We have also learned that he's theret because his wife urged him to do it-- or better, because she threatened to take his children to Sweden where he would never be able to see them again.
Not much of this makes a lot of sense. Have you ever seen or heard of a pre-nup that stipulated that one parent could take the children so far away that they other could not have normal visitation? Or else, have you ever heard of a judge who would allow such an arrangement?
Are we so consumed with anger at Tiger Woods that we are willing to believe just about anything about him? And are we so compelled to side with his wife that we are willing to grant her everything? For my previous posts about Tiger, see here.
Back to today's question: Is Tiger Woods a sex addict? And what is this thing called sex addiction anyway? Is it a treatable condition that can be controlled with a 12 step program or is it, in Tiger's case, a public relations move designed to salvage Tiger's reputation and endorsements?
Is rehab going to cure Tiger's addiction or restore his public image?
Nowadays America believes in rehab. Rehab has become the new therapy.
America also believes in 12 step programs. 12 steps have become the new psychoanalysis.
America is so thrilled at the effectiveness of 12 step programs that physicians are working to label each and every moral failing as an addiction.
Rehab has helped solve the greatest problem with 12 step programs. Clinicians have always know that these were effective against alcoholism. But the same clinicians could not embrace these programs because... they were free.
Now, with rehab, they have learned how to monetize 12 step programs. Apparently, Tiger Woods is paying $60,000 for his stay in the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Clinic.
Would Bill Wilson and Bob Smith be proud?
Anyway, is Tiger Woods a sex addict?
Personally, I would vote No. An addict will show signs of dysfunction in his everyday life. Addiction compromises focus and concentration, making it difficult for the addict to relate with others, and to complete his work successfully.
An addiction is a compulsion that consumes your life and makes it nearly impossible to function. For some people sex might become such an addiction. But does this describe Tiger Woods?
Golf is an especially unforgiving taskmaster. If your focus and concentration are off, if you mind has been pickled by alcohol or addled by narcotics or flooded with images of naked lovelies, you game is going to suffer.
In golf it does not take very much to break down your concentration. When it does, the effects are immediately evident.
A golfer-addict plays like John Daly, not like Tiger Woods.
I would also vote No because Tiger's sexual antics can be explained by other factors. To diagnose Tiger Woods as a sex addict you have to distinguish a sex addict from someone who has a strong sex drive, fueled by competition, victory, money, and a gaggle of readily available women.
Also, when you make sexual indiscretion into an addiction and try to treat it with 12 step programs you will create several problems. When someone is addicted to alcohol, narcotics, or gambling he can begin treatment by renouncing the behaviors. You can live without alcohol, narcotics, and gambling. It is far more difficult to live without sex, which is, a normal adult activity.
Next, when an alcoholic goes to an AA meeting he hears stories of the abjection visited by alcoholism. These visions provide a cautionary reminder of what happens if he abandons the program.
What happens when a sex addict goes to meetings for his addiction?
As everyone knows, if you go to a sex addiction meeting and listen to people recount their sexual experiences, you might get aroused and you might find someone who is similarly aroused.
Sex talk can easily become pornographic. Assembling a group of recovering sex addicts in a room to talk about sex can easily become combustible.
Those who run these programs have tried to deal with this problem by creating a "stop word," known to all participants, whose utterance by anyone signifies that the account is getting too racy and that it needs to be stopped.
Wherever did they get this idea? I would guess that they did not glean it from a medical or psychological textbook. If it resembles anything, it represents a staple of extreme forms of masochistic rituals, where the victim of sadistic abuse will have a word he can utter to stop the process.
But that is not the worst. As the New York Post headlined, Woods' sex addiction treatment will involve something called "Disclosure Day." On that day he will be required to tell his wife about each and every time he betrayed her. In detail...
I have it on very good authority that such a practice would never be permitted in AA. It is not one of the traditional 12 steps. Even if you stretch things and class "Disclosure Day" under the step of making amends to those you have hurt, that step also says that you should not do so when you will be hurting the other person.
Can any sensible person really imagine that Elin Woods wants to hear all about her husband's sexual escapades. Isn't this a clear case of adding insult to injury?
And why would any sensible person imagine that this would be therapeutic for a marriage?
The fact that the program is being administered by a physician who has written a book on sex addiction does not justify putting these two people through such a harrowing ordeal.
If Tiger and Elin want to put their marriage back together, one good step would be to look forward, not backwards. Making Tiger assume a posture of extreme abjection will not contribute to their marriage. Nor will forcing Elin to feel utter and complete disgust about her husband's behavior.
It is bad enough that this practice has received legitimacy and respectability because it is being called medicine and is being practiced by a physician. Larger problems arise when people who have committed sexual indiscretions, regardless of whether they rise to the level of a life-consuming compulsion, start thinking that they now know how to solve their problems.
They can proclaim themselves sex addicts, declare that they have no control over their behavior, and propose that they work their way out of it by telling all of the sordid details to their wives.
Do you really think that that will help?