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Filthy Rich, Permission to Cheat?

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Jennifer Brandt Herschko: The idea of infidelity has always seemed inexcusable to me, until I saw "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" ...

Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Lisa Wu Hartwell

I'll admit, I'm the jealous type. I have very little tolerance for tales of relationships gone awry due to infidelity, and have always said that I would leave my husband in a heartbeat if I found out he was having an affair. But as I sat glued to the television, watching the uber-glamorous cast of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" show off their palatial estates and over-the-top lifestyles, I had a change of heart: If we were that rich, I might be able to turn a blind eye.

We've all heard the rumors and stereotypes about how athletes cheat on their wives, and how the wives stay with them anyway because they are all so filthy rich. When Kobe Bryant had that scandalous and supposed "one-time" extramarital affair, many people, including me, could not believe that his wife Vanessa chose to stay with him. And now there's Tiger and all his alleged "transgressions." But as I watched "TRH of Atlanta," with every new scene and shining example of financial freedom, I kind of understood it. Everything in their life seems easy and effortless, and it's all due to MONEY. I mean, if I could just buy a $3,000 purse whenever I felt like it, or get my hair done by my personal hair stylist in my personal, custom-built beauty parlor in my new custom-built 15,000 sq. foot house, or host a game night in a two-lane bowling alley IN MY BASEMENT, I might not care if my husband (assuming he was an NFL or NBA player) indulges some lucky fan when he's on the road.

Obviously, not every athlete cheats when he's on the road, but "women are vultures," according to Lisa Wu Hartwell, one of the stars of the show who is married to NFL player Ed Hartwell. Lisa said that "even though they know he's married, these crazed fans will go after him even more. They're at the hotels waiting for them." But Lisa thinks that it comes down to trusting that your mate will do the right thing. "There are a lot of women that I know that don't trust their mates and have caught them cheating," she says, "and it comes down to deciding whether you will tolerate that behavior or not." Lisa feels blessed for being married to someone who is so family-oriented, and says she wouldn't stay married just because of their lifestyle. "You have to have your own identity," she says. "And I believe that women that are too dependent on their spouse will tolerate a lot of things."

Angela Wilder, ex-wife to famous Lakers basketball star James Worthy, knows all too well what it's like to "tolerate" a cheating husband. After her husband was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, Angela tried to stay and save her marriage, which ultimately ended in divorce. In her book, Powerful Mate Syndrome, she writes, "I enthroned [my husband] as the king of my world and, rather than doing what it took to be a powerful queen, I assumed the role as the king's subject." Well, in my mind, this makes total sense. Just look at Queen Katherine, who was married to Henry the VIII. She knew damn well that he was having an affair, and was madly in love with Anne Boleyn, but she fought until the day she died to stay married to Henry anyway. Um, can you say crown jewels??? Hello!

The point is, while I don't condone cheating, I can totally understand why these crazy rich women are staying in marriages knowing that their husbands have been unfaithful. And honey, if you read this, while I know you'd love to be a professional baseball player, can I just say: I'm sooo happy you're not. wants to know if you would stand by your man -- for a price. Log on and be heard!

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous December 8, 2009, 8:37 AM

ALOT of money

Monica December 8, 2009, 12:24 PM

I’m sorry my dignity is worth far more than living a lifestyle of luxury. What kind of message would I be sending to my children if I stayed just because of the money. Not only would it hurt to know that he’s cheating but it will hurt even more when other people realize that you know he’s cheating and you continue to stay for the money. People will dice your dignity up like a Christmas Ham. I would rather be dignified and sane than crazy with low self esteem and rich.

Leeza December 8, 2009, 1:59 PM

Honestly, I think that Tiger is so much like many of the childhood stars in Hollywood that never got a chance to have a normal and healthy childhood. They end up so lost and so self destructive. Many as adults, are addicted to alcohol,drugs, and sex,just as Tiger obviously is.Tiger never experienced rejection,failure,loss, etc. Those are vital elements in developing into a balanced and consciencious man. Along with all the life experiences that humble us deeply. Tiger was raised believing all he had to do was win titles and everything else like morals, integrity,values and decency were never developed or taught and required of him. Look at all the people who turned their heads the other way for the past 5 years he has been married and compulsively cheating.Tiger is emotionally a 15 yr. old boy. Tiger has many deep issues that have never been addressed and need to be.Its so good that he got caught. Now he has to be accountable for the first time in his life. Dr. Drew needs to call Tiger tonight!

T December 8, 2009, 2:17 PM

You know, its not that the women stay with them because of they money. I had a very long relationship with a professional basketball player. We started dating whn he was a rookie, and ill tell ya i did not want to be exclusive with him because i knew what was gonna happen: he wud wind up cheating me. In the beginning things were great he so desperately wanted to be exclusive with me. So after months of woo-ing me i finally gave in and we became “exclusive”. Our relationship was GREAT! I loved everything about him. he is a smart, well cultured man. And his money never impressed me not one bit. I NEVER asked for ANYTHING, not a bag, not money for a taxi NOTHING. I loved him because he was good to me. He made me feel like a queen and made me feel special and never put anyone before me.

Eventually I did find out he was sleeping around when he was on the road. We broke up and wound up together again. This time around we were more open about HIS affairs. I knew they were happening but i asked for one thing - honesty. I mean I have experienced right in front of my eyes security having to pry hungry women off my man while I was standing there. Women are indeed persistent and wud do anything to sleep with your athlete men. I wasn’t gonna be naive so I asked him to be honest with me if i came to him about my feelings. he was. and i respected him for it.

The bottom line is its not necessarily that these women stay with their rich athlete husbands cuz of the money, its more so heart and sex can be two separate thing. Look at vanessa (kobe’s wife) even though he was busted doing what he was doing he fought for his wife. these dudes know that at home they have a woman who stands by them and endures the hard schedule of their jobs and takes care of the house and entertains the guests. It may seem like its all glam but its a very hard life to live. If you are comfortable in your relationship to discuss the extramarital affairs then why not? Being a woman married to an athlete or dating an athlete - its jus a completely different life and if you are not living r experiencing that then you will never understand.

Anonymous December 8, 2009, 7:27 PM

Did you hear Tiger Woods changed his name? It is now Cheetah Woods.

Sharon December 8, 2009, 7:42 PM

No amountbof money would get me to stay! In fact, if I was going to marry someone that rich and powerful I’d make sure I had a rich and powerful prenuptial to protect me and the kids and the ‘lifestyle’ if that was what was so important.

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