21 February 2010
34-year-old Randall yelled as he missed the shot and smashed his racket into the asphalt. His complaint? He was having trouble staying faithful to his girlfriend, Mary Anne. I felt there was more under-the-surface frustration.
I asked him what he was betraying when he was being unfaithful. “The promise of monogamy,” he said. He immediately laughed out loud. “Yeah. Why did I promise that? Every girl I see—“
“Every?” I asked.
We leaned on the net. “When I know I can have any girl, I can’t stop myself.”
“Even if it hurts Mary Anne?”
“She even gets mad… at the porno.” He shook his head with disgust.
“She found out about that universe?”
His obsessive nature was apparent. On court, he obsessed about overpowering the ball no matter what. Even with the porn, when Mary Anne asked him to stop, he could only do so for a week.
Randall offered a theory: Perhaps he was living in multiple universes, one where he was a regular guy with regular desires and fantasies; a second where he tried hard to fit in perfectly fulfilling other people’s needs. But the universes were no longer working together. They were colliding.
I asked him, “After you leave the computer trail, after you play the victim, then Randall… honestly… what happens?”
“And after sex with a real person—other than you—what happens?”
“Shit,” he said. “Lonely.” He sighed.
“And is that the same shit that shows up in your game?” I asked, adding in another parallel. “You try to conquer your opponent fast and hard. You play in isolation—without context or care for the consequences. Happiness or harm. You play with no intimacy. It’s all about you.”
He looked at the ground and then at the sky. “I hate intimacy.”
We both laughed.
Randall humbly suggested he should just hit balls alone—against a wall—rather than play matches. I joked that that’s what his sexual partners probably think as well. They’re left in bed alone or wake up hung-over wondering who they are and who they are with.
An addiction as complicated as his has no easy nor quick cure. But showing up on the court was a beginning to breaking the cycle of self-deception.
At the end of our session, I asked him for a “fidelity rally”—a rally while he imagined being faithful. He seemed to understand, starting lucid and strong, committed to watching the ball and engaged in the hitting, not just wanting to win.
It didn’t last long. By the eighth stroke, his eyes wandered—into the future, into boredom or to the next set of breasts… only he would know. His shot, meanwhile, plopped into the net.
“Not even 20 seconds…” he said, in a moment of clarity “Nope,” I agreed. “Not even as long as you look at your computer porn. Maybe next time…”
What distracts you from being faithful? Without those distractions, would faithfulness be able to fulfill you? Does celebrity and power exonerate faithlessness?
Original post appeared by sports/life coach Zach Kleiman 6 Feb,2010 www.SoulPancake.com
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