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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Infidelity not a new phenomenon

Tiger Woods owes Jesse James a lengthy thank you note and perhaps a gift.

Woods is no longer the sole icon whom America loves to hate.

As made public by media outlets, James cheated on wife, Sandra Bullock, with the heavily tattooed stripper, Michelle “”Bombshell”” McGee, a woman who appears to be the polar opposite of the classy and poised Oscar-winning actress. Other celebrities have come to Bullock’s side, and some have even gone so far as to insult the type of woman with whom James had an affair.

James’ unfaithfulness was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the American public. There seems to be a cultural obsession with infidelity as of late, and the negative press on Woods’ mistresses and James’s terrible behavior has further tarnished the idea of marriage, at least in the entertainment industry.

It can be argued that “”normal people”” don’t have to worry about infidelity as much as the wives of Woods, James and other wealthy celebrities who seem to have an unwarranted sense of entitlement when it comes to unfaithfulness. Cheating affects many marriages, however, and no one needs celebrity status to have an affair. Woods and James just have the privilege of fame and fortune, both of which seem to appeal to their mistresses.

Imagine how many men and women in the world wish they could have that sort of star power. The difference between the majority of people and famous figures like James is that celebrities can use their high status to an advantage. As humans do sometimes, they may not actually be ready for the situations into which they plunge, and celebrities just have to crash and burn nationwide.

It would take a secure person who is comfortable in his or her own skin to be content with one partner for life. People become unfaithful for any number of reasons, but insecurity is definitely a factor in most circumstances. Men and women may need further validation beyond what a spouse can give them. Maybe these individuals want more than just one person telling them that they’re wonderful and great. Some people get bored with their narrow tracks in life and seek out a new lover for variety. Others fall out of love, and, believe it or not, that may actually be the most tragic of all the listed scenarios.

The American public seems to be fascinated by this type of socially unacceptable, frowned-upon marriage faux pas that has far too often destroyed the relationships and unions of celebrities. Woods’ scandal began in late November, and the only reason the media has eased up on him is because James is the new best celebrity about whom to gossip.

It’s important to remember that infidelity is common in many marriages and not simply a phenomenon that wipes out the relationships of the rich and famous. A 2008 USA Today study noted that some researchers believe there’s a 50–50 chance that one partner will have an affair during a marriage, and that includes non-physical relationships. Frank Pittman wrote in his study, “”Beyond Betrayal: Life After Infidelity,”” “”People are most likely to get into these romantic affairs at the turning points of life: when their parents die or their children grow up; when they suffer health crises or are under pressure to give up an addiction … any situation in which they must face a lot of reality and grow up.”” People everywhere experience these sorts of changes, so it makes sense that infidelity would be highly problematic for people outside of just the celebrity crowd.

Instead of spending the next five months focusing on the marriage scandals of James, Woods, and the next celebrity to disrespect a spouse, citizens all over need to keep in mind that infidelity was a huge universal issue long before these celebrities glamorized it.

— Laura Donovan is a creative writing senior. She can be reached at

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