The “S” dilemma: Is he Selfish or is he Sick?

I mentioned the other day that my friend Lisa found out that her husband has been carrying on with another man’s wife.  Classic.  

Due to my personal experience I encouraged her to at least stay with Todd long enough to look at the problem and to assess his willingness to change.  The question then is WHAT is he supposed to change?  

I got to thinking that the root of the problem really only comes down to 2 options:

1)  He is a selfish jerk who only wanted what felt good to him in the moment and didn’t care enough to consider the consequences his actions would have on his wife and son.

2)  He has addiction issues which made him powerless to fight his actions.

Personally I think Todd is just a selfish guy who got a little attention from a co-worker and thinks he is smart enough to have his cake and eat it too.  That being said, Lisa is exploring the possibility that he does have some sort of sex or love addiction.  She mentioned that there were some activities prior to the wedding which caused her concern and perhaps this is another symptom of a much bigger issue.

Whether he is sick or simply selfish, Todd will need to make huge changes in many areas of his life to keep Lisa in the marriage.  I’m not sure that I would have stayed with my husband if he was simply too selfish to care about me.  It speaks to a level of narcissism that I just can’t stomach.  Somehow, dealing with an addiction – any addiction – is strangely empowering.  I feel like my husband and I can fight this thing as a united force, both of us hating the ‘addict’ as much as the other one does, albeit for different reasons.  I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone – but given the choice between the two “S’s”, I am glad I was dealt this one.

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