Diagnosis: The Cheating Personality Type

Diagnosis: The Cheating Personality Type

We've either dated them or had the unfortunate opportunity to meet them through friends who've made the mistake of marrying them. We're talking about controlling, mega-ego men with Lothario tendencies. You know, good guys like "Mad Max" star Mel Gibson. Psychologist Dr. Abby Rosen and author of a new book, "Lasting Transformation," knows them so well that she's even given a name to their type: NCCDPD. It's a mouthful—just like these men can be a handful—so we asked Rosen to dish on the curious disorder. lemondrop: Were You Born to Cheat?

Lemondrop: We've recently watched several high-profile men publicly implode what appeared to be solid marriages thanks to infidelity. Can you define the term you've coined for these types of individuals, and explain your thinking behind it?

Rosen: I use NCCDPD to endearingly describe people who have a Narcissistic, Critical, Controlling and Domineering Personality Disorder. NCCDPDs typically grow up in families where there's a lot of anxiety, criticism and trauma. As a consequence of the emotionally disconnected experiences they had as kids, their needs didn't get met and they become focused on getting those needs met as adults—often at the expense of others. They develop a defense mechanism that's so impenetrable they simply can't see themselves as being at fault. And since societal and familial conditioning gives men messages like "big boys don't cry" and "if you're sensitive, you're a wimp," they're unlikely to become more conscious, self-loving and caring of others unless something devastating happens to them. lemondrop: Poor Men More Likely to Cheat

Lemondrop: So how exactly do these events from childhood turn men into classic NCCDPD personality types? 

Men raised in homes with domineering, controlling, and critical parents often have problems with anxiety—no matter what they did, it was never good enough. As adults, whenever these men feel vulnerable, they also feel anxious, and anxiety that goes unexpressed turns into irritability, anger and rage. The greater their vulnerability, the stronger their anxiety and the more they express anger, resulting in even more critical, controlling and domineering behavior. For many NCCDPDs, addictions are used to numb feelings of anxiety. In its extreme form, addiction can be a way to self-medicate anxiety with a "drug" of choice, creating sexaholics, alcoholics and rageaholics. As a result, their marriages often wind up falling into that 60 percent divorce statistic. lemondrop: What He's Thinking Before He Cheats

Written by Liz Ozaist for lemondrop

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