How Colorblindness Can Destroy Your Marriage

(Image/ewao.com)

(Image/ewao.com)

What’s more damaging to relationships: Inventing problems that don’t actually exist, or denying the existence of those that do?

I felt like I was on another planet, sitting next to my wife in front of the marriage counselor.

Hearing her tell it, you’d think our marriage was a trainwreck.

Hearing her tell it, you’d think I neglected my wife, constantly choosing other things over her and our family.

Hearing her tell it, you’d think I was a shitty husband.

I knew she was wrong.

But I can’t be a shitty husband! Those are the guys who drink excessively, hit their wives or call them names. Those are the guys who gamble away the family savings account, are never home, sleep around, and do a bunch of drugs or whatever.

Right? If a bad guy showed up at the house, pointed a gun at us and said: “It’s either you or her,” I’d be terrified, sure, but I’m standing in front of her.

NEGLECT! That’s insane. What about all those guys who go out drinking with the guys every night? THAT is neglect. I don’t do things like that. So I can’t possibly be neglectful.

Our marriage couldn’t possibly be a trainwreck.

If our marriage was a trainwreck, SURELY I would want to get out of it, too. I mean, I don’t want anything to do with trainwrecks or subjecting myself or a child to anything horrible or dysfunctional.

After more than 30 years of living, I thought I had a decent handle on reality.

I had a clean bill of mental health. There was no reason to assume I was crazy or delusional. There was no reason to assume I was evil or out to cause damage.

In fact, there was every reason to assume I was a really nice guy who people mostly enjoyed being around. Given all of the horrible things that happen in the world, one might say my wife was lucky to have someone like me.

I had a hard time sitting there listening to her tell the marriage counselor all of the ways she considered me to be a substandard husband.

I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the really huge assholes out there, and how I wasn’t like them, and just how unfair it felt to sit there listening to her indict me in front of this stranger who doesn’t ever get to see what it’s REALLY like at home.

I was certain I wasn’t certifiably crazy.

I had ample evidence of people liking and trusting me.

It seemed clear by every measurable standard I knew of that I was a “good” and competent human being.

So if she’s saying there are relationship problems, and I’m saying there aren’t, my conclusion was that she must be mistaken. She had to be wrong.

Hearing her tell it, we had a lousy marriage. I took that personally, and spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself about it.

When I was asked about the marriage, I only had good things to say. We were two good people who loved one another and could count on the other to always be there.

“In fact, the only things we ever fight about are these little things she wants to turn into big problems,” I’d say. “If she’d stop finding new things to be upset about, everything would be perfect.”

Thought Exercise: Guilty or Innocent?

Imagine being accused of murdering 30 people. Or of being a Columbian drug lord. Or anything really that is so far outside the confines of your reality that when someone accuses you of it, you can just laugh.

When people accuse us of legitimately outrageous things, we don’t generally get angry. You can’t say “Hey Matt! You’re an asshole because you tried to release a poisonous gas in that shopping mall in Berlin, Germany in 1973!!!” and get any kind of rise out of me.

I’ve never possessed poisonous gas (nor tried to harm anyone). I’ve never been to Berlin. And I was still six years shy of being alive in 1973.

It’s laughable. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t hurt to be accused of outrageous things.

So, what might it mean that when my wife accused me of being a shitty husband, that it did hurt and cause a bunch of discomfort?

I’m Going to Say This As Gently As I Can

You’re probably colorblind and it’s probably damaging your relationships.

Imagine the world before vision specialists were able to prove colorblindness is real.

How would two people looking at the same colored object ever come to an agreement on what they were experiencing?

Person #1 says it’s orange. Person #2 says it’s green. Person #1 says it’s yellow. Person #2 says it’s pink.

They’re both correct.

AND they’re both incorrect.

Because as much as some people don’t want to admit it, perspective, context, and frame of reference DO impact how true or false something is from time to time.

Maybe the reason you and your partner are both so certain of yourselves while you continue to have The Same Fight over and over and over again is because you’re BOTH right.

It’s frustrating when you know something is green but the other person insists it’s orange. But I think reasonable people can question whether those disagreements are grounds for breaking up marriages and families.

But what about when the “colorblindness” is about more than just identifying color?

What if the person who sees green is being hurt?

I’m not talking about bullshit hurt, either. I’m not talking about crying over spilled milk. I’m talking about situations where someone takes damage on the inside.

Is it really so hard to imagine a scenario where the person who sees orange ignores the person seeing green’s cries for change or help over something they can’t see, feel or experience for themselves?

When You Talk: Do You Want to Win, or Understand?

Another thing people don’t always like talking about is the topic of behavioral traits by gender. Some traits are prevalent in men. Others are prevalent in women. It creates arguments when people are jerks about it. I’m not trying to be. I’m just saying someone smarter than me noticed how men and women tend to communicate during conversation and it’s worth thinking about if you dislike divorce, missing your children, and frequent sobbing.

I was trying to read about football when Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart introduced me to communication concepts I’d never heard of before: The Rapport Dimension and The Status Dimension. In short, the “rapport dimension” is about using conversation to connect with the person you’re speaking with, and the “status dimension” is about looking awesome by sounding funny or smart or whatever.

As you might have already guessed, women more often use conversation as an attempt to build rapport with the person they’re speaking with. And men? Men often use conversation as an attempt to prove how brilliant and desirable and successful they are. Men often use conversation to increase their “status.”

Pardon the Inceptiony nature of this, but Stuart’s article references a Vox article about presidential campaigning which included a linguist’s observations that caught Stuart’s attention. From the Vox piece:

“’Listening is something women value almost above everything else in relationships,’ says Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown linguist who studies differences in how men and women communicate. ‘The biggest complaint women make in relationships is, “He doesn’t listen to me.”

“Tannen’s research suggests a reason for the difference: Women, she’s found, emphasize the ‘rapport dimension’ of communication — did a particular conversation bring us closer together or further apart? “Men, by contrast, emphasize the ‘status dimension’ — did a conversation raise my status compared to yours?

“Talking is a way of changing your status: If you make a great point, or set the terms of the discussion, you win the conversation. Listening, on the other hand, is a way of establishing rapport, of bringing people closer together; showing you’ve heard what’s been said so far may not win you the conversation, but it does win you allies.”

Just like the people we love who are diagnosed with colorblindness, maybe we need to learn how to trust that some of their experiences are fundamentally different than ours.

We don’t say: “Haha, you stupid moron!!! Of course it’s orange and not green!!! Dumbass!!!”

We understand that they literally see a different thing. We have context for the disconnect.

We don’t assume we know what it’s like to see what they see.

So we ask good questions. We listen.

Not to “win” and look awesome. Simply to understand. To build rapport. To connect.

Maybe there’d be a lot less brokenness that way.

Maybe then it would seem like we’re all living on the same planet.

Maybe then it wouldn’t matter so much what colors we see.

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143 thoughts on “How Colorblindness Can Destroy Your Marriage

  1. zombiedrew2 says:

    A problem with communication. It starts with one person having an idea, but then they take that idea and encode it through their own lens of beliefs and experiences in order to make a message. The message gets transmitted to another person, who then has to decode that message through THEIR beliefs and experiences in order to derive meaning from it.

    It’s like the game of telephone we played as kids, where a message gets passed around a room and often doesn’t even resemble its initial intent when it finally gets to the end.

    Even with only two people, we do this all the time.

    That’s why I really like Chapmans book on love languages. His main idea was, there are different ways to express and experience love, and the biggest failing that happens in relationships is one person expressing love the way they want to experience it, and then assuming that will be fulfilling to thier partner. Instead, we need to find out what matters to our partner, and try to express love to them in the way that will matter most to them. EVEN WHEN IT’S NOT THE NATURAL FORM OF EXPRESSION FOR US.

    Relationships aren’t about me, and they aren’t about you. Then need to be about an us (where both me and you matter). When they aren’t, and the focus is primarily on what it does for me, it’s bound to run into issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lissy says:

      Drew! it’s good to hear from you-it’s been a while. How’s it going? Any clarity on the decision you were struggling with a few weeks ago?

      Like

      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Hey Lissy, been away a fair bit lately – a couple weeks doing a west coast road trip and I just returned from a wedding out east. Kids are back to school now, so life is back to “normal”.

        As for clarity, not so much. In some ways yes, but nothing has really changed. Knowing/feeling in your heart that you know what the best road forward is, and actually taking actions to facilitate that change are two different things. Especially when the only change you have the power to make isn’t one that you want.

        I guess a part of me hopes that she will resolve her personal issues, at least enough to acknowledge that I matter in the relationship. Thing is, even as I write this I know it won’t happen – because my inaction on things is exactly what enables her to keep shutting me out and focusing on herself.

        Not fun, but I guess I can’t complain because I know any changes will ultimately have to be made by me and I haven’t made them. So the continuation of a less than happy situation is more or less my own choice. Well, not really. But faced with two kinda crappy choices I’ve continued with the one that I view as the “least bad”.

        Thanks for asking.

        Like

  2. anitvan says:

    Equally important is learning to accept as genuine rise expressions made in my non-native language.

    E.g…gifts is at the bottom of my list and the top of my husband’s.

    One year, when my husband was working in tire sales, I got a set of aluminum American Racing wheels for my birthday, and a set of low-profile whiteletter Firestone tires for my little red two-seater. I guess some wives would be unimpressed with such gifts; I was charmed ☺ It was so quintessentially “him”, a gift from his heart, that I couldn’t help but be!

    Plus, they were *really* sexy wheels.

    Like

    • “like”…Why is there no Like button online?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      Yes!

      Love *languages*!

      We may be pretty fluent in one or two of the love languages, but we can still learn the other ones, at least somewhat. even if they’re totally foreign to us at first (learnt that from Teal Swan).

      I’ve said it before, I even notice love languages with my mother and her husband’s two dogs. They both like quality time (hiking etc), but then one of them really likes physical affection much more than the other, while the other one really loves gifts, as she just loves getting treats (and she isn’t very food oriented otherwise). 8)

      And I’ve also said this before (this may be very obvious to everyone who’s a parent, so sorry if it’s totally redundant to say this), but I think it’s good advice for parents to be mindful of their kid’s love languages (again Teal Swan). So you can both give and receive love with them. As I’m sure we all know, It doesn’t just hurt to not receive love the way we want/need, it can hurt a lot to not have the love you give be acknowledged aswell.

      Like

  3. Tootsie Roll says:

    Matt,

    I’ve been following your blog for a while and I love it. You are spot on on everything you’ve written. This piece in particular really spoke to me. Ive been married a long time and it’s pleasant. Not great, not bad. Pleasant…boring. I see so many things I can do to change but at this time I don’t really want to. Probably the wrong attitude. But this blog has given me something to think about-I always think “if he would do this or that, things would be better or I would be happier.” But what if he is like your ex wife? And I’m not seeing things through his lenses. Anyway, thanks for the awesome posts. I look forward to every one, and even reread your older ones.

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  4. Lissy says:

    I am going to remember this-when I get angry/defensive about an accusation, it means I may actually be guilty as charged…because otherwise I wouldn’t get angry or defensive.

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    • linds01 says:

      Lissy,
      But then sometimes people accuse because they need to blame someone, whether you are guilty or not.
      If done often enough, I would likely get mad and defensive, even if I were innocent!

      Like

    • Tina says:

      I’d echo Lindsay – getting mad / defensive is a signal to look deeper. It may be that you are guilty of the offense. It may be though, that the accusation is pushing some other button. Either way – digging into the discomfort and really understanding it is helpful. For me I usually find one of two things – A) Matt’s right and I am defensive because I know I bear some responsibility for the problem and I don’t want to face it or B) the person is trespassing on a boundary which I am still having a hard time enforcing. The healthy response is very very different depending on which of those two is actually prompting the emotional reaction.

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        “Either way – digging into the discomfort and really understanding it is helpful. For me I usually find one of two things – A) Matt’s right and I am defensive because I know I bear some responsibility for the problem and I don’t want to face it or B) the person is trespassing on a boundary which I am still having a hard time enforcing. The healthy response is very very different depending on which of those two is actually prompting the emotional reaction.”

        Yes! Great comment Tina!

        Like

  5. Well said, Matt. Deborah Tannen’s book, “You Just Don’t Understand,” is what first introduced me to the idea that men and women are simply different and it changed everything. Often men really do focus on “winning” in conversation, while women are far more interested in building rapport.

    So, submission in conversation can be a way women have of not triggering that male desire to win, to compete, to prove his status to you. There’s an old fashioned saying, when you lose you win. Ideally what happens in relationships is that women learn how to surrender and men learn how to listen.

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    • linds01 says:

      IB,
      Hey. I agree that men and women are different. But again -the solution for women to submit and “let the man win”, puts a lot of onus on the woman to change, while none on the man.
      I think there needs to be mutual submission.
      I, and I am sure others here, may still be feeling tender about this topic, so we don’t need to continue on it. But I did want to say Something.

      Like

      • Well, when women soften their tone, men tend to start listening. When women drop the rope in power struggle. Men tend to stop resisting and start cooperating. It makes a lot more sense to me than waiting for men to change or expecting them to completely reprogram their communication styles.

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        • linds01 says:

          I get that, IB. I hate fighting, so would likely do that anyway. I know power struggles happen, but I don’t think it is always the woman who has to drop the rope. Especially if it ISNT the right thing to do. ( Not necessarily just two people arguing over something benign, like Chinese vs. Italian…).

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        • Matt says:

          As much as I agree with Linds’ observation that it’s not fair to expect women to have to bear the responsibility for changing, I do feel obligated to say that what IB describes here is my experience.

          When my wife was angry and combative, I was combative. When she was anything else, I was too.

          Every situation and couple is going to look different.

          But as a general rule, if “softening tones” can be demonstrated to contribute positively to the health of an individual relationship, and perhaps is the “kinder” way to communicate, it seems like a reasonable consideration. Pragmatic, really.

          But I also understand that when you say the same thing a hundred times with the same unsatisfactory results, raising ones voice or using harsher words and tones is an obvious option for trying to accurately convey feelings and promote change.

          Effective or not, I can understand why wives lose their shit, and stop trying to tip-toe around things that are making their lives harder or less pleasant due to thoughtless behavior, or worse.

          Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        Not trying to win the conversation, I don’t think, or maybe I am…??
        Personally, for me, if my husband/partner had some insight, or strength in some area I would likely easily “submit” to him in making those decisions. It would be a matter of trusting him to make the right decisions.
        I don’t think that means that every single decision needs to automatically be the husbands to make.
        And, hopefully, in conversation, most of those would not be revolved around a topic that needed to be “Won”.
        But, I don’t know…
        If a guy tries to continually make comments about how he is right and everyone else in the world is an idiot, I would likely start pointing out everyway he is wrong, just to take him down a few notches.
        I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you wanted to continue a relationship with them, though… :)

        Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        I don’t know if y’all know but IB’s blog has a lot of good stuff and its always super honest. IB is a woman who knows how to own her own stuff! :)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB said: “So, submission in conversation can be a way women have of not triggering that male desire to win, to compete, to prove his status to you. There’s an old fashioned saying, when you lose you win. Ideally what happens in relationships is that women learn how to surrender and men learn how to listen.”

      Wow, that’s a wise woman there. Very impressive. Any woman who has this kind of awareness is likely to have a happier marriage than average, imho. Or at least one with less fights.

      One thing I would add. If I were advising a newly married young lady, I’d tell her not only to be quick to apologize, but to adopt a physically submissive posture while doing it. For example, if he’s sitting in a chair she should kneel or squat down beside him, take his hand in hers, and apologize…sweetly and softly, acting as femininely as possible. Whether she thinks she was in the wrong or not, that part doesn’t matter. Just sweetly apologize and remind him how much she lives and respects him.

      See, here’s how the male psyche works – her doing that will trip his triggers of love and affection for her. Instantly, his heart will melt and his walls will come down. Seriously, he can’t help it….it’s like catnip to him. Next thing you know, he’s hugging her, telling her how sorry he is too, pledging his love to her, and probably even agreeing to whatever she wanted that started the fight in the first place.

      Wise women know this. For those wives here who are unaware, just try this as an experiment next time you have an argument or fight with the hubby. I’m think you’ll be amazed at how well it works. This should be something mothers teach their daughters.

      P.S, IB mentioned the male desire to compete. And that’s true – but only against other men (and himself). Men don’t want to compete against women – they want to love them and protect them. It’s hard wired into us.

      Like

      • cracTpot says:

        So wait, are we suggesting manipulation here? I’m really confused. Why are we even labeling some of these suggestions with gender? ‘When people soften their tone, people tend to listen’. I’m constantly preaching this to my kids. This is not gender specific. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, a boy or a girl. Calmly stating your needs/frustrations is going to get you a lot farther than whining or shouting. It should NEVER be about winning; it should be about identifying the problem and fixing it. We aren’t race horses on a track with blinders on, just trying to get to the finish line first. Life is about the experience and that takes awareness, not competitiveness. Things start to go sideways when you get so worked up that you’re not thinking clearly. When you’re so exhausted that you forget diplomacy and just blurt out the first hurtful, angry thing that comes to mind. Ideally your loved ones will understand that you’re at the end of your rope. Ideally your loved one will SEE that you’re at the end of your rope. Unfortunately too often they are also worked up and exhausted and running around making poor decisions. That’s when it’s important that the foundation of that relationship is strong enough to withstand the storm. But if one part of that foundation is just smiling sweetly and playing submissive just to get their way, where is the balance? Where is the trust? What about respect? Aren’t those corner stones to any strong relationship?

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      • Jeff Strand says:

        “This is not gender specific. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, a boy or a girl.”

        I submit you don’t really believe that. Because if you do, you should be happy to have the woman step in front of the man when they are confronted by a mugger. Or have the woman go investigate when you hear something go bump in the house in the middle of the night. Plus, you should not view a man who refuses to work to support his family any worse than a woman in the same situation.

        But almost no one agrees with that. So you can’t have it both ways. Men and women ARE different – just as people have always known. Trying to pretend this isn’t the case is (imho) a prescription for problems in marriage.

        Like

    • Lissy says:

      Something doesn’t quite feel right about this. I agree that a woman “submitting” in conversation can defuse the male desire to “win” the conversation. What bothers me, I think, is the notion that it is what it is and women need to be the ones to change in a fundamental way.

      Not only does this seem to put the woman in complete control of the man’s response, but also seems disrespectful of men in general-they are slaves to their biology.

      But surely men have conversations with other men, and not just with their wives? What happens when there is no woman involved to “submit”? The conversations are always just a pissing contest?

      Proverbs 15:1 says “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” James 1:19 says “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger”.
      It’s funny-these are addressed to everyone-there isn’t one scripture for women and one for men.

      So maybe what’s bothering me is that I’m only hearing one side of it-women, work on being gentle in conversation, because the men just can’t help themselves. (And most women probably do need to work on this).

      What’s missing is: men, you need to realize you escalate and try to win conversations-watch out for that and figure out how to have productive conversations.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Lissy, it’s not just men…female psychology comes into play too.

        For example, a husband who is always quick to apologize to his wife (regardless of whether he is at fault) will soon come to be viewed by her as weak. She will begin losing respect for him, even if only subconsciously. In the old days, they would have called him “hen pecked”.

        The same dynamic does NOT work in reverse. For the wife to be quick to apologize, there is literally no downside. He won’t lose respect for her – on the contrary, his heart will melt and his love for her will increase. It’s just a result of men and women being different and complementary, not identical.

        For those who are skeptical, try out the experiment I recommended in my prior post. See for yourself how well it works.

        Like

      • Lissy says:

        “Whether she thinks she was in the wrong or not, that part doesn’t matter. Just sweetly apologize”

        No one is saying the man should always apologize. Maybe the person who is “wrong” should apologize instead of the wife lying when she’s not wrong. I actually have more respect for a person who can admit when they are wrong, not less.

        “Next thing you know, he’s hugging her, telling her how sorry he is too, pledging his love to her, and probably even agreeing to whatever she wanted that started the fight in the first place.”

        Well, that’s interesting-a wife wanting something is the cause of fights?

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Jeff,
        You said “The same dynamic does NOT work in reverse. For the wife to be quick to apologize, there is literally no downside. He won’t lose respect for her – on the contrary, his heart will melt and his love for her will increase. It’s just a result of men and women being different and complementary, not identical.”
        Ok, I agree that men and women are different. I can even agree that as adults we have to learn how best to communicate (with softer tones and non-confrontational attitude). But, I would just like to point out here that your understanding of “literally no downside” may be a uniquely male position.
        Things escalate, people escalate- especially when one feels unheard, as Matt mentioned.
        Also, we should maybe step away from terms like “always”. No one is always right, or always wrong. It would also be true that men would not respect and disregard the woman’s viewpoint if she always just agreed, deferred or apologized when it wasn’t appropriate.
        I’m not saying she should cross her arms in a huff and refuse to apologize. But if she quickly said “I’m wrong” every time he got upset (just because he was upset) then she is not letting him own any of his errors.
        I am not for “rubbing someone’s nose in it”, and I’m not for fighting until he agrees – but it would do a dis-service to him (or myself) to deny an issue that is a real issue for the sake of protecting ego. That is the worst thing one could do.
        I am for allowing a space for whomever to be able to admit whatever error, and to be a support and not demean the person humble enough to admit the error.
        That’s when you know you are in this thing together.

        Here is the message I would give to young men who were about to marry: you don’t have to always be right, and you don’t have to conquer the world (unless you want to). We just want to know you are there with us, and that “we” are important.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Donkey says:

        Hey Lissy!

        If someone believes women should submit in marriage, they tend to view a lot throught that lense.

        I believe in mutually respectful partnerships (but as always, people should be free to choose something different for themselves should they wish it), and I view most things through that lense.

        And the Gottman-research is on my side, as it shows that men who accept influence have marriages that do well. :)

        I’ve mentioned Brent Atkinson many times on this blog, and I first hear about it from Gottmanfan. What I’ve read from him about (mutually) resepectful negotiation is AMAZING! It tells you what to do every step of the way, even if you use a “soft start up” and your partner continues to be disresepectful /dismissive. The catch is that a high degree of differentiation is necessary to be able to do it though. And of course, there’s no guarantee that everything will work out, but I can see that his approach would drastically increase the odds.

        Unlike IB, I do not see men and women’s different communication styles as evidence of men and women being inherently different (though I do believe there are some biological differences), I see it as a result of socialisation.

        I read something else about how when men talk about things they know about they use dominant eye contact patterns. Same for women, when they talk about something they know more about. But when men and women talk about something they both know about the same amount about, men use dominant eye contact patterns and women don’t. Again, some see this as a result of biological differences, I do not, I see it as a result of social privilige in this aspect.

        I say, let’s get to a truly non sexist partnership oriented society and live in that for a few hundres years, and then let’s see what biological differences are left. :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        What IS the mans responsibility to change? (Besides accepting influence?)
        Maybe men need to assess the achievement/ win attitudes place in a love relationship.
        I get the argument is that this is hard wired in men, and women shouldn’t trip the switch.
        But, really- shouldnt men look at how a competitive attitude in marriage may be counter productive?
        Can women change the emotional need to be heard and in relationship any more or less than men can change their need to be on top?
        * Disclosure:
        I can see how what IB (and o-lord even) Jeff are saying could be considered a bit of wisdom if we are really talking about what works in a relationship. But what needs to be put at the top of all of this is the preservation of the “we”, with mutual health of both the “me’s”. Being intuned with your partners reactions/responses (hopefully at non-confrontational times)and responding to that is the job of both partners. I’d you want to say that is how women show respect to man, and how men show love to a woman- fine. But it is something they each need to participate in.
        Submission isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. But it can be used to a bad end.
        So instead of arguing submission for submission’s sake, the concept should be couched in “what everyone should be aware of in their relationship” ( and not a broad statement of all women should be subordinate to men)…
        I think that is how most people hear “submission”- as one is subordinate.
        Does IB, Jeff or Mom have a better definition?

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      • “Not only does this seem to put the woman in complete control of the man’s response….”

        This made me laugh, Lissy. Why are we saying this like it’s a bad thing?

        Control may be a bit of a harsh word, so let’s go with influence. Women through our behavior can have a great deal of influence over how men respond to us. So it’s kind of the epitome of female empowerment to work within the framework of biology in order to get the desired response we want and need from men.

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      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Not sure if this is going to appear in the right spot, but I’ve got to say – reading through the above thread is pretty exhausting.

        This isn’t a knock against anything above, but I really don’t understand why all this stuff is so difficult.

        What is someones goal? To “be right”? To “win”? Or to have a relationship that is respectful and fulfilling to both people?

        I don’t know, maybe I’m just wired wrong or something, but I’ve never liked games, or pretense. People shouldn’t have to “submit”, and people should be able to discuss issues and problems with an understanding that they are actually trying to make the relationship the best it can be for both people – and not trying to get “their way”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • linds01 says:

          Thank you, Drew- yes – in conflicts, disagreements and just decision making should be in the context of ” I love this person, and I love our relationship”
          When those things are looked at in “my way” views, there may be submission- but there won’t be peace if there is resentment ect. From one partner feeling there is no choice but to give up.
          What are most relational power struggles about, and what can we learn about each other in them?

          Liked by 1 person

          • zombiedrew2 says:

            I have always viewed conflict as simply a collision of two viewpoints. And as Matt has put, often neither viewpoint is more “right” or “wrong” than the other.

            Seen that way, conflict is really an opportunity for you to deepen your understandings of one another.

            Some conflict can be resolved, others can’t – and are just differences in who you are. For the ones that can’t, it’s really a question of how important that is, and if you can accept that difference in the other person.

            No relationship is without conflict, so there are always things we just need to accept about each other.

            Seems like it should be simple. But the practice? Where human nature has people getting defensive, combatative, petty, etc. We seem to make things much harder than they should be.

            Like

        • Matt says:

          Agreed completely.

          To me, the idea of “winning” or being “right” shouldn’t be the goal of most conversations with anyone, and almost never with your spouse.

          The goal of every interaction with your spouse should be to make the marriage/relationship stronger.

          No exceptions.

          I know I operate in Ideal Scenario Land quite often, but it begs the question: Why would you EVER marry someone who every time you were having a conversation with them, they were trying to win it?

          If you can’t care more about US than about “winning” our conversation, then I’m just not interested in exchanging wedding vows with you.

          It’s confusing to me why someone would take any other approach, but in the spirit of the conversation, I’m open to trying to understand.

          Liked by 1 person

        • linds01 says:

          Ok, I’ve probably commented too much. I think I’ve explained my position. When is the point where we acknowledge the difference in thought and maybe try to view it from the other (instead of just our own) in the context of the subjects brought up here?

          Like

          • anitvan says:

            Ok, I have no idea where this comment is going to land in the thread, but this is in response to the “submission in conversation” discussion.

            In conflict, your goal should NOT be to win the other person over to your position.

            It should be to FIND and AFFIRM the truth in what the other is saying.

            In my experience, it changes the whole tone of difficult discussions from combative to collaborative.

            So in answer to Lindsey’s question “when is the point where we acknowledge the difference and try to view it from the other (side)?”, my answer would be, “If you’re smart, IMMEDIATELY.”

            This type of behaviour, to me, is a mark of TRUE submission – one that truly puts the other before self.

            Regardless of their gender.

            Like

      • Donkey says:

        ZombieDrew, I really appreciate your sentiments. It’s nice to hear that not all men wish for a woman to be submissive.

        I really agree with you, but the problem is when one or both in a couple don’t truly operate from “how can we make the relationship respectful and fulfilling for both of us”, either momentarily or on a long term basis. Sadly, we don’t live in a world filled with emotionally mature and healthy people.

        And sometimes people have conflicting wishes and they don’t wish to compromise for whatever reason, they don’t see that they’re being unreasonable in not being willing to meet their partner half way etc.

        And what should we do then?

        Should the woman submit, and hope that this inspires the man to consider her wishes? And if he doesn’t she should accept that since her role in the marriage is to submit, even if that means she doesn’t get her needs/wants met to the same extent as her spouse?

        Or vice versa, should the man submit, hoping that the woman will consider his wishes, and if she doesn’t, he should accept that since his role is to submit. even if that means he doesn’t get his needs/wants met to the same extent as his spouse?

        Or, when one person regardless of gender isn’t willing to compromise, should the other person respectfully stand up for themselves and insist in skilled ways on equal regard?

        I vote for the third option, and I’ll freely admit, I think this should be the norm in society. 8) If nothing else, it’s the middle ground between the other two sides (male led, female led), and so offers the shortest distance to either direction, should someone wish for one person to submit to another based on gender. Again, I highly recommend Brent Atkinson, what I’ve read by him is fabulous. Other people recommend David Burns feeling good together, I haven’t read that.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey said: “And sometimes people have conflicting wishes and they don’t wish to compromise for whatever reason, they don’t see that they’re being unreasonable in not being willing to meet their partner half way etc.

        And what should we do then?”

        That’s the question you have to answer. In a traditional marriage, as you know, the answer is that in the final analysis the husband makes the decision and the wife accepts it. Of course, the husband does not do this as some kind of tyrant – he takes her side into account…but then he has the responsibility to make the final decision that is best for the whole family (not just for himself).

        But you favor an egalitarian marriage. So there really is no answer as to how you resolve it when both are convinced they’re right and won’t back down. All they can do then is have a conflict over it with no resolution. And this is precisely why in every other field of human endeavor you have a heirarchy. If your boss at work makes a decision, you don’t fight about it – you submit. Same for a student and their teacher, someone in the military, working on a ship, a judge in his courtroom, etc. Someone has to be recognized as being able to make the final decision.

        Otherwise, it doesn’t work. So I think it’s on you to answer your own question, since you are the one promoting egalitarian marriage. And btw, wouldn’t this apply to the parents and children too (once they’ve reached the age of reason)?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Also, someone upthread said the goal is not to prove you’re right and acquire points. And I agree – it’s to have a happy, successful marriage and joyful home life.

        For the married ladies here, I challenge you to try out my experiment. Even just once, just to see what happens. See if the results aren’t so much more to your liking than feeling you’re proving some feminist point by standing your ground, even at the cost of doing more damage to your marriage.

        (I’ll reiterate the experiment here, briefly. Next time you have an argument/fight, walk away and go to another room…let things calm down for 10 mins. Then go back to your hubby and assume a physically submissive posture, which basically means you are at a lower level than him. So if he’s standing, you sit next to him. If he’s sitting, you squat or kneel or crouch down next to him.

        Then in a sweet, soft voice tell him you’re sorry you fought with him. Tell him you love and respect him. Don’t even address the actual topic you argued about or try to justify the position you held. Just tell him you’re sorry for fighting with him, and you love and respect him. Then see how he reacts.)

        If he reacts with empathy and love, (as I believe most will) then you know you have a good husband. In which case, you will see it on his face how his heart melts and his walls come down…and he sees you as the sweet girl he married. He will probably respond with compliments of his own towards you, that will make you feel loved and cherished. The fight itself will probably seem pretty unimportant, and in any case, you both will be in a new frame of mind that greatly favors compromise.

        I would be really interested to hear the results of this if anyone here decides to try out the experiment. What you got to lose?

        P.S. Laura Doyle talks about an example from her life. Nothing major, but little things can add up to big things. She stopped criticizing her husband’s driving. If he took a wrong turn and picked a route that might take 5 mins longer to get to the destination, she started just keeping her mouth shut. She said she was amazed at how just doing that helped their relationship.

        And when people said, “well that sounds good for him, but how do you benefit?”, she answered that she was overjoyed to have benefitted by having an improved marriage and a husband who clearly was re-connecting with her more. So that’s how it started for her, before she became famous and wrote the best-seller “The Surrendered Wife”. Just with a little experiment like that, and she liked the results and the positive impact on her marriage and she wanted more.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Jeff Strand

        “But you favor an egalitarian marriage. So there really is no answer as to how you resolve it when both are convinced they’re right and won’t back down. All they can do then is have a conflict over it with no resolution. And this is precisely why in every other field of human endeavor you have a heirarchy. If your boss at work makes a decision, you don’t fight about it – you submit. Same for a student and their teacher, someone in the military, working on a ship, a judge in his courtroom, etc. Someone has to be recognized as being able to make the final decision.”

        No problem. For arguments sake, let’s say we’re here dealing with a real life conflict and that folks aren’t reacting out of their childhood wounds or something else.

        Three solutions in an egalitarian marriage:
        – Person A gets their way on this conflict, person B gets their way on a different conflict.
        – They find a third solution they both can accept
        – They meet half way.

        Since the data shows that marriages that are happy and tend to last are the ones where the husband accepts influence (the Gottman research), I’d say the onus is on you to prove that marriages where the woman submits to the husband work better. Even though you and Laura Doyle and others have different experiences that are equally valid as mine, the numbers still show marriages tend to last and do well when the husband accepts influence from the wife.

        “And btw, wouldn’t this apply to the parents and children too (once they’ve reached the age of reason)?”

        I’m not quite sure what you mean. Within reason, children should submit to their parents, yes. But not when the children become adults, then they should be free to live their own lives in my opinions.

        Like I’ve said before, yes hierarchies are sometimes necessary. And when necessary, within a marriage, one person can be the boss in one area, and the other in another area. I do not however think hierarchies should be based on gender or race.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        …but I’ll say though, I try not to be a slave to data.

        So you could argue that even though the numbers show that marriages that are happy and last are the ones where the husband accepts influence, that just goes to show how far off kilter our society has become from the gender roles you think are right.

        Similarly, let’s say the data showed that marriages that tend to last and be happy are the ones where the woman submits. I could argue that that’s because of gender socialization where men are taught that their self worth depends on them being superior in power relative to women, or that they’re simply not taught how to empathize and compromise. I could conclude that this just shows how far off kilter our society has become from the gender roles *I* think are right.

        At the end of the day, you think women should submit to men in marriage. I think marriages should be democratic (but that people should be free to choose a male led or female led relationship should they wish it).

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey, not sure what you mean by the husband “accepts influence”. I would think and hope that’s the case in all marriages.

        I certainly listen to my wife and take her wishes into account – doesn’t that mean I’m accepting influence from her? She may even get me to change my mind on something I’ve previously decided, if I think she’s got a good point. Certainly that’s “accepting influence”.

        It’s just that we follow what are basically considered traditional gender roles in the context of our marriage (e.g., I’m the breadwinner, she focuses on the domestic front)…and I have the final authority and responsibility on any serious decision. This doesn’t mean she has to ask my permission on what to buy at the grocery store, or that she is some kind of slave or robot.

        You can see this, right?

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Accepting influence can also mean holding someone else’s viewpoint as valid, even if you don’t see, understand or agree with it. It’s what you need in order to empathize.
          So taking information in for decision making may be part of accepting influence, but it isn’t the whole sha-bang.
          You noted that your wife has changed your mind at some point, when her point was valid.
          What accepting influence is talking about is seeing past what you consider valid, to see what she considers valid. (even if you don’t agree, or make your decisions based on that)-its just accepting that she has a view point that is uniquely hers, and she has a right to it. …then taking interest in that viewpoint would be related to loving her…you would be telling her what she thinks and feels matters to YOU (actually doing this is way more effective than just telling her this). That is accepting influence.
          Does that make sense?

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        “Donkey, not sure what you mean by the husband “accepts influence”. I would think and hope that’s the case in all marriages.

        I certainly listen to my wife and take her wishes into account – doesn’t that mean I’m accepting influence from her? She may even get me to change my mind on something I’ve previously decided, if I think she’s got a good point. Certainly that’s “accepting influence”.”

        Yes, from what you describe here, this is accepting influence

        “It’s just that we follow what are basically considered traditional gender roles in the context of our marriage (e.g., I’m the breadwinner, she focuses on the domestic front)…and I have the final authority and responsibility on any serious decision. This doesn’t mean she has to ask my permission on what to buy at the grocery store, or that she is some kind of slave or robot.

        You can see this, right?”

        Yes, I can see that. And for the record, it’s perfectly possible to have (so called) traditional gender roles in terms of division of labour and still be egalitarian.

        The thing is, the view you present here is a much more moderate view of what wifely submission should look like than what you have presented before. You’ve previously said things (if I remember correctly) such as a husband should consider the wishes of his wife as just another piece of data for him to consider before he makes the desicions. That is not compatible with husbands accepting influence.

        Can you see that?

        I’m also wondering about this: You’ve previously said that my views (and Travis’) on marriage are not worth listening to because I’m not christian. I have shared with you that Laura Doyle, who’s work you refer to often, is not christian either (to the best of my knowledge). By your previously stated criteria, you should not be listening to her marriage advice either. So I’m wondering if you’ve changed your criteria so that you now think that marriage advice from non christians can be valid? Or if you’re selectively applying that criteriea (which, of course, would make it logically incoherent)?

        Hope you’re having a good evening.

        Like

      • fromscratchmom says:

        Taking another couple of minutes to myself here because y’all are a little bit addictive. ;)

        Without reading every word of the whole exhausting thing I just wanted to say that I have had a different personal experience from losing respect for men who apologize. but then again there may be a difference here between “always apologizing” and just quick to apologize when you should be. If I guy struggles with his temper and he doesn’t want to be “always apologizing” maybe he ought to get his temper under control better so he isn’t so often in the wrong.

        Also I’m not claiming my experience should be generalized. But from my point of view, that is just weird, unchristian, and insanely unhealthy and hypocritical for a woman to want a man to be a incapable of admitting when he is wrong and facing it and repenting of it. But I have known more abusive men than anything else in close relationships and I know that women and children do not respect the authoritarian-abuser-I’m-lording-my-authority-over-you style of husband/father role even when they do submit to it. They leave or they just learn how to submit anyway and recognize that the guy is a tyrant and not in any respect headed toward heaven nor in any way worthy of anyone ever thinking well of him.

        And Drew, I’m so glad to see you here! I am wired wrong too maybe! lol

        I’d love to have integrity and openness and genuineness in a relationship even though I’d have no problem with IB’s original comment and would love to try it if I ever met a good guy some day. I’d obviously have to be simpatico as far as our general outlook that he wouldn’t see it as a game or as manipulation. And there do seem to be plenty of people in this world that can only see “fake” in niceness and sweetness. Personally, I can’t see the downside to being sweet and loving. It totally fits with what I’d want it to be safe to do in a relationship. And hey, relationships that are not safe are for the birds. amiright?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey said: “You’ve previously said things (if I remember correctly) such as a husband should consider the wishes of his wife as just another piece of data for him to consider before he makes the desicions. That is not compatible with husbands accepting influence.”

        Yes, it is. Actually, it’s the very definition. I’m considering her wishes, just as I’m considering all the other factors involved in the decision.

        Not accepting influence would be only considering all the other data, and ignoring her wishes. Which is not what I said.

        To give a quick example. When we bought our current house, she obviously had opinions on that, since this is going to be our family’s home. Of course I took those wishes of hers to heart, as I want her to be happy in her home. But I also took into account other data, like my budget, the seller being willing or not to offer financing, insurance requirements, etc. In the end, it’s my decision and my responsibility, yes. And I and I alone made the decision.

        And you know what? Years later, she still tells me very often how much she loves the house and how “things always work best for me when I just listen to my husband, like all wives should”. That makes me feel good too, knowing she’s happy….ya know?

        Hope that helped.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Hello again Jeff,

        Thanks for responding. Very well, we will disagree about what accepting influence means. I believe my view is more aligned with John Gottman’s view (and if so, it would follow that his statistics rely upon something closer to my definition than yours).

        I’m still waiting on your response to this point:
        “I’m also wondering about this: You’ve previously said that my views (and Travis’) on marriage are not worth listening to because I’m not christian. I have shared with you that Laura Doyle, who’s work you refer to often, is not christian either (to the best of my knowledge). By your previously stated criteria, you should not be listening to her marriage advice either. So I’m wondering if you’ve changed your criteria so that you now think that marriage advice from non christians can be valid? Or if you’re selectively applying that criteriea (which, of course, would make it logically incoherent)?”

        Like

  6. linds01 says:

    Anitavan,
    That is a great story! And I agree with you and Donkey, that acknowledging how someone else is showing you love (Even if it isn’t in your preferred way) is helpful and beneficial to the relationship. It’s acknowledging that you get they are seeing orange, even if you see green.
    (Empathy..:)

    Thank you for bringing it up Drew!

    & Rapport vs. Status!
    That is what I was thinking about a few weeks ago, in that men seem to miss the relating part of the relationship. I think I asked if men even like that part of the relationship.

    It seems like men feel like everything is ok when they have achieved what they needed to achieve. They are doing their job, so they are doing good.
    But women want the relational part, too. The personal interaction, presence, ect.
    We want YOUR SOULS (muahahah!) – (Joking with the evil laugh).

    I think they just want to know the person they have married.
    Otherwise, what’s the point?

    Like

  7. Jeff Strand says:

    There was that guy who made a ton of money about 20 years ago on this topic of different communication styles. His book was called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He was on all the talk shows. Then it kind of fizzled.

    As far as Matt’s wife, as an outsider looking in it seems to me that she wasn’t fully committed to the marriage in terms of understanding, forgiveness, patience, and unconditional love. Apparently she thinks she can do better. But as I said in a previous comment, my experience is that ex-wives rarely do better post-divorce. Being a single mom is also a big NO GO sign for a lot of quality men. It will be interesting to see how things pan out for her and if she re-marries, and if so to note the quality of the match. (Not that I wish anything bad on her, I don’t even know her)

    Meantime Matt, keep on keeping on. Remember, living well is the best revenge. Work on you and being a good dad, and when you’re ready to jump back in the dating pool I think you’ll be amazed at the options you have. In your mid-30’s, men have the upper hand in the dating and marriage marketplace…just like women had the upper hand in younger years (say, early 20’s). So if you’re remembering what dating is like from your single days, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Take advantage of that fact and find you someone great my brotha.

    Like

    • OKRickety says:

      “As far as Matt’s wife, as an outsider looking in it seems to me that she wasn’t fully committed to the marriage in terms of understanding, forgiveness, patience, and unconditional love.”

      That’s more or less how I see it, too. It’s not surprising since it is common today for one or both spouses to lack total commitment to the marriage.

      Like

    • OKRickety says:

      “As far as Matt’s wife, as an outsider looking in it seems to me that she wasn’t fully committed to the marriage in terms of understanding, forgiveness, patience, and unconditional love.”

      That’s more or less how I see it, too. Total commitment is rare in marriages today, for both husbands and wives.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Rick, yes I agree.

        But i don’t understand it. Would you disown your children (basically “divorce” them) because they weren’t pulling their weight with household chores or whatever? Because they didn’t do their homework, or didn’t clean their room, or didn’t remember your birthday, or whatever? So you’d “divorce” them because they are a “shitty daughter” or a “shitty son”?

        It’s the same thing. The husband and wife are family, just as the parent and child. Actually, the bond between spouses is supposed to be EVEN MORE deep and sacred…since the two are connected spiritually in the sacrament of marriage, instituted by Our Lord Himself, and they are so intimate that they share their bodies together and literally become “one flesh”. Plus, they are to stay together a lifetime…while the children are to leave and start their own lives when they become young adults.

        Now there can come a time where separation is sadly necessary, due to serious abuse, drug addiction, blatant and ongoing adultery (NOT a one-time thing, which should be forgiven), etc. But those would be extreme cases. Just as your child could become a violent drug addict and you might have to cut them out of your life (at least for awhile). But cut them out for merely being a “shitty daughter or son”? Or your spouse? I just don’t get it.

        I told my wife long ago, there’s only one thing she could do that would be unforgivable in my eyes and cause her to lose me. And that would be causing serious and deliberate physical harm to our children. Anything short of that, and I don’t care if it’s high treason or embezzlement or robbing a bank, and I am on her side and will never give up on her or leave her. I got her back. And she knows it – we’re family, and our souls are joined together by the sacrament of holy matrimony, which bond is never to be severed while we both live.

        Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

        Like

      • OKRickety says:

        Jeff,

        Based on my knowledge of the situation, I do not believe the divorce was a good response. But it is a common situation today when there is a lack of total commitment to the marriage by one or both of the spouses.

        I consider marriage and divorce involving one or two Christians from a biblical perspective, and believe divorce is only acceptable for biblical cause. I don’t think Matt’s wife had biblical cause to divorce him, so I believe, assuming she is a Christian, that she was wrong. However, Matt seems to insist that it was primarily due to him being a “shitty husband”, and to consider divorce to be an acceptable option in that situation.

        In my opinion, that is similar to the victim of abuse believing their own behavior to be the primary reason that they were abused. In other words, the victim has primary responsibility for the abuse, or, in this case, the divorce.

        One unknown for me in Matt’s marriage is whether he was totally committed to the marriage or not. In other words, would he have eventually initiated divorce because she was a “shitty wife”? Even if the answer is yes, it does not justify her divorcing him.

        Like

        • anitvan says:

          Guys, I am not comfortable talking about Matt’s former wife behind her back. It’s not cool to talk judge others when they’re not around to defend themselves from that judgement. Please show some respect and keep your speculations to yourselves.

          Like

      • OKRickety says:

        Anitvan,

        From a Christian perspective, neither of us understand why she would initiate the divorce. I will be “colorblind” about it, at least until clarification, which I do not expect.

        Like

  8. So I know this causes some people distress, but the idea of submitting in conversation or even submitting in a physical context, as in sitting at a hubby’s feet, can be really effective. It is not really about winning or losing, but about presenting yourself in a way that will encourage the other person to listen to you more effectively.

    I know the gender wars pop up in these conversations, but I use this technique when talking to children or even patients. Drop down to their level or even below them and speak gently, submit to what they are telling you. You can try a more aggressive stance, but people, especially men, tend to just shut you out. My husband doesn’t submit, but I do notice he uses a much softer tone when speaking to me, and it catches my attention.

    Like

  9. Matt says:

    Just out of curiosity, how in the blue hell did wifely submission come up AGAIN?

    I appreciate the civility of this particular conversation much more than previous ones (seriously — thank you), but good grief. I feel like there are, just maybe, a few more angles to explore on relationships and the human condition?

    Eh? Yes?

    No?

    Damn it.

    (I’m not trying to derail the talk, by the way. I’m simply marveling at it’s everpresence.)

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Didn’t mean to go back to that topic Matt, was just discussing tips for conflict resolution.

      Saying that the wife should be quick to apologize and take the lead in that area, I realize some may feel like this is unfair. Even part of me probably used to feel that way, until I heard that same advice given by happily married woman (no, not my wife). And I thought, well since she’s a woman herself it doesn’t make sense that she’s trying to be unfair to the wives. Maybe she really is onto something. Maybe she’s just really noticed how well that works.

      Let me make an analogy. If I said that if the couple hears something go bump in the night while they’re sleeping in bed, it should fall to the husband to go investigate…you could say this is unfair. But yet, it seems to work. The wife expects this of her husband, no matter how committed she is to equality in theory. And if the husband doesn’t do it, he is potentially causing harm to his marriage (for one thing, she’ll probably lose some respect for him as a man).

      So married ladies, if it irks you to think that you as the wife should always be quick to apologize after an argument…remember this analogy. You are willing to expect certain things of your husband since he’s the man (and I agree with you), so be willing to give in other places since you’re the woman. Be first to apologize, and try doing it in the manner I described previously.

      Anyway Matt, I would file that under conflict resolution, not wifely submission. Unless saying that the husband should go investigate the noise at night is to be considered “husbandly submission”….

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        Out of respect for Matt and for my own personal preferences too, I do not wish to get into wifely submission again.

        Jeff you said:”If I said that if the couple hears something go bump in the night while they’re sleeping in bed, it should fall to the husband to go investigate…you could say this is unfair. But yet, it seems to work. The wife expects this of her husband, no matter how committed she is to equality in theory. And if the husband doesn’t do it, he is potentially causing harm to his marriage (for one thing, she’ll probably lose some respect for him as a man).

        So married ladies, if it irks you to think that you as the wife should always be quick to apologize after an argument…remember this analogy. You are willing to expect certain things of your husband since he’s the man (and I agree with you), so be willing to give in other places since you’re the woman. Be first to apologize, and try doing it in the manner I described previously.”

        You know what Jeff, this is a way of thinking I can agree with (though I don’t agree with everything you said), as I’m concerned with fairness. But then a woman who’s been pregnant should get cut all kinds of slack for that, since (even in the day and age of modern hospitals) she has risked her life and body and genitals by doing that. We can say that the risk to her body and life that a woman takes in being pregnant and the risk a man takes by being the one who’s expected to defend the family against intruders are on an equitable level. In my book, that would mean the world of apologies ideally should be an equal opportunity thing. 8)

        Though I’m sctually very fond of apologies, whenever they’re called for. I think both men and women appreciate them a a lot when they’re sincere and respectful of both people. I do not respect less the men who have apologized to me, quite the opposite. And, some of my most important personal work has been making amends (which includes apologies). It can be very healing and powerful stuff.

        I have a new apology in my arsenal which I hope can be useful when things are unclear: “I don’t know exactly what my part is in this conflict/hurt between us. But I know I play/have played a part, and even though I lack the clarity/integrity/wisdom to see exactly what it is yet, I sincerely apologize for whatever my part is.”

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      Matt,
      Blue?
      I’m sorry hell is fiery orange or red- maybe a FEW blue flames.
      Or, it could be an abysmal black.
      But blue? Whoever heard of a blue hell?
      What is wrong with you??
      : P!

      Like

    • anitvan says:

      Honestly? Because healthy, mutual submission to one another in marriage is intimately connected to many of the other concepts that we talk about here, and yet it largely been unexplored by the group.

      I would argue that it it an attitude of healthy submission toward one another that creates the climate under which empathy, patience, kindness, etc. have room to flourish and grow.

      Like

      • Lol! I don’t like to distress people, but how in the heck can we even discuss relationships outside of the context of love and submission?

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Thank you Matt! Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m tired of the wifely submission theme too, though I know I play my part.

        Anitvan said: “Honestly? Because healthy, mutual submission to one another in marriage is intimately connected to many of the other concepts that we talk about here, and yet it largely been unexplored by the group”

        Anitvan (and others), I would say that the concept of mutual submission seems quite different from the concept of wifely submission. My pal Gottmanfan (who said she’s christian too) believes in mutual submissiion, but not in wifely submission (as in, the wife should submit to a larger extent than the husband).

        I don’t approach submission (mutual or not) from a Biblical stand point, but immediately I would see mutual submission as, simply said, giving eachother equal regard and influence? How do you see mutual submission? :)

        Like

      • I totally agree with this Anitvan!

        Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      “I would argue that it it an attitude of healthy submission toward one another that creates the climate under which empathy, patience, kindness, etc. have room to flourish and grow.”

      Beautifully put.

      Like

  10. Well done Matthew! Thorough, including the real life anecdotes (wow – or – ouch). Here’s my sanitized attempt to speak to “understanding” – but now I feel like putting my tail between my legs and just read your article again: https://moreenigma.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/i-can-try-to-understand/

    Like

  11. Travis B. says:

    No one asked, perhaps few care, but I’m in Matt’s camp on this one. Frankly, I feel like if I read the word “submission” on these boards one more time, regardless of gender assignment, I’m going to rip my hair out and weave it into a basket. My final thoughts on that particular matter are that Jeff and IB (and perhaps others who subscribe to their philosophy whom I’ve forgotten) keeps asserting the practical virtue of (*hard swallow*) submission, but there’s precious little discussion of whether it holds any moral validity. In other words, yes, maybe when it gets down to brass tacks, it’s a paradigm that works, but shoving Jewish people into ovens worked for Hitler’s end goal, too. I’m less interested in testing that particular hypothesis to see if works and more interested in challenging its moral soundness. And that’s really all I have to say on the matter. Perhaps antivan is right–maybe there’s something vitally important to that topic of discussion that is germane to my marriage, but so far, in the way it keeps being framed, I personally find it all to be unhelpful and tiresome. If others are getting value from it, by all means, keep on rockin’ in the free world, but for me, and perhaps me alone, if I never see that accursed word “submission” on these boards again, it won’t be soon enough…

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Travis, 2 things.

      1. Go to Wikipedia and research Godwin’s Law. This will help keep you from embarrassing yourself during any internet discussion.

      2. Regarding the morality of marital submission, I think it’s disingenuous of you to say there’s been no moral justification provided. In a previous thread, I myself quoted both the relevant New Testament passages from St. Paul, as well as papal encyclicals from Popes Pius XI and Leo VIII that command wives to submit to their lawful husbands. I won’t tax Matt’s patience by re-posting them, you can go back and read them yourselves.

      Like

      • Travis B. says:

        Jeff, I was under the understanding you and I had reached a mutual consensus that we would not be engaging in mutual dialog going forward, due on your part to me being a heathen/liberal/”mangina” and due on my part to finding your personal philosophical beliefs holistically repulsive and morally compromised. I see I was mistaken, so allow me to reiterate that there is no need to ever reply to anything I ever write here, as I do not intend to ever reply. I do not solicit nor value your perspective anymore than you do mine, so let’s just save ourselves the wasted bandwidth, shall we? Much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Travis,

        Again you are being disingenuous, as you specifically mentioned me by name in your post and discussed points I made. But I am not allowed to respond? (You also say I called you a mangina, but you forgot to mention that you previously called me a rapist. Color me shocked.)

        So here’s what I can do for you. I will basically ignore all your posts from now on, IF you will do the same to mine. Which means you don’t get to either mention me by name or to respond to anything I put in any of my posts.

        That’s the deal, take it or leave it.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        I guess the deal will be that I will continue to speak out against anything you say which I consider destructive or vile, but I will continue to address your stated philosophy, never you. Feel free to do the same in return but know that any comments you address to me personally will be summarily ignored and will amount to so much wasted energy on your end. We can talk ideas; let’s just not talk to each other.

        P.S. Though I can’t force the issue, if you do intend to continue scrutinizing my beliefs and statements going forward, I do believe the dialog here will be better served if you present them factually, not as distortions thereof to serve your own agenda. For instance, you have expressed a sense of insult multiple times that I allegedly called you a rapist. The thing is, I never once did. I stated that some of your words, tone and philosophy can penetrate and hurt every bit as much as rape. An accidental punch to the face can hurt every bit as much as in intentional one; that doesn’t make it intentional. The sky can evoke an upside-down ocean; that does not make it an actual ocean. Wouldn’t you rather debate actual ideas presented rather than manufactured ones? Again, nothing I can or will police, but whatever copious qualms I have with you as both a human being and contributor to this site, I hadn’t pegged you as a ghost chaser.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Travis,

        You reject my offer. Fine, I will reply to your posts and critique your statements at my pleasure.

        You can’t have it both ways.

        Like

  12. Travis B. says:

    Alas, maybe instead of bitching about what this thread has become, I could comment on the original article instead. I am really trying hard to keep the concepts Matt is writing about top of mind in my life right now, but I’m admittedly struggling. My wife and I are currently renovating our home in order to sell it and move into one with enough square footage to ease the feeling of being trapped in a sardine can with each other and two kids. This process, which we started very shortly before the death of my father-in-law on 7/31, and have had to roll right back into ever since, has been excruciating for both of us, not least of all because it is exposing some key differences in our psychology that are causing mounting friction between us. Normally, I feel like we could weather through without too profound of a negative impact, only this time, there’s no let-up. It’s a constant, ongoing, protracted, and all-consuming experience, so neither of us are able to get any distance from it. My wife’s approach is very doggedly “let’s power through it”, so every single day, we’re doing work on the house, talking about the house, thinking about what next needs to happen with the house. My approach is very “can we knock some stuff out, then take a you-and-me break to re-energize, then once recharged, go back and knock some other things out?” In other words, she’s a sprinter, and I’m a marathon runner. Every single day, I’m getting grumpier and more lethargic. I can objectively say that her approach gets things done faster than mine does, but at what cost? I’m so drained–all I am is the guy who works at work, then works at home, then sleeps, only to get up and do it all again for another 16-17 hours. I’m so sick of talking about and working on my house to the exclusion of all else that I’m about to scream, but whenever I try to air those thoughts, she feels like I’m just being lazy, or putting all the work on her. What she needs should be more important than what I need, but it’s been two months of this, the work only getting more and more intense as we go, and I feel like I’m not taking care of my psychological needs at all. There’s an oxygen breach in the cabin and I’m struggling to fit the one available mask over her nose and mouth while my vision goes more and more gray.

    So Matt is once again reminding me to avoid resenting her or feeling defensive because of her perspective, her “inner wiring”, but I’m really struggling with how to stay in the zone she needs me to be when each day, there’s less and less will and energy for me to trudge forward unless I get a mini-break. Fortunately, in just 48 hours, she and I get to drive about three hours away from home to see Duran Duran live, so maybe that’ll be just enough to do the trick and recharge my batteries. God, I hope so, because I’m so tired of being irritated with her and having her be irritated with me. It can be so hard to work together as a team when we often play the game using fundamentally different techniques.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      “My wife’s approach is very doggedly “let’s power through it”, so every single day, we’re doing work on the house, talking about the house, thinking about what next needs to happen with the house. My approach is very “can we knock some stuff out, then take a you-and-me break to re-energize, then once recharged, go back and knock some other things out?” In other words, she’s a sprinter, and I’m a marathon runner. Every single day, I’m getting grumpier and more lethargic. I can objectively say that her approach gets things done faster than mine does, but at what cost? I’m so drained–all I am is the guy who works at work, then works at home, then sleeps, only to get up and do it all again for another 16-17 hours.”

      Travis, I’m sorry it’s tough. Moving is so stressful. (And I’m sorry I’m finding some joy in your struggles, but I simply feel refreshed by the thought of not writing a comment about wifely submission. 8))

      Obviously your needs must count too! Can you respect your wife’s needs for progress and organization by committing to a time frame (or two time frames) each evening where you talk about, plan and work on the house? So outside of that time frame no work will get done by either of you (unless someone feels inspired or whatever), so this will *not* mean more work for her. And she can respect your needs by letting that time frame be shorter than what she’d prefer, so that you can get the rest and leisure you need.

      Is there some work you can hire out?

      Can you create some kind of back up plan which would soothe her fear of (I assume) “If we don’t get it done in time, xyz stressful thing will/may happen. If Travis does less I must do more so as to make sure xyz doesn’t happen, grr, that’s not fair!”

      Like

      • Travis B. says:

        I think the problem right now may be overcompensation on my part. I’m still so gunshy after almost seeing my marriage dissolve around last Christmas that I’m just doing everything when she wants, how she wants, but the cracks are starting to show. I am trying to serve her needs so much that I feel I’m not addressing mine, and it’s causing resentment in me, which is causing me to be more and more in a foul mood, and for me to feel like my overall energy and passion for the project is dissipating. In turn, that is causing resentment in her because I’m not keeping my irons in the fire as consistently as she is. That’s why I mentioned the oxygen mask analogy–in my efforts to cater to her needs, mine aren’t getting met, which is introducing negative energy into the relationship so, even at the same time I’m trying to let her “win”, it still feels like we’re both losing. Pretty sure I’m going to have to muster up the courage soon to say, “Hey, I think–even though it may feel counter-intuitive–you’ll get more out of me if you stop demanding so much out of me.” But I know she won’t react well to it at first, and I’m too exhausted to battle, even if it means there would be a brighter outcome on the other side of it.

        In short, Travis B. needs a nice date night, followed by a long nap.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        “I’m still so gunshy after almost seeing my marriage dissolve around last Christmas that I’m just doing everything when she wants, how she wants, but the cracks are starting to show. I am trying to serve her needs so much that I feel I’m not addressing mine, and it’s causing resentment in me”

        I can totally see everything you just wrote. Sometimes it’s just not possible to know what the middle road is without trying and failing. Human life can be SO frustrating in that sense. I hate it when I’m flailing about and I know that I’m lacking clarity, and yet clarity is still out of reach. I’ve had a lot of that these last few years to be honest. Ugh.

        But yeah, it’s great that you were and are serious about making things right with your wife, considering her needs where you hadn’t etc. But there will come a time, or the time has already come, where your needs and wishes must be equally important (in my equality oriented mind at least) in the relationship.

        Like

      • Travis, I’m hurting for you knowing what you’re going through with how stressful renovations often are for marriages…and yours on top of everything else y’all have to deal with! And you’ve been on my mind a bit while I’ve been too busy with the traumas of life to check in here. But I keep thinking about the issue you mentioned once of expressing rage. That is a significant stressor to a relationship no matter how you slice it. I can imagine the fact that it always evaporates quickly does help.

        In going through counseling I had to learn to recognize and honor emotions and eventually process emotions that I’d apparently never learned to deal with in life even though I thought that I had. But this issue as you mentioned it reminds me of a specific facet: being able to do something with the emotion once you know it’s there, something that is appropriate and healthy but also something that works! My therapist convinced me to buy a punching bag which my kids do seem to be able to use that way. I found going to the gun range and shooting targets much more therapeutic for me personally. But even after having graduated from therapy I’ve been learning new bits and pieces to put with it or connect with it.

        I’m very verbally oriented so screaming is good for me sometimes. However screaming isn’t usually an appropriate choice because it forces others to participate in my expressing myself and can be destructive to them which is similar to what you mentioned. So really the only time I really did a primal scream thing was in the first couple of months after my husband walked out and took up with a mistress. I came home and warned my daughters that I could feel something loud rising up in me that I thought it really needed to come out. I told the youngest (15 at the time) to go to her room because she’s extremely sensitive to that kind of thing and basically absorbs it and feels every ounce of hurt as if the scream is a weapon plunging into her. My 18 year old who was more ok with it or even curious gave me a pillow to scream into and turned on Mallory Knox (she and I both really like them)…up to top volume and I really did let out some primal rage screaming into the pillow. I’m afraid I was much louder than top volume of a decent sound system. I think it was about five minutes before it wound down and seemed as if I’d let it all out. Then I went and knocked on a bedroom door and told my youngest it was safe to come out. I was about to apologize because I knew how loud I’d been and that it was hard on her anyway even in her room but she cut me off and told me she had a new career suggestion for me. I could do the screaming sound effects/voice work in the horror films in Hollywood. We laughed about it. Since then my 18yo and I have had a few times that we listen to Mallory Knox super loud or we sing along with something different but very loudly, always an in the car together thing. (No idea why I never sing along with Mallory Knox)

        Anyway, all of that to say that you may be able to calmly, in a firm but totally low-volume, low-key manner explain the possible need for someone to grow in working with others on what that expression of rage does when it involves other people. Ways to express it can be found without it hurting other people. I think she’d still look pretty great to you at the gun range in the next booth with some hardcore gear and a zombie wild boar target all full of holes or with a punching bag and her gloves on. Then I can tell my daughters I have competition as queen of the punk rockers which is what they always make Siri call me.

        Sounds like Duran Duran is exactly what you need right now. And color me jealous. lol.

        Maybe in the car ride some good conversation will be had that will begin to touch on significant issues. Maybe suggest that y’all each start doing your own separate DIY music therapy or both do Buteyko breathing exercises or something equally fabulous to have in the coping toolbox.

        Like

      • OKRickety says:

        Travis B,

        “I am trying to serve her needs so much that I feel I’m not addressing mine, and it’s causing resentment in me,….”

        That reminds me of a concept expressed by Dr. Willard Harley, author of His Needs, Her Needs. The concept is that each of us has a “Giver” and a “Taker”. In short, when the Taker isn’t getting anything, that person resents the situation.

        He also believes in the Policy of Joint Agreement which is:
        Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse
        You may be agreeing to do this remodeling work, but it doesn’t seem to be enthusiastic.

        I don’t believe Harley has all the answers, but his work is interesting, and, if anyone is interested in learning more about Harley’s concepts, you can start from this link: A Brief Summary of Dr. Harley’s Basic Concepts

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Boundaries, Travis!
        It’s ok to say what you need. I think it’s reasonable, even if it seems counterintuitive, to say that it will be more productive in the long run if your both able to have some chill time (together).
        That is often the case, with many big jobs.
        I’d maybe stay away from the terms “you” and “demand” (or any derivative of that word :)) in the same sentence, though…
        Just tell her what you need, and that it will make life and the jobs that need to be done easier.

        But, dude! Duran, Duran?! I’m sooo jealous!

        Like

  13. marilyn sims says:

    Matt,

    When I was a child, I used to hear adults say, “How in ‘blue blazes’ did you come to believe…..” . So even then hell was a place of different hues.

    I do absolutely agree that there can be hundreds/thousands of substantive conversations in which marriage is the topic and the issue of wifely submission is NEVER mentioned.

    I would hope we could redirect the conversation here to one that – for instance- explores how men and women come to see or hear danger in intimate settings so that a “fight or flight” response is triggered

    .There are communication issues that can also be discussed as those in Deborah Tannen’s book, “You Just Don’t Understand”.(Insanitybytes mentioned it her comments) Tannen also wrote, That’s Not What I Meant”.(1987)

    Carol Gilligan wrote “In A Different Voice”(1982) that girls usually make ethical and moral decisions using a different matrix than boys.

    If you or Drew or any of the other guys are interested in “the man-card” issue, there is “Refusing to Be A Man: Essays on Sex and Justice” by John Stoltenberg. (1989) He also wrote “The End of Manhood: A Book for Men of Conscience” (1993)

    (Matt I realized that these authors wrote at a time when you were between the ages of three and fourteen so you may find some of the information a bit stale yet I have learned from some comments made by members of the “tribe” that the contents of some of the older tomes still had value.)

    What I am trying to say is that if we can understand more thoroughly how we become the unique adult men and women that we are — with all our foibles,strengths,talents,and fears, if we can understand how our intentions are often misread/mislabeled perhaps that will lead us to places where understanding and compromise will be less difficult when we engage with friends, family, partners and lovers.

    I know you have severe limits on your time and energy and reading for the purposes of engaging with members of the tribe may be something you cannot do at the moment or
    in the near future. But please, please stay as close as you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      Marilyn, I’m so happy to *see* you again! How are you doing? Have you seen your grandson lately? :)

      Just to put it out there, from a religious perspective or not, I would be very interested in hearing folks opinions about mutual submission.

      The fight or flight thing is interesting too (so is the man card issues, to me at least, but the leap from wifely submission to man card issues would perhaps be too big at this point).

      I’m interested in learning to accept legitimate differences at this point. I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but Brent Atkinson’s stuff has really impressed me.

      Like

      • marilyn sims says:

        Donkey,

        I am doing O.K. Thanks so much for asking about my grandson I saw him two weeks ago and he is a typical healthy eleven-year-old who is enamored of all things electronic/digital etc. etc.

        I am so, so sorry — I am IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH TRAVIS regarding the “S” word.

        I haven’t been paying close attention recently so I am assuming that the Brent Atkinson stuff is about — you know what.

        I wish I could honestly say that I am able to accept –with grace– major differences in opinion about that issue. Unfortunately I cannot. Any serious religious discussion about women’s submission under any circumstances, makes me nauseous. I realize that admitting to such may offend. I apologize.

        By the way, I didn’t know that you knew that I had decided to take a ‘leave of absence’ from the site until things were more settled. I am so happy to be back. I missed the “tribe”.and I appreciate that you noticed that I was gone.

        I hope we can get back to normal — when differences were handled tactfully and with respect for the individual. It was a safe place then to experience growth and to contemplate practicing new behaviors.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Marilyn, I’m happy you’re back and that you saw your grandson! :)

        Brent Atkinson’s stuff is not about the s-word (it’s refreshingly gender neutral). It’s some of the best stuff I’ve seen both about legitimate differences, relationship skills and how to stand up for yourself (when necessary) in a respectful way, so as to maximize the odds of a mutually respectful relationship.

        From what I’ve seen, it goes into the nitty gritty, what to say/do each step of the way (and with what attitude, and there’s the catch because you have to be well differentiated to be able to pull it off), it’s not just saying how important it is to be nice and listen to eachother and accept influence. 8) I got the tip from Gottmanfan. It is about romantic relationships, but it’s totally useful outside of that context too.

        Here’s an excerpt about legitimate differences:
        http://www.thecouplesclinic.com/pdf/F-Core_Differences_in_Ways_of_Maintaining_Emotional_Stability-Legimimately_Different_Ways_of_Navigating_Life.pdf

        Here’s the table of content: http://thecouplesclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Developing-Habits-for-Relationship-Success-V-4.5-TOC.pdf

        Like

    • Matt says:

      I really appreciate this note, and the kind and thoughtful contributions and book recommendations, Marilyn. Thank you. :)

      Like

  14. Jeff Strand says:

    There are different communication styles, no doubt. Women tend to be more talkative than men. That’s often presented as a positive on forums like this blog, but this is not always so.

    For example, my wife has adjusted to my level of talking (which is probably typical for most men who don’t consciously label themselves ‘feminist allies’) and it has rubbed off on her. So if we’re driving somewhere, it’s not at all unusual to drive in silence…with neither the radio on nor us talking. And it feels nice and comfortable. I like silence at home a fair amount of the time as well, and we’ve trained our kids pretty well at this (though they are still kids, of course)

    Now my wife tells me she can hardly stand to go out with some of her girlfriends. She says they talk and jabber nonstop and hardly come up for air. To where it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. So I guess I’ve ruined her in that regard, lol

    And most all their talking is complaining about their husbands. She says it’s really depressing, and she’s going to start deliberately spending less time with some of the worst offenders in this regard. So much negativity! And she says it makes her feel uncomfortable, because when women like this finally do pause and let her talk, they expect her to start also complaining about her hubby. But if she tells them the truth that her marriage is great and she’s a very happy wife with no complaints, then they act like she’s trying to be better than them! But it’s only being truthful, she really is very content with her life and her family – should she lie and make up some complaints?

    So anyway, I found this whole dynamic interesting. I feel bad for my wife that these other chicks will meet her for lunch and then drop all this toxic garbage on her about their marriage. Why can’t they just be happy and have a pleasant lunch? But I told my wife, look at the bright side – at least you’re not married to these women! She got a good laugh out of that.

    So now she is consciously seeking out women who are more happy in their marriages. And even if they have some problems, they have the good manners not to go on and on about it and ruin a get-together for lunch or happy hour or at the nail salon. And so far she’s having some luck here.

    Life’s too short.

    Like

  15. Donkey,

    I may be able to take a stab at the mutual …dreaded S word. lol. It’s difficult to discuss because there are a lot of semantics difficulties with it. Then along with that or added to it people tend to read into it either their own paradigm or whatever negatives they attribute to some other paradigm.

    But both a husband and wife should love each other. You know I come at this from a biblical perspective so please bear with me. I can’t really separate it from that and honestly tell what I think and feel. English is very sloppy with the word love. I know we are commanded by God to have a certain kind of love for our spouses. It comes from the Greek word agape. We’re commanded to put the needs of the other person in a place of priority. This is why I would call it out as sin for a person to say they don’t care about their spouse’s happiness…the general sentiment expressed is either very poorly expressed or denotes the sin of not caring for the emotional needs of the spouse.

    Agape in the Bible is a command to action.

    Ideally I think a really great marriage where both people will tend to be able to say what a blessing marriage is would have all the types of love that I know the Greek words for and would have each of them flowing in both directions. I don’t think that is commanded to show them all but I think it’s consistent with scripture (not in opposition to it) to strive for all four…and also with my needs and preferences and also sort of with the culture I grew up in…well, except the part with all the folks who see marriages as far more disposable than I do.

    So rather than thinking of writing a longer, better focused answer on mutual submission and all the semantic difficulties I could accidentally brush up against, let me just say for now that if both husband and wife should have agape then both are putting the needs of the other person as a very high priority. And let me find a link for you that shows the definitions of those types of love. The Internet has everthing right?

    Yes, yes it does. This gives a slightly different explanation of agape than I’ve ever seen before and I don’t really know the source of the website but I like this a lot, and it’s not violently different from what I know of the word.

    https://www.mcleanbible.org/sites/default/files/Multiply-Resources/Chap3/GreekWordsforLoveWS_Chapter3.pdf

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Thanks Fromscratchmom! :)

      I was somewhat familiar with the word agape, as I’ve sometimes come across it in my readings. I think that concept is part of what most religions /spiritual traditions aspire to?

      Hey, is it true that English is your second language too, or am I remembering things wrong here? Did you grow up in the States, or in another country? Feel free to share if you want. 8) I’m just curious, hehe.

      To repeat what I wish to share here, I live in a European country (born and raised), more north than south. 8)

      Like

      • No, I’m just your average English speaker. I’ve known lots of people from other lands and traveled outside the US a couple of times but that’s as far as I can claim for exposure/practice outside of my “norm.” ;)

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        To be perfectly clear, this was not a comment on your writing skills!

        I thought I read you say that you’re a driver’s instructor and that your students will have to be ok with having a teacher who speaks English as a second lanuguage? Obviously I must be wrong about that. I wonder where I got it from.

        But it is true that you’re a driver’s instructor?

        Like

      • Yes,I’m a driving instructor. :)
        I must have said something similar about language difficulties with students with ESL or some other close idea. But I may have said it with typos and bad auto-corrects! Lol.

        I meant to say that I did grow up in the United States. I have lived in a few different states though. Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas (but only for a few weeks), Maryland and Ohio. I want to move so badly! But it’s looking impossible now for the next couple of years at least. The state of Ohio is probably going to help the alcoholic keep me held hostage here while he keeps proclaiming how much he loves his daughters and is justified in every single thing and is trying to repair his relationship with her while doing precisely zero to own his abuses, his neglect, or to learn empathy for her.

        Sorry. Rant over.

        I just had to write him two diplomatic and civil emails that don’t call him out on any of his amazing levels of being an utterly shitty dad and human being. And on top of that I have to try to avoid circling the drain with him in his dysfunctions. So I have to question my every thought and emotion, process as fully and wisely and quickly as possible (which actually takes time!) and then edit and reword and edit some more. It’s not really possible to avoid giving an abuser some glimpse of your emotions that they can try to get at you with. And it’s not really possible to address reality without actually including reality including a few of the parts the courts and the amoral illogical divorce happy contingent of society consider proof of the injured party being emotional and bad. But I did my best. I think I cut it down to one or two sentences that make allusions he’ll have to choose to get bent out of shape about or to appreciate how sanitized and obscured they were …practically praising him compared to the nine levels of hell he deserves, after everything else and then these last 7 or 8 weeks not paying any child support or other support whatsoever.

        Like

  16. anitvan says:

    Hey Donkey,

    I had to give this a little thought before replying…

    First and foremost, I don’t see submission as a relationship philosophy but rather a spiritual discipline and to be honest, it would probably take up way more space here than is polite or practical to give it the treatment it deserves.

    Also, out of respect for those in the group who have examined and rejected the tenets of submission I think it would be kinda disrespectful to hog the mic, so to speak.

    I’d like to suggest that I simply respond to this on my own blog, if you don’t mind. It’s an intensely personal and theological issue to me and I don’t see any way to discuss thoroughly discuss it without touching on other theological concepts that touch upon it, but are outside of the scope of what this blog is about.

    Please be patient with me as I gather my thoughts and I’ll notify you when I have something to share.

    Cool?

    Like

  17. linds01 says:

    Marilyn,
    “What I am trying to say is that if we can understand more thoroughly how we become the unique adult men and women that we are — with all our foibles,strengths,talents,and fears, if we can understand how our intentions are often misread/mislabeled perhaps that will lead us to places where understanding and compromise will be less difficult when we engage with friends, family, partners and lovers.”
    I think that is very true.
    I am really fond of this statement:)

    Like

  18. “I stated that some of your words, tone and philosophy can penetrate and hurt every bit as much as rape”

    Travis, I don’t wish to be unkind here, but that sentence has got to be one of the most insensitive and appalling things I’ve read on the internet in a long time. NO, people’s words, tone, and philosophy are NOTHING like rape.

    Sheesh, and I just say the S word and people get all offended and triggered. You guys are simply unreal.

    Like

    • “NO, people’s words, tone, and philosophy are NOTHING like rape.”

      Agreed. I did wish we had been able to discuss this one concept with some focus.

      As far as words being dangerous, becoming actionable, or already hurting someone as words, this analogy is hurting someone already, and the more it keeps getting used over time (the last few decades) the more damage and real life harm that has been resulting. The people being hurt by this analogy are the real rape victims having their trauma belittled into nothing, and the future rape victims that result from our societies having gotten so confused on the realities surrounding the concept of rape that in a sense many people no longer care about (or have any understanding of) rape for the serious level of trauma involved and the ripple effect brought mouth a victim’s life, psyche, and personhood. It’s a paradox that it’s being held up as the biggest, most inflammatory thing that could happen while on the whole our culture is perpetuating and greatly increasing the incidence of actual rapes. But it’s been happening and is continuing to happen.

      Travis, as a person whose been a victim of a sexual crime (more than once…at ages 5, 12, and 18) I have a request. If this comment or even IB’s provoke any frustration or negative feeling at all, I’d appreciate it very much if you’d consent to just let this marinate as a concept you’ve neither agreed to nor fought against at least for a little while. I’d already dropped the last disagreement and moved on honoring everyone’s inherent worth here as people created in the image of God (or you might say as humans) I’m not trying to get involved in anything more complex than just to be allowed to express myself on the theoretical discussion on the appropriateness of that single analogy.

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Mom,
        I respect where you are coming from.
        But I do disagree that word use like Travis’ reduces the sensitivity or increases the occurrence of sexual crimes.
        I haven’t forgotten Jeffs stance just a few weeks ago.
        Travis was using words accurately and powerfully.
        I DO feel that Jeff forced himself on us and that he was waving the banner that it was his right.
        The fact that he, many times, claimed the same free rights over his wife couldn’t create a very different image except for rape.

        Like

      • Then it’s definitely an agree to disagree moments, Linds. (As I’ve mentioned before I don’t want to get into this unwise thing between Travis and Jeff. I have no reason to ignore past behaviors to the point of pretending anyone is perfect or even good.)

        But the use of rape as an analogy for what people don’t like in the words or ideals of another is just a terrible unwise , unkind, irresponsible use of words. People who like it like it on the basis of loving seeing someone else get forceful on the side of the issue that they feel passionately about. And I know you oppose some behaviors words and because you felt the need to call out what you saw as too strong in IB just now. But what our two pugilists are both doing is upping the ante of how intense their words are. I’ve mirrored it slightly for Jeff a fewtimes with his extremes and now IB has mirrored it some for Travis and his unwise and unkind extreme.

        The rise in rapes and other sexcrimes is a fact. Whether anyone likes it or not the trends of our society of the last few decades that effect it are correlated nonetheless. I think a many of them are a causative part of it, contributing factors. Getting more and more foolish about the seriousness of the crime and the nature of the violence compared to people’s feelings who don’t like dissenting opinions is huge. It’s an egregious error of logic and intellect. It’s usually made by screaming feminist asserting everybody keep their hands off their bodies and accusing all men of being rapists if dare to disagree with the feminists agenda of being allowed to murder their own children.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Mom,
          I am ok with disagreeing and respectfully disagreeing. That is normal and healthy.

          I wish we could all move on from our points of disagreement and discover the things that are all important to us, and why we are here.

          I want to respond to your last paragraph – not to win, but to possibly further understanding.

          You said:
          “The rise in rapes and other sexcrimes is a fact. Whether anyone likes it or not the trends of our society of the last few decades that effect it are correlated nonetheless.”
          I just want to note that it is not known if the number of rapes have increased, or the number of REPORTS (in caps to emphasize, not yell) of rape.

          So, talking about rape, or even using rape as an analogy (because if we can feel injustice in one way, we can relate it easier to another- maybe it can allow someone to empathize more deeply with the experience of rape?) may actually be helping because it is allowing people to come forward and report it.

          “Getting more and more foolish about the seriousness of the crime and the nature of the violence compared to people’s feelings who don’t like dissenting opinions is huge… ”

          Jeffs words and attacks were more than a dissenting opinion at first. He was being vile.
          It felt caustic and harmful, and yes abusive. Because he was telling a bunch of women we had no worth, outside of what he believed was “womanly”. If he demonstrated those behaviors to his wife, it would be considered abuse, and that doesnt even count for the declarations of his wife being sexually available on demand. I can cut and paste the psychiatric definition of abuse if I need to. However, I know that an entire community of experts wont be credible information for him. Nothing is more credible than his very own interpretation of the bible.

          In short, I felt emotionally unsafe and physically ill by the words (usually insulting) that Jeff asserted.
          So, it may not feel like rape to you, but it certainly felt like assault to me. And the nature of it being gender based, yes- I felt abused.

          Just because he is over the internet doesnt make abusive and insulting words less harmful.
          I have more control over receiving them, and therefore how they affect me, but that doesnt make what he was saying any less caustic.

          “…It’s an egregious error of logic and intellect. It’s usually made by screaming feminist asserting everybody keep their hands off their bodies and accusing all men of being rapists if dare to disagree with the feminists agenda of being allowed to murder their own children.”

          Ok, so here- I think maybe you were upping the ante, as you mentioned?

          I think you know the statement is a broad generalization. But, I will respect that is how you feel about it.

          What I want to say about it is this:

          Unless you are in a psychotic episode, no one is really unreasonable.
          We ALL have reasons we feel, think or believe a certain way.

          You may not understand or agree with what a person is so adamant about.

          But, the truth of the matter is we dont have to.

          If you happen to know “a screaming feminist” then our job isnt to agree with them, or fix them, but to love them.

          We have to stop saying “feminist” and say “Lindsey.”
          We have to stop saying fundamentalist and say “Patricia” (Someone from “real life”)
          We have to stop saying materialist and say “Steve” (as in Hawkins ..:)

          We are more than our ideas, but our ideas are very important to us.
          We will outgrow our ideas as they are informed or proven wrong.

          With so many billions of people walking around on this planet there are an infinite amount of agreements and disagreements, and opinions to be had.

          People group together based on commonality. Inclusion to that group typically means conforming to at least one central idea, and then having enough tolerance to allow for other ideas.

          What is our central, unifying idea? What can we agree on?

          If we see we are making someone uncomfortable, to the point of Severe discomfort, wouldnt it be better to submit to them out of love and reverence for Christ as opposed to force the idea?

          I know we need to expose ourselves to discomfort. My lifetime verse is Hebrews 12:12!
          But there is also a point of exasperation.
          It is counter productive to force ideas on someone else.

          I think we need to keep in mind that we are all people on the other side of the screen.
          And we can push, and know we are right- but you have to ask “right at what cost?”

          Can we really “Agree to disagree” or do we have to keep bringing up the same topic to assert our own beliefs?

          Our world is so divided right now because everyone is pushing opposite directions for whatever they think is right. (And Christians can be the worst!)

          But what is more right than turning to the person next to you and learning how to understand.

          We are not going to get anywhere the other way.

          Like

      • All men all across our society have been accused of being rapists, loudly, vehemently, many times by a very vocal group over the course of decades now. This has, at many points in time, been like a deafening roar across the land because of the vehemence and volume of those determined to assert dominance and control over all dissenting opinions, but not necessarily because of a number of screamers and holler era that represent anything like a majority.

        At the same time all men everywhere were being told that they have no right to have an opinion because they are men. This was an egregious error of logic, by the way. It’s like saying because you’ve never been kidnapped and now you’re an adult and never will be you have no right to formulate any opinions on what the kidnapping experience does to a child or advocate for anti-kidnapping legislation.

        ->

        Overtime confronted constantly with the demand to believe that they are rapists and that they have no right to exercise any of their powers of reasoning and speech to men in our society have broken into groupings as to what possible reactions they can have to process the brainwashing. There are psychological and sociological forces at play.

        Some believe in the you’re -a-rapist fallacy and repeat it. They create a paradigm that preserves their explicit belief in themselves as a good guy, never an abuser that bows down to the feminist agenda. More men in the US believe in a woman’s right to kill her child than women do.

        Some believe in that fallacy to a certain somewhat apathetic extent of not caring too much and rolling with the punches and having no morality they can hold onto of their own.

        Some stand solidly knowing there is something very wrong with what’s happening in the public discourse although within that group there are many who give in to varying degrees to various parts of it which has become a wild and slippery slope in our nation. Such as the I’d-never-further-victimize-a-rape victim philosophies that just bows down to some very illogical and destructive framing and causes more rape victims every year to be encouraged to do that thing that makes her trauma that’s making everyone else so uncomfortable go away so everyone can forget about it rather than help her throughout the years of support she needs. Now they did the “compassionate” thing. She’s no longer crying right in front of them so to speak. And they are no longer contemplating being guilty of reraping her.

        Some of them become a part of the angry red pill type movements. They know there’s a ton of bull being forced down everyone’s throats and they are done with pretending that it’s OK, so now they are just going to go do any angry foolish thing and feel justified. Why should they now to the irrational mob that hates them and maligns them?

        All of these groups will have some rapists in them probably. A couple of them are much more at risk for creating larger numbers of them.

        Throwing the word rape around foolishly for effect on issues you feel passionately about is something worth opposing. And our society has a lot of history with it that we can examine. From the lie of Roe v Wade to the present much of the history goes by ignored or lied about constantly. (The infamous victim of the case, “Roe” who has since revealed the lie that abortion advocates convinced her to tell of having been raped, gave birth and allowed her child to be adopted and loved. “Roe” works to overturn that Supreme Court decision. A lot of history!)

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Mom,
        In love- I am not sure where you got your information about “All men being accused..” that is simply not true.

        Check out this website :
        https://mensstudies.org

        There are a number of contributors who are “feminists”.
        Feminism was never meant to be about men-bashing or man- hating.
        It was meant to assert our rights as human beings.
        I’m a feminist, and I absolutely value men and masculinity.

        Like

      • Linds, I’ve lived through the period of time we’re discussing. I don’t need to find evidence to consider the experience of literally hundreds of incidents of the rhetoric of the rape analogy in classroom discussions in high school and college, at demonstrations, in public informal small group discussions, in private conversations. It’s been everywhere constantly throughout my lifetime. It’s used to silence dissent and to silence men. I find it totally disengenuous when people claim they want to self-identify as feminists but they want to put all of the responsibility for the negatives of that very publicly known and experienced and very polarizing label being seen through the filter of everyone’s experiences with feminism. It’s a movement. It exists. People have had day in and day out experience, not just 24/7 but 24/7 for several decades now.

        To start pulling out links to what feminism is or isn’t or to studies or whatever is not remotely going to change the overwhelming flood of over 40 years of the misfortunes of daily experience of living through feminism.

        It’s kind of like an Internet conversation I witnessed within the last few months where a pro-life activist with what is call a fairly skewed view ranted and raved and tried to force everyone to agree that no true pro-lifer ever has wanted women punished for having abortions. And she had links….sometimes links are just the moment you have to roll your eyes or sigh or something. I mean seriously, no matter how few or many the incidents was there ever an Internet link powerful enough to erase the memories? I hope it’s true that kid don’t. I think not going for that is the wiser course. But I just can’t see the benefit in pretending he thing you don’t like doesn’t exist.

        I’m sorry you felt unsafe. But I’m totally unclear on why you think it’s a rational response to say you experienced feeling physically unsafe or why you think the feelings you experienced can be justifiably claimed as the same as the trauma of rape. Are you a rape victim? I’d so I get how tons of things dredge it all up. But that’s still not the same as what being said with this rape analogy. And if you claim it’s appropriate, why is it only appropriate to stuff you agree with and inappropriate to stuff you dislike?

        And about Jeff, please stop trying to link me to how bad you think he is. I don’t think it’s fair to say I’ve inextricably linked myself to Jeff or to Travis either one. I can’t own their stuff anymore than I can own how much any other commenter here chooses to let their well being be impacted by what they read here. What I pointed out was an honest viewpoint and experience and how the negativity and upping the ante can go both ways and has been.

        I opened with telling why it’s an emotional topic for me and asking for a little grace. I figured I had evidence that the person I was addressing might be kind in response. I didn’t know if have to defend against others who would want to use that opportunity to their own ends.

        Even if it had been my goal, which it wasn’t to win, you’re clearly determined to be allowed to ‘cry rape’ with the rhetoric of that analogy and turn things on those who disagree for making you feel unsafe. That’s always a game with no winner. The loudest or the last may feel the victory. But the whole thing is unsound and unproductive. I can’t stop you from inadvertently belittling real victims of real crimes and I won’t try further as it can only get more and more emotionally charged for me, which in turns hurts my logic, my communication style, and my point which in turn furthers the condoning or even the use of the egregious breach of good form that I’d like to request that people consider from my viewpoint.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          FSM,

          First, you kind of put me in a place where I need to defend myself, but then say that it is ungraceful for me to respond.

          I didn’t mean to be ungraceful in my initial response. Please don’t take my response to minimize your experience.

          I get your charged. So am I, but not to a max degree.

          PLEASE READ THIS ONLY WHEN YOU ARE ABLE.

          I want you to know I care about you as a person.

          I feel like you are putting me in a position of “the bad guy” because I DID disagree with you.
          I hope you reconsider that position, because I don’t think it is true.

          To answer a few things that you mentioned:

          I didn’t say I felt physically threatened, I said I felt physically ILL.

          Yes, I’ve been abused by men. I was punched in the face by my “boyfriend” when I was 18. It was at a BBQ with all his friends. He wanted to show how much of a man he was.
          I was chocked by a senior when I was a freshman because I “liked him too much”. I was also really fat and it was shameful for him for me to hang around.
          There are countless other instances- from things being stolen from me, from verbal attacks, to taking advantage sexually via mis-representation and manipulation.

          Rape is incredibly traumatic. Yes. But don’t minimize my experience of abuse at the hands of men because there wasn’t the act of sex at the time of abuse.

          Sometimes “rape” doesn’t look dramatic. Sometimes its a resignation, and there is no fight. But that doesn’t make it any less damaging.

          Also,
          When you say that I am endorsing “crying rape” by saying Travis’ words were appropriate minimizes the effects of what Jeff was saying. What Jeff was saying was reprehensible.
          It was violent against women. PERIOD.

          You said “And if you claim its appropriate, why is it only appropriate to stuff you agree with and inappropriate to stuff you dislike?”
          I really need examples of when I have done this.

          I am not linking you to Jeff, I was saying that Travis’ words were justified considering Jeff’s words and approach.

          Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “What Jeff was saying was repressive. It was violent against women, period.”

        Really, Linds? So this quote I posted from an encyclical by Pop Pius XI is “violent against women”:

        29. With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”[30]

        And so that’s “reprehensible” and “violent against women”? Wow. Hyperbole much? Either that or you are the textbook definition of a “rebellious woman”, that the Bible warns about.

        However, I do have sympathy for you. From what you describe of your past it appears you are emotionally damaged, if not broken. Have you tried counseling and therapy? Because it sounds like right now you are not emotionally healthy enough for a relationship. For this reason I’d strongly caution any man about getting seriously involved with you.

        My advice was intended for women who are emotionally and spiritually healthy, so I guess I understand why to you it was like sunlight to a vampire. You have some healing to do. Please don’t enter into a serious relationship until you work on that healing.

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      IB-
      I’m calling bullshit.
      If your comment is meant to be unkind, it is at least designed to “win”.
      You are speaking ENTIRELY from your point of view.
      Yes- submission and subordination, even the words, CAN set people off.
      Especially if they have experienced an abuse of power.
      It’s UNREAL to YOU- not everyone else.
      I think it’s hilarious that you, as a Christian, are saying words have no power and aren’t like Rape. Since it seems all of Christendom recently had a campaign to emphasize the effect of WORDS.
      I think Travis’ words were ACCURATE and poetic.
      I also find it very hard to believe that your statements about reading throwing acid in women’s faces, ect are less offensive than his words.
      However, I think your words and intent are going the opposite direction to anything resembling biblical submission to others.
      Which is just as important as marital submission.
      We can discuss and criticize ideas, we should not criticize others, remember.
      I beleive you are picking irrelevant fights by even making this comment.
      I believe it is decisive in nature, and I don’t think that is very useful at all.
      I will not stick around if this whole site becomes an “us and them”thing.
      The whole point of Matt’s post was to look at other people’s viewpoints.
      We should work towards that instead of judging and criticizing how a person thinks or feels about a matter.

      Like

    • Travis B. says:

      IB and FSM, please allow me to begin by apologizing for the unpleasant feelings my word choice of “rape” has elicited in you. Though I’ve learned on this blog that intention means much less to some readers than it does to me, I nevertheless feel compelled to clarify it was not my intention to trigger any such reaction, or trivialize sexual rape. And I am fully prepared to concede that it is justifiable and fair for you to accuse my word choice of being indelicate and hyperbolic. As Lindsey pointed out, I was thinking of the word “rape” in a broader aspect than purely sexual. I meant it in the sense of someone attacking another who is powerless to prevent or avoid it (yes, those offended by Jeff could choose to simply avoid this forum, but is that fair that the attacked must leave? And how does one attacked avoid the attack before it is made? Once words like “fat, ugly and stupid” and so many vile others are seen, how easily can they be unseen?) and–this being the critical part–the nature of the attack has the power and potential to leave lasting psychological scars. You may think that I was exercising unfair privilege as a man to view the word “rape” in a broader aspect than sexual, but it is surely vital to this discussion that, as a teen, I was *this* close to being anally raped by a grown man. I was afforded a split second to escape and had the good judgment to take it. So, no, I don’t know sexual assault from the standpoint of penetration, but I can claim to be a victim of every other element of it. But in the sense that, whatever emotional and psychological wounds Jeff’s earlier words had the potential to cause probably would not lead to any of us needing a support group, or intensive therapy to get over, yes, maybe “rape” carried to much darkness, and perhaps using a word like “abuse” would have better suited my point. In my own meager defense, I was only using the word “rape” since the analog was already underway in that discussion, so at least understand that I did not introduce that term to the discussion so much as simply illustrate why people were equating his philosophy and behavior as having the potential for powerful and dangerous negative impact to other (i.e. female) readers along the lines of rape. But I do hear you, IB and FSM, and I totally see from where your criticism coming.

      Here’s the part I don’t follow. Unlike the person I was originally criticizing, I am not new to the comments sections of MBTTTR. I have undertaken many conversations with you both over about a nine month period. From my point of view, those conversations have always been mutually respectful, insightful and, upon occasion, beneficial in terms of practical application. I would have thought I had proven myself to be a worthwhile member of our so-called tribe. So where did the presumption of my positive intent go? Mind you, you are fully in your rights to be critical of my word choice, but you guys at this point should know that I am no enemy to women, or to the mission objective of this site. Have you ever known me to be insensitive and “unreal” as a matter of course here? So if I used a term you would not normally associate with my conduct in these comments, why have I not earned at least the presumption that it was carelessness, not negative intention, that motivated it? And why, FSM, do you feel it fair to accuse me of being a “pugilist” who is attempting to “up the ante” with Mr. Strand? My sole statement to him in this discussion was a respectful request (which Matt seemed to agree was not hostile, rude or egregious) for him to cease and desist speaking directly with me. At no point was I attempting to battle or escalate hostilities with Jeff. I am, in point of fact, desperately attempting to negate all possibility for future conflict between the two of us. So not only does that feel like a personal slight on my character, but a grossly unfair and inaccurate one at that.

      So here we are again. The tribe knocked down another notch before it could find its feet again after its previous blow. I really don’t know what’s in the water around here these days, but nearly everything I hold dear about the community at MBTTTR is rapidly dissipating. I grant I am not above the fray (pun not intended), but at the very least, my issues are with someone who never took the time to add to our collective “emotional bank account” first before he started making massive withdrawals from it. But those of us who have formed its backbone for a year are now suddenly, and in increasing elevation, at each others’ throats. We’ve gone from indoctrinating Matt’s principled philosophy in our dealings with each other to simply reading them only glancingly enough to then shred them into bloody detritus so as to nit-pick and challenge minutiae. We’ve collectively lost the forest for so very many unimportant and off-topic trees and, in doing so, we keep losing some of our best members. I could barely stand losing gottmanfan, but now Lindsey?! When does it end? Now I’m faced with the realization that I’m torn between two worlds–the MBTTTR of earlier this year, one I love and hold very dear for helping guide me out of the darkest patch of my adult life, one which I wish to honor by defending it tooth and nail from its fresh cancer of dissension and negativity. And the current MBTTTR which, aside from Matt’s still clear and radiant writing, has become more hassle than help; a place that I progressively walk away from feeling worse rather than better. A place that keeps hurting instead of healing. I don’t know whether to fight against that tide, or concede that what I once loved is now hopelessly lost. I know this–this is no longer some of us against Jeff. This is brothers and sisters against brothers and sisters and we ALL own a piece of it, and if the majority of us can at least agree that the MBTTTR of the first half of 2016 was greatly superior to the one we’re experiencing now, we ALL have the onus to start working back to that center in earnest and in tandem. I hope everyone is with me, because the muck we find ourselves mired to simply will no longer do.

      Lindsey, that you for your kind words in my defense–not because of something as self-aggrandizing as agreeing with me or having my back, but simply because you had the grace and presumption of positive intent to know that, outside of an arguably clumsy word choice, my intentions were pure and meant to support and defend those who were being attacked. I continue to value you and hold your contributions here in the highest esteem.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. linds01 says:

    I want to share this.
    I think it applies.

    Faith, Hope, and Love
    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    I want to talk about what I mean in the practical order by holding the opposites. This is “the third way” thinking I referenced earlier this week. The reconciling third isn’t necessarily a third opinion. It’s much more subtle than that. The third way acknowledges: “That is true and that is true, too, and I’ve got to learn to coexist with both of them.” It’s not fully a third position, but a holding tank where you recognize the truth that’s in both positions without trying to dismiss either one of them. That’s not easy. I believe it’s uniquely the work of the Spirit to help you “build the house of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:1) and to hold the tension. Yet the early difficulty is that you must indeed be able to distinguish the two positions for what they are. Third Way thinking is not naiveté or glibly saying, “Everything is beautiful.” Jesus objectively described the Pharisees as “white washed tombs” (Matthew 23:27) before he taught and practiced love of enemies and forgiving seventy times seven. You see why this takes such discernment. First, the two must be honestly named before you can remake them into a new kind of one!

    I’ve been influenced by Carl Jung a great deal and find tremendous insight in Jungian psychology. But let me clarify that I’m not talking about the balancing of opposites that Jung describes (and which has its place). I’m talking about biblical faith and hope, which is something much more subtle and difficult. It’s not balancing or even eliminating the opposites, but holding the opposites, as Jesus did on the cross. To live inside this space of creative tension is the very character of faith, hope, and love—what we call the “theological virtues.” I was taught that the theological virtues were not virtues you could attain by effort, but only by participating in God’s own life.

    Contradictions are not impediments to the spiritual life; rather, they are an integral part of the spiritual life. Every highly conscious person I have met has struggled with more than one deep contradiction. Contradictions don’t encourage you to abandon your critical faculties, but to sharpen them.

    I’d like to point out the two great theophanies in the Bible: Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19) and Jesus on Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). Mountaintop experiences are moments of enlightenment, encounter, clarity, and seeing. But in both cases there’s also a thick cloud. God is hidden in the darkness of the cloud on Mt. Sinai and Jesus is overshadowed by a dark cloud on Mt. Tabor. There’s the paradox of seeing and not seeing, knowing and not knowing. This is what biblical faith means to me. Yet we’ve often interpreted it as its opposite: absolute belief and certainty.

    I’m not saying that you should dismiss the two positions because they don’t matter. That would be fuzzy relativism. It’s not that easy. I’m saying: hold the truth of both positions and take some degree of responsibility for both positions.

    Let’s bring this to our contemporary scene. Can you be willing to honestly help carry the shame that has been projected onto our black brothers and sisters and to sincerely carry the responsibility that police officers feel, knowing there are good and bad people on both sides? Note your biases and repent of them.

    Gateway to Silence:
    Welcome what is.

    Reference:
    Adapted from Richard Rohr, Holding the Tension: The Power of Paradox (CAC: 2007), disc 2 (CD, MP3 download).

    Image Credit: Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (detail) by Pieter Breugel the Elder, 1565.

    At Home in Mystery
    The Third Way

    Like

  20. Donkey says:

    Hello everyone.

    To honor the full respect living concept I aspire to, I feel it’s time for me to ask for more respectful language for the liberals and feminists here.

    To be very clear, I do not agree with Travis that some of Jeff Strand’s previously expressed opinions are as hurtful as rape. I do, however, agree that some of Jeff Strands statements felt abusive. If other folks disagree with me on that, that’s fine, but please don’t use ridiculing language.

    Insanitybytes, you criticize Travis for his language, and yet your language towards him is quite disrespectful.

    Fromscratchmom, I find the way you talk of feminists quite disrespectful. If you have come across feminists saying that all men are rapists, that is certainly a shame and not something I agree with at all. But feminists are noe more a homogenous group than christians or catholics are. It’s not fair to judge all feminists (which it seems to me that you’re doing, you’re welcome to correct me if I’m wrong) by the statements of a few. No more than it’s fair to judge all christians based on the actions of Westboro Baptist church.

    (The controversy on the blog lately has brought up a lot of stuff for me, and it’s taking me a lot of time to process. But I’ll probably make some kind of post about it in the future (not that I believe everyone’s waiting on pins and needles). There, I’ll try to clarify what I’ve said, I’ll practice standing up for myself respectfully. And just as importantly, I’ll also welcome people to clarify and share with me their position, and I’d welcome people to tell me exactly what I said (if anything) that offended them.

    As a little preview, I’ll say this: I want people to feel very free to take things up with me, to say “Donkey,i found xyz thing you said disrespectful or hurtful because of abc”, “Donkey, in my opinion you’re overlooking so and so, you’re being inconsistent becaus of so and so” or whatever else. But I must and I will ask people to not explicitly say or insinuate that I said something that was hurtful or rude when I (to the best of my knowledge) didn’t actually say those things. It’s not respectful or helpful to the discussions and relationships here.)

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      …and I say this with the hope of continued cameraderie and good and mutually respectful conversations with you both IB and Fromscratchmom. And eveyone else here too

      You’re both (all) welcome to take up with me whatever you wish, where you feel (if that’s the case) that I have offended you, where you think I’ve been inconsistent, if there’s anything you wish to clarify or whish me to clarify or whatever else.

      Cheers!

      Like

      • I appreciate your comment, Donkey and will consider earnestly. I do and have done so for several years considered the label of feminism to be devisive, polarizing and inextricably linked with a tremendous amount of heinous stuff. I’ve often in the past ignored comments from people here who I otherwise enjoy discussions with where it seemed wiser to assume they mean to come off very differently than they do come off to me based on some extreme differences of paradigm. Confronting other people for every feeling of discomfort just makes for a very unhealthy me. Conversely assuming without clarifying can turn out just as badly. So “ignoring a comment” for me means I move on in goodwill and try to be free of or at least minimize any lasting impact on my thoughts or feelings that could have come from said comment.

        I do think that there’s been a lot of disrespect that’s flowed in both directions from some of these polarized and highly uncomfortable discussions. And I do not feel like calls for some lessening of disrespect towards myself and my paradigm have been heeded in certain instances.

        But I want to assure you that I have zero stuff I feel the need to confront you personally on and I’m totally open to further discussion with you including being called out by you when you have an issue with me…

        …except for the rest of today, please, while I just need to consider if the one-sided disrespectful feeling I’m continuing to get in some small parts of the discussion here with disrespect and an effort to force all toward a certain side (NOT by you!) is rising to a level of needing to fully separate/differentiate from discussions with folks who continue to push.

        To be clear, I do not feel physically unsafe! If I move on, I move on for my own well-being without it needing to indict anyone else. And I move on in a good spirit of seeking more productive stuff and less of obstructionist stuff or less double standard against opposing views. It’s really very unlikely that I should ever need to avoid this blog altogether as opposed to just holding back more from a larger body of stuff, so I hope to discuss life, philosophy, and everything under the sun with you more in the future, Donkey!

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Fromscratchmom, thank you for your reply! I hope you see this.

        “I do think that there’s been a lot of disrespect that’s flowed in both directions from some of these polarized and highly uncomfortable discussions.”

        Very true. It’s so very easy to overlook/forget about disrespectful language from someone that we (mostly) agree with on the issue at hand. I ABSOLUTELY KNOW I’ve been guilty of this here. Obviously this is hypocritical of me when I aspire to full respect living. I fully acknowledge that I’m a newbie at it, and I apologize for my failings, whatever/wherever they are. I include in those the failings that I’m not able to realize at this point are failings, but that I would recognize as such if I were wiser/more mature/better differentiated. :)

        It’s also safe to say that terms can mean very different things to different people. Submission probably means something different to you than it does to me, and your view of it is also probably different from Jeff Strand’s view. Similarly, feminism means something very different to you than to me.

        Even if we ultimately disagree with someone should we be using the same definitions, these different understanding sure can create a lot of conflict and hurt feelings.

        To be very clear, we’re perfectly good in my book! :) I wish to continue discussing mattress gripping, bullsh*t meters and most other things under the sun with you too!

        Like

  21. zombiedrew2 says:

    So, uhhh…
    basketball season is starting up soon? Anyone else looking forward to it?

    Or, um, anyone see a good movie lately?

    *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • marilyn sims says:

      Drew,

      I’m reeling! I don’t know what happened I thought we were on our way back to being the “tribe” as Matt described it. It seems I was wrong, however. I’m determined to “hold fast” this time and though my contributions may be a little less frequent. I am present.

      I hope you will also decide to stay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Hah, I hear you marilyn. Well, the more people you have commenting, the more room for differing opinions/viewpoints. And therefore the more room for conflict.

        I guess that’s one advantage of having my readership be pretty small.

        As for me, yeah, I’m present. When comments go off down a dark path I see no value in adding to anything, but by and large there’s a good group here.

        Like

    • Donkey says:

      Zombiedrew2, I don’t know your taste, but have you seen the show “The Americans?” I LOVE IT!!!

      Like

  22. Jeff Strand says:

    “In short, I felt emotionally unsafe and physically ill by the words (usually insulting) that Jeff asserted.
    So, it may not feel like rape to you, but it certainly felt like assault to me. And the nature of it being gender based, yes- I felt abused.”

    The irony here is that a quote like this would seem to prove Ann Coulter’s point that female suffrage was a bad idea. Because women are too emotion-driven, while men are more logic-driven.

    The quote demonstrates an almost hysterical emotion-based reaction that is completely out of proportion. And so Coulter’s point is that if even a significant percentage of women are “wired” this way, and society lets them vote, you’re going to be in for real problems. Agree or disagree, she makes an interesting point.

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Jeff,
      I can’t tell you how little I care about your opinion.

      Like

    • Donkey says:

      Again, I’ll disagree that women are necessarily less logical.

      For instance: Violent and/or impulsive crimes, reckless driving, risk taking that results in premature death all happen more among men. Hardly logical behavior devoid of all emotional concerns.

      Your opinion on what is logical or not is not necessarily the ultimate truth. Neither is mine.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “For instance: Violent and/or impulsive crimes, reckless driving, risk taking that results in premature death all happen more among men. Hardly logical behavior devoid of all emotional concerns.”

        Look at the prevalence of men in the STEM fields. Of course, historically almost all your mathematicians and scientists were men. I guess that is going to be explained away by claiming all our forefathers were rabid woman-haters who ruthlessly suppressed the untold legions of women who were just dying to invent calculus or the Pythagorean theorem…or spend many freezing nights lying on their backs shivering under a large mountaintop-based telescope. And some may even buy that, the propaganda being as thick as it is.

        But it won’t fly nowadays, with all the encouragement girls are given to pursue higher education and the fact that female college grads now outnumber men! Yet these women in college steer away in droves from logic-based fields like STEM, just as men steer away from “gender studies”. No incentives have been able to change this.

        I think the vast majority of people would agree that women are more emotion-driven than men. We see it every day – look how women relate to their girlfriends, versus men relating to their buddies.

        Btw, not saying women being emotion-driven is a bad thing. It’s how God made them, and makes a good complementary fit to men’s logic-based wiring. Yin and yang, as they say.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Just wanted to add this.

        I think a good husband, realizing women are more emotion-based, will take into account his wife’s sensitive nature in his dealings with her. I know I do. Give her extra reassurance and so forth.

        But I also think some women are way too driven by their emotions, and they have an obligation to work on this. For their own sake most of all!

        Like

      • NotAngryGuy says:

        Jeff …
        Donkey cited specific examples of instances in which men act far less logically and more emotionally than women (and those are just a few … I mean, we haven’t even gotten into sports fandom, which may be the least logical, most emotional thing ever).
        Rather than “logically” respond to her specific examples, you offer your personal feelings as evidence to support your claims, i.e what you think others might think, and erroneously conflate entry to STEM careers with logical thinking.

        Would be interested to read an actual response to Donkey’s point.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Guy,

        My post speaks for itself. The STEM fields are all logic-based and reason-based, and as a general rule men flock to them while women flee from them. I think that makes my point.

        If you want me to do more research on this, sorry but I’m gonna take a pass. Especially since I think the claim that women are more sensitive (emotion-driven) is self-evident in the first place. It’s common knowledge.

        Like

      • NotAngryGuy says:

        Jeff:

        Arguing that your positions are “common knowledge” and “self-evident” is hardly a logical stance.

        Could you at least explain why the large majority of sports fans – particularly die-hard fans – are men, when being a fan is an entirely emotionally driven experience that requires one to throw logic out the window (because no person thinking logically would invest so much time, money and thought into grown men play kids’ games)?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Guy,

        If you have an opinion, then state it.

        As far as sports, it’s a form of entertainment. Some guys like sports, some like going to the movies, some to cultural events, a lot of women like soap operas, etc.

        I will just add that if you go into relationships assuming the woman is not more sensitive and emotional than the man, I predict you will have some “interesting” times!

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        NotAngryGuy, thank you for your support! :) I agree with your points.

        Jeff Strand, perhaps I’ll revisit this more thoroughly at a later point, but the short version is that I disagree with you on most accounts, and I do not find your logic coherent.

        Take care fellas!

        Like

    • Donkey says:

      Again Jeff, I’m waiting for your response on this:

      “You’ve previously said that my views (and Travis’) on marriage are not worth listening to because I’m not christian. I have shared with you that Laura Doyle, who’s work you refer to often, is not christian either (to the best of my knowledge). By your previously stated criteria, you should not be listening to her marriage advice either. So I’m wondering if you’ve changed your criteria so that you now think that marriage advice from non christians can be valid? Or if you’re selectively applying that criteriea (which, of course, would make it logically incoherent)?”

      Unless you’ve changed your criteria (in which case I freely admit there are no logical incoherensies), your logic is faulty. I’ll not (if indeed it’s the case), however, take that as proof that men shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they’re illogical.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        I don’t take marriage advice from Laura Doyle. I happened to see her on a talk show which lead me to read a summary of her book, and I agreed with a lot of what she said. I thought some others here might take something positive from her work.

        I never emailed her to ask her to give me a detailed work-up of her theological and religious beliefs. I would not consider that reasonable. I do know that her advice for married women is in harmony with the teachings of the Church and the Bible. So the advice itself is Christian…but whether Laura Doyle herself is, well that’s something for her to attend to.

        Further, I am offended by your harping on this. Because it doesn’t seem that it comes from any thought that this info will be useful or enlightening (or even interesting) to anyone. Instead it seems like you’re trying to play an immature game of “gotcha”, trying to see if you trap me into some kind of contradiction.

        Pretty disappointed you would take that path, Donkey. You’re better than that.

        Like

  23. linds01 says:

    Matt,
    I truly appreciate your writing and voice.
    More than that, I think you’re an incredible person.
    However, I am going to officially now out from any further communications here at this time.
    I thank you and everyone else for being a much needed community for a time.
    But, I don’t think there is a lot of value in continuing at this time.
    I will of course keep reading your posts- I expect there will still be lots of goodness there.

    Like

    • marilyn sims says:

      Linds01,

      I am feeling sad that you have decided to leave and I can understand why you have made that decision — I hope you will return when you feel it is safe to do so. I’ll miss your humor, helpful comments and clarity of vision.

      Stay well!!!

      Like

  24. “Insanitybytes, you criticize Travis for his language, and yet your language towards him is quite disrespectful.”

    Wow. I don’t know what to say, but all in good humor, if you think this is me being disrespectful, you all might need to get out more.

    So, as to Colorblindness and being unable to see your own poo, several of you have been very dismissive, demeaning, disrespectful, and dare I say it, downright emotionally abusive, all while trying to gaslight people with your own perceived feelings of victimization. Yucky stuff, people.

    It’s somewhat amusing to me, for an alleged submissive, I can get downright uppity about steaming piles of poo and people trying to gaslight me into believing they’re actually just a tasty meal. So what does that dreaded S word actually do? It enables women to empower ourselves so we are no longer entangled and colorblind to the behavior of others. That actually creates genuine feminine strength, good boundaries, and a lack of emotional vulnerability.

    Like

  25. linds01 says:

    Travis, Beth, Marilyn, Donkey,Drew… Anyone who isn’t interested in gender biased conversation, or those driven by a religious agenda, please find us “The Refugees” on Facebook.
    It is a closed group and will be a safe place to conversate.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Lindsey, I’m so sorry to see you go! :( Though I respect and understand .(I believe) your desicion. I may have to leave eventually too, but I’m not there at this point.

      I’m not able to find “The Refugees” on Facebook. Could you give more information that would help me find it?

      In any case, can I reach you through your blog?

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Donkey,
        Yes- you are always welcomed to reach out to me on my (very amateur!) blog :).
        If you want to find the group, the best way to do it would be to go to Matts FB page, I wrote a message there on “visitors posts”. Click my name. It will take you to my account. I made the group public for the sake of finding it, but it is still a closed group. IE- people have to be approved, and no one can see the comments.

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Instruction change for anyone who would like to have a more private setting to talk about relationship things.
        Please go to Matt’s FB page. Click on “visitor comments”, you’ll see a post from me.
        Click my name and leave me a message.
        We will get you to the group.

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Leave me a message on my Facebook page- I may not get notified if you leave a message on the post I wrote.

        Like

  26. […] We’re all a little bit blind, or at least colorblind, to the world as it really is. […]

    Like

  27. […] An incalculable amount of human misery is generated by the equivalent of someone with colorblindness identifying something as being green (the color they accurately see) fig… […]

    Like

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