Okay, I’ve written about the poor sod who hopes God will work Jedi wonders on his wife, and of the Caspar Milquetoast who is a wonderful GCH™, and who “leads by serving”. It’s now time to discuss the third Christian Go-To Marital Tool, which is Nature. *
All too often, when a problem appears in a marriage, the initial attitude that is adopted is, “Give it time. Things have a way of working themselves out. Let nature takes its course, and things will be alright.” If one of the Christian tools is to ask God for a Jedi Mind Trick™, and a second is to adopt the attitude of Mr. Milquetoast, I’d say that the third most common christian go-to marital tool is to become Mr. Natural.
Back when I was a young sailor, stationed on a ship out of San Francisco, I dabbled in a bit of that counter-culture, and that included acquaintance with the popular counter-culture cartoonist, R. Crumb. One of his most popular characters was Mr. Natural, who passed out advice; one phrase that Crumb, via Mr. Natural, created and popularized was:
“Keep On Truckin'”
This is just what Mr. Natural does in his marriage. “We have a problem? Well, just keep on truckin’.” And many of the advisors we might go to give the same advice: pastors, parents, friends. “We’ve hit a bump in the road.” “Well, you’re young/Well, you’ve just had a baby/Well, she’s starting a new job/Well, you are just dealing with a little stress; just keep on truckin’ and it will all work out in time.”
So you keep on truckin’, knowing that these things happen, and you two are married and are committed to each other, so things will work out. But after a year or three, and the problem persists ~ Yes, there are the pressures of daily life. Yes, there are the pressures of different seasons of your life. But your marriage seems to be merely a partnership, and your bedroom seems to be a hangout for roommates and not lovers.
A Quick Aside
I realize that I have the order of the three tools a bit jumbled, and for that I do apologize. Let me explain: I have been reading posts and articles by husbands and wives who have undergone sexual throttling and sexual refusal for different lengths of time. I’ve read reports by spouses who have experienced refusal for two-three years, ten-twelve year and up. I’ve read “testimonies” of husbands and wives who’ve experienced refusal for 25-35 years!
As I read these stories, it seems that Mr. Natural is the first tool that turns up. This is the spouse who goes to a parent or pastor or pal, and says that things aren’t as they should be in the bedroom. And they are told, “It’ll work itself out. Just give it time. These things happen all the time.” And so Mr. Natural waits for things to work themselves out.
After a few years, and realizing that things haven’t worked themselves out, and that there doesn’t appear to be any likelihood of things working themselves out, the GCM™ Mr. Natural starts praying for a Jedi Mind Trick™: “Help me,
Obi-Wan, Father, you’re my only hope.”
And after a few years, our padawan decides to speak up, and put feet to his prayers. He Milquetoasts his wife and requests, (oh so deferentially!), “Maybe, if it’s not too inconvenient, do you think that you might deign to have sex with me sometime in the next month?”
Mr. Natural’s antidote: The Student
“I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delecate, exotic fruit. Touch it, and the bloom is gone.” (Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest)
Despite the wittiness of Oscar Wilde, I have never understood the attitude that ignorance is helpful. But somehow, it appears to be one of the cornerstones of problem-solving. “Don’t worry about it. Things will turn out right, in the end.” But what if the end is merely a grateful release from a cheerless life?
The answer to problems that arise in a marriage is not Nature, but Nurture. The Student sits down with his wife and seeks to study the problem. Situations are discussed, attitudes are delved into, convictions are studied. In this way, the Student learns about his/her spouse. And then begins to study.
Once again, I find my verbose tendencies have run away with me, and this feels like a two-part post. I will finish this by explaining the Student and his resources.
to be continued…
* I realize that experts tell us that in up to 40% of marriage dealing with libido issues, the spouse with the higher drive is the wife. And, yes, I realize that, for the sake of these articles, I am using the societal archetype of males as the higher drive, frustrated spouse. I do not believe that this discounts what I am saying to refused and/or restricted wives. Yes, there may be a different set of challenges, but I don’t think a different skill set is the answer.