(Let me preface this post, and stress as strongly as I can, this one caveat. If the cause of sexual gatekeeping/refusal in your marriage is due to legitimate issues of the past, such as seriously bad teaching or the result of past abuse, then sexual reluctance is understandable. Understandable, yes, but not necessarily permanent. If it comes to light that there has been past physical or spiritual abuse, then it is incumbent upon both, and I stress, BOTH, spouses to be understanding of each other and to work on healing, so that the marriage can be put on right footing.)
I realize that I haven’t written a post for this blog in a while, and I guess I apologize for that,… er, sort of. Unlike many of the other marriage and sexuality bloggers (whom I truly enjoy and honor), I don’t see myself as a writer. Instead, I’m more like that old guy that you know of who gets himself in a state and then proceeds to grace the world with his wisdom, whether wanted or not.
One of my aids for writing is my idea folder on my laptop, which contains word processing files with snippets of ideas or quotes that I’ve culled over time that I thought, somewhere in the past, might be a good topic to think on and to write about. This is a post that is triggered by one of those older snippets. Continue reading
I just finished a series in which I attempted to bring balance to the discussion of Christian marriage and the validity of sometimes having to bring an end to a dysfunctional marriage by divorce. The springboard into that series was the attempt to provide an answer to the question “how much refusal is refusal,” and when does it justify separation and divorce.
In preparing for that series, I came across several “testimonies” from refused spouses who told of trying to have discussions with their refusers about the sorry state of their marriage bed, only to that these discussions turned back on them with accusations with a common theme–the refusing spouse accused the desirous spouse of wanting too much sex. (Just for your info, I’ve read stories in which both husbands and wives are accused of this, so it’s not solely a wife-specific complaint.) Continue reading
(This is the third of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2 & part 4.)
In this series of posts, I am addressing questions from a reader who asked if it were possible to quantify the amount of sexual refusal needed to justify labeling it as a violation of the marital covenant and therefore a just reason for divorce.
My first post stated that I accept as a given that there are four valid reasons for divorce, and not just the one, adultery, as most Christians believe. My last post pointed out that (in OT times and up to the time of Christ) refusal was stated by Jewish leaders as a reason for divorce, and I presented the view that refusal is a deliberate violation of the marriage vow of fidelity to your spouse. Continue reading
(This is the second of a four-part series; here are the links to part1, part 3, & part 4.)
In my last post, I started addressing a question or two put to me by a reader asking if it is kosher to consider sexual refusal as a valid reason for divorce, a la adultery. After all, he correctly noted, it only takes one act to commit adultery, whereas refusal is a long-term situation. At what point does it become “sexual immorality,” he asked. In fact, he asked that question again in response to my One Coin, Two Sides post:
There is a slight problem with the abandonment is equal to adultery argument in my opinion. The act of adultery along with sexual abuse (may as well throw that in for good measure) is sustained by a single act. A single act of adultery would be grounds for divorce and a single act of sexual abuse could mean a lengthy stay in jail. Now clearly a single act of refusal, even though it may be a break of the marriage covenant, wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow in most circles.
So when does refusal become abandonment and then possibly/maybe grounds for divorce,1-day, 2-weeks, 3-months, 9-months….?
I’m not apologizing for my last post on Sex And Resentment, but even as I was hitting the button to publish it, I felt that it wasn’t ‘complete.’ I’m not saying that what I wrote was wrong, and it’s not that I didn’t attempt to “speak the truth in love”; I did some heavy editing in order to pull back on my normal curmudgeonly-ness. But as I rehash the topic in my mind, I find that I am still somewhat uneasy in my mind about it.
All-wise Curmudgeon that I am, after I’ve written about a topic, I usually feel that I am done with it. I confess an affinity with L’il Abner’s mother, Mammy Yokum, who was known for her pronouncement, “I has spoken!” After all, as the old saying goes, “CSL said it, I believe, that settles it”, right? **
But this topic won’t let me be. Continue reading
(In this post, I use abbreviations for common terms; see sidebar.)
In Bad Teaching: “As Christ Loved The Church”, I wrote about how the Church has screwed up Paul’s teaching on LYWLCLTC™, and I think I demonstrated that what passes for marital advice today based Eph. 5:25-31 is just so much codswallop.
Yes, husbands are enjoined to love their wives “as Christ loved the Church,” but this biblical statement has been heated in the fervid minds of teachers and shaped into a cudgel with which to browbeat husbands into a meek submission to wife and children in the name of Christ. Husbands are enjoined to be more Christian than Christ ever was.
And recently, I have come across a couple of statements by husbands who tell of this same teaching appearing in yet another guise in their lives. Continue reading
In my post Curing vs. Healing, I discussed a fourth possible source for marital disconnect (separate from TAG), that of your own unintentional actions causing hurt and damage in the relationship. I made the recommendation that you read Chris Taylor’s (of Forgiven Wife) guest post, A Wife’s Heart, and our following discussion in order to learn how unintentional actions can cause rifts in a marriage.
That said, I want to offer a couple of caveats. Yes, if you discover that you are a source for the disconnect in your relationship, do make an effort to heal the rift. However, do not take on a burden that is not yours; own your actions, not her excuses. Continue reading
As a niche blogger addressing sexless marriages, most of my writing has been about bad situations that husbands (and denied wives) find themselves in. And as someone who suffers from that very male affliction, I-Can-Fix-This-itis, many of my posts not only address the problems, but give advice and solutions on how to work to address and change these situations. I’m the type of person that believes it doesn’t matter how much you want to talk about The Nail, removing the nail will solve the problem of headaches.
I do, however, understand that fixing is not the same as restoring, that curing is not the same thing as healing. They just aren’t the same. Continue reading
Just an odd thought: At what point in a marriage does it become acceptable for one spouse to rewrite the wedding vow from
I take you to be my lawful wedded wife/husband …, and forsaking all others keep myself only unto you,
… forsaking all others AND you, keep myself for me alone.
Many years ago, I made the following observation: Sermonizing is the sin of the deadly earnest, no matter what theological colors you may be wearing. As I have aged, all that I’ve observed of the world around me convinces me that I was wonderfully prescient back then.
For example, if your theology is Global Warming, then you come at the debate with the fervor of an Al Gore, demanding that anyone who disagrees with you be locked up or sent to re-education camps. And if your theology is abortion, then “By Billy Bedamned Hangtree, keep your laws off my body! Sorry, Kiddo, it sucks to be you ‘cause Mama wants to shake her groove thang!” Continue reading