Tiger Woods confessed that he considered his 'fame' placed him above any of this; and like many before him, he found to the contrary, that the human condition affected him as it does any other person. He was not exempt.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, says that in his 33 years in Christian ministry which includes being an industrial and sports chaplain, the numerous infidelity confessions he has heard from 'those at the top' all have the same hallmarks.
Those involved seem to have really had no idea of the emotional, societal and marital trauma that infidelity brings; and when they realise this, they have genuine sorrow for what their infidelity has cost. It is a very different reality to the image that Hollywood brings to us.
They are also surprised about the loss of trust, which is beyond what could have been perceived, and how precious trust is to a marriage bed. Implicit trust is emotional and psychological freedom. Once that trust has been broken, life takes a very different turn.
Then they are upset by the gossip – much of it untrue. Because of their fame, there is much speculation by media and public commentators, and it carries unlikely, unhelpful and debilitating scenarios that are near impossible to counteract. This affects such things as employment or business, friendships and wider family relationships.
Prior to their exposure, like Tiger Woods, many of these people think that their 'fame' would protect them. They had some common 'false beliefs' about infidelity.
First, they thought that no-one would know about these extra-marital dalliances; and even if they did, no-one would say anything due to the importance and high profile of the man (usually a man) involved. King David also assumed this foolish idea when he had his fling with Bathsheba.
Second, they convinced themselves that "it didn't mean anything". This is an expression of utmost selfishness and self-delusion.
Third, they thought that it wouldn't hurt them or their reputation because 'everyone is doing it'. Wrong on both counts! Not everyone is doing it. In fact marriage is based on people being faithful within marriage and this is the basis of society and the upbringing of children. And it always hurts everyone involved, no matter who else is, or is not, 'doing it'.
Fourth, they assumed that once the smoke cleared, everything would return to being the same as it was before. Who are they kidding?
Mark Tronson knows of more than one case where elite athletes or coaches, who were on the road or on tour for much of the year, succumbed to the ever-present temptations. Some of these people have since become followers of Christ. In many cases, they have then confessed to their wives and found, to their astonishment, that the wives already knew about the infidelities but had prayed with broken hearts and weeping souls that their husbands would turn to the Lord.
M V Tronson says that this reflects the central focus of the Cross of Calvary; repentance and forgiveness. A new start is possible. Nonetheless infidelity carries with it consequences, as identified above.
But there is another consequence, too – that of the shame and humiliation that the children must feel, and the pain they must suffer when going to school or University or work and knowing that their colleagues know everything about their parents' private lives.
Usually children do not even want to know about their own parents' private lives ... they say "Too Much Information", so imagine the unknown effects on a child or teenager trying to fit in to a social 'norm'! This is certainly something that the high profile person did not think about when the transgressions occurred!
So Tiger Woods has now, at last, made a public confession. Some have claimed it was stage-managed with one eye on the sponsors and future earnings. Others are waiting for the test of character when the inevitable tempting 'honey pots' come his way again, as they will. Moreover top golfers are fuming that their world tournament clashed with Tiger Woods' televised apology.
M V Tronson says that anyone in this situation who claims that what they have done doesn't affect anyone else except those involved, will believe two plus two equals fifty.