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As ongoing news about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse case emerges, I’m reminded of an article I wrote in 2011 about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sexual disclosure. The truths in this article are still very true for today.
I recently read an article that answered the question: “Why can’t powerful men stay clear of sexual exploits?” It isn’t about the sex. According to the author, the overwhelming reason is the validation. I agree, but there is also a deeper cause beneath validation.
Men who need validation need to be told they are valuable, worthwhile, special, impactful, and loved. A person needs external validation if they are not convinced of their worth. If a man is confident of his impact and worth— especially in the eyes of those around him— he will struggle less with shame and will accept validation in healthy ways (i.e. marriage, parenting, godly influence on friends).
Mr. Schwarzenegger thrives on the opinions of other people— from body building to a career in acting and most recently as the governor of California. He’s rich, famous, and a family man. He’s a loving dad and husband to a beautiful wife. He’s also a successful businessman and has everything this world says is needed for a happy life. But all of this is on the surface. What’s underneath?
Schwarzenegger resembles his trademark character– a cyborg “Terminator” from the future who is not who he appears to be. After his secret life was disclosed we now see him more clearly. He is a broken man likely given in to addiction. He clearly was living a lie and deceived his family, friends and yes, even his wife did not truly know him.
When the thin skin of success is cut away, the sad reality left behind is both frightening and emotionally painful. When the lives of famous people like Arnold, Tiger, or Anthony Weiner are revealed it is public, which unfortunately, our culture thrives on the drama. When a family member or friend’s true life is revealed it is much less public, but no less painful.
Pure Life Alliance works with these specific families— men and women, boys and girls we help them heal from the pain of their secret lives. Although they’re not famous, their pain is no less significant. If you partner with us, either financially or through prayer, you’re also making a different in their lives