Elin Woods, Role Model

Elin Woods, Role Model

Elin Woods, Role Model

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 25 2010 2:59 PM

Elin Woods, Role Model

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The latest issue of People magazine has an interview with Elin Nordegren Woods, Tiger’s now former wife, which is billed as her one big public statement on the end of her marriage. Elin says she was completely blindsided by Tiger’s infidelities, that she had no idea he was living a depraved double life. She says the revelations were devastating and humiliating, that she felt "stupid" at having been so thoroughly duped, and that she was also angry with the people around Tiger she thought were her friends who helped his deceit. She has a sense of humor, though. Although she watched almost no television since last November to avoid Tiger stories, she admits she found hilarious the parodies of her and Tiger on South Park and Saturday Night Live . Less than a year after the revelations about her husband, she has managed a rapprochement with Tiger for the sake of their children. At one point during the interview he drops them off, and she tells the kids, "Kiss Daddy goodbye." She has words of praise for her ex, and plans to stay in Florida so that he can share custody and remain an active father.

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I'm not a fan of our celebrity culture, but I am hoping Elin Woods can become a role model for people going through divorce. It would have been so easy for her to use her children as weapons, take them back to Sweden, and turn them against their father. The poison of a bitter divorce is the ultimate renewable energy source. It can fuel itself decades after the last infidelity was committed, the last accusation hurled. It can poison the minds of the children even after they become adults, and can seep into the next generation. Sure, Elin got a nine-figure settlement, and that helps ease the pain. But there are plenty of cases of wealthy people tearing each other apart and subjecting their children to emotionally shredding custody battles. How much better Elin’s example is-while you work through pain and loss, keep intact your dignity, and your children’s love of both their parents.

Tiger had a wife who is intelligent, insightful, beautiful, and loving. She adored him and is a great mother to his children. Now those kids won’t even have memories of a time when mommy and daddy lived together. Tiger, you’re a fool.

Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.