David Letterman's confessions reveal a remarkably self-centered narcissist who has no idea of what a relationship is about. That's not surprising - we're used to it from politicians and media figures - but it isn't playing well on live television.
The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, October 6, 2009. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at PsychologyToday.com.
The Hollow Man - Dave surprised wife was upset!
In his first televised apology, David Letterman joked about his sexual liaisons with young female staff (some interns) and said there would be no more public talking about these things unless he or the unnamed women decided to speak up.
He left only one person out - Regina Lasko - the mother of his six-year-old son whom he had been dating for 20+ years before marrying this year. Do you get the feeling he treats the woman rather casually?
Let's calculate, Letterman said they had been together since the 1980s. Yet one intern - an NYU college student (like my daughter!) has reported dating Letterman in the 1990s: "I was madly in love with him. I would have married him. He was hilarious."
Some commenters on my earlier post argued that Ms. Lasko had no problem with the proceedings - that this was an open marriage. They imagined she was perfectly okay with his screwing interns willy-nilly and conducting long-term affairs with several women.
Letterman's second mea culpa indicates otherwise. He apologized on the air to Lasko for his revelation of his free love concept of marriage, saying she had been "horribly hurt" and that "I've got my work cut out for me" to mend the relationship.
Even those philandering politicians realize they're supposed to get their wives on board before going on camera to confess to their "indiscretions" (meaning systematic affairs with other men and women). Dave knows - he often comments on others' affairs.
Media pros keep saying how well Dave had gotten out ahead of the situation. But, gosh, he seems to have missed one important cog in imagining that he was simply going to proceed in his life without a hitch - his wife!
In the world according to Dave, "If you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it." Good thought - albeit a little late in occurring to a smart man like Dave. Lasko seems to have been far down the list of people he was worried about.
Is Dave a little insensitive to the main woman in his life? You know, the one he boasted about stringing along for decades before marrying five years after she had his kid: "I had avoided getting married pretty good for, like, 23 years. . . . I was the last of the real gunslingers."
Dave's former main squeeze (and head writer) Merrill Markoe commented, "As you can imagine this is a very emotional moment for me because Dave promised me many times that I was the only woman he would ever cheat on."
Dave obviously had to boot Markoe - can you imagine him staying with a woman that mouthy and assertive? Yes, Dave has his work cut out for him: he is impossibly narcissistic and incapable of an intimate and sharing relationship. Try fixing that.
P.S. But maybe he can do it - all that pain must be motivating.