My GF Pink sent me this article from www.relationshipmatters.com
. Thoughts? What can be done about a womanizer?
by Dr. Offra Gerstein, Ph.D.
What can be done about a womanizer?
Over the years I have witnessed the agony of women who are in primary relationships with womanizing men. I have listened to their stories of betrayal, shame, abandonment, neglect, and emotional abuse. I also felt compassion for them as they often spoke of the love they still felt for the straying men in their lives.
A womanizer is a man who repeatedly gets emotionally and sexually involved with other women while being in a primary relationship. He indulges in flirtatious behaviors, attracting women with his charm and wooing conduct. Womanizing males are often very charming, appealing, and may even seem vulnerable, which many women find most endearing. Along with the playful seduction come flattering words, gifts, entertainment and fun activities bestowed upon his momentary love interest.
Lying is a necessary companion of all illegal and immoral conduct. The womanizer spins a web of intricate lies, cover-up stories and false alibis to sustain his double life.
Sex is not necessarily what he seeks, but it is the ultimate form of female acceptance. Some people term womanizers as sex-addicts, I prefer to view them as validation-addicts. Not that this distinction alters any of the behaviors, or condones them.
It simply emphasizes that these males are deeply insecure about their worth and personal appeal. They desperately need the repeated reassurances of many women to validate their desirability. Since this is a quest of external validation, which is not matched by their internal esteem, it is unquenchable. No one woman ever suffices.
A womanizer is a tragic person. He keeps creating greater and greater messes in his life and is never secure for more than a moment. He exerts immense energy, at great cost, for short-lived rewards.
As with any addiction, when confronted, the womanizer is very contrite, feel remorse, promises to alter his conduct, to only resume his escapades shortly after the emotional storm subsides.It is important to note that not all men who stray are womanizers. The term only applies to men with a repeated pattern of infidelity. The nature of the womanizer's pursuits are multiple and intense. The man himself is often very clear whether he is seeking a new relationship, or a conquest. He also knows how insecure he feels when he is not pursuing a new love interest.
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Interestingly enough, wives of womanizers are often very sweet, loyal, trusting and even naive women. They are typically very non-intrusive and may be quite gullible. Because these wives are often very decent themselves, they accept the tall tales. They cling to the flimsy thread of the possible - rather than the probable explanation. Sometimes they are in denial of the intolerable reality.
It may take the wife years to become aware of her husband's dalliances. Even when the evidence is glaring, some women still allow for the most unlikely explanation for their husbands' blatant transgressions.
"I think it is possible for my husband to have spent a weekend with this woman at a resort, not being involved, just helping her with her current life's difficulty." "Not all encounters between opposite genders are necessarily sexual". These comments, made by devoted wives of womanizers, exemplify the logic some women use to avoid dealing with their cruel reality.
The wife is often unprepared to face reality because it will shatter her life and family, as well as devastate her trust and love for her husband. She may be in denial because of financial dependence, fear of abandonment, or the dread of facing overwhelming life-altering changes. She may feel guilt about her part of this crisis and may be willing to forgive him under promises of cessation.
The tragedy is that many womanizers are very much in love and in need of their wives. The steady, loving and supportive partner, is seen by the man as the family's anchor. He often respects, admires and cherishes his wife and can not see himself without her. Yet, in his weakness he re-offends.
There is a parallel pattern for females -- the seductress. It is similar, yet not identical to the womanizer. (More about her in a future column).
What can be done?
-- Realize that womanizing is an addiction. It needs to be defined and treated as such.
-- Since addictive behaviors mask intolerable feelings, these must be discovered and treated.
-- The womanizer is the only person who can decide to alter his ways and seek the help he needs.
-- Most addicts are best treated in an intensive residential treatment program followed by ongoing therapy and attendance in SLA (Sex and Love Addiction) twelve-step program.
-- His behavior is no reflection of his wife's capacity as a partner.
-- Womanizing behaviors are not evidence of lack of love for the primary partner.
-- Denial, rationalizations, excuses and forgiveness do not help bring about recovery. Both partners must understand the nature of the addiction and commit to dealing with it.
-- Accusations, angry retorts and character attributions are destructive and must be avoided.
-- Women must safeguard their own well being, which at times may require separating from the womanizer.
-- Recovery is possible. It takes awareness, time, energy, money and commitment.
The rewards of recovery from addiction are immense. Those who have succeeded can attest to the new life they have gained and the joy they have attained in their relationships.