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Elin Nordegren: A Lesson in Class & Crisis Control

Elin Nordegren has been through what is arguably the most public scandal and divorce of the decade. Learning that the man you love and whom fathered your children stepped out on you with not one but some 15 or so (I lost track after 11, really) women and having it splayed across the newspapers, tabloids, and Internet would be too much to bear for many women in her position.

Through everything, we never saw Elin flinch or even shed a tear in public. An image of her crying would have made every magazine cover and Tiger couldn’t have stopped her-there is no legal barrier to showing facial emotion.   Instead, the images that ran showed a strong woman out with her children, playing the ultimate matriarchal protector in the face of crisis.

There’s a lot to admire about Elin and a lot to learn for those who unfortunately wind up in similar situations.

For the most part Elin has been silent. In her recent People article, noted to be her first and last most likely as part of a deal made in the divorce, she doesn’t slam Tiger. She doesn’t call him names or bash him as badly as she could have. This was her chance to really stick it to him and she withheld. Instead she focused on herself personally, noting that she never hit him with a golf club (though no one would have blamed her) and about how she felt as a victim.

You have to give her credit. Even though Elin’s relative silence up until now was likely based on getting everything she could out of the divorce settlement, she could have spoken anyway. Think of how mad you would be. Would any amount of money buy your silence when it comes to getting revenge or at least telling your side? She stayed classy though, wishing him the best publicly. The only comments made by those close to her had to do with her interests in the welfare of her children. “Elin’s daily decisions rest on what is good for her and the children,” a source told PEOPLE in one article.

Had she have slammed him or the women he cheated with, would we have felt the same about her? Or would we have found some flaw and turned and said, she wasn’t a good mom, she wasn’t a good wife, Tiger deserved to cheat? Even if a woman is wronged, when they go public there is the chance for backlash, for their own dirt to be dug up, for those detractors who are mega-fans of Tigers to pull her through the mud. Just look at Mel Gibson’s ex Oksana Grigorieva. Mel threatened to kill her child, she went public, and people are still calling her a gold digger. Sometimes you just can’t win and keeping silent let Elin remain in the most positive light, causing even more harm to Tiger than if she had spoken negatively.

While everyone offered Elin their sympathy off the bat, her demeanor has gained her everyone’s respect, something that Tiger can never regain in the public eye.   When Elin’s children, clearly the most important thing in her life, grow up and eventually look through the old clippings and relive their parents history, I am sure they will be proud of their mother and amazed at her ability to manage this crisis.

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