How Elin Nordegren and Jaime Bergman Coped With Cheating


If one year ago, I asked you to compare the lives of Tiger Woods and David Boreanaz, you’d be stumped. Now of course, we know both men were involved in cheating scandals that involved multiple partners, and that the two men may have had at least one partner—Rachel Uchitel—in common.

But the really interesting comparison between Tiger and Boreanaz isn’t in the sordid little details of their infidelity—its between their wives.

Both women were faced with a cheating husband. Both women had to accept that it wasn’t just one woman, one time, but a pattern of behavior stretching across years and multiple partners. Both had to confront the fact that their husbands were texting their mistresses during special family moments (Tiger at the Thanksgiving table, Boreanaz while Bergman was in labor) Both women had to handle the tabloid fallout that ensued. And both women had children whose needs they had to consider as they figured out how to go forward.

So how did their strategies differ—and how did their coping styles affect their kids?

Nordegren made every attempt to fly under the radar. She didn’t speak to the press. She didn’t do interviews. She has spent a fair amount of time out of the country. How has this benefited her kids? Well, looking back, they aren’t going to see a public war of words on the internet. There is has been name-calling or threats. And had she been more vocal about what she was going through, she certainly would have intensified the attention she was getting from the media. So to the extent that it is possible, she seemed to diffuse the situation as much as possible by keeping her reactions and deliberations to herself.

Bergman has behaved differently. She gave interviews, and joint appearances with Boreanaz. Her mother has been talking to the tabloids. She has reaffirmed her commitment to Boreanaz, talked openly about marital counseling, and made out with him in public. How is this good for son Jaden? Well, if there is real truth behind the public reconciliation between the two, then he can learn a lot about forgiveness and commitment from their example.

Elin, by all accounts, is leaving Tiger. Bergman, it seems, is staying put. Two women, same situation, two different sets of choices.

What would you do?