In the wake of the Tiger Woods’ affair (well, affairs) folks such as CNN personality Cafferty have been asking why people “throw it all away.” Naturally, he is talking about people like Tiger Woods. Woods was on the top of the world and raking in millions from endorsements. However, the revelation of his alleged affairs have brought the Tiger down. For example, his ads have quietly faded from TV. While he still has his millions (soon to be less, of course) he has taken a serious hit. Given the cost of his affairs, one wonders why he decided to act in that manner.
There are two easy and obvious answers. The first is that cheaters generally do not expect to be caught. In many cases they think that they are too smart to get caught. Obviously, this was not the case for Woods (or Spitzer or many others). This explanation is especially plausible in the case of celebrities-they tend to have rather healthy egos and this no doubt leads them to over estimate their abilities.
The second is that people tend to let strong emotions (such as lust) interfere with their better judgment. This applies to everyone, not just famous folks.
Of course, there are other possibilities. Famous folks are often accustomed to having things their way and also used to not being held as accountable as normal folks. To use an obvious example, celebrity drug addicts go to rehab, while normal folks usually go to jail. Given the sort of star treatment that stars receive, it is hardly shocking when they seem to think they will get away with misdeeds.
Another possibility is that some people seem to have a need for whatever it is that such affairs offer. It might be the sex, the lure of doing wrong, or even an emotional need. Just as drug addicts will give up so much for their drugs, affair addicts will also give up the greater good for their affairs.
Of course, even celebrities get brought low by their affairs. For example, Spitzer lost his position as Governor and Clinton ran into all sorts of trouble. But, a celebrity brought low often still flies far above the common herd: Clinton is still wealthy, influential and well respected. Spitzer is still a celebrity of sorts. He has written for Newsweek and has been invited to speak at various events. So, the lesson seems to be that affairs will cost a celebrity, but that the fall is generally not all the way to the ground. So, while Woods will suffer from his misdeeds, he will still have millions and can still play golf. He will also suffer no shortage of women, should he desire more. Yes, he paid a high price. But, he is still vastly better off than the overwhelming majority of people (well, aside from the moral aspect).