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Why Tiger Woods will probably never cheat again


Tiger Woods will probably never cheat again.  Here's why.
Photo:  AP/ Matt Dunham

Tiger Woods is a prime example of a cheating husband, who despite having had multiple affairs, will probably never cheat again.

Tiger’s public apology confirms what I’ve been saying in almost every one of the dozens of interviews I’ve given over the past two months., including the 4 last week.

Tiger is one of those serial cheaters who after having been caught, and forced to face the consequences of his infidelity, will probably never cheat again.

Read on to find out why.

Some Cheaters Keep Cheating – Others Don’t

One study found that 2/3 of the men who cheated on their mates had more than one affair .
25% of the men who comprised that number actually had 4 or more affairs.

As an infidelity expert who has been researching infidelity for over 16 years, and have interviewed thousands of cheating men during that time.

My research corresponds with the findings above. I’ve found that a significant number of cheating men go on to have other affairs.

Yet a small minority of cheating men never cheated again.

What was the determining factor?

What made the difference?

And why do I feel that Tiger Woods falls into the category of men who will probably never cheat again?

What Keeps Some Cheaters from Becoming Repeaters?

We’ve all heard that expression “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

I can assure you that that’s not true in every case.

My research indicates that negative consequences are determining factor in whether or not a cheating man will cheat again.

The cheaters who became repeaters were the ones who suffered little or no negative consequences as a result of their infidelity

The more negative consequences a cheater suffers as a direct result of his cheating -- the more losses he experiences because of his infidelity, the less likely he is to cheat again.

Let’s look at all that Tiger Woods lost as result of his multiple affairs.

The Negative Consequences of Tiger Woods’ Affairs

Below are some of negative consequences that Tiger Woods has suffered as a result of his affairs

• An intensely private man, Tiger lost his jealously guarded privacy. As a result of his multiple affairs, his life suddenly became an open book.

• He had to give up his beloved golf, put his golf career indefinitely on hold in order to fully focus on trying to turn his life around, and get his marriage back on track.

• His marriage is hanging in the balance. Although Tiger is fully committed to doing everything he can to make amends to his wife, he realizes he could still lose his marriage and family – the two most important things in his life.

• His pristine, squeaky clean reputation has been tarnished to the point that it may be impossible to repair.

• Some his major sponsors -- Accenture, AT &T -- dropped him like a hot potato, and wanted nothing further to do with him. Others began to distance themselves from him

• He became a public laughing stock, an object of ridicule, and the butt of many lewd and lascivious jokes.

• His fans, and millions of other people worldwide began to look at him in a different, and very negative light

• He came crashing down off the pedestal his fans, sponsors, and fellow golfers so many others had placed him, and his stellar reputation quickly went down the drain

• He lost the respect of millions of children and young people who looked to him as a role model, and lost the respect of their parents, as well.

• He has to live with the reality that he disappointed his wife, his mother, his sponsors, his fans, his colleagues, his business partners and millions of other people who believed in him.

• He has to face the stark realization that he could still lose the things that are most important to him in life -- not his money or his career, but his marriage, his wife, his children – all of which he holds very,very dear.

• He has to see, hear, read about all kinds of unkind things people are saying about him

• He suffered such extreme embarrassment and humiliation once the affairs came to light, and was so ashamed of his behavior, that it was months before he could bring himself to show his face in public again.

No doubt this list is far from complete.

What Was Tiger Thinking?

Much of Tiger Woods’ behavior can be attributed to his sex addiction – for which he is now in therapy and receiving qualified help.

But when you look at the sheer magnitude of what Tiger did, you can’t help but ask yourself

“What was he thinking?”

The answer is – he wasn’t thinking.

He let his desire for sex overrule his common sense which led to disastrous consequences

Now that he has been forced to take a hard, cold look at the consequences of his behavior, I think Tiger has seen the error of his ways. I seriously doubt that he’ll ever cheat again.

A Heartfelt Apology and Great Humility on His Part

It took a tremendous amount of courage and humility on Tiger’s part, as well as therapy and professional help for him to reach the point where he could bring himself stand before the world and give a public statement of apology.

He stood alone, before the world and promised to do his best to make amends, turn his life around, and show ,not just by words, but by deeds that he’s committed to becoming the kind of person that everyone – including his family, his fans, his sponsors, his business partners, the children and parents for whom he was a role model – can believe in again.

That’s why I say Tiger Woods will probably never cheat again

Tiger Deserves a Second Chance

His heartfelt and sincere public apology, the fact that he’s getting the best treatment available for his sex addiction, the fact that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make amends to his wife repair the damage done to his marriage shows Tiger is on the right track.

I sincerely hope that Elin can find it in her heart to forgive him – to give him the opportunity to prove himself worthy of her forgiveness and her trust.

I think Tiger is truly sorry for what he has done and all the hurt, humiliation and heartbreak he has caused his wife. In my opinion, Tiger has learned his lesson, and deserves a second chance.

But that’s for Tiger’s wife, Elin, and no one else, to decide.

*** © copyright 2010 Ruth Houston All Rights Reserved.

Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news. She is the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, the founder of   and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog


For more information on cheating men, taking a cheater back, the aftermath of an affair, see:

What Are the Major Obstacles to Taking a Cheater Back?

What Cheating Husbands Can Learn from the Tiger Woods Infidelity Scandal

How Good Men End Up Cheating on Their Mates

Does Tiger Woods Fit the Profile of a Sex Addict? Check This List If You Really Want to Know

Go or Stay? – How to Decide Whether to Give a Cheater a Second Chance (free tip sheet)

Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs (e-book version with Affair Recovery information)

Free Infidelity Tip Sheets and Special Reports

Infidelity Resources to Help You Catch a Cheating Mate



  • shineybulb 5 years ago

    Great article.

  • wctw 5 years ago

    Agreed.... For other cheaters, they may not have seen the catastrophe of cheating as vast as Tiger... Firstly, put it plain, Tiger can't afford to cheat ...his reputation, golf career, family, marriage, loss of endorsements, loss of opportunity of award recognition by US Govt.... Secondly, he saw how those women had sprinkled salt at his wounds to get money and wall of fame, yet he saw his wife tried to maintain the family (at least not cursing him in public)..and I do believe Tiger is a man with a conscience...He realised his wife is good...unless he really wanted to never marry, this is a good wife and probably his best trophy if life...Thirdly, I think Tiger is a man who treasures his legacy (that's why he did TW Foundation), he certainly wanted to remain a legacy of "a turnaround person" to his children as well as to all others..

  • simone 5 years ago

    Regarding your point "The answer is – he wasn’t thinking.He let his desire for sex overrule his common sense which led to disastrous consequences.", I agreed with you completely...

  • AztecGold 5 years ago

    Another loss is the honor of a Congressional medal he was being considered for--an honor given to special athletes, among other special Americans. **Your column is fair, compassionate, and well thought out.** I think his problem is more a obsessive compusive disorder (OCD)-then a addiction. I'm glad he is in treatment as he looks sad, anxious, depressed...He has been punished enough.

  • Carmen 5 years ago

    Congratulations! This is one of the best articles on Tiger Woods that I have read so far. Great analysis!
    After listening to Tiger I think that he is going in the right direction to get his derailed life back on the right track. Tiger said his Buddhist faith would be a key part of his quest to put his life back together. Self- discipline with awareness of consequences is among Buddhism highest values. In each one of us there is a divine power that can be used to help us overcome any obstacle and adversity. I am encouraged that Tiger mentioned he is using his inner strength to regain balance in his life to save the two things that are most important to him, his wife and his children. I wish them all the best.

  • yourstruly 5 years ago

    Sign of the times. Super black athlete turns out to be a super creep. All are aghast..."oh think of the revenue stream!". Public apologo, blah, blah, blah. And then the black media churns out apologist crap. This man deserves NOTHING. This so-called expert reporter deserves to be IGNORED.

  • yourstruly 5 years ago

    Sign of the times. Super black athlete turns out to be a super creep. All are aghast..."oh think of the revenue stream!". Public apologo, blah, blah, blah. And then the black media churns out apologist crap. This man deserves NOTHING. This so-called expert reporter deserves to be IGNORED.

  • joe cockerdoodle 5 years ago

    Ok women fall in love when they want to breed
    Fall out of love when the have children
    Hubby is now only a money maker
    hubby wonders what happend, wife is stone cold yet ravves over male movie stars
    hubby is angry, makes no difference to wife
    It's the cold ass wife,s fault.....gotit

  • Crarteg 5 years ago

    This is a very very good article. I wish everyone could read this! I agree with you 100%. Thanks very much for this.

  • Dana 5 years ago

    Excellent perspective. I would have been the last to defend Tiger before the speech, but afterward I felt he was sincere. He was right not to take questions as he is still a patient in therapy and that could have been damaging to his recovery. Add to the list of what he's lost: he missed his son's first Christmas and he humiliated his mother, especially the revelation of having left her alone at his father's deathbed when she needed him most (so that he could return to his mistress). Good point about the Congressional medal, AztecGold.

  • Susan McCord 5 years ago

    Great article but I disagree that his press conference was sincere. The only reason Tiger may not cheat again is due to the fact that he will be under public scrutiny for the rest of his life. I saw the real Tiger Woods a few years ago when he was losing the Masters Golf tournament. He looked right into the TV camera and did the texas-hanky to the viewers! Really classy. He is a Diva and karma bit him in the butt!

  • GB 5 years ago

    Mom still adores him, wife is through with him-that marriage is over (come on people), most of public disgusted with the rich athletic perfect boy next door image being false. He had to read his apologies off que cards--Need I say more. Next time he won't get caught or won't have to worry because he will be a single elegible bachelor.

  • Lorena 5 years ago

    I don't agree with some of the comments here, and I believe this reporter is right. Also, I don't believe Tiger's wife was ever "in love" with him and that she married him for his money. I believe their marriage is not one that was made in heaven but was sort of a business arrangement. She is probably staying with him now, because he is, and has always been, a meal ticket.

  • rachel 4 years ago

    definitely shes a golddigger, who would run to the media papers and the internet because someone got them pregnant only when hes rich and she wants the money. i might get pregnant by tiger and see if it works for me

  • Tiger Woods 5 years ago

    Tiger has had 15 new girlfriends in the past 6 months

  • my.opinions 5 years ago

    I do NOT believe that tiger will never cheat again. "IF" he has a sex addiction that so many say he has...then he cannot live without sex in his life and according to his previous mistresses, he adores porn stars, prostitues, white at that. The only way tiger will never cheat again is to not be married. As far as hurting his mother... well his mother cheated too. She was going with tiger's father while his father was a married man. To the woman that said Elin only married tiger for his money...she has her hole buried deep in the sand. Elin has been the perfect mother and wife to a sorid husband, always keeping quite, dodging the media. This was all tiger's doings and now he has lost them all. Elin is moving on with her life and it's without that lying, serial cheating louse of a husband. I wish Elin WELL, I hope tiger's career hits a big fat zero and ALL his sponsors drop him and soon.

  • Lulu 1 year ago

    his marriage is over.
    what saint woman would 'get over' her husband's multiple affairs?
    I would feel gross sleeping with such a man in the same bed , needless to say to have sex.

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