Perhaps, if one were inclined to cut Arnold a little slack, we might look to his oppressive childhood as a mitigating factor. Or the fact that prominent or not, often when there is infidelity, it is because there are problems in the marriage. Keeping a relationship fresh, alive, and fun for decades is a challenge that both partners must tackle together. While affairs generally lead to divorce, occasionally infidelity can serve as a wake up call. But only when the person who has stepped out on the relationship is genuinely contrite and willing to work on things, being completely open and transparent going forward. When there is a history of womanizing or serial affairs, it is unlikely that the pattern will change, no matter how much the other partner wants to try.
So, back to the point, I guess that the obvious answer is that he wasn’t thinking. Certainly not about anyone else’s feelings or needs.
Sign up for the: Keeping Love Alive: A Couples Workshop at The Cottage Clinic in Rancho Santa Fe, California, August 18, 19, 20, 2011. CEU’s available for some health professionals. Based on the book, “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Sue Johnson and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Register at http://trieft.org/re/sandiego or (858)259-0146
Diana Weiss-Wisdom, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist psy#12476 in private practice in Rancho Santa Fe, California. She specializes in relationships, couples and marriage counseling, premarital counseling, and stepfamilies. www.cottageclinic.net (858) 259-0146