March 11th, 2008
06:08 PM ET

Spitzer: Setting a course to ruin

Editor's note: Robert Weiss is founder and Executive Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute, an outpatient Sexual Addiction and Sexual Offender treatment program in Los Angeles. We asked for his thoughts on the reckless behavior attributed to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

While some healthy narcissism is required to become a public figure and live in the limelight, narcissistic people whose personalities are not tempered by some humility and humanity quickly show the ego’s dark side of arrogance, secrecy, lack of empathy, sociopathy and addiction.


Eliot Spitzer’s problems clearly go beyond his current legal-political crisis and the toll being taken on his wife, daughters and family life.  If the allegations prove true, Spitzer’s entitled choice – like Bill Clinton, Larry Craig and other public figures before him – to use intense, hidden and illegal sexual liaisons is an attempt to meet some deeper unknown and unmet emotional need of his own.

And it has set him on a course to personal and professional ruin:

– Choosing a casual sexual hook-up despite being committed to long-term monogamy indicates a lack personal integrity and is guaranteed to put up an emotional wall between you and your partner.

– Choosing to frequently and continuously seek sexual hook-ups outside of your monogamous relationship, while lying about the behavior, either means that you have no respect or appreciation of your partnership OR that you have an emotional problem.

Hopefully he will be smart enough to take heed now and get the help he so clearly needs. By doing that, his downfall could also sow some seeds toward redemption if he is willing to learn from his mistakes.

But first the Governor would need to be less myopically focused on saving his job and more attentive to his own emotional and personal life.  One act of good faith on his part might be to leave his struggling wife at home in the difficult days to come and take his public lumps like a man.

– Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT


Program note: Robert Weiss will be a guest on tonight's 360° at 10p ET

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Paris

    No more sex scandal please. Where is Hillary's tax returns? I want to know where the money comes from. Obama is where he is at time time in his life because he is qualitifed. What Obama is talking about the old style fighting has been shown to be true. People like Ferraro.
    People in the Clinton camp. say anything SEE IF IT STICKS....
    WE the people out here in the real world are not so stupid. The media sometimes asks like we do not see the writing on the wall.
    Thank ing you in advance for your time

    March 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Dick G

    Many believe that the real reason for the near-hate level that exists against Hillary Clinton is not her failed health insurance plan but her unwillingness to dump Bill when he was President. Had that happened, his persecutors feel they could have forced him to resign in disgrace. She did not and his presidency survived. Despite all the collective wisdom that one should try to save both a parenting and a marriage we now see this attack on the save-the-family solution at a time when the U.S. is the uncontested world champion of divorce. Paradoxically, we are also the champion of a religious trend that claims redemption and rebirth for almost level of malfeasance unless, of course, the miscreant happens to be a Democrat. I won't pretend to defend Spitzer's behavior but do question the motivation and perhaps even the personal history of those so quick to condemn a woman, courageous enough to attempt saving her family and relationship.

    March 12, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  3. william m

    I wish politicians would start learning what tax payers money is.

    March 11, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  4. let's get real

    I agree with Mr. Dershowitz. This must have been a setup by republicans or other enemies. no bank investigates $15,000.00 withdrawels from such a wealthy man. Men spend much more than $80,000.00 on their wives, divorces, mistresses and affairs. It's only about sex. in Europe this wouldn't be a scandel. How does a man who married in his 20's and possibly going through the 40's depression/midlife crisis, have sex without losing his wife and kids? That's why there is so much divorce and emotional cheating in affairs. He was only having sex – no muss/no fuss. grow up America. he was a good prosecutor. give him a chance to finish his job (and go to counselling) and then end his career however it goes. They say he was brilliant in school...that's his job. his private life if not affecting the job is his business. Too bad he was so self righteous and condescending but look at all of those attacking him on TV – they've all got their agendas as well. it's all so transparent. hang in there Spitzer! All men do it – most women know this.

    March 11, 2008 at 10:33 pm |