and time horizons associated with a possible separation, there are allegedly clauses about Elin getting millions of dollars placed in her personal bank account right now in exchange for continued Golfer Wife behavior:
But apparently there's also a behavioral component to all this: Elin Woods must "be a dutiful wife in showing up with him at social events and in public as if they were still the perfect couple, and sign a nondisclosure form that will prevent her from ever telling her story."This is big-money stuff, but I think this general behavior trickles all the way down to the common folk. I see women stay in half-ass, dead end relationships year after year and the only reason I can figure is that they don't want to attend wedding receptions without a date.
Prenup link found at Marginal Revolution