Dr Wall laments the cheapening of sexuality in our society and proposes a better way. This is Part Three of a three-part series on Lessons From Tiger Woods. See here for the first and here for the second.
Mike Wise, sports writer for the Washington Post, had a sobering article over the holidays about how the recent scandals around Tiger Woods have revealed to all the promiscuous culture surrounding professional sports. He confesses that he himself had accepted that culture and had gotten caught up in the spirit of where men are perpetual boys. He says, instead, that if your friends encourage you to cheat and brag about their own sexual exploits, that it’s time for new friends. He bemoaned that it’s not only professional athletes that are exposed to these temptations, but all men, and that too many of them learn to treat women with disrespect not only from their colleagues, but from their fathers. He says he knows from personal experience that if Tiger Woods is so desperate that he did what he did, that Tiger has some severe holes in his personhood that need filling and he hopes that Tiger gets some serious help.
I’m not quite so convinced that all men are so shallow. Nor am I convinced that it’s only men that suffer from a cheapening of sex. A recent issue of Seventeen magazine featured an article on anal sex. Why are 14 year old girls thinking about anal sex? Have we come so far that sexuality means nothing? We used to think of sexuality as needing protection in the sanctity of marriage. We talk about it in clinical terms or casually like a recipe in a cookbook. It’s a click of the mouse or remote away. Sexuality is divorced from it’s moorings. It’s no big deal. It’s just an act. Self-control is scoffed. We’re all just dogs. Dignity has disappeared.
Except in my office. It’s amazing how an affair or pornography or emotional cheating or Facebooking an old girl or boyfriend can awaken in your spouse the exclusivity of your relationship. All of a sudden the marriage and our sexuality is worth protecting. The person hurt cries and mourns in agony. The unfaithful spouse recoils in shame and guilt. Maybe now, from here on, we can grasp the notion that boundaries around our marriage and our private sexual connection with each other need our fidelity.
Do we HAVE to hurt each other first before we understand this? Hey, I’ve got a better idea. Let’s grasp the concept that marriage is an exclusive, committed, legal, spiritual and familial relationship between a husband and a wife and that there needs to be a boundary of exclusivity and protection around it that no social mores or proclivities, or temptations or dirty jokes or late night television hosts can shake.
What if you didn’t have to learn this the hard way??!!!
Then we could work on easier things in marital therapy, like making our marriage stronger and better and more fulfilling all the way around.
Then, your kids would grow up with both a mother and a father that honor each other, so they will know how to love their spouses in the next generation.
And we’d only know about these things from the occasional story on the news.
Wouldn’t that be cool.
See these other articles by Dr. Wall on Tiger Woods’ recent problems:
Dr. Wall explores two lessons we can all learn from the recent news that golf legend Tiger Woods had an affair.
Dr. Wall draws another lesson from the recent Tiger saga.
See also these related blogs:
The first question that comes up after a trust violation in marriage is: Do both partners need to come to therapy or just the person who violated the trust? Dr. Wall clears the air on this issue and describes the therapeutic process around trust issues.
Dr. Wall gives advice to someone thinking of coming clean after an affair.
Dr. Wall ponders the consequences of sex outside of marriage and concludes that the price is not cheap and NOT worth it.
Dr. Wall suggests that integrity might seem boring, but it is the only way to go.