Saturday, June 27, 2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Biggest Mistake

What was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest failure?

Obviously, his failed marriage.

He explains it to Howard Stern:

"This was without a doubt the biggest setback and the biggest failure [in my life]," Schwarzenegger said about the demise of their marriage. "Not only failure, but you really feel like, 'I'm to blame for it. It was me that screwed up,' and you can't point the finger at anyone else."

But, his biggest failure is not the same as his biggest mistake. What was his biggest mistake?

Trying to fix his marriage in couples therapy.

He says:

"Because the guy was so full of sh*t," he said bluntly. "He said more crap and more nonsense. It was absolutely totally counterproductive to our future relationship, or to any hope to get together or anything like that. It was just nonsense talk."


"I don't have to go through anyone to have him explain to me anything. You know, I apologized to Maria, I apologized to the kids, and I tried to move forward and make the best of it ... It has worked out really so well with the help of Maria, with the help of the kids, but not because of the shrink or some psychiatrist."

Is it fair to tar all couples therapists because one poor soul could not communicate with the terminator? Perhaps not. But, Arnold’s words ring true. Effectively, he knew what he had to do, and he did it. He did not need bullshit explanations. 

Obviously, we are talking about a superior therapist, someone with impeccable credentials, someone who is at the top of his profession. No one wants to say that his work reflects on the profession as a whole, but if he is the best that is on offer in Los Angeles, we are within our rights to raise some eyebrows.

Others have pointed out that couples therapy is singularly ineffective. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger offers another ringing anti-endorsement.


Ares Olympus said...

re: But, his biggest failure is not the same as his biggest mistake. What was his biggest mistake? Trying to fix his marriage in couples therapy.

That is curious. I wonder if Maria has the same assessment?

What would be really interesting is if Mr. "Perfect manipulator" actually paid off the goodly therapist to be so terrible that Maria would stop all her own "nonsense" talk? Perhaps he told the Therapist to be the perfect feminist to help Maria hear her own flawed logic from the outside and hear how silly it sounded coming from a man?

Probably Arnold was hopeful this girly-man would swing Maria back into his sympathies, and it didn't quite work, but it was worth a try. And at least things worked out better with Maria and the kids. And Arnold might be playing the long game, and still believes he can win Maria back.

She just needs a few more loyal male feminists to call Arnold trashy names behind his back, and she'll come around.

You never know what's real, but we can belive Arnold's love for Maria is real, just as real as Zeus's love for Hera, you'd never doubt that, would you?

Larry Sheldon said...

Not going to go into any details, but my wife and I ended up in a joint counseling thing (she saw one I saw another at the same time and place).

The two counselors then talked (without us) and in a subsequent visit we would all meet together where I was presented with lists of things I "needed" to apologize for.

Dennis said...

Larry Shelton,

Funny how that works where almost, if not all, problems are mens'. I had a daughter that could be quite challenging. I feared that she was fast approaching a point where she might kill herself. So dumb me decided I would seek help from one of these social idiots with a theory and a degree. I was totally surprised at the innovative ways I was at fault for every thing. After a time and much damage to my daughter they apologized to me, but that did little to solve the problem nor repair the relationships in which they created havoc.
I can truly say I had enough therapy.

Larry Sheldon said...

That is interesting. I have long known that men (especially WASP men) have no status at all on the old Indian caste system scale, but I don't think I ever before realized the depth and detail in the conspiracy!

I was summoned to the school when one daughter was in late grammar school to a tribunal that included a teacher (I think--not sure now) and the Principle who did ALL of the talking.

I was informed that my daughter had a number of (unspecified) problems that were all my fault.

Must be true--all three daughters are very different and in some way (different in each case) a disappointment (one is a successful lawyer who burned-out in New York Big Law), another is a chef, and the third an office-manager.

Needless to say I am deeply suspicious of people who claim to know exactly what I need to do.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I once heard Dr. Stephen Marmer, MD of UCLA say that one third of therapists are very good, and can help; one-third are average, and will do no harm; and the final one-third are incompetent and have no business working as therapists, and will do harm.

I can imagine this is true. I have had at least one experience with all three in my past, so Marmer's hypothesis rings true for me. I also think this post is speculating that Shriver and Schwarzenegger went to "the best" shrink out there. They live in Los Angeles. They could've pick d the biggest quack available because a friend told the he/she was "Really great!" Pardon my skepticism, but big-league media types aren't well known for their choice of counsel, even on these kinds of matters.

I also have compassion for what Larry Sheldon and Dennis are describing here. People often claim authority or authoritative insight on things they couldn't hope to understand... especially the psyche of another human being. We can speculate, but never know, which is why authoritative speculation is so dangerous, for all the reasons outlined on this blog, and I'm these comments in particular.

With all that said, I cannot imagine any mental health or mental healing professional -- even of the highest calibre -- having any success with a character like Arnold Schwarzenegger. His entire career has been that of the uber-man, a gross exaggeration of what it stereotypically means to be a man in the same way Pamela Anderson was a ridiculous exaggeration of the feminine form and liberated woman's lifestyle. I wouldn't listen to what Pamela Anderson said about her therapist anymore than I would Arnold. I cannot begin to catalog what a narcissistic, egotistical man he is. He even makes Sting look like an pathetic amateur. We all sin, and I wish him well in reconciling with his ex-wife and family for his transgressions, but I don't give any credence to his assessment of psychological professionals or the efficacy of whatever kind of therapy. Yes, we have had enough therapy and enough of the therapy culture, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is a caricature of his own physical, charaterlogical and mental absurdity that is his brand, his life, and all that he has left to cling to. I gave up on any consideration of Arnold after he had that photograph taken profile, sitting shirtless astride some stallion... with teeth ablaze, chomping on a perfectly horizontal cigar. If that doesn't capture his vanity in all its nuttiness, I don't know what does. Even in his comments to Howard Stern (of all people), it's all about his performance, talking about his "setback" and "failure." That's what this media culture thrives on... loonies interviewing loonies.

Stuart, I know you acknowledged here that Schwarzenegger would've been a tough cookie as a client, but he is a grotesque absurdity of a man... beyond the reach of any professional. Read any few pages of his biographies and you will see the complex rebar-like threads of egomania ring through. We're all human, but every Arnold tale is that of the uber-human, and he's just human.

And I smile as I comment here, as the Governator seems too crazy to even consider. And by the way, the word "Governator" doesn't even come up for spelling correction. That's hilarious.