Friday, February 26, 2010

Phillips gives insight into sex addiction

My first impulse when Steve Phillips began his interview with Mike Francesa was to turn off the television because I've always been skeptical of sex addiction. But I kept watching and I'm glad that I did because the former New York Mets general manager and television baseball analyst gave compelling insight into his behavior and that of other addicts.

Among the insights: sex addicts are egomaniacs, but also adopt a victim mentality that allows them to participate in such behavior; sex addiction can be triggered by traumatic childhood events; kids are becoming increasingly vulnerable to such addictions with pornographic material so readily available on the Internet; the meetings are important not only because they help connect addicts who are dealing with similar struggles, but they serve as a reminder of the pain that their disease inflicts on themselves and their loved ones.

"They say time heals all wounds," Phillips said. "I don't want it to heal all wounds. I need to remember the pain I inflicted."

I found it particularly interesting when Phillips said his addiction had nothing to do with his wife and that he would still be a sex addict even if he wasn't married because it helps explain something that I've wondered about with Tiger Woods: why a guy with a beautiful wife would cheat with so many women.

I'm not going to applaud Phillips for finally getting into rehab because I still have doubts about whether he really did it to take hold of the disease or to minimize the firestorm he created by having an inappropriate sexual relationship with an ESPN co-worker and try to gain his family's forgiveness. But by publicly talking about it, he helps the rest of us understand what people like him and Woods are thinking when they make such self-destructive decisions.

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