Men behaving badly are in the news again. We are riveted by the stories of Anthony Weiner and San Diego mayor Bob Filner. These public figures create spectacular media sensations when their actions become exposed. When the famous are exposed they attract headlines as well as our fascination, think of Tiger Woods or Anthony Spitzer or Mark Sanford or Kobe Bryant or Bill Clinton or Arnold Schwarzenegger. This type of drama goes on in private too, causing pain and heartache to thousands of families out of the public eye.
As I watch the coverage on TV, the question everyone repeats is, “Why?” It is unfathomable to most why such successful men with so much to lose would take the risks they do. People assume there is logic involved or look for a train of thought that allows these very successful people to take the actions that lead to such public humiliation. They are looking in the wrong place. Logic and thinking has nothing to do with it. Not even sex drive is at the core of it . An addiction to danger and thrill seeking lies at the heart of this behavior.
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IS IT SEX ADDICTION?
A recently published research study on sex addiction http://www.socioaffectiveneuroscipsychol.net/index.php/snp/article/view/... attracted a great deal of attention as it undercuts the theory that compulsive sexual behavior is an “addiction.” The study is certainly interesting and bears repeating but one study is not sufficient to disprove the observation and experiences of many working in this area. Researchers find that sexually compulsive behavior, like gambling, eating disorders and other behaviors that are engaged in repetitively and destructively parallel chemical addictions in their force and ability to destroy lives.
A common question is, “How could they be so stupid, didn’t they know they would get caught?” It’s when emotion and drive overtakes reason that behavior is viewed as compulsive or addictive. Reason is not powerful enough to overcome the urges which control these men any more than a compulsive handwasher can use reason or evidence to help them reduce their behavior.
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WHY DO ADDICTS LIE SO MUCH?
Why did Mark Sanford say he was on the Appalachian Trail?
Why did Anthony Weiner allow himself to be interviewed by People Magazine to announce that he was cured or say at a press conference after being exposed that his sexual misconduct is “in the past.”
DENIAL IS A HALLMARK OF ADDICTION.