Why Did Tiger Really Stray?

In the past six months, I’ve received numerous calls from the media asking whether the death of Tiger Woods’ father a couple of years ago might have led to Tiger’s adultery. Research for my book, FatherLoss, leads me to conclude that yes, it’s possible. Many men act out (sexually and otherwise) when coming to terms with their mortality, as well as with the death of a most important man in their lives.

But there may have been an even more compelling reason for Tiger to act out: his wife Elin’s transformation from model to mother. Tiger married a porcelain-skinned, hourglass-bodied, blonde beauty who put him at the center of her life. Then they had two kids. If she's like most young mothers, her attention and her body soon shifted.

One husband I interviewed for my marriage book, VoiceMale, told me that in the months after his child was born, he felt neglected by his wife. “All of a sudden, I was in second place,” this husband said. “I was almost jealous of the kid. Selfishly, I missed those times of just having my wife and me.”

This father wasn’t proud of his reaction, but the reaction is not unusual. Indeed, research for VoiceMale shows that for men, marriage satisfaction dips to its lowest point during the early-childhood years, and then only gradually rises until the empty nest, at which point it increases rapidly. During the child-raising years, the survey shows, husbands and wives disagree more than any other time in their marriages. They argue most about sex (men want more), housework (women want men to do more), and parenting styles (men want to be “tougher” with the kids).

Most couples work their way through the young-children years without having affairs. But young couples should recognize that children change the quality of any marriage. For some couples, having kids is deeply connecting. For others, it can destabilize a relationship and – as may be the case with the Woodses – even bring it down.

FatherLoss: The PBS Special

There's nothing like having your book converted to the screen -- even if it's the small screen, and you're playing yourself!

My book, FatherLoss, has been made into a PBS Special that will be going national next month around Father's Day. I was interviewed for the 30-minute show, as were about a half-dozen men who had lost their fathers. Producers David Shuffett and Craig Cornwell of KET did a superb job capturing the spirit of the book.

The show will not air at the same time and day in every location. So contact your local PBS station to find out if and when FatherLoss: The PBS Special is scheduled to air on your local station. Better yet, let the program manager know you'd like to see it.

To contact your local PBS station, click here .

©2010, Neil Chethik

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For 20 years, Neil Chethik has made it his goal to find out what men really think -- about family, relationships, fathering, aging, sex, and more. He is the author of two best-selling books, Fatherloss (Hyperion) and VoiceMale (Simon & Schuster). He’s been a nationally syndicated columnist, a big-hall speaker, and now, the national media’s go-to guy for what men really think about their everyday lives. Contact: Neil Chethik, P.O. Box 8071, Lexington, KY 40533 or 859.361.1659 or E-Mail or . I'm making trouble on Facebook. Come join our ongoing conversation about fathers and father-loss at Also, if you're a marryin' man (or a best man, usher, father, brother or otherwise connected to a groom), check out this informative new site for grooms:

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