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Death, Ridicule or Divorce? When it Comes to Adultery, Geography and Wealth are Factors


While Tiger Woods putts his way through the world golf circuit, Wayne Rooney becomes the butt of British jokes, and John Maronto faces the end of his teaching career, an Iranian mother of two faces death by stoning after being convicted of adultery. Beyond the betrayal of family, the price for affairs and adultery is deeply influenced by wealth and geography.

By Irwin M.

While adultery cost Tiger Woods his marriage and an estimated settlement of more than $100 million to former wife Elin Nordegren, nations around the world have very different rules for citizens accused of sexual misconduct.

Barbaric beyond words

Sakineh Mohammadi AshtianiIn Iran, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery by an Islamic court.

Barbaric beyond words,” is how European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso described Iran’s plans to stone to death the 43-year-old mother of two. While world leaders plea with the regime not to carry out the death sentence, her lawyer worries she could be killed at “any moment.”

Wayne Rooney

Not the sharpest pencils in the box

Meanwhile, British tabloids are awash with lurid details of rampant sexploits by national sports icons. In what’s being called “Rooney-Gate,” the story focuses on revelations that Jennifer Thompson, a 21-year-old escort, was reported to have slept with six defenders, three midfielders, and four strikers, including two players who are married with children. Her parents, vacationing in Portugal, told a reporter they thought their daughter was working in a bar.

A London newspaper reported that Thompson deliberately targeted footballers “because they are rich and not the sharpest pencils in the box.”

Unlike the barbarism facing Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Iran, the betrayals by these well-known European athletes become punch lines for national leaders. British Prime Minister David Cameron quipped in an address to a celebrity audience this week, “I can bring you the news that Wayne Rooney has scored – this time it was on the pitch, in the opposition’s goal and actually playing for his country.”

I’ve got $50

In Daytona Beach, Florida football coach John Maronto is returning to teaching and coaching positions at Mainland High School while police continue their investigation into charges that the 68-year-old solicited an undercover officer for prostitution last Saturday night.

John MarontoWhile the officer claims to have video and audio recordings of Maronto offering $50 for sex, school officials say they aren’t making any judgments.

“It was determined that we won’t be making any judgments as to what did or did not happen. Nothing in this case leads us to believe that coach Maronto is in any way a threat to our students. We’re basing our decision to have him return to his positions on that,” said Nancy Wait, a spokesperson for Volusia County schools.

The human need for connection is universal, yet when people make destructive decisions about how to get those needs met, the lasting results may be significantly determined by geography and wealth. For people of all backgrounds and cultures, marriage education can help them learn to meet each others’ needs for bonding, love and connection inside their relationships with each other. With good will and openness to learning, men and women regularly discover practical skills to reach levels of intimacy and pleasure with each other that offers the best protection for their marital vows.

The horror of a mother of two facing a death sentence in Iran for the charge of adultery is beyond barbaric.

As people around the globe urge Iranian authorities to show mercy to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani by communting her sentence or allowing her extradition, Wayne Rooney remains the butt of British jokes,  John Maronto faces the end of a distinguished career as a teacher and coach in Florida, and Tiger Woods putts his way through the golf circuit while little Charlie and Sam Woods adjust to events that have shattered the cherished dreams of their family.

For each of them and their loved ones — in very different ways as a result of geography and wealth — their stories are tragic.

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