The Times When Wives Owe Husbands Sex

wedding rings wifely obligation

(Image/lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com)

I haven’t read the statutes or consulted an attorney, but it’s conceivable to me that a wife could owe her husband sex if she is employed by a brothel in a place where prostitution is legal, and her husband is a paying customer.

But even that’s debatable. Panera Bread once gypped my son and I out of the cookies we ordered and paid for with our takeout sandwiches. That was, like, three months ago and I’ve probably been back a dozen times since.

Does Panera owe me cookies? Do they?!?!

But seriously. The question of whether married people are obligated to have sex with their spouse is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.

Because the word “owe” isn’t limited to legal, enforceable or contractual obligations. It’s also defined as “to be under a moral obligation to give someone something.”

The most-fair question I can think to ask is this: In instances where two people marry in good faith, sincerely pledging sexual faithfulness to one another for life, could it be said that they have a moral obligation to fulfill one another’s sexual desires?

About Wifely Duties and Submission

The concept of “wifely duties” is rooted in the Christian idea of wives submitting to their husbands. There’s a better-than-average chance you’ve attended a wedding or church service where you heard it. It gives every champion of human equality heartburn. And I imagine it’s incredibly uncomfortable for women (and possibly some men) who’ve been abused at one time or another by a domineering tyrant. I grew up attending church on Sundays, have never been abused by a domineering tyrant, and it STILL makes me uncomfortable.

We should talk about that.

There are two things to deal with before continuing.

The Two Kinds of Sexism

There is overt and intentional sexism perpetrated by men who truly believe they are better than women, and actively work to raise male power and status at the expense of women.

But there’s also what I call Accidental Sexism. I think it’s secretly a major root cause of modern-day relationship failure. Accidental Sexism is what happens when men assume their wives will pick up after them, fold their clothes, cook them dinner, plan family and social activities, etc. because that’s how they remember it working in their childhood homes.

These men are NOT mindfully trying to demean and disrespect their wives. Bad people do that. Most people are not bad. These men are thoughtlessly replicating behaviors modeled for them in childhood, and then feeling unpleasantly surprised when their idea of being a good husband isn’t actually good enough for their spouses.

These men are good men. They care. Their sexism is unintended. They don’t even think their behavior is actually sexist, because “sexist” = “bad guy,” and they know they’re not bad guys.

The Perversion of Christianity

There are huge numbers of Christians who believe the public backlash against Christianity by non-Christians is tantamount to persecution.

This is happening because the actual meaning of the word “Christian” means different things to different people.

There’s the Christian label. A person who was baptized in a Christian church. They check a box on a form, and categorize themselves as Christians. People wearing the Christian label sometimes say and do asshole things. Something evil on colossal levels like drowning children in a bathtub or bombing an abortion clinic, or something on a more Everyday Asshole sort-of level like when I’m behind the wheel and mutter AWFUL things at other drivers that would make Jesus and my grandmother sad.

People see and hear these things and might understandably think: Ugh. Christians are assholes. That’s easy for me to understand because I also think people who do those things (including me and my non-Jesusy driving language) are assholes.

But there’s also what it ACTUALLY means to be a Christian, which at its core is basically: Act like Jesus.

Jesus was solid, across the board. And I’m certainly biased here, but Jesus is hard to pick on. I can tell you things about myself, my son, my parents, and my best friends that I think warrant criticism. But Jesus? I don’t have even one thing. I’ve known plenty of people with major hang-ups regarding Christian churches and faiths, but I’ve still never heard anyone say: “Jesus? That guy was just awful.”

Two dictionary definitions for Christianity:

  1. Treating other people in a kind and generous way.
  2. Being commendably decent or generous.

We’re not discussing theology here. We’re discussing “wifely submission,” and whether it has merit.

The PROBLEM here is that ignorant, sexist men co-opt Bible passages to suit their personal interests and justify spousal abuse.

The Bible doesn’t tell men to MAKE their wives submit.

The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands. The ball is 100 percent in the women’s court.

But there’s more to it than that, and lots of men like to ignore it because the truth is inconvenient.

The Bible ACTUALLY says: (Ephesians 5:22) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Let’s deal in reality, because I like it better than Bullshit Land.

  1. Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians between 62-80 A.D. That’s at least 1,932 years ago for those of you counting at home.
  2. The assumption being that everyone paying attention to Paul’s writings were going to be “godly” people. People taking seriously the idea of “serving the Lord” in their personal lives.
  3. So, all of this submission talk was rooted in “serving the Lord.” The cultural norm in the year 72 was for women to follow their husbands’ lead. But the culture norm (and ultra-specific Bible-based expectation) ALSO was for these husbands to be GODLY men. Men of profound character whose family leadership was rooted wholly and completely in humbly serving God and “treating other people in a kind and generous way” or “being commendably decent or generous.”

The men who play the “wifely submission” card in 2016 are not humble. They are not “commendably decent or generous.” They are selfish and abusive, or at the very least, profoundly ignorant.

Conclusion #1: EVEN IF what Paul wrote nearly two millennia ago is the ACTUAL, not-to-be-ignored-lest-ye-be-damned Word of God, the instruction was not: Hey Women! You’re supposed to be your husband’s slave and do whatever he says no matter what! He’s the boss!

The instruction was: IF you marry a godly (holy, not god-like) man, follow his humble and loving lead.

Anything other than that set of conditions renders the agreement null and void.

Conclusion #2: EVEN IF those suggestions are culturally relevant in 2016, they only apply to two people who are married, practice Christianity together, and who entered the marriage with the understanding that, so long as the husband behaves as holy men do, that his wife will defer to him on familial matters. And just so we’re absolutely clear, “bring me a sandwich and give me a blowjob” cannot be even loosely connected to the Christian God of the Bible.

Conclusion #3: Virtually every person playing the Wifely Submission card either: A. Has a great marriage consisting of two people in complete spiritual and philosophical alignment with one another, or B. Is a HUGE, disingenuous, sexist, and profoundly stupid asshole.

So, When Do Wives Owe Husbands Sex?

Maybe the prostitution scenario in a business-agreement sort-of way. I’ll let legal experts weigh in on the legal definition of the word “owe.”

How about in the general sense of the word? I suppose if a wife promised to have sex with him in writing or verbally (and ideally while wanting to, and not out of obligation), then maybe she would “owe” him the way I “owe” my mom a phone call because I didn’t call her over the weekend like a good son.

But the real heart of the matter is this: Do wives owe husbands duty-sex by virtue of their marriage?

Are wives “morally obligated” to sexually relieve or satisfy their husbands’ urges?

If while attending a large holiday gathering with family and friends and children, a husband wanted to have sex on the living-room floor in front of everyone, would his wife be dutifully obligated to?

If during a business trip to New York a husband wanted his wife home in Chicago to have sex with him, but she couldn’t because there were 790 miles between them, would his wife be failing in her dutiful obligations?

If during hospitalization after being involved in a car accident which left his wife in a coma, or body casts, a husband wanted his wife to have sex with him, is she dutifully obligated to?

Too extreme?

What if she has the flu?

What if her best friend died that day?

What if the family pet needs taken to the emergency vet?

What if she ran a marathon in the morning and says she’s too tired?

What if she didn’t get much sleep because of a sick child and says she’s too sleepy?

What if she had a rough day at work and simply isn’t in the mood?

Or. What if she just doesn’t want to?

What if after years of feeling neglected emotionally and frustrated by constant invalidation, she doesn’t feel sexually attracted to him nor safe engaging in physically intimate acts with him?

Where does a proponent of Wifely Submission draw the line between Good Enough reasons and Not Good Enough reasons?

And who gets to decide? The man? Because he was taught growing up that being “in charge” at his house is his birthright by virtue of having a Y chromosome?

Sorry, Guys. You Must Do Better Than That

Nope. Being male does not, and never has, grant license for the sexual decision-making of another person.

The Bible doesn’t say it, and neither does anyone you’d want your daughter going out on dates with.

Remember the famous JFK quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?”

Great quote.

Applies to marriage. Marriage is NOT about what it can do for you, or more specifically, what your wife can do for you. Seth Adam Smith said it best in his fantastic Marriage Isn’t For You, which you should totally read if you haven’t.

Marriage is about what YOU can give to your marriage. It’s about how YOU can make your spouse’s life better. I feel comfortable saying that unwanted sex NEVER makes someone’s life better.

I can help you guys out with the whole sex thing, if you’re struggling.

The solution is amazing, because it benefits EVERYONE involved—you get to have more sex, you get to have sex with a wife who WANTS to have sex with you, your marriage is fantastic, your kids have an infinitely better shot at happiness, and you get to live a fulfilling life which benefits your Mind and Spirit, every bit as much as your penis (or Body, if you prefer).

Because you do not want your wife to have sex with you nearly as much as you want your wife to WANT to have sex with you.

It’s the difference between marriage and divorce. Between happy and miserable.

All you need is a little Magic Sex Potion. You already have the ingredients needed to make it right there at home. You just need the instructions for how to make it. (You’re welcome.)

Do our wives OWE us sex?

The question is totally irrelevant. Because if you’re even asking it, your marriage is a trainwreck.

YOU owe your marriage energy and effort.

YOU owe your spouse love and respect.

YOU owe your family humble, selfless leadership.

When you do these things, there’s rarely a lack of sex in your relationship.

Do our wives owe us sex?

As is too often the case, we’re asking the wrong questions.

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146 thoughts on “The Times When Wives Owe Husbands Sex

  1. zombiedrew2 says:

    Hey Matt, agree with most of what you are saying here – no, a wife never “owes” their husband sex. And likewise a husband never owes their wife sex either. And yes, in theory sex should only be something that happens when both people “want” it.

    But I think you are operating with one massive assumption here, that I simply can’t agree on. You say:

    “YOU owe your marriage energy and effort.
    YOU owe your spouse love and respect.
    YOU owe your family humble, selfless leadership.
    When you do these things, there isn’t a lack of sex in your relationship.”

    I’m with you on the first three, but the fourth one falls apart.

    Sexual issues are infinitely more complicated than that. There are many, many people out there who have good, supportive partners. Yet they have no sex drive. I’m not talking just differences in drive here, I’m talking none – where they don’t have any interest in sex at all, ever. This is not uncommon.

    There are all sorts of things that can cause this, and when this happens it often destroys relationships.

    The partner who still does have a sex drive can do their best to be patient, and hope that maybe things will turn around. They can talk to doctors, and do what they can to not put pressure on their partner (because pressure will never help things). But eventually, they have to make a choice as to whether they can stay in a relationship that has devolved into a loveless, platonic one. Or if they have to move on in the hopes of one day finding something that provides more fulfillment for them.

    In you’re writing there are a number of times you have written about wanting people to like you, and hoping to one day have a sexual relationship again. So I think you do see value in having sex as part of your life. Would you be content in a relationship where there was no physical intimacy at all? Where someone never showed any interest, and rejected you every time you tried initiating somethings? And all you ever got was “I don’t want to”? Month after month, and year after year?

    I ‘m not sure if you can appreciate how completely soul destroying that is, and how it can make you feel worthless. Yeah, we all are responsible for our own happiness, and our own emotional well being. But intimacy in your relationship (something that sex is only one part of) is something you are completely dependent on your partner to be a willing participant in.

    The belief that simply being a good partner and doing all the “right things” will result in that part of a relationship functioning correctly seems logical – but in many cases it’s wrong.

    So where does that leave the person who still loves their partner, and doesn’t want to blow up their family, but still wants physical intimacy in their life?

    Let me ask this a different way:

    What would you say if a person felt that their partner should have sex with him/her whenever they wanted?

    I would say that person is self absorbed, our of touch with reality, and selfish.

    Well, how is it different when one person feels they should only have sex when they want – and oh, by the way that means never?

    To me, that person is JUST as self-absorbed, out of touch and selfish.

    When we get into relationships, TWO people are involved. At no time should one person be able to set the rules for something that impacts BOTH people. There are always going to be gaps in the needs/wants of a couple, and in order to succeed as a COUPLE, they need to find a way past any issues that works for BOTH people. Not just one, both.

    Usually that involves some give and take on both sides. Each person has to make some sort of sacrifice for the benefit of the couple.

    That’s not to say anyone should ever have to do anything they don’t want to. They shouldn’t.

    HOWEVER, they should value what their partner needs/wants.

    There are times I do things I don’t particularly want to because it’s something my wife wants. So I do them anyway, for two reasons:

    1) I want to see her happy
    2) for the health of the relationship

    I guess you could say they are things I am doing for her.

    I get that sex is a difficult topic that has a lot of sensitive feelings (guilt, shame) associated with it. But it affects both people – and both people should have a say in it.

    To me that means yeah, sometimes one person will likely have to have sex even when they don’t want to – in order to preserve the health of the relationship. Hopefully that doesn’t happen often.

    If someone NEVER wants sex, and knows their partner does, then I think they owe it to the relationship to try and understand WHY. What has caused this? Is this really relationship dissatisfaction or is there something deeper going on. Whatever the underlying reason is, they should work to resolve it – because it’s an issue that affects both people.

    And if they won’t? If they take the stance that they aren’t interested so sex is out of the picture? That is totally in their rights. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they should expect to be able to keep the relationship too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Matt says:

      A few thoughts, good sir.

      1. I reworded the sentence to include the word “rarely.” Virtually nothing is absolute. I write in broad generalities because there seems no other way, and I write with hyperbole because it’s just the way I speak.

      2. Rightly or wrongly, I’m usually operating under ideal scenarios. My premise is simple: A husband should work to be a great husband, leading by example, and humbly serving his marriage. And that a man who does that is unlikely to have sexual frustration with his wife.

      A man who serves his marriage with humble leadership is the kind of man who communicated effectively before marriage, and communicates effectively during marriage. His wife would do the same because he wouldn’t have married someone who didn’t. Expectations RE: values and boundaries would be laid out.

      There would never been a situation where a man “doing marriage right” would find himself in a loveless marriage.

      What generally happens is, he’s either an asshole, OR he’s a good guy who accidentally made mistakes which led to his wife feeling unloved, and then all the hallmark marriage problems surface, including a lack of sexual intimacy.

      That’s where most guys find themselves. I don’t think them telling their wives to perform duty-sex will help their marriage very much.

      My advice would be the same. Find out WHY she’s hurt, which is essentially the same as, Find out WHAT makes her want to sleep with you.

      3. What is a realistic scenario in which someone is in a GOOD sexless marriage? Presumably, age- and/or health-related conditions, only. If someone is in a sexless marriage where one partner is trying to “sell” the other on sex, I submit that they have a BAD marriage, and the bad marriage is why no sex is happening.

      4. “I’m not sure if you can appreciate how completely soul destroying that is, and how it can make you feel worthless.”

      This is the first time I believe you’ve ever gotten something blatantly incorrect in our conversations.

      I know, very well, precisely what it feels like to experience rejection on every conceivable level from the person you love most.

      THAT feeling is solely responsible for the existence of this blog.

      Not good enough. Not attractive enough. Not rich enough. Not smart enough. Not funny enough. Not tall enough.

      Must. Be. This. Tall. To. Ride.

      Quibbling over details here. I’m certain there have been situations in human history where a spouse denied the other sex under conditions that would seem to me unfair and unwarranted.

      I’m not debating the spirit of your argument. It’s legit.

      I just think, in reality, so rare and so obvious are the examples of it happening, that I’m not going to pour much thought and words into them.

      In the end, good men who are good husbands don’t need obligatory sex from their wives, because it’s freely given in the spirit of mutual love and respect.

      Liked by 2 people

      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Hey Matt,

        I just think you underestimate the frequency with which couples have issues in the intimacy department where the relationship is not actually the issue. And to be clear, this is both a male and a female problem.

        I’m fully on board that both men and women should always do their best to be good partners, and in a perfect world doing so (with good communication) will resolve many if not most of a couples issues.

        But I think the statement “good men who are good husbands don’t need obligatory sex from their wives, because it’s freely given in the spirit of mutual love and respect” is an idealization, and not necessarily a reality.

        A few other things to consider here:

        You say “If someone is in a sexless marriage where one partner is trying to “sell” the other on sex, I submit that they have a BAD marriage”, and honestly I find the characterization of a marriage as “bad” to be a bit irresponsible. I know you know this because you’ve written on it before, but, pretty much everything in life exist on a spectrum. Things are rarely good or bad – they are always somewhere in between. Many people who come to this blog come because they are tired, frustrated and feeling a sense of hopelessness in their marriage. They want some sort of positive change, and they don’t know how to find it. One of the things you do really well (and I strive to do the same) is give hope – try to show people that things CAN be better. So using the word bad? When many readers are already feeling stuck, and questioning if things can be better? I just think it’s a poor choice of wording there.

        No matter where a couples relationship is – it can ALWAYS be better. To me, THAT is the key message we should always be striving for. Being that light in the dark place, saying to people hey, things can improve. Often people need that more than hearing things are “bad”, which at times reinforces the place they are in. Not to say that things aren’t bad sometimes, because they are. But a big element of hedonic adaptation (that you write about) is that when we are seeing almost exclusively the bad, it’s often because we have stopped seeing the good. We need to remember that, and remember what IS good before we can actually deal with the parts that need improving.

        Often a “bad” marriage is actually a pretty good one, that needs improving in a number of areas.

        Lastly, I know full well that you have experienced first hand that level of rejection from the person you love the most. I realized that as I was writing the first part. And in some ways that’s why I’m a bit disappointed in this post. When talking about sexless marriages I would have hoped that you would have talked about approaching it as a couple – because it affects both people. Trying to understand *what* has happened, and trying to do so in a compassionate way for both people, so that they can try to rebuild whatever it is that has been lost. Trying to find ways to continue to love each other and SHOW love for each other in ways that aren’t sexual, so people don’t feel their connection falling apart. Trying to remember that no matter WHAT the issue is, finding ways to get through it together is always the best way to go.

        Instead, to me this came off a bit, well, I’m not even sure what the right words are. One of your themes that you’ve had in the past is “own your own stuff” – but both sides of a relationship need to do that, and understand how they have contributed to a situation. In this case there seems to be very little empathy for the people who are on the other side of the equation here.

        Don’t take this the wrong way – there’s a lot of good here. But a bit more balance would be nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ken Mitchell says:

        OK, now let’s define the word “rarely”. The problem only arises when there’s an extreme difference in their libidos, where one partner is “high libido” and the other is “low libido”; HL and LL respectively. When the partners are more-or-less evenly matched, there’s no problem.

        Does a woman OWE her husband sex? Or conversely, because the woman is OFTEN the HL partner, does a man OWE his wife sex?

        Not every day, of course. But barring medical problems or transient reasons, once a WEEK would be nice. The folks at the Reddit sub “DeadBedrooms” say that if you’re having sex less than once a MONTH, you’re in a “Dead Bedroom”. Again, that’s not a problem if both partners are satisfied with that frequency. At that point, if you’re the HL partner, you can beg, or you can plead, or you can suggest marital counseling. (This is only partly joking, but what’s “doggy style” sex? One partner begs and howls, while the other plays dead.)

        But in the ultimate extreme, when one partner doesn’t EVER want to have sex again, what the LL partner owes the HL partner is an equitable divorce settlement. Because sex is an INTEGRAL part of marriage. It’s the lure that women (generally) use to lure men INTO marriage in the first place. If one partner wants to forego sex, then there are very few accomodations that can be offered. Split up and try again with a new partner, HOPEFULLY one in which both partners have come to some agreement on what constitutes “enough”. .

        Like

      • anitvan says:

        Your last sentence to Drew ^^

        Yes.

        My husband and I both prefer sex when we’re both “all in”, mind, body and soul. Both of us will make accommodations for the other when one or the other of us is not entirely into it – and I think that’s a fair and generous thing to do for each other, seeing as how when you got married, you presumably promised to forsake all others, so it’s not like you have other options.

        I agree with Drew; one person should not hold all the cards on either end of the spectrum. Neither is fair or generous.

        But please understand, I wouldn’t be satisfied with a steady diet of “duty-sex”. If my husband was not interested in trying to create the climate where I’m gonna wanna be “all-in”, that would be an entirely different scenario.

        Liked by 3 people

    • JM says:

      “devolved into a loveless, platonic one”

      So what changed? The attitudes of entitlement of sex (or, to your point, not having sex) evolved probably as a consequence of other relationship issues. But the time it gets to sex, I think there are other issues underlying the breakdown of the connections in the relationship.

      I hear from Matt that a focus on the sex draws attention from the other issues going on with communication, connection, giving and listening.

      Like

    • Donkey says:

      So much nuance is required to talk about people owing sex. It’s so intertwined, on the bad end of the spectrum, with shame, guilt, bodily autonomy, harassment, trauma, entitlement etc.

      In my opinion: No one owes anyone sex ever. No one else has ownership over someone else body.

      But if you want to be in a romantic relationship/marriage where your partner only has sex with you, it’s not fair to expect them to be ok with being celibate aswell. They’re a monogamous partner, not a monk or a nun.

      Now, life happens. People have trauma they need to heal, people get sick, there’s pain issues etc. I think good partner’s should be supportive and patient.

      And I love me some tough love ala Dr. David Schnarch, which i find similar to some of what Matt says: If your partner doesn’t want to have sex with you, ask yourself, why should they want to have sex with you? Are you a fair and trustworthy partner? Do you accept their influence? Do you treat them with contempt, do you think they’re wrong when they really have a legitimate difference and you’re not mature/enlightened enough to see it? Do you allow them to step over you, because you have neediness issues? Do you have good dental hygiene? Do you have good hygiene period? Are you an interesting person? Do you show interest in others? Are you working to deal with any challenges you have in your life (unemployment, health, intrusive family members)? Are you sexually generous when you do have sex

      No one is perfect, so we can’t all wait to have sex with our partners until we’re perfect in every way. I think most here get the general idea of my last paragraph though. Dealing with those things would take care of many libido problems.

      And sometimes, like Drew says, the problem *isn’t* in the relationship. Maybe someone just isn’t interested in sex. Maybe they have traumas, self esteem issues or whatever else.

      But still, no one owes anyone sex. Though to be honest, if I found myself in a sexless marriage not of my own choosing, I believe I would kind of feel that way, if I were striving to be a good partner. But I would still *know* intellectually, that I’m not entitled to my spouse or anyone else having sex with me, and I certainly wouldn’t try to force anyone! I’d belong in jail if I did that. But if you rarely or never have sex with your nice monogamous partner and they, understandably, want to have a sex life?… don’t be surprised to find yourself divorced. Similarly as if you’re not a fair and respectful partner in actions or attitude, don’t be surprised to find yourself divorced, or with a spouse that hates your guts and doesn’t want to sleep with you.

      As to being sexual with your spouse when you don’t really want to: This can be so difficult to talk about, again, so much nuance is needed. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, I think it can be a good thing, to be sexually generous with your partner, even if you’re not that into it. But it’s a totally different thing if that comes from a place of feeling pressured or guilted into it, or if it comes from a place of being ok with doing that. And that depends *both* on the attitude and actions of the other person, and your own level of emotional health in this area. And it’s different if you don’t want to have sex because your partner is being kind of an asshole to you (whether or not they realize it), but you give in to keep the peace, to keep the relationship going or whatever, or if you decide to be generous becayse you’re just not feeling it but you don’t mind doing it with your nice partner anyway. And I imagine there’s a spectrum between those two things.

      I’d probably be fine with a spouse who was sexually generous every now and then, even if they weren’t totally into it. I mean, is anyone ever totally into everything they do sexually every second of the experience? But I have to say, isn’t a large part of the fun that the other person actually wants to have sex with you?

      Please, if anyone who should want to talk about how only women need to feel that their partner wants them sexually, I just don’t want to hear about it as a reply to *my* comment at this point (I hope it’s ok for Matt that I feel entitled to ask for this). Though you are of course entitled to your beliefs and opinions. I at least, have the impression that this is a big deal to men too, not just women. Meaning, men too much prefer it when their wife/partner is into the sex they have together, than when their wife/partner has a bored/long suffering expression on their face.

      Liked by 5 people

      • zombiedrew2 says:

        You know, I was worried that people were going to misunderstand what I was trying to say (and I suspect many will), but Donkey – I think you have nailed it completely!!!

        No one is ever entitled to sex. Then again, no one is ever entitled to stay married either. It’s something we need to choose, every single day. And truly, I think putting a priority on being a good partner, and on maintaining being lovers in some capacity is EXTREMELY important for both people. Sometimes things aren’t working sexually, and that’s fine. But love, and looking at each other as lovers, is a choice you can make every single day.

        People shouldn’t find themselves wondering if their partner still loves them. The little signs of affection and caring should always be there.

        And if for whatever reason they aren’t? Whether it’s because someone is not being a good partner, because of bad communication or whatever, then that’s fine. You can never “make” someone show you love and affection, and you can never make someone want you sexually.

        I have huge issues with people who think it’s alright to check out on the relationship, physically and emotionally – but they still want to stay in it for the utilitarian reasons and because they don’t want to be alone.

        If you are emotionally out, and not working to improve things or to get yourself back in, then get out – all the way.

        I’m all for working through almost anything, and I think even relationships in bad spots can be great again. Both people need to try though, and they have to be willing to build something that works for BOTH people. Not just a relationship that works for them.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Donkey says:

          Thanks Drew. :)

          “No one is ever entitled to sex. Then again, no one is ever entitled to stay married either.” Agreed!

          “I have huge issues with people who think it’s alright to check out on the relationship, physically and emotionally – but they still want to stay in it for the utilitarian reasons and because they don’t want to be alone.

          If you are emotionally out, and not working to improve things or to get yourself back in, then get out – all the way.

          I’m all for working through almost anything, and I think even relationships in bad spots can be great again. Both people need to try though, and they have to be willing to build something that works for BOTH people. Not just a relationship that works for them.”

          I agree with you, all the way!

          It’s just, and I know you know this, no one can force people to do what they should, even if they really really really should do it, and it’s completely shitty of them to not do it, and it would be better for everyone if they did do it. We can do our very best to work on our end of the deal, own our shit, enforce healthy boundaries, be emotionally resilient. But if someone doesn’t do what they should even then, we must decide whether or not we can live with that, or if the relationship needs to change in some way or end all together. I do think that *sometimes* (and I of course don’t know anyone’s specific situation) when people in committed relationshipsthink they have tried everything, there are good options they could try that they just aren’t aware of. Brainstorming with a coach or something might be helpful in those cases.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Ken Mitchell says:

            Part of the problem is when the LL partner decides that “monogamy” is equivalent to “celibacy”. Those are two ENTIRELY different concepts. The HL partner is fulfilling his (or her, as the problem seems evenly split along gender lines) part of the bargain; loving, caring, helpful around the house, contributes, cares for the children, and the LL partner thinks that this is an entirely DANDY arrangement. But the HL partner is climbing the walls desperate for what was supposed to be implicit in the marriage contract.

            In the Roman Catholic Church, it used to be (and may still be, for all I know) grounds for an annulment for one partner to unilaterally refuse sex for some extended period. Everybody understands when one partner is boorish, churlish, abusive, alcoholic, druggie – but what about the cases when everything is peachy-keen EXCEPT that one partner wants sex and the other doesn’t?

            Just last week there was a thread in the DeadBedrooms subreddit in which the LL wife sought help from “the internet” in coping now that her loving, kind, generous, special, wonderful husband had tried to hang himself because she had cut him off COMPLETELY for over 18 months. He’d even asked for a divorce, and she’d sworn to fight it, because the marriage was PERFECT – for HER. Fortunately for him, he failed. But I’ve been there; instead of jumping off a cliff when Bitchy Wife #1 decided that sex was “yuckky”, I divorced her.

            Nobody is ever OWED sex – but nobody is ever OWED marital bliss, either. Sex is part of the implied “marriage package”, and nobody is allowed to renege on the deal without SOME pain.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Donkey says:

              Hello there Ken,

              I’m not sure if this comment of yours was meant for me, or someone else or everyone.

              In any case, you and I seem to be in agreement about this: “Nobody is ever OWED sex – but nobody is ever OWED marital bliss, either.” And I totally agree that monogamy and celibacy are not the same thing.

              I wrote the following in my first comment further up:

              “In my opinion: No one owes anyone sex ever. No one else has ownership over someone else body.

              But if you want to be in a romantic relationship/marriage where your partner only has sex with you, it’s not fair to expect them to be ok with being celibate aswell. They’re a monogamous partner, not a monk or a nun.”

              and

              “But if you rarely or never have sex with your nice monogamous partner and they, understandably, want to have a sex life?… don’t be surprised to find yourself divorced. Similarly as if you’re not a fair and respectful partner in actions or attitude, don’t be surprised to find yourself divorced, or with a spouse that hates your guts and doesn’t want to sleep with you.”

              I’m glad you got out of a situation that was so painful for you!

              Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey: “But still, no one owes anyone sex”

        Just so you know, that is not the teaching of the Catholic Church (Matt is a Catholic). While of course the Chuch would not approve of the husband physically forcing the wife to have sex against her will, nonetheless Holy Mother Church has always taught that the wife has a MORAL DUTY in this regard. Meaning, it would be sinful for her to refuse this duty of the marital act for an extended period without good cause.

        That’s why the Church has often referred to the wife honoring the marriage vows in this way as “paying the marriage debt.” It is phrased that way for a reason – a debt is indeed, something you owe another, and you cannot renege without good reason under pain of sin.

        So from a moral point of view, according to Chruch teaching, yes…spouses do owe each other sex.

        Like

        • Donkey says:

          Hello Jeff,

          My view on this may very well differ form the Catholic Church.

          I do think we agree on some things, here though. I agree that good spouses *ought to be* sexual with their spouses. Unless there’s good reason for them not to be (and maybe you and I disagree on what those good reasons are), or both spouses are fine with little to no sex.

          But I still don’t think anyone’s entitled to it, that their owed it in that sense. And thankfully, the laws where I live agree with my stance.

          Liked by 1 person

    • OKRickety says:

      “The belief that simply being a good partner and doing all the “right things” will result in that part of a relationship functioning correctly seems logical – but in many cases it’s wrong.”

      Truth! Unfortunately, this mistaken belief is popular in the Christian church today and stated in this manner: If the husband would just love us his wife the way Jesus loves the church, then the marriage will be wonderful, the wife will receive her proper honor and be the ideal wife, and, of course, the sex will be awesome.

      “When we get into relationships, TWO people are involved. At no time should one person be able to set the rules for something that impacts BOTH people. There are always going to be gaps in the needs/wants of a couple, and in order to succeed as a COUPLE, they need to find a way past any issues that works for BOTH people. Not just one, both.
      […]
      HOWEVER, they should value what their partner needs/wants.
      […]
      To me that means yeah, sometimes one person will likely have to have sex even when they don’t want to – in order to preserve the health of the relationship.”

      Great analysis. Whether one thinks they owe their spouse sex or not, if their partner thinks they need sex, they owe it to the relationship. Otherwise, you are showing that the relationship is not worth much to you, and, consequently, you do not value your partner highly, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ken Mitchell says:

        In every marriage, it’s important to choose your battles. There are always – ALWAYS – conflicts and disagreements, but which of these are worth arguing about? My wife and I have (we’ve been married for 35 years now) believed that if one of us had a strong opinion about a topic and the other did not, we would agree to do it that way. I’m pretty easy-going; we mostly do things “her way”, because for many of those topics, it isn’t worth arguing over. But there have been a few that I felt strongly about and she didn’t, and we did those “my way”. And if we both have strong opinions on a topic, we either compromise or work around it.

        With my first wife, it was always HER way, even on the most trivial of topics. Compromise? She didn’t know the meaning of the word. When I capitulated, she’d back up 10 yards and start arguing again with new demands. That’s why she was “Bitchy Wife #1” and I divorced her LONG ago.

        Like

  2. I love how guys forget the rest of the passage in Ephesians 5.

    How many husbands, especially ones that feel they are owed sex, truly love their wives as themselves?

    Instructions for Christian Households

    21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    Liked by 2 people

    • anitvan says:

      And how did Christ (the groom) show his love for the Church (the bride)?

      He SUFFERED and died for her.

      Which, to me, includes suffering the occasional dry spell 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • The best part is that if both sides are really living the whole of that part of Ephesians 5, then dry spells are going to be rare.

        I get that life happens. But, dry spells are plenty of times rooted not in “life happens” and instead that the husband isn’t doing what he needs to do to get his wife to want him and make sure there are no reasons for a dry spell.

        The problem with the traditional view of the whole thing is putting the onus on the wife to just go through the motions. Maybe it’s just me, but pity/drunk/obligation sex doesn’t work for me.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Donkey says:

          “Maybe it’s just me, but pity/drunk/obligation sex doesn’t work for me.”

          I must say James Weise, I’m glad you feel that way. Like I wrote in another comment, isn’t a large part of the fun of it that the other person actually wants to have sex with you?

          Liked by 2 people

        • “Maybe it’s just me, but pity/drunk/obligation sex doesn’t work for me.”
          Much thanks, James. There is so much more when it is of equal enthusiasm and display of love.

          Like

        • OKRickety says:

          “The best part is that if both sides are really living the whole of that part of Ephesians 5, then dry spells are going to be rare.”

          It would seem this is true, but, even ignoring the cases of medical issues, etc., it is certainly not guaranteed. Assuming (as I do) that it is possible for a Christian to backslide and turn away from God, who loves them perfectly, it is absolutely possible for a spouse to ignore their marriage vows and turn away from the spouse, who loves them imperfectly. That, unfortunately, is reality.

          “But, dry spells are plenty of times rooted not in “life happens” and instead that the husband isn’t doing what he needs to do to get his wife to want him and make sure there are no reasons for a dry spell.

          The problem with the traditional view of the whole thing is putting the onus on the wife to just go through the motions.”

          So, rather than the “traditional view”, you propound the view that the problem is that the husband isn’t doing what he needs to do. In other words, the husband is at fault. That seems to be a popular view today. Returning to Ephesians 5, I think the correct view is that both parties have responsibilities. Failure by either party is fault, and, in most cases, it is likely that both parties are at fault. Each one needs to correct their behavior as their first priority, rather than blaming the other.

          Like

          • I’m not blaming the husband or the wife.

            What I am saying is that the husband that uses Eph 5 to bully his wife into performing “wifely duties”, the husband is not only not applying everything in Eph 5, but also ignoring Matthew 7:3-5 as he isn’t doing his “husbandly duties” as layed out in Eph 5.

            Cherry picking scripture usually doesn’t end well for anyone involved. And historically, the “traditional view” has cherry picked the part of Eph 5 that sets up things the way men have wanted more than the other way around.

            My point is that if men worry about upholding Eph 5:25-28 more than trying to get their wives to live up to Eph 5:22-24 things will likely go better.

            Matthew 7:3-5 is the “traditional” way to say that when you point a finger at someone else, there are four fingers pointing back to you.

            Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      “Which, to me, includes suffering the occasional dry spell”

      I don’t disagree. But I would add: dry spell for what purpose? In the old days (meaning before the 1960’s) married couples were encouraged to occasionally voluntarily choose periods of continence and chastity, in order to more fully devote themselves to prayer and their spiritual life. Just as they could choose to fast from food for the same reason.

      What an archaic concept! Abstaining from the lawful marital act in order for the couple to focus on the state of their souls and their prayer and devotional life? How horrendously old fashioned, right? So backwards and embarrassing! We moderns are so much smarter and more advanced, right?

      Like

  3. 350plus150 says:

    It’s funny how the rest of the passage in Ephesians 5 about instructions for Christian households get forgotten in most conversations about the passage.

    Husbands that try and wield Ephesians 5:22-24 like a hammer to get their wives to submit to their desires, sexual and otherwise, and ignore Ephesians 5:21,25-33 are just cherry picking from the Bible.

    And you hit the nail on the head when you wrote that if you are asking this question, you have bigger issues in your marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Magpie says:

    My ex thought I owed him sex. But did nothing for me to desire it with him, even after I gave him suggestions as asked. Was mad when I said ok let’s have sex, he felt I was just marking something off a list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Okay – everyone should read this post on Must Be This Tall to Ride… […]

    Like

  6. ls says:

    I spent the whole time reading thinking, “I wonder how often it’s the other way around?” I’m sure more often than we think. I often wonder if men who treat their wives like maids wind up taking them more for granted and ignoring them sexually (*waves*)

    But it doesn’t matter because I love the twist you did at the end. That is the most important point. The root of the question is to stop asking what someone owes you and remember it’s a two-way street.

    As to the to your point about not meaning to be bad though, I think quite often that scenario winds up, as you have pointed out many times, disintegrating even further because with that casual sexism comes dismissal of a wife’s experience and viewpoint. And I do think that is, after a while, willful and intentional and conscious and *bad*. I think refusing to hear after a while crosses from unconscious into a blatant superiority complex.

    Like

  7. Jeff Strand says:

    I agree men shouldn’t push their wives to have sex if the wife is ill or has some other serious reason for refusing. But I think of what happened to my best friend – he married at 24 years old, and right after the wedding she shut off sex. As in, I’m done with it. You don’t get any. To me, that is a betrayal of her marriage vows and yes, a failure to fulfill her “wifely duties”.

    An analogy may help. Picture a case where a gal marries a guy who is gainfully employed, at least moderately ambitious, and makes a reasonable income. She probably will not explicitly ask him if he intends to keep earning an income after they marry, she just assumes he will (just like the man assumes his new bride will offer sex on a regular basis after the wedding).

    Now let’s say a month after they marry, the man stops working and shows no more interest in bringing an income into the house. His attitude is “I was just doing that to get you to marry me, but now that we’re hitched I don’t have to do it anymore”. So he proceeds to lay around the house, smoke dope, and watch video games and porn.

    Now, wouldn’t we completely understand if the wife then thought that he had betrayed his marriage vows to her? Wouldn’t she consider him guilty of failing to perform his “husbandly duties” to her? It’s really the same thing.

    But with one big difference – the man in that analogy would be publicly shamed and considered a cad and a lout for what he’s done to his wife. Everyone would lavish sympathy on his wife. But the sex-denying wife often gets away with it. So I’ve often wondered what would have happened if my friend had publicly separated from his wife within a year of their lavish wedding, and when people asked why, he told them the truth that she wants to live as brother and sister. Let her take the onus for her actions, ya know? (assuming she had shown no willingness to work on the problem in good faith)

    But my buddy didn’t do that. Instead, predictably, he had a series of affairs. Sad.

    Ladies, with few exceptions, men NEED sex. We crave it. A wife who diligently attends to her husband’s needs in this area holds a special place in his heart. In my opinion, anyway.

    P.S. The Bible says a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife, and the two become “one flesh”. Well, during the marital act you can see that their bodies do indeed connect like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and they literally are one flesh. This is also the acting out in flesh of the marriage covenant, and therefore it is a holy act (this is why marriages do not become indissoluble under Church Law until they are consummated). The act is so holy, in fact, that it may result in the emergence of a new life! Truly a thing of such beauty, when you think about it.

    Like

    • Emery says:

      “Ladies, with few exceptions, men NEED sex.” …you say that as if you don’t think that women also need sex. How strange.

      My ex-husband NEEDED sex. He NEEDED sex the day that I was diagnosed with a massive yeast infection, that I had gotten because I had sex with him in the hot tub the night before (despite being pretty sure that it would cause problems for me) but he NEEDED it. Then he got angry with me because I didn’t want to have sex with him; I was supposed to put aside my severe discomfort for his NEEDS.

      He also got angry at me for being in a car accident (entirely the fault of the other driver, who rear-ended my stopped car so hard that I hit the car in front of me) because my injuries made it difficult for me to do my usual chores around the house and, oh yeah, have sex with him. He told me that he was justified in being angry in this situation.

      There are good reasons he’s my ex. But I’m sure he has friends who believe his story of “…and then she just shut off the sex.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • OKRickety says:

        ‘“Ladies, with few exceptions, men NEED sex.” …you say that as if you don’t think that women also need sex. How strange.’

        I think there is reasonable evidence that men, because of testosterone, etc., physically desire sex much more than women. This desire is often considered a need, although it is not a necessity for a person to live.

        Considering the emotional need for sex, it is more difficult to determine how much each sex needs it. I think sex in marriage is a much greater emotional need for men than most people, both men and women, realize. I believe that women also have an emotional need for sex, but their usually lesser physical drive results in less of a need for sex.

        This is purely anecdotal, but if women generally have the same need for sex that men do, why do I find on the internet that men commonly complain that their wives do not want sex much, if at all, and women commonly complain that their husbands want sex too much?

        Like

        • Emery says:

          The reason I didn’t want to have sex with my ex-husband was because he was an absolute rotten asshole to me, not because I didn’t want to have sex at all. I did – just not with someone who treated me so poorly. My boyfriend (of many years, now) has never been an asshole to me. Our sex drives are well-matched. ;)

          I think it’s got a lot more to do with socialization and culture than anything biological. Anecdotally, I know women who wouldn’t be happy in a relationship that didn’t include daily sex at least, and men who are totally fine with weekly.

          Matt has discussed many of the reasons why wives might not want to have sex with their husbands at any given moment, so I won’t repeat his excellent posts.

          Liked by 2 people

          • OKRickety says:

            “I think it’s got a lot more to do with socialization and culture than anything biological.”

            You might be right, but I greatly doubt it. Looking for more than anecdotal evidence, it seems there is significant evidence that men want sex more than women. In other words, men “need” sex more.

            Roy Baumeister, professor of psychology at Florida State University, is a co-author of Is There a Gender Difference in Strength of Sex Drive?. In an article, The Reality of the Male Sex Drive (Dec. 8, 2010) in Psychology Today, he notes that a co-author was “a strong feminist with the party-line belief that there was no difference in sex drive”. This seems to be in line with your belief. However, he concludes the article with this:

            “In short, pretty much every study and every measure fit the pattern that men want sex more than women. It’s official: Men are hornier than women.”

            In the study itself (Is There a Gender Difference in Strength of Sex Drive?….), the conclusion begins with (emphases mine):

            All the evidence we have reviewed points toward the conclusion that men desire sex more than women. Although some of the findings were more methodologically rigorous than others, the unanimous convergence across all measures and findings increases confidence. We did not find a single study, on any of nearly a dozen different measures, that found women had a stronger sex drive than men. We think that the combined quantity, quality, diversity, and convergence of the evidence render the conclusion indisputable.

            I realize, as do they, that this is a generalization and there are, of course, exceptions. However, they find it “indisputable” that men desire sex more than women.

            Like

            • Emery says:

              I think it would be pretty impossible to judge fairly, since everyone in the studies has already been socialized to believe that men have a higher sex drive than women…

              Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Emery,

      Of course there can be good reasons for women to decline sex. Illness or injury is certainly at the top of the list, so I agree that your ex was out of line…and should have been more patient and understanding.

      Reminds me of a time I had a fight with my wife over this. It was years ago, but I remember it largely because we so rarely argue and because she really is so good about providing sex on demand (as she puts it, “I never say no to my husband”)

      We were on vacation and went out to a nightclub with another couple. We were laughing and drinking and having a great time. I had hinted to my wife earlier that I was almost certainly going to be in the mood when we got back to the resort. I was really looking forward to it. Well, she was having such a good time at the club, that she started doing shots of Goldschlager. I told her to stop, and switch to ice water, but she was having too much fun doing shots.

      When we got back and got in bed, I was more than ready to go. A nice buzz going, plenty horny, and my sexy wife right there in bed with me. Problem is, she’s now saying that the whole room is spinning, she thinks she’s gonna throw up, she’s sicker than a dog, etc. So no way she can do sex. And she wasn’t faking, she was clearly drunk.

      In hindsight, I can admit I should have been more understanding. What pissed me off was not just that I wouldn’t be getting sex – it was that the reason for it was that she didn’t listen to me at the bar when I told her to cool it with the shots. So we did have a bit of a fight, and I made sure to remind her “Why are you so sick right now that you feel like you want to die? It’s because you didn’t listen to your husband! You see what happens when you don’t listen to your husband?”

      Which was technically true, but prolly wasn’t the right time to point that out. We ended up having a fight and I ended up sleeping on the couch (after making sure to leave an empty wastebasket next to the bed, wiithin easy reach of her if she felt the need to hurl)

      So in hindsight, I learned to be more understanding. No one is perfect, including me, and we can all improve ourselves. I learned to respect her requirement to refuse sex if she’s not feeling well, EVEN IF that was brought on by her own actions like doing too many shots. And when we made up, she told me she learned once again the lesson that she should always listen to her husband, because “husband always knows best”. And that made me feel good. You know, I really do love that woman of mine so much. It sounds corny to talk about being in love with your wife, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        You have just the one response to this comment I’m writing now to sell me on not blocking you.

        If that somehow matters to you. I still can’t figure out why it would since you clearly don’t agree with anything I write here (which I’m fine with — just not your neverending quest to annoy/offend/insult/run off the people who read and comment here).

        After everything that has been discussed, all of the people (who I care about) that you’ve driven away, and after my repeated attempts to explain what the purpose of this place is and how I won’t let someone ruin it…

        FIVE different times, you referenced the importance of wives “obeying” their husbands.

        I’m sure in your world that’s super-helpful advice.

        But in Real Life, it’s not.

        Here’s why.

        1. Any woman marrying a man who believes she should obey him, enters the marriage understanding this about him, assuming they didn’t elope after 24 hours together. So, any woman not “obeying her man” in that scenario is either a shitty wife not living according to the agreed-upon arrangement, OR she’s married to a guy whose judgment is so poor and who deserves so little respect, that she’s going to do what she wants, because that guy is an unconvincing Alpha/Dom.

        2. EVERY OTHER PERSON desires mutually respectful, loving, healthy relationships where one person barking orders at the other only serves to end the relationship.

        Your comment violates the Purpose of this blog.

        Isolated, it wouldn’t bother me. In context, it feels like a middle finger, and I have one of those too.

        I’m only not deleting it because I wanted to respond to it.

        This is it.

        I miss all of the people who contribute to healthy, productive conversation. All of the people intentionally avoiding this place A. Because of you, but also B. Because I allow it to continue.

        You have this one reply, and then I have a feeling we’re going to part ways so you can go back to play with your Manosphere/Red Pill friends where you can all continue to digitally suck each other off while promoting the VERY behaviors which lead to the breakup of families and children’s homes.

        The rage I feel is a simmering one.

        But it’s there.

        Maybe you realize it. Maybe you don’t.

        But you, as you present yourself on the internet, and all your bullshit Red Pill Kool-Aid-drinking friends are the enemy of everything I fight for.

        The manosphere is full of cowards. And I could live with that if you guys weren’t such moronic douchebag assholes about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Matt,

        I feel like you read a different comment than the one I posted. My comment was on topic. Yes it referenced the traditional gender role dynamic in place in my marriage, but that was a necessary part of the story. I wasn’t pushing “wifely submission” in the comment.

        If you re-read the comment with an open mind, I hope you’ll see it as I intended it. What I was doing was “fessing up” to a time I was a bit of a “shitty husband”…by not being understanding enough of my wife’s reasons for declining sex. And how I’ve learned from that experience to be more considerate, and therefore less “shitty”. And how that’s worked out well, going forward. If I had it to do over again, we wouldn’t have had that fight that night – I would have been more considerate and understanding. Like I said, I’m not perfect but I’m trying.

        So it was a description of that anecdote as a learning experience about being a better husband. I thought that was the whole point of your blog. (And it was prompted by Emery’s story of her ex pushing her to have sex even when she was ill or injured. Which I sympathized with her, by the way…and agreed he was being unreasonable)

        Maybe you read it another way, I don’t know. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in how I described the event. But certainly there were only good intentions here. And nothing to violate your rule of being kind to others.

        I don’t know. Seems like everything I say is wrong anyway.

        Like

        • zombiedrew2 says:

          Hey Jeff,

          I’ve never responded to any of your comments before, but have followed many of the chains over the past few months – which often devolve into people getting upset with each other.

          You said here:

          “I don’t know. Seems like everything I say is wrong anyway.”

          I have to admit, there are times I have read some of your comments and wondered about your intent. With the general group here, there seems to be largely a focus on trying to improve ourselves, our relationships and our contributions to them.

          Sometimes you have salient points. At other times it almost feels like you are trying to inflame the group here, as I would think you would have to have at least some concept of the sort of reaction you are going to get. Thing is when people come in just to “stir the pot” they normally don’t stick around for very long, and you have. So I’m going to go with the assumption that you truly believe in the things you’re saying.

          If so, something for you to think about…

          …I’m going to make a generalization and say that most of us here are looking for relationships where both people are valued, respected, and there is a true partnership. Not a partnership based on gender roles (you do this stuff and I do that stuff), but in what they bring to the relationship and each others lives.

          From your descriptions, it does sound like you love your wife – which is great. The part that I think upsets many of us (and I’ll include me here) is the implied notion that as “the man” you are the head of the household and you know best. This comes across time and again in your comments. I’m not seeing/feeling the desire for personal growth, to see how you can be a better partner and a better person.

          In my personal world, my marriage almost fell apart almost 4 years ago. Looking back, I thought I was being a great husband, and I never fell into many of the “shitty husband” traps that Matt talks about, but at the same time I was definitely taking my wife for granted. It was the hedonic adaptation story at play in my own life.

          I’m a relatively intelligent/empathetic guy, and I think I make pretty good decisions. But one thing I can say with absolute certainty is I don’t know what is best for my wife. I can’t see into her head. All I can ever know is what works best for me (or at least what I *think* is best, sometimes I even get that wrong).

          Yeah, my life is a lot easier when what works best for me is also what my wife wants. But to me, a huge component in trying to be a good husband is accepting that “husband doesn’t actually know what’s best”. He needs to listen, and ensure he’s trying to understand he wifes needs/wants and then taking them into consideration when he does things. And part of a marriage is making sure that when there is conflict between peoples needs and wants, you either find try and find a middle ground or at least have some equality on things.

          Maybe you believe all that, maybe you don’t. In the comments it just comes across (to me at least) as you know best. And knowing best feels an awful lot like superior.

          I don’t think this blog has any room for people who feel superiority over their partner (male or female). And if you already know best, then there’s really no room for personal growth.

          Hopefully you don’t see this as an attack. You seem legitimately at a loss on why Matt and others get upset sometimes. I know I’m only speaking for myself, but hopefully this can give a bit of clarity.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Drew,

          Thanks for the comment, I can tell you put some thought into that.

          You said: “The part that I think upsets many of us (and I’ll include me here) is the implied notion that as “the man” you are the head of the household and you know best. This comes across time and again in your comments. I’m not seeing/feeling the desire for personal growth, to see how you can be a better partner and a better person.”

          I guess I would just say that I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive. In my role as the head of the household, I still try to work on being a better partner and better person. The prior comment of mine that Matt reacted to was (I thought) just such an attempt – it was an example where I learned to be more understanding and considerate of my wife’s needs (in that case, her need at the time to refuse sex because too much booze made her sick). It didn’t occur to me that anyone could see that post as “pot stirring”.

          You also mentioned that you had taken your wife for granted. I agree that this is destructive to relationships – no one wants to be taken for granted. Very important! May I suggest you go to the the prior entry on this blog (“We Interrupt this Broadcast”) and read my response to Jane? In there I give some examples of how to show appreciation for an over-worked wife/mother, that I’ve taken from my own marriage. Such as gifting the wife with little hotel get aways. I’m found that to be a great gesture, and something that my wife soooo appreciated.

          Other important ways, in my experience, is to give her compliments everyday and demonstrate affection physically (don’t mean just sex – can be hugs, kisses, hand holding, a back or neck rub, etc). I also make sure to enforce that the kids respect her at all times as their mother and obey her. I take any opportunity I can to praise her in front of others. I surprise her when I can – for example, before I leave for a biz trip I might plant little love notes around the house for her to find. And I make her laugh.

          A lot of these are little things, but taken together they help to make a successful marriage. And of course, I could draw up a very long list of similar things she does for me. Most of all, in addition to her respecting my role as head of the family, she thanks me every day for being her husband and for doing all that I do for our family. You’d be surprised how far a little gesture like that goes!

          Liked by 1 person

        • reecebooks says:

          Is Jeff Strand in a Dominant/ submissive relationship, or is he just bossing his wife around (which she allows)? It sounds like his case is the second option, which in my opinion is not a positive one.

          [Matt — feel free to delete this post if it does not add to the discussion]

          The couples I know who have chosen to live in a Dominant/ submissive dynamic do so not because “it’s supposed to be that way” due to culture, religion, upbringing or anything else, but because they have both decided, independently, it is what they want, and need, to feel right.

          The Dominant has a need to take care of his partner, as in to guide and cherish her. The submissive has a need to take care of her partner, as in to please him and follow his guidance. Both are happiest doing so. While most have the husband dominant, there are many relationships where it is the reverse.

          Such a life-changing decision happens only after considerable talk, experience, and thought — often years of it. While the rules of the relationship are clearly defined and agreed to, they change (by mutual agreement) over time.

          Note that the submissive is the one who is really in control, as the Dominant’s job is to meet her needs. She can say her safe word at any time and stop whatever is going on.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Matt says:

            “Note that the submissive is the one who is really in control…”

            Powerful and important observation and distinction.

            I’m super-tired of discussing Jeff’s personal life. I don’t care. I wish he’d stop sharing so much of it here, as it’s done nothing but cause problems.

            That being said, Jeff’s relationship is described as being one of “it’s supposed to be that way.”

            There are two points to make here.

            1. I think it’s NONSENSE and complete bullshit for Jeff to tout that arrangement as the key to happy marriage, offering exclusively sexist rationale and perversions of Biblical passages as his reasoning. I think it perpetuates sexism, advocates male behavior that will lead to divorce and broken homes, and needlessly insults and disempowers women.

            However…

            2. In CONTEXT, assuming Jeff’s stories are true (and there’s no compelling reasons to believe or doubt him), his wife very much WANTS the relationship structure as it is.

            So, while I’m uncomfortable advocating that men intentionally seek out women who will defer to their husbands on all matters because “her husband knows best,” (so laughable), I AM 100% for philosophical alignment in marriage. I’m divorced. I ruined my marriage. So while I’m super-comfortable disagreeing with Jeff’s philosophies and advice to men, WITHIN his own relationship and household, if his wife is truly happy and feels safe and loved, then I’m damn sure not going to tell this stranger that she’s doing it wrong, or her husband that I know more about his own marriage than he does.

            If he’s happily married, and his wife is too, then there’s something to be taken from that, even if the message is almost always delivered in an ugly and unpleasant package.

            Dude needs to learn how to gift wrap.

            My point being, asserting one’s dominance over another human being against their will is INTOLERABLE.

            Asserting ones dominance as part of a mutually agreed-upon relationship (whether sexual, or whether as part of what I’d consider an old-fashioned marriage structure) is something else entirely.

            I really appreciate you weighing in, actually. Of course it adds to the discussion.

            This is a discussion I wish we weren’t having at all, but your comment in no way brought negativity to it.

            Thank you very much.

            Like

      • JM says:

        ” it was that the reason for it was that she didn’t listen to me at the bar when I told her to cool it with the shots.”

        Right. Your NEED for sex was most important, the only importance and you were pissed at the time that she wanted to enjoy the whatever alcohol shots. How DARE she not hear you NEEDED sex and forgo anything else so she could deliver. To you. The sex.

        Did you … even read the article Matt posted?

        I’m not seeing any evidence of the hand wave that you now care about her needs, that if she wants to get so drunk she’s going to get sick which is NOT about you as her protective husband who is wiser (as if there are no husbands who get drunk?!) but about her moderating her alcohol consumption solely for her own well being.

        Liked by 1 person

        • JM says:

          And now I see your reply that you did realize you were being selfish (though not quite being clear and open and communicating that was the lesson, so correct me if I’m still confused) in being pissy about her drinking when you didn’t get laid that night. I’m sorry I reacted to the tone and not to the content.

          Like

  8. zombiedrew2 says:

    One more thing to add…

    There have been a few comments about women using sex to “lure” men into marriage and then removing it afterwards. I obviously can’t speak for every situation, but I don’t think that’s a fair statement. Yeah, sometimes sex can get weaponized – and THAT is something that I suspect happens very rarely, and in relationships where there are serious control issues on one or both sides.

    But what does happen with a disturbingly high frequency is desire fades. And when THAT happens, a lot of people question what is wrong, and there is guilt and shame associated with the feeling that they truly don’t want something that a part of them feels they should. And they don’t know why. When this happens (to women or men) often they withdraw from the relationship somewhat because of this guilt.

    I think the “right” thing to do in those cases is for people to be honest and open about it, and approach it as a legitimate issue that can put stress on the the relationship. The WORST thing that can be done is to ignore it, and hope that it will pass. And then eventually find that it’s the new normal – a relationship that has lost all passion, and likely has at least one person who is feeling very isolated and alone.

    A few people here have commented on the “need” for sex. And I do agree that sex is a need, but likely not for the reasons mentioned.

    Sex to me is not just a physical act. In the early days I guess it’s mostly hormones/lust/feeling, but that feeling will lose it’s intensity over time. When it does, the relationship has hopefully grown to the point that sex is actually a form of sharing and communication. It’s just as much an emotional act as a physical one. And from a guys perspective, it’s shouldn’t even be about penetration (jeez, can I even say that word here?) or “release”. Being sexual with each other, even when it’s just cuddling and simple touch is much more important to maintaining being lovers than the sex.

    If a person (guy or girl) finds their partner wants sex but isn’t putting any effort on making being lovers part of their day to day life, then yeah – there are going to be problems. Eventually you feel like a, I can’t remember Matts term, but it was something like “personal masturbation device”. Not a great thing for building a lifelong connection.

    This is one area where I think people often make a mistake – thinking sex is mostly about feeling or sensation, and figuring they need to be in the mood. If you always wait until you are in the mood, it may never happen. Sometimes, you need to do things to create the mood – and that’s not just the responsibility of the higher drive person. The lower drive person is just as responsible for “wanting to be sexual”.

    I would think, in an understanding relationship the higher drive person would be happy to see the lower drive person trying. And if they actually try, but for whatever reason things aren’t “getting going” and they don’t actually have sex, that should be alright. The act of being sexual together while trying should be worth a lot.

    Alright, think I’m done now. Maybe. Depends on what anyone else adds I guess :)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Donkey says:

      You said “penetration”! *giggles*

      I agree with you though. Sex isn’t just about the penetration, that’s just one thing. There are many ways to be sexual with eachother (and lesbians seem to do just fine without a penis in that area). Would everyone be satisfied with their hetero sexlife as long as penetration happened? No other touching, no kisses, no nudity, no flirting and enjoying eachother? I doubt it.

      “If you always wait until you are in the mood, it may never happen. Sometimes, you need to do things to create the mood ”

      That is very true, and part of the nuance required when talking about this stuff. Not being in the mood but *choosing* to start being sexual/sensual anyway because you know that you might just get in the mood once you start, that seems fine, even necessary sometimes (unless your libido is always high). It’s a different thing, and I know you agree, if you feel guilted or pressured into.

      And it’s not like, you have to go from not being in the mood but jumping right in and doing the McNasty with your partner while swinging from the chandeliers you know? There are many numbers between 0 and 100.
      .
      And I agree with you, I think in any situation where the high desire partner sees honest effort by the low desire partner, that should go a long way.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Of course sex is about more than the physical sensations. I don’t know how anyone could doubt that. That’s why it’s called “the marital act”.

      It does bond and connect the two in a special way – emotionally and even spiritually. If you spent time on any men’s blogs, you’ll see this is a prime reason most men are not interested in marrying a promiscuous women – it’s not just about the physical stuff like risk of disease, etc. There is also the very real concern that she will not be able to properly bond to her husband the way God (or Nature, if you prefer) designed her too. Because she’s bonded and unbonded to so many men in the past, though temporarily. It’s like how tape or glue becomes less effective and doesn’t bond as well after you’ve already used it a bunch. So this is a concern men have, and it’s a legitimate one.

      Women may well have a similar concern, from their point of view. Not being one myself, I would rather wait and see if any would like to comment on this issue from a female point of view.

      So yes, the marital act is more than physical. Check my prior post, especially the postscript where I address the spiritual aspects of the sex act and how it’s really a holy act. It’s exactly because of this, that reducing sex to a mere physical act…especially beteeen unmarried people, i.e. fornication…is such a serious offense to God and is a mortal sin. Now you can see why Our Lady of Fatima told Sr. Lucia that “more souls are damned to Hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason”.

      Given the nonchalant attitude people have today regarding sex outside of marriage, this should be a concern. To put it mildly. It’s no wonder that little Jacinta, after the Blessed Mother showed her and the other children a vision of Hell, said she was so sad at the loss of so many souls. Indeed, Jacinta said to Lucia “I’m thinking of all the many people who will die, and ALMOST ALL of them are going to Hell”. (Btw, for those who doubt these events, keep in mind they were validated by a miracle – the so-called “Miracle of the Sun” – that was witnessed by 70,000 people!)

      Sex is not something to be toyed with. It is a great gift, but also a great responsibility.

      Like

      • Laura says:

        “It’s like how tape or glue becomes less effective and doesn’t bond as well after you’ve already used it a bunch.”

        Except women aren’t tape and glue. Our bodies and our emotions are not objects to be equated to things you buy at Target and consume. And to say a woman who has slept with people outside of marriage is less able to properly bond to her husband is ridiculous. Now, if a woman is cheating on her husband, chances are she is less bonded to her husband emotionally and therefore problems arise because she is watering someone else’s grass instead of her own. But I think what you’re implying is that emotionally and physically (hot dogs in hallways?) women who have had several sexual partners are tarnished people, less-than-worthy-spouses, not good enough whores who will never measure up to what they could have been had they just keep their legs together and waited for a husband to come along and give her worth.

        Gross me out the door.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Laura,

        What I’m saying is that many (most?) men care about a prospective mate’s sexual history, for multiple reasons.

        They just do. It’s one of a number of factors a man will take into consideration when deciding whom to marry. Just as women have their criteria as well.

        Very few men have no objection (or serious concerns) about marrying a promiscuous woman.

        Like

        • Laura says:

          Jeff,

          And what I am saying is that equating a woman to an object (tape and glue) is hurtful and is what rape culture looks like. My worth (any woman’s worth) as a human in regards to sex, being compared to an object’s worth as an object is what rape culture looks like. It is saying “a woman is to sex as tape is to sticky”. What the object is, followed by what it does. Saying the value of a vagina is linked to how often it is has been utilized – ya know, kinda like the stickiness of tape! – is what rape culture looks like.

          Listen more. Talk less.

          Liked by 2 people

          • OKRickety says:

            Laura,

            This is the second time in recent months that I have seen a woman complain about an analogy because it was comparing a person to an “object”, that is, a non-human. It’s an analogy, for crying out loud! Using an analogy is not “equating a woman to an object”, but comparing them for purposes of clarification.

            Now, it is possible, maybe even likely, that some men view women only as objects. This, however, does not justify your assumption that that was the intent of that statement.

            “And to say a woman who has slept with people outside of marriage is less able to properly bond to her husband is ridiculous.

            Actually, there is strong evidence that more than one sexual partner prior to marriage is directly related to a higher likelihood of divorce. In other words, it’s not ridiculous, although it is unpleasant news to many.

            Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Laura,

          Men have the right to decide what qualities they value in a female, when it comes to a prospective mate. (As likewise do women, when it comes to a male)

          You don’t get to decide for men what those qualities are. Sorry, you just don’t. Men by and large, value chastity in a prospective bride and are repelled by promiscuity. You don’t have the right to tell them not to do so, or shame them for it.

          Anymore than a man has the right to dictate to you what qualities you should value in a prospective husband. That’s for you to decide.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Laura says:

            Yes, we can all choose the qualities we want in a spouse. I am not arguing that. I am arguing that you are comparing women to objects for use or consumption and that is problematic.

            Liked by 2 people

      • Quinn says:

        Jeff, babe, come here to me….

        Give it a rest.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Drew for your ever wonderdul insight and thoughtful examination of the topics.
      Again the whole trying to please your partner… after all we said I do with the intent of a life together and we hope to be happy.
      Can wholly agree with your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. linds01 says:

    : Follow Me
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016
    Warning: Religious content :)

    This was in my morning meditation for today. While it may not have much to do with marital sex in a direct way, I think it says something to the whole abuse of power by men over women.

    “I have found the phenomenon of male initiation in every culture and on every continent until the modern era. [1] Something that universal—and so uniform in its goals—was surely fulfilling a deep human and social need. It was deemed necessary for cultural and personal survival, it seems. Throughout history, men were more often in positions of power and privilege, whereas women were often unfairly subjugated. Women, therefore, more naturally learned the path of descent (self-emptying) through their “inferior” position to men.
    We recognize in initiation universal patterns of wisdom that need to be taught to the young male in his early “tower building” stages. This was the rather universal conclusion: Unless the male is led into journeys of powerlessness, he will invariably misuse power. He becomes a loose cannon in the social fabric, even dangerous to the family, always seeking his own dominative power and advancement to the neglect of others. The human inclination to narcissism has to be exposed, humbled, and used for good purposes.
    Jesus clearly taught the twelve disciples about surrender, the necessity of suffering, humility, servant leadership, and nonviolence. They resisted him every time, and so he finally had to make the journey himself and tell them, “Follow me!” But Christians have preferred to hear something Jesus never said: “Worship me.” Worship of Jesus is rather harmless and risk-free; following Jesus changes everything…
    Remember, anyone—male or female—who has not gone on journeys of powerlessness will invariably abuse power.”
    Gateway to Silence:
    The way up is down.

    References:
    [1] See my earlier meditations on initiation, beginning May 22, 2016: https://cac.org/passing-death-life-now-2016-05-22/.
    Adapted from Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014), 88-90; and
    The Path of Descent (CAC: 2003), disc 1 (CD, MP3 download).

    “Mystery isn’t something that you cannot understand—it is something that you can endlessly understand! There is no point at which you can say, ‘I’ve got it.’ Always and forever, mystery gets you!” —Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
    How does mystery “get you”?
    Share with us how you are being pulled into the flow of loving relationship with Mystery. We’d love to hear how Fr. Richard’s new book is shaping your understanding and experience of God. Click here to comment on CAC’s Facebook page or use #divinedance to share on your personal Facebook page.
    Visit thedivinedance.org to learn more about Fr. Richard’s book.

    2016 Daily Meditation Theme
    Richard Rohr’s meditations this year invite us to discover, experience, and participate in the foundation of our existence—Love. Throughout the year, Fr. Richard’s meditations follow the thread of Love through many of his classic teachings in 1-2 week segments. Learn more and watch a video introduction at cac.org/2016-daily-meditations-overview/.

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    Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      “They resisted him every time, and so he finally had to make the journey himself and tell them, “Follow me!” But Christians have preferred to hear something Jesus never said: “Worship me.” Worship of Jesus is rather harmless and risk-free; following Jesus changes everything”

      Wow. Very profound (coming from a non religious person who has serious spiritual inclinations).

      “I have found the phenomenon of male initiation in every culture and on every continent until the modern era. [1] Something that universal—and so uniform in its goals—was surely fulfilling a deep human and social need. It was deemed necessary for cultural and personal survival, it seems. Throughout history, men were more often in positions of power and privilege, whereas women were often unfairly subjugated. Women, therefore, more naturally learned the path of descent (self-emptying) through their “inferior” position to men.
      We recognize in initiation universal patterns of wisdom that need to be taught to the young male in his early “tower building” stages. This was the rather universal conclusion: Unless the male is led into journeys of powerlessness, he will invariably misuse power. He becomes a loose cannon in the social fabric, even dangerous to the family, always seeking his own dominative power and advancement to the neglect of others. The human inclination to narcissism has to be exposed, humbled, and used for good purposes”

      Very interesting. As I think you know, I’m very concerned with inequities in power between groups of people (race, gender, religion). Sp I wonder, in a truly partnership oriented society (without inequities of power between men and women etc) would initiation where a male was rendered powerless be necessary? Maybe not.

      And I also think that initiation can backfire. You know, how people in gangs, fraternities, sororities etc go through humiliating/painful initiation rituals. And then they feel entitled, they feel some satisfaction in making other people go through that same thing in their turn.

      And as we know, powerlesness in childhood, whether from bullying at school, in the family, it doesn’t help to create health. People reenact the vicitim position, or the bully position or both.

      So it seems to me that both being empowered in a healthy way, and being humble in a healthy wa would be necessary to create health in an individual (and in societies). I’m not sure where the boundary between unhealthy and healthy initiation would be. And I sadly don’t know enough to be aware of or formulate all the psychological nitty gritty factors at play, I’d really like to have that knowledge though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • linds01 says:

        Donkey,
        I never responded back to this…I think there was some crazy going down. :)

        I can completely get how one person overpowering another could be very unhealthy. Like the hazing that used to go on in colleges (and still does to a minor degree).

        The same sort of thing goes on in gang initiations and such, too.

        That sort of thing actually DOES have the opposite effect, as you suggest.

        Those sorts of initiations aren’t performed so one can realize their powerlessness,.. they are created in order to prove the opposite- “How tough are you?” …You have to prove how strong and powerful you are,. …And of course if you see power demonstrated as something that overcomes another persons will, rights to life, ect…well, that is the very abuse of power they were intended to negate.

        Fighting, beatings, threats of physical pain and or inflicting psychological pain we can safely say are NOT healthy ways of initiation.

        I don’t really know anything about it at all- I mean, I don’t know specific rituals of specific cultures, but I want to say that some of the older initiations were more like- spending time out in the wilderness alone.

        It wasn’t one person (or a group of people) having power over another, it was a person being subjected to the powers of nature, ect.

        I do also want to mention that I have considered that maybe there doesn’t need to be a “ruling body” , maybe there doesn’t need to be a hierarchical rule in government, business or family…

        But, never the less, and especially if there were less outside rules to guide our conduct- if there was not one person/people group that we deferred to, there would need to be personal understanding and accountability of how to work together and get along (because even if there were not a hierarchy, I believe most people would still want to be in community…)
        That’s what hierarchies and governments are ultimately for- to establish and maintain peace, productivity and a functional society.
        In order for people to have self rule, they would still need the understanding and awareness of their own limitations, and their need for the rest of the community.
        We still need to experience our own helplessness in order to empathize and have compassion on another persons’ helplessness. ..

        I don’t think he is suggesting that society needs to bring back male initiations.
        (He did mention women being in power as well.)

        I think he is suggesting that in order for anyone to be able to use power, they need to understand what it is like to be powerless. …

        Honestly, I do think most people learn this lesson in their lives in natural ways. ..Who has not been drop kicked by life?
        But, I think there is more shame around those experiences, even for all the good things it teaches.
        And, because it happens at various points in life, surrounded by shame, there isn’t an underlying cultural acknowledgement of the importance of humility.

        I think there was likely some benefit in teaching humility to those who were coming of age, and who were about to start to really take part in community life as one who influenced the directions it would go.

        I am trying to image modern ways to teach humility that don’t seem to be cruel…

        I will say I am listening to an audiobook that talks a lot about how our modern understanding of every individual being unique, and that authenticity and expressing your feelings is quit the opposite to life 80-100’s ago.

        It seems like we do elevate the individual way more than the community.

        The book describes humility as almost a forgetfulness of self and a focus on the task or goal at hand. And, I have to admit, at least in America, we definitely lack humility.

        I believe there is value in both- respecting the person, and respecting the community.

        The initiation things, I believe, were just a method to let go of the “me” in order to have a fuller grasp of the individuals function in the “we”.

        Like

  10. Vince says:

    When I was married we attended a church for several years. One of the things that was well known is that a wife should NEVER withhold sexual relations with her husband because after all her body is her husband’s! Yeah well..during my assholery stage of being a shitty husband I felt like I could have sex with her whenever I wanted no matter how pissed off she was about some shitty thing I was doing. It caused so much resentment in our relationship. It was just another nail in the coffin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Always great to hear from you, Vince.

      I was just talking this morning about how powerful the passage of time is, and just how different (mostly in a good way) life is today versus three years ago.

      I hope the same is true for you. Thanks for dropping a note.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vince says:

        In case you see this..Thanks, Matt. While I don’t always comment I do read your blog. Life is great and it IS amazing what the passage of time can do. I’ve been lucky. Business continues to grow, kids area healthy and love..yeah I even found that again with a woman who is so incredible. I know that last part sounds corny but it’s true. I’ve never been so happy or felt so loved.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I am glad you were able to grow and acknowledge it… and really really glad you found an awesome person if it is ok for me to say so.

      Like

  11. Jenny S says:

    I love everything you wrote here! Thank you thank you thank you!!

    Like

  12. gottmanfan says:

    Ok Rickety (and Matt),

    I just want to ask for more clarity since Matt has said that he fundamentally disagreed with my assessment of the comment and he agreed with your comment. Perhaps there are more men then I realize who think rape fantasies are not prone to be problematic. And if someone is prescribing a rape scenario as a key to a happy marriage consent needs to be very, very clear.

    Perhaps you and Matt were objecting to the use of consent in my comment (with your understanding that each move in a marriage needs to be spelled out). I would say that a enactment of a violent act against a women DOES need to be spelled out clearly in advance.

    Just a few clarifying questions since we had a cordial conversation and I trust that you and Matt are both against non consensual sex. Therefore there must be some difference in our understanding of the comment.

    Was it your understanding that Jeff was describing a rape scenario?

    Was it your understanding that that is ok as long as mutual consent is implied in a marriage?

    Was it your understanding that Jeff’s language strongly implied that women would enjoy a rape scenario because of their female nature to be passive and be turned on be the male aggressor?

    That her female nature leads her to get turned on by a man whispering “just lay there and take it over and over” in her ear?

    That females really like to be raped? Is that your understanding of the implied message here?

    Was it your understanding that many men get “turned on” by a woman’s lack of interest? That this represents a call for the male nature to dominate her at that point?

    That male nature sees the woman’s disinterest as calling him to dominate her? That the implied message is that he gets turned on by rape?

    Was it your understanding that many readers would see that comment as implying these messages?

    As I said, if a couple agrees to play act non consensual sex in their bedroom that’s their business. But someone describing rape scenarios on a relationship blog has the absolute onus on him to make sure he emphasizes that a woman must consent to this before a man takes her disinterest in sex as a suggestion from Jeff to play rape her.

    And I can tell you it is NOT in my female nature to want to be raped in any shape or form.

    So his description that women by their nature enjoy that certainly does not describe all women. I would like to think that his description of men’s nature is equally off base.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Jeez, didn’t we beat this horse to death like about 2 or 3 blog entries ago?

      We get it already, Gott. My little suggestion for “spicing things up” (that I made once) isn’t your cup of tea. Now let’s say it all over again!

      P.S. When a person on a relationship blog describes a sex act with their spouse, all normal people are going to ASSUME it was consensual, and rightly so. OKRickey made this exact point. But you are obsessed with this and won’t let it go. Are you like that in your relationships as well?

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Yes, Jeff I am like that in all my relationships.

        I believe in respects and healthy boundaries for men and women.

        You like to spice things up with your wife by enacting rape. You get turned on by a woman who isn’t interested in sex. Whispering “lie there and take it” over and over in her ear.

        You’ve revealed an interesting side to yourself.
        So many interesting things to ponder about what you are like in your relationships.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott: “You get turned on by a woman who isn’t interested in sex. Whispering “lie there and take it” over and over in her ear.”

        Given that she was prolly more turned on than I was (and thanked me profusely afterwards), I would look at more along the lines of just being a good husband. Oh, the sacrifices one must make in marriage, right?

        ;-)

        Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      And BTW,

      Even the original suggestion was nothing more than an idea of how to use a little role play to turn “duty sex” or “maintenance sex” into something a little more fun and exciting. Using your imagination and being creative. I shared it because the results were quite good, not just for me but for her as well. I thought maybe other people in a good marriage with good communication and high trust levels might find some benefit in the suggestion…but if not to your liking, that’s cool too.

      Leave it to you Gott to turn that into an advocacy of rape. Like I said earlier, sometimes you’re so over the top I have to wonder if you’re even on the level. Or if you’re just trolling.

      P.S. Want to have your mind blown? We’ve also done high school quarterback getting naughty with head cheerleader role play, and I didn’t sit down with her and get her explicit consent in writing and notarized beforehand. Crazy, right?

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        You’ve shown yourself as a man who enjoys rape fantasies. Who prescribes them as a key to a happy marriage.

        Lie there and take it Jeff.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott: “Lie there and take it Jeff”

        Yes ma’am. But you better put on the whole leather outfit, high heeled boots, hair done up, etc. Cause if you’re just gonna wear sweats and house slippers, it ain’t gonna work!

        ;-)

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Jeff, you said:

        “Even the original suggestion was nothing more than an idea of how to use a little role play to turn “duty sex” or “maintenance sex” into something a little more fun and exciting. Using your imagination and being creative. I shared it because the results were quite good, not just for me but for her as well. I thought maybe other people in a good marriage with good communication and high trust levels might find some benefit in the suggestion…but if not to your liking, that’s cool too.”

        But what you’re saying here is way more innocent than your original comment (but still somewhat lacking, on a subject as fraught with potential harm as this one). If you had phrased it as just an idea for a little role play, made it clear that it had to be consensual, and also added that you can’t assume all women will like this, I dare say neither Gottmanfan or I would have had a problem.

        But you didn’t phrase it like that at all. It came across, to myself, Gottmanfan and many others, as recommending to men they try something that would be borderline rape in their marriage, and just assuming that their wives secretly like it because of their inherent feminine essence. That’s what people have a problem with.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      Yeah, I want to add my voice to this.

      I too am confused as to how Matt and OKRickety understood Jeff’s controversial comment that Gottmanfan is talking about here. Or, I’m basically hoping what I thought they were saying wasn’t really what they meant.

      Let me say this: If anyone wants to role play rape fantasies, dom sub stuff, happy piggies in the forest or whatever else, I have no problem with that. As long as it’s consensual. Doing that sort of stuff with a willing partner is NOT the problem.

      And I agree that every step of a sexual interaction doesn’t have to have verbal consent tied to it. That’s hardly possible

      But when the beginning of the sexual interaction is that the woman doesn’t really want to have sex? And the husband keeps “giving her a good pounding” and telling her to “just lie there and take it?”. That’s very problematic in a few ways.

      Again, if a husband or a wife have a tue understanding that they BOTH like that, fine. But then that needs to be made VERY clear in the comment. I can’t understand how anyone can be ok with someone *prescribing that kind of thing as a marriage advice* Basically telling men that even when your wife doesn’t really want to have sex, you keep on doing it, telling her to “just take”. At the very least, it would have to be made *abundantly clear that this is consensual* in the comment. And als it should be pointed out in a comment like that, that you cannot assume that your wife/girlfriend enjoys this, or that all women enjoy it, secretly or not. This is not the same as not every woman enjoys flowers so maybe your wife won’t be happy with you buying them for her. Worst case scenario, you end up raping her if consent is not taking seriously.

      I saw OKRickety make a point about how there was no mention of the wife saying no. Fair enough. I totally agree that an adult person has the responsibility to say no if they don’t want to do something!

      What I would like to add though, is something I also mentioned in one of my comments under the sexual harassment post: If someone is acting dominating/aggressive/physically domineering etc, and they don’t respect an initial “no”, “I don’t want to” etc? It *can* be very scary for the person on the receiving end of that to continue to say “no”. Because since the physically domineering and sexually aggressive person has not respected the initial no, they can be scared of making that person even more aggressive, and they’re scared that he/she’ll become more violent, forceful etc if they refuse. So they end up “giving in”, but really, it’s because they’re scared of what will happen if they don’t.

      And maybe this is how some men come to the conclusion that women just say no and don’t really mean it, they are playing hard to get, they secretly enjoy it. But really, what has happened, is that they have raped someone.

      To hopefully be very clear: If a woman is (along with the man) truly turned on by that kind of thing, she says no, she’s unwilling but gives in, and then her husband keep on “giving her a good pounding”, and that’s been made clear in some appropriate way between them? No problem! That’s not rape! (and I hope and assume that this is the case with Jeff and his wife).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey,

        You’re over thinking this – it was just some fun role play. And it wasn’t based on dom/sub either – I don’t dress up in leather and tie her up and spank her, nor does she call me “master”. Not our cup of tea.

        It really flowed out of the fun but maybe a little bit weird sense of humor we have in common. My wife believes it’s part of her duties as a wife to give sex when her husband wants, even if she’s totally not in the mood. This isn’t a case where she’s sick or hurt or REALLY doesn’t want it…it’s more along the lines of “meh, I could take it or leave it”. In a case like that, she defaults to “yes”. A lot of couples do this, and it’s often called “duty sex”. Because couples would rarely get busy if BOTH had to always be super horny and turned on for the festivities to begin.

        So this was one of those times. I was horny – she was amenable but not super worked up about it. Maybe a bit tired from housework. So I was kind of teasing her, as we were getting into it, about her doing her wifely duty for me, how she should remember to think of England during the act, etc. This made her giggle and smile.

        Things progressed from there. I’m sure you can understand that I can see and feel her reactions, whether they be positive or negative. So I got more aggressive, and the more I did (with the whole “you need to just lay there and take it like a good wife”), the more turned on she got. Believe me, there was no mistaking it! She went from originally not being too much in the mood, to being super turned on to the point I knew I’d have to change the sheets afterwards! (sorry for the TMI there)

        Afterwards, she proceeding to make me an awesome breakfast with a big smile on her face, and thanking me for being a good husband and taking care of HER needs.
        So the whole thing struck me as being a big success and a lesson on how using the biggest sex organ of them all (the brain), with some imagination, creativity, and humor, can add some lovely spice to your sex life. That’s what I was trying to share.

        But maybe Gott is ight, and I just like to advocate raping your wife.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          You can try and spin this but your other comments reveal a man who gets turned on by an uninterested woman.

          You have already shown your motivations over and over on this blog.

          Like

        • Donkey says:

          Hi Jeff,

          I don’t doubt that what you just described is what happened between you and wife. And what you described is nothing for me to take offense with or be concerned about. It comes across as a totally different thing than your original comment.

          The problem was with how you phrased your original comment, and the assumptions and recommendations you made, and what you didn’t make clear (consent, not all women like it). I can only repeat myself: “It came across, to myself, Gottmanfan and many others, as recommending to men they try something that would be borderline rape in their marriage, and just assuming that their wives secretly like it because of their inherent feminine essence. That’s what people have a problem with.”

          Liked by 2 people

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Donkey,

          OK, I believe you are in sincere in your original concerns…even if I find them way overblown.

          But now that I explained the situation more fully (as you admitted, to your satisfaction), you think we can put this to bed now?

          Because while I would actually be quite curious to know how many female readers here would be turned on if their husband acted similarly, after this hysterical reaction I think it better left to someone else to ask that question.

          Like

          • gottmanfan says:

            “Because while I would actually be quite curious to know how many female readers here would be turned on if their husband acted similarly, after this hysterical reaction I think it better left to someone else to ask that question.”

            I do find it quite interesting that you are so curious about knowing how many females would possibly be “turned on” by a husband enacting a rape scenario.

            Very interesting indeed. Each comment is very illuminating.

            Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey,

        I guess what I was recommending – given that a forced sex scenario is THE most popular female sexual fantasy – is for a husband to try a little role play in that direction if he thinks there’s a chance the wife might respond favorably to it. Because it would be a chance for her to explore those feelings and desires that apparently so many women have…in a safe, nuturing, trusting environment with her husband.

        And if he can pull it off, and let her experience those feelings and that fantasy, while also keeping her feeling safe at all times…then he would end up being her hero.

        And no one is saying that women want to be raped. But think of those romance novels back in the day, with a shirtless Fabio wearing a loincloth and golden arm cuffs, grabbing ahold of some hot chick. Women would buy those books like candy. Because they would fantasize they are the woman he is going to ravage. Again this is very common – so common, that it’s the number one female sexual fantasy. So why not let her experience that fantasy with her husband? Make that happen for her.
        Isn’t that a good thing? And if you as the man get turned on too, as you assert your dominance over her and “ravage” her, why feel guilty? Isn’t it a good thing for both of you?

        I bet a lot of wives wish their husbands would be more asssetive and try things like this. I’d love to hear from the female readers if this is the case – it seems like an appropriate use of the comment section of the blog.

        And if the wife wasn’t into it, I’m sure she would make that very clear to him. Ok, so no problem. He learns something about her. And she sees that he was trying to do something different for her that he thought she might like.

        I was just trying to share some advice about something that worked for me…that turned what might have been otherwise boring duty sex into something that was hot, sexy, and exciting. It was meant in a light and fun way as a suggestion along those lines. But someone had to turn it into a whole thing about rape. Really?

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Your continued references to rape fantasies and the language you use to describe them are very interesting for what they say about you.

          Like

        • Matt says:

          I think it’s important to be adults and talk about sex’s place in healthy relationships.

          But I think it would be awesome if we didn’t use the comments to share specific details. It’s a conversation that, to me, feels out of place, and frankly, a bit inappropriate.

          For the same reasons people at work don’t run describing the details of their sexual experiences.

          I’d also LOVE it if we could NOT talk about forced-sex fantasies amidst a conversation where rape is the backdrop.

          Accusing you of engaging in that type of behavior in real life Jeff is beyond inappropriate. And burning you at the stake for an interpretation of something you said (which I didn’t agree with) seems not-awesome either.

          But if you have even the same amount of functioning brain cells as, say, an earthworm or an amoeba, can you not gleefully discuss forced-sex fantasies?

          For the same reason Johnny Manziel shouldn’t be partying in Vegas, or Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be using private email servers, or Anthony Wiener shouldn’t be FB friends with a bunch of 16-year-old girls.

          It’s just a bad look.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jeff Strand says:

            No problem Matt.

            I’m actually just gonna take a break from the comments for awhile. I’ve become too much of a distraction.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              1. If what you just said is true, it would be awesome if you didn’t respond to this.

              2. You saying “I’ve become too much of a distraction” is like saying 9/11 “disrupted daily life a little bit for New Yorkers.”

              I agree with almost NOTHING you say. You have me DEFENDING your dumb shit to other people that you shouldn’t have typed in the first place, simply because I’m in favor of Truth being Truth.

              And the truth in this instance, is that you’re so far beyond being a distraction, that it’s almost worth abandoning my principles to have one less headache in life.

              Like

          • linds01 says:

            Matt,
            I apologize for being inappropriate. I know of no other way of being in this context.

            You know we are not doing any “burning at the stake” over one comment.
            This has been a an ongoing thing.
            I am incredibly disappointed with your little bunny foo-foo approach to shaking your finger and saying “you have one last try.”
            I am not sure what you are waiting for.
            Maybe you like the controversy?
            The end result is you leaves us here to do battle.
            The same things you talked about that hurt your wife, hurt us here.
            You are not listening to what we are telling you. You refuse to see it from our point of view. You invalidate our experience by discounting the emotional impact this has on your readers.
            This is more (or at least was more) than a blog. Over the 8 months I developed relationships with these people.
            They matter to me. Their stories and struggles matter.
            This whole thing takes away from that.
            I equated this to being a metaphorical bride.
            You have an opportunity to practice the things that you say you believe.
            What about self sacrifice?
            What about saying that maybe I don’t know all the answers and I’m not right?
            Honestly, I know we’re #5
            On your priority list. I can’t fault you for that- you have a busy life.
            So, maybe that make us the girlfriend you’re not really willing to empathize with, not really willing to make that commitment.
            I realize my words/ thoughts this week haven’t reflected grace, and as has been said are “inappropriate”.
            I shouldn’t even be “here” to read this because – you’re right- I can’t handle this stuff, and I can’t handle Jeff. I regret that my inability to handle myself about this makes me look bad.
            I believe Anita is right that it looks like a dysfunctional family. That’s what happens when a problem continues to exist without it being addressed or change.
            I am sorry you can’t see that. I am sorry my ,and many other people’s words, can’t compel you.
            I don’t know what else to say to you.
            But the result is going to be “We are leaving you because you left dishes by the sink.”

            Like

      • OKRickety says:

        “But when the beginning of the sexual interaction is that the woman doesn’t really want to have sex? “

        It seems that people, most often women, understand “the woman doesn’t really want to have sex” to mean “the women is not willing to have sex”, that is, she is not consenting. This is not necessarily true.

        Let’s consider the reality that the wide gap between “I’m super horny” and “I’m not having sex now” includes “I’m not really interested, but I’m willing to go along with it.” As an example, I hear that women today will often have sex with a man they are dating even when they don’t really want to have sex, but because they are afraid they will lose him if they don’t.

        In other words, there is a difference between wanting or desiring sex (consent), allowing sex (consent), and refusing sex (NOT consent). It is possible for either party to allow sex without wanting sex, doing it because they love the other party.

        Like

  13. gottmanfan says:

    Here are Jeff’s words for all to see.

    “Also known as: lie back and think of England. Or, “just lay there and take it”.

    Which actually, can be quite a turn-on to the guy…in his role as initiator and aggressor, and she in the role of passive receiver. A classic alpha male move. And often ends up with the woman really getting into it and all of a sudden finding herself really turned on – because her feminine nature is responding to his dominance over her during the sex act. Especially if the the husband emphasizes this by whispering “just lay there and take it” into her ear, repeatedly during the marital act.

    If some of you married couples haven’t tried this when the wife isn’t so much in the mood, you should give it a try. Don’t be shocked to see the wife actually thanking the husband afterwards, for giving her a good pounding…when she wasn’t even in the mood before they got busy! More keys to a happy marriage.”

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Yep. I just didn’t realize I should have prefaced it with “make sure to have her sign a legally binding document authorizing consent beforehand, preferably in the presence of a legal notary.” Don’t know how I missed that, my bad. But since I did, I’m sure you’re correct that there will be plenty of readers of this blog who will immediately run out and start raping women, the minute they finish reading that.

      Because that’s reasonable.

      Gott, give it a rest. You’ve been pushing this for days now. Now one is buying it. People aren’t as dumb as you seem to think they are.

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        You said: “People aren’t as dumb as you seem to think they are.”

        Now see, I love it when we can finally find something to agree on! Yes!

        People reading these blog comments are not as dumb as you seem to think they are.
        People know why you are commenting here.

        I know it, Matt knows it, virtually everyone who has read this blog in the last few months sees you for who you are and why you write comments here.

        “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

        Like

  14. gottmanfan says:

    I want to make ut clear that I do NOT agree with thus comment.

    Jeff should be judged by the WORDS he writes and NOT accused of rape.

    There are more than enough issues with his WORDS and their implied meanings. That is what is fair and appropriate to say.

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Gottmanfan, I understand and I apologize. However that is my opinion. This whole situation pains me. I wish it would stop or change. I obviously am not going to be effective, and this is not productive for me.
      I know this, yet..
      Ok, def. time to bow out.

      Like

  15. Donkey says:

    Lindsey, I have to call you out on this. This isn’t ok.

    I think that Jeff has said some really questionable and potentially harmful things, also on the subject of sex and consent (as I’ve laid out in some of my earlier comments in this thread).

    And I think that he has behaved disrespectfully on this blog many times, even now with some of the things he said to Gottmanfan.

    But it’s just not fair or ok to state that he’s pro rape or that you believe he has raped.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. anitvan says:

    So, you know, I think I’m just gonna skip the comments from here on out.

    There really isn’t any point, they’ve become so predictable.

    Jeff: “Something something something DARK SIDE…”

    Me (or Gott, or Donkey etc.): “Did you just say DARK SIDE??”

    Fruitless arguing ensues.

    Matt: “Jeff! If I have to tell you one more time not to say DARK SIDE, you’re outta here!”

    Defensive posturing and increasingly hysterical comments ensue.

    Linds: “Matt, please get rid of him!”

    Bicker some more until Matt’s next post.

    And then start all over again.

    What’s the point?

    Matt, I always enjoy your writing, but the comment section is like a dysfunctional fucking family!

    I’m doing what any healthy person would do under the circumstances.

    I’m disengaging.

    I’m sorry y’all. I know I played a part in keeping this merry-go-round spinning, and I’m really sorry for that. I didn’t do right by y’all. But I still gotta get off this ride.

    Best to you all.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gottmanfan says:

      Well you KNOW things have gotten beyond the point of reason when even imminently reasonable, ultra patient, long time reader Anita can’t take it anymore.

      Like

    • linds01 says:

      Anita, (And Matt)-
      Me too. I have to I have to keep myself from not getting pulled back in.

      I was going to try to make another argument to Matt.
      Asking why he even gave him the option to answer for his comment.
      We know what they answer will be “I’m completely innocent, you got me all wrong, I am so misunderstood.”

      Matt, this erks me so much.

      Forgive the analogy but, if the Church was Christ’s bride then we are yours (in a sense)
      And you are holding on to what you value over the good of your bride.
      You are holding your ideal of freedom of speech and what is “fair”, over what is obviously unfair to a lot of other people.

      I hate to get all religious, but if you read the parable of the guest without wedding clothes(Matthew 22 y;110 you have a picture of Jeff.
      Read any commentary- there he is.

      He was thrown out of the wedding feast.

      That was the right thing to do.

      Like

  17. Jeff Strand says:

    I’m also getting tired of the games in the comments sections. Putting words in my mouth, etc.

    I think I’ll take a break for a little while too. Maybe having some new voices commenting will be a nice change.

    Like

  18. I’d comment Matt, but I’m too busy indulging in excessive marital sex and it’s really hard to type with the bed bouncing around……

    Liked by 1 person

  19. linds01 says:

    I’m reposting this here because I don’t know it you will get it otherwise.
    Matt,
    I apologize for being inappropriate. I know of no other way of being in this context.

    You know we are not doing any “burning at the stake” over one comment.
    This has been a an ongoing thing.
    I am incredibly disappointed with your little bunny foo-foo approach to shaking your finger and saying “you have one last try.”
    I am not sure what you are waiting for.
    Maybe you like the controversy?
    The end result is you leaves us here to do battle.
    The same things you talked about that hurt your wife, hurt us here.
    You are not listening to what we are telling you. You refuse to see it from our point of view. You invalidate our experience by discounting the emotional impact this has on your readers.
    This is more (or at least was more) than a blog. Over the 8 months I developed relationships with these people.
    They matter to me. Their stories and struggles matter.
    This whole thing takes away from that.
    I equated this to being a metaphorical bride.
    You have an opportunity to practice the things that you say you believe.
    What about self sacrifice?
    What about saying that maybe I don’t know all the answers and I’m not right?
    Honestly, I know we’re #5
    On your priority list. I can’t fault you for that- you have a busy life.
    So, maybe that make us the girlfriend you’re not really willing to empathize with, not really willing to make that commitment.
    I realize my words/ thoughts this week haven’t reflected grace, and as has been said are “inappropriate”.
    I shouldn’t even be “here” to read this because – you’re right- I can’t handle this stuff, and I can’t handle Jeff. I regret that my inability to handle myself about this makes me look bad.
    I believe Anita is right that it looks like a dysfunctional family. That’s what happens when a problem continues to exist without it being addressed or change.
    I am sorry you can’t see that. I am sorry my ,and many other people’s words, can’t compel you.
    I don’t know what else to say to you.
    But the result is going to be “We are leaving you because you left dishes by the sink.”

    Like

    • Matt says:

      1. I can’t say with enough emphasis how incredibly annoying and disappointing I consider it that a bunch of adults can’t comment in a public forum without it melting into a drama festival.

      2. Maybe I’m the biggest idiot who has ever walked this earth, but I still viewed JS’ comments as, while 100% inappropriate, unnecessary, unpleasant, impolite, etc, NOT advocating rape. And I’m not one to just start agreeing because someone else said I should.

      3. I consider false and/or unwarranted accusations of rape to be worse than douchy-asshole comments.

      4. As such, some of your comments put me in the predicament of having to decide between enforcing a user ban fairly, or not do anything.

      5. All I said was: BE KIND.

      6. Yes. I know you’re not doing burning at the stake over one comment. There are levels to things. I’ve been FURIOUS with many, many, many comments left by Jeff. And I have and will continue to take care of it as best I can. But YOU ARE trying to burn someone at the stake.

      Whatever level of disappointment you feel over my best efforts at fair treatment for everyone can’t begin to approach mine over my new “job” to babysit blog comments and be responsible for everyone’s decisions to read them or engage with them.

      I will disable all blog comments before I let people gang up on someone to kick them off the island because they don’t like them.

      I’m not taking orders. I’m not responding to threats.

      Jeff has committed many crimes, in my opinion.

      He has demonstrated PROFOUND sexism. He’s demonstrated intolerance of opposing viewpoints. He randomly replies to people unnecessarily and brings up stories and ideas that seem wildly inappropriate for how I would talk to someone. He champions values and philosophies which I think are rooted in falsehoods and misinterpreting the Bible.

      I have spelled out for Jeff what I will and will not tolerate in comments, and other than being unkind a few times, he hasn’t violated what I said.

      But since everyone INSISTS on engaging him, often demonstrating unkindness in the process, how am I supposed to justify taking further action without including others, as well?

      The next step is me disabling these.

      Linds, I appreciate how much you seem to care, and I appreciate each and every human being for whom you are advocating.

      I am going to continue to write stories which I hope can help people think about personal growth and relationship health.

      I’ll continue to delete comments that are inappropriate as I find them.

      And people can and will think of me whatever they’re going to think, and people can and will spend their time doing whatever it is they want to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        Matt,

        I understand.

        I don’t like that you consider my conviction asshole-douchery.

        My intention was not “to burn someone at the stake”.

        I honestly feel he has the capacity to do that. Maybe, I should not have written it.

        Perhaps I don’t know the extent of damage and danger accusations are, the same way you don’t understand the extent of damage and danger suggestions that women really want to be raped are.

        I am not trying to be sarcastic. I am being real.
        I admit, I am a social novice, you can even call me an idiot- I may not understand the impact of what I said.

        You say you expect everyone to be an adult, and that we insist on engaging him.

        All I have to say is that even though we have lived on this earth so many number of years, you know as well as I do that most people walking around are not as “Adult” as they appear.

        I am not saying we should all just de-volve into acting out of our emotional impulses, but when there is almost constant instigation from the things he says- and when he directly engages you , it is really, really hard not to respond at all to the things he is saying.

        People have tried to engage him rationally, logically- with interest and curiosity.
        But, it doesn’t seem to produce any fruit.

        Ok, You’re right- we have a choice as to where and how we spend our time, and it seems like you are uninviting me here.

        That hurts and isn’t what I want, but I am pretty sure your capacity to care about that is nil.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        I assume I must be one of those you think is burning Jeff at the stake for his little innocent comment about advocating rape fantasy as a key to a happy marriage.

        You said you fundamentally disagreed with my interpretation and agreed with Okrickety’s.

        As a point of interest here is a part response from okrickety to me when Jeff’s own words on this post in a comment made it CLEAR he was advocating for rape fantasies.

        “First, to any and all who read this, I will admit that I did not think Jeff was recommending a rape-like (forced-sex) experience, but apparently he was. Unless she specifically consented beforehand (which was not stated), I think this is a bad idea. Even with consent, I don’t think it is a good idea. I am sorry that I misunderstood, but it was not clear to me. I apologize for comments based on that misunderstanding.”

        So now Matt you stand alone with Jeff on your interpretation of Jeff’s comment.

        Your approach to handling Jeff has been the problem to make this blog comment section dysfunctional. You want to blame us? Cool! You do you.

        When someone shows you who they are believe them.” Jeff has shown us who is he is. YOU have shown us who you are.

        And you know what? I may be ALL kinds of crazy annoying for trying to so hard in SO many ways to deal with Jeff because you chose to just warn him over and over and not enforce YOUR own rules stated over and over to us.

        Anita summed it up well. Jeff says something dark side, various people protest dark side, you threaten to boot him the next time, Lindsey begs to get rid of him, rinse and repeat.

        You are a shitty blog husband.

        You won’t listen to those begging you to. You just pretend to listen and talk about how we are the problems and how annoying our complaining about sexism is.

        Just like in the my wife left me because of dishes by the sink, you are a shitty blog husband.

        If FRIGGING ANITA leaving can’t make you see that, nothing will.

        You’ve shown us who you are Matt.

        But hey you do you.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          And feel free to delete this comment as unkind or to ironically block me. Or just ignore it.

          Either way this will be my very last comment on your blog so your life should be easier to read less annoying comments. That kindness should help a bit to balance my directness above.

          In case I wasn’t clear, like Anita. I’m getting off this merry go round permanently.

          Like

        • Matt says:

          1. For FUCK’s sake.

          2. Rape is an INSANE thing to be discussing on internet comments. INTERNET COMMENTS. These are topics for human conversation.

          3. Jeff has been the biggest asshole in the history of internet comments here, but there is a big-ass wall of a line between being a huge asshole, and being some kind of rape advocate.

          4. 90% of Jeff’s comments suck are unproductive, and incite anger, and it pisses me off and I’ve said so on a number of occasions.

          5. While I think it’s EXTREMELY inappropriate for Jeff to have said some of the things he has, I can’t objectively look at it and agree that he’s championing freaking rape. Perhaps this is an instance where having not had sexual experiences with women keeps you from seeing it as I do. Jeff’s word choices strike me as careless and a little clueless at times, but what I HONESTLY believe he was describing was male sexual dominance during consensual sex. And I KNOW that — while it’s certainly not true for all women, as nothing is ever true for all people — many, many, many women agree with what Jeff said there. Maybe stop using the word “rape.” Replace it with “controlling the action,” or “leading the way.”

          I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.

          I don’t want to talk about sexual specifics down here. I am NEVER writing about sex acts. Everyone is allowed to do and like and feel and be whatever they want.

          It’s disingenuous as hell to suggest any references to sex on my part refer to anything other than consensual sex as part of the foundations of healthy relationships.

          And I think it’s disingenuous to say that just because a comment makes you uncomfortable that we’re all the sudden allowed to label it as rape advocacy.

          And I think it’s disingenuous as hell to call an asshole anything other than an asshole.

          Assholes are assholes. Rapists and rape advocates are something more. There’s a difference.

          And I think it’s disingenuous as hell to suggest that I am the reason my blog friend Anita doesn’t want to deal with the comments.

          And I resent, deeply, the insinuation that because I won’t ban an unpopular person simply because a bunch of people want me to, that I’m now someone who has:

          Shown you who I really am.

          What does that mean, I wonder? That I’m secretly super-into rape stuff? That I LOVE Jeff and agree with all of his bullshit and hate everyone who doesn’t say ridiculous, asshole-ish things?

          I have 500,000 words here and 37+ years of life showing people who I am.

          Flaws and all, I fucking stand by them.

          Liked by 1 person

        • OKRickety says:

          OKRickety: “First, to any and all who read this, I will admit that I did not think Jeff was recommending a rape-like (forced-sex) experience, but apparently he was. Unless she specifically consented beforehand (which was not stated), I think this is a bad idea. Even with consent, I don’t think it is a good idea. I am sorry that I misunderstood, but it was not clear to me. I apologize for comments based on that misunderstanding.”

          Matt: “Maybe I’m the biggest idiot who has ever walked this earth, but I still viewed JS’ comments as, while 100% inappropriate, unnecessary, unpleasant, impolite, etc, NOT advocating rape. And I’m not one to just start agreeing because someone else said I should.”

          I wish to clarify that I did not originally read Jeff’s comment to be a rape-like (forced-sex) experience. Jeff has stated that it was, so I apologize for that misunderstanding and my comments based on that misunderstanding.

          I continue to believe that this specific role playing scenario is a bad idea, as I believe there is too much risk for damage to the individuals and the relationship, and the possibility of abuse in a poor relationship.

          However, like Matt, I also consider the comment to have been “inappropriate, unnecessary, unpleasant, impolite, etc”, and I also do not believe he was advocating rape.

          One of the reasons it was inappropriate is evidenced by the furor that erupted. Some have stated they feel this blog is a community, but I don’t see the evidence in this situation. I wonder if this whole situation might have been defused if Jeff had been asked to clarify whether there was consent, etc. Instead, the immediate response was to complain and ask Matt to pronounce judgment.

          This exemplifies a common behavior today. Rather than being secure in our own self, we are triggered by others’ behaviors and statements. I have recently read How Can I Get Through to You? by Terry Real. He speaks of healthy boundaries as being supple; they allow you to be both protected and connected at the same time. If others’ statements are true, you allow it through, but when they are false, you simply leave it outside the boundary. In this process, you scan for the positive, that is, you look for what you can agree to and give.

          Instead, what I see in the comments recently is that there is scanning for the negative, that is, looking for what upsets the reader. This is seldom productive. Another concept from Terry Real is that changing your response to another often, but not always, will result in the other person changing their behavior. However, comments now often result in escalation by both parties, a cycle of increasingly destructive statements. Who is willing to change and initiate a positive cycle?

          Like

  20. linds01 says:

    I should also note that Jeff leaving voluntarily, “for a break”, is not a resolution to this issue.

    I’m sorry if my voice is unwanted or an annoying redundance to you.

    I feel a bit disrespected that it doesn’t count.

    Like

  21. zombiedrew2 says:

    Umm, yeah. That was fun.

    Just a few thoughts to provide a bit of perspective here:

    – Matt is just a regular guy, who is doing something he believes in. He’s writing this blog because it’s a topic he’s passionate about. In the process he’s been fortunate enough to gain a reasonably large following – and with that has come a pretty active community in the comments section. Which is great – for him, and for the people who comment on a regular basis. Through these comments there have been come great discussions, largely led by the people doing the commenting (not by Matt). Matt has multiple other things going on in his life, and as someone who tries to do something similar over at my blog I’m honestly stunned at how much time and effort Matt puts into this. I know how much work I put into my own stuff (it’s a lot), but with other things in life there’s no way I can publish as frequently as he does, or spend as much time in a community. I’m going to make a guess here that Matt is pretty damned disappointed right now. He does this because he wants to, not because he has to.

    – The comments are great for sharing ideas, but we don’t actually have to engage in them all the time. This reminds me of dealing with my youngest son when he’s “in a mood”. Sometimes the best thing to do is just not engage him, because *sometimes* engaging will serve no purpose but to escalate. And that accomplishes nothing. Yesterday was the first time I’ve responded to one of Jeff’s comments. I’ve thought about it before, but chosen to walk away instead – because it was clear it wouldn’t accomplish anything beyond start a pissing contest (which would end with no one feeling better).

    – this whole thing goes back to one of the main points/themes of this blog. We are all different, and communication is hard. Pretty much each and every one of you has raised some fantastic points – and also said some things I don’t agree with. I agree with *most* of what Matt says, and sometimes I think he’s flat out wrong. And I’m sure others feel that same way about me. That’s cool – that’s part of life. We are different. We don’t all think the same. But different doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. I can still respect each and every one of you for the things you do/say that ARE positive. Things aren’t black and white – when someone says something that upsets me it doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) undo all the good that existed previously.

    – It feels like we’re seeing a microcosm of all the little hurts/resentments that destroy relationships played out right here in the comments. Isn’t this the stuff we are saying we know happens, and we need to be conscious of?

    – as for Matt showing us who he is? Yeah, I think he has. He’s a guy who cares about this stuff. Who wants people to realize that many of the issues that split apart relationships are common, and are part of the human condition. He’s a guy who talks empathy, tolerance and understanding. As I said, I don’t always agree with him – but the Matt I believe I “know” is a guy I still think pretty highly of. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I’m not really seeing how any of this is his fault or reflects on him.

    People, leave if you want – that’s your choice. But I think collectively we are better than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I’m totally embarrassed that you or anyone else might feel like I need to be defended.

      But thank you, nonetheless. You summed up my position pretty clearly while respecting all opinions, and still making sure to point out you think I’m a stupid idiot once in a while. ;)

      I really appreciate it, Drew.

      Liked by 2 people

      • zombiedrew2 says:

        Hah, not quite a “stupid idiot” – more the point that no one will always agree with the other person. And that’s normal – and should be alright.

        Communication is hard. I can say something and 10 people might be thinking “yeah, I get it – I agree”. While 20 more might be thinking “this guy’s an idiot”.

        Those same people may feel differently about other things I say.

        Having people agree with me isn’t the goal. If I have something to share that I feel is of value, hopefully someone else finds value in it. If not, that’s cool too.

        All I can ever be is me, and continually try to grow to be the best version of me possible.

        I think that’s what you’re doing here, and I think it’s great.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Miss G. says:

          Hey Drew,

          As a “real life” friend of Matt’s who’s been here since the inception of MBTTTR, but chose to silently observe the comments section until now, I just want to thank you for your last couple comments.

          You nailed it. Your comments very closely echo thoughts I shared this morning, offline. And you wrote them quite eloquently, I might add.
          So, thank you for that.

          My friend is a wonderful human. Flawed but learning — just as we all are and should be. The work he does here is admirable and certainly not always easy. But there’s been a lot of good to come from it, despite the shit show that is the comments section as of late. You obviously recognize that. I’m glad you pointed it out.

          I’ve long been a fan of your comments and Matt knows that. Hope you’ll continue to be present here with your meaningful contributions. :)

          Liked by 2 people

          • Matt says:

            Thanks, yo.

            This is very Inceptiony, since I can just walk over and thank you in-person, if I want.

            Thanks for mentioning my flaws!

            Maybe you can also tell everyone about the time I tequila-vomited in my backyard in front of a bunch of co-workers and one of their spouses, or how I’m secretly not Jesusy when discussing characters around the office like Scott Stapp (the Voice of Creed®), Darth Bator, and Lady Pee Fingers.

            You gotta herp before you can derp.

            Thanks for saying nice things. If you’re making a coffee run, I totally want some.

            Like

            • Miss G. says:

              Ha! Good ones.

              You are kinda derpy. But wouldn’t want you any other way!

              No thanks necessary, you know I’ll always be in your corner.

              Enjoy your Inceptiony (and illegal!) afternoon coffee. ;)

              Like

    • StartingOver@45 says:

      Thank you for this, Drew.

      I’m new in here & only one time in my whole life have I ever felt compelled to join a conversation such as this on the internet and that was in here a couple of weeks ago. I shared a “snippet” of my life & Matt responded to me in kindness… which is what I see him repeat over & over of what his expectations are of the people who comment in here. Unfortunately, not everyone, in my opinion & observations, has adhered to this rule of BE KIND.

      There are many things I read in here that I do not agree with. Honestly, sometimes I find myself wondering why certain people are even interacting on this blog, especially if marriage for them is so blissfully wonderful. I truly do not believe for one second it’s out of the goodness of their hearts, but again, this is just my opinion. I have, at times. been utterly amazed at the lengths they will go to prove that their ideology is the law & everyone else is wrong. It infuriates me, but I say nothing. I say nothing because in real life, I’m doing enough arguing & fighting with my soon-to-be ex that I’m tired & drained & have had it up to my eyeballs with drama.

      But, more often than not, there are things posted in here that I DO agree with & it gives me comfort to know that “NO, I am not crazy, NO, I’m not over-reacting for feeling a certain way, YES, it’s OK that tonight I don’t want to have sex with you because I’ve been busy all day taking care of things at work & at home & I’m exhausted & even though you worked all day too, you’ve been out all night long drinking with the boys & probably grabbed an ass or two & picked up phone numbers while you were at it” (true story).

      Matt addresses issues that I have been crying, screaming, bitching, begging & pleading over for the past twenty-one years and I am so glad that I found this place. I don’t feel so alone, so I’m thankful.

      Your work here is appreciated, Matt. Just thought you should know…

      Liked by 2 people

    • OKRickety says:

      “It feels like we’re seeing a microcosm of all the little hurts/resentments that destroy relationships played out right here in the comments. Isn’t this the stuff we are saying we know happens, and we need to be conscious of?”

      Based on the comments, it appears that it’s fine to talk about it in theory, but, when push comes to shove, the true character of the participants shows through. It is disappointing, but I am no longer surprised in light of the attitudes and beliefs regarding male-female romantic relationships that I have found on internet blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. “You are a shitty blog husband.”

    Okay, let’s briefly mention submission and it’s tremendous value to women. Submission is actually a way of life, it has very little to do with sex, although happy sex can be wonderful fringe benefit. To submit simply means to yield, as in to drop the rope in a power struggle. Women, with all our raging emotions, our powerful sexual energy, and endless need for control, can learn to set that all aside, to stop resisting and fighting against absolutely everything. You want “a peaceful gentle spirit that does not give way to fear.”

    Fear is such a powerful influence, a negative one, and it leads us to violate boundaries, to attack with the intent to completely annihilate someone. Women desire control over the things that are scary, but often they are things within us, NOT outside of us. To submit is actually to face your own fears, to accept your own vulnerability, and to let go of your desperate need for control.

    This is really important in male/female relationships because when men are under attack they just go into defense mode and can’t hear you anymore. You will wind up in a power struggle that must escalate, because women must destroy what offends us.

    Matt is not a bad blog husband,and not unlike a marriage, there has to be some recognition of authority here. All of us bloggers are responsible for our own blogs, for how we run our comments and we need to honor and recognize that. Right or wrong doesn’t really matter, whoever has the responsibility must also be granted the authority.

    That’s kind of how healthy marriages work, too.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Oh yeah!

      I forgot to address that earlier. The “shitty blog husband” thing.

      I’m not “blog married.” This isn’t the first time I’ve read or heard someone get upset with me because they don’t feel as if my actions or words in a given moment reflect the things I encourage husbands and wives to do for one another in marriage.

      I find it insulting to the institution of marriage, and totally outside the lines of rationality, to compare the relationship of some idiot blogger to people reading it and commenting on it to the sacred, spiritual forever bond between two people who pledge to love and serve one another for life.

      I’m a shitty all-kinds-of-things.

      But I am NOT a shitty blog husband, because I’m NOT a blog husband.

      This is why human beings should sometimes not discuss important things digitally, because too much gets lost in translation.

      When conversations aren’t even being framed within the same universe, no one can EVER find common ground.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wifey says:

        But while you may not be in a relationship with the comment section, I think some of your readers ARE. That’s kinda a cool thing. You’ve touched people on a deeply emotionally level, made them feel safe and validated and not crazy when sometimes the people in their real lives have dismissed and ignored them. I know their comments about being shitty pissed you off, but to them, you’re more than a blogger (and this place more than a comment section). You’ve given them something even their own family can’t. You’ve had readers who have probably gone YEARS with no one thinking they had a point. So, some are hurt by what they perceive as your lack of protection. Because they’ve emotionally connected with you and the others here. I think you’ve made it clear now though that you don’t view the comment section community here the same way they do. That’s okay. And people can now take that information and choose not to invest emotionally if they feel like it’s not reciprocated.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Matt says:

          Fairly presented points. Thank you.

          I’m writing a post now and on a paragraph covering Idealism vs. Reality, and ironically, I guess it relates to this.

          Ideally, I 100% agree with the people who have formed a community, and who generously share ideas and support one another, and the occasional new person who comes in looking for help in their personal life.

          It’s beautiful. Seriously. And the lack of respect Jeff has shown for that pisses me off to no end.

          But I don’t always fly off the handle and do things that don’t seem fair to me based on my personal feelings.

          I’ve come close to banning him a few different times. But in the end, the reason simply couldn’t be: “Because a group of people I like more and favor personally said they wanted me to.”

          I don’t agree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest the national anthem, but I’ll defend him (and did in a blog post once) against people who want to be hateful or act like he shouldn’t have the right to.

          This is all very new territory here for me. This is not a message board. This is a blog, which people awesomely use sometimes to carry on Life conversation.

          Jeff came in and torpedoed it with bullshit.

          Then I told him exactly what my expectations would be, and since, the guy hasn’t blatantly violated it outside of responding to comments accusing him of being a rapist.

          Now, dammit I know it’s inconvenient, and I know I’m not making any friends, and I know people are going to think less of me and stop reading.

          I know. I sense it and understand it.

          But I AM NOT betraying my AUTHENTIC commitment to the free exchange of ideas.

          And I AM NOT participating in Group Think, either. I don’t need anyone to tell me Jeff’s often an asshole. I already think it and my responses to him are all there for anyone to see.

          But at some point, people are going to have to take responsibility for what they choose to engage.

          When all the kids laugh at the asshole student in the back of class disrespecting the teacher, it encourages the asshole student to continue.

          When everyone ignores him/her, they tend to behave differently.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wifey says:

            I 100% agree with you about ignoring it being the best choice. At some point, it became quite clear that continuing to respond, explain, reason, question, exclaim, etc was futile. When it gets boring, he’ll stop.

            I’m guessing this whole debacle is nothing new to veteran bloggers, and there are probably some resources out there somewhere about ways to manage it if you felt like researching alternative solutions or view points. You know….in your free time ;)

            Liked by 1 person

        • marilyn sims says:

          Hi Wifey,

          I am so very, very glad you stated what has just become obvious to me. So many of us, myself included have made such an emotional investment in this site and all it has come to mean — that we are suffering from what I would call abandonment issues. I am trying my best to disengage somewhat and find a more balanced approach to living with my on-line COMMUNITY. I have found it more difficult than I thought. Please continue to contribute here, your perspective is sorely needed.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wifey says:

            I completely understand, Marilyn. I have been a part of online communities in various forms for about 15 years – blogs, message boards, etc. I’ve considered the other people friends, and sometimes that’s developed into real life awesome relationships. One of my very best girl friends in the world I met online actually. Now, we travel to visit each other, our kids know each other, and it’s the best! And I’ve also learned when to step back and disengage emotionally when you see it’s unhealthy.

            Some of what I’ve seen here in the comments section are just what I’d call rookie mistakes ;) I’ve met so many Jeffs over the years. There’s really nothing original about him. I used to respond, try to reason with them, maybe show them a side they hadn’t yet considered. LOL! I want others to learn from my pain. Please just don’t bother!

            Liked by 1 person

      • OKRickety says:

        You pretty clearly state this blog is your journal. If you intended it to be a support group or a “community”, then perhaps you could be considered a “blog husband”, although I think the usual term would be moderator.

        Note: As far as I can tell, “blog husband” as used here seems to be a new concept. I googled the phrase and the closest usage I could find was a Youtube video where a husband who helps his wife with her blog calls himself a “blog husband”.

        Last, but not least, although I disagree with you often enough, I do not consider you to be an “idiot blogger”. I appreciate your humility, but I think it would be good if you found another description to use. Alas, I have no suggestions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      Hello Insanitybytes22,

      Sadly this will not be directly relevant to the thoughts you just brought up.

      if you’re interested, I’ve made a reply to the last comment you made to me. It’s (as I’m writing this) on the bottom of the comment section of the “Guest post: The Thing All Women Do That You Dont’ Know About” post

      The shorter version is this: I think you’ve been quite unfair to me in some ways. I really have tried very hard to be polite and respectful on this blog, I have apologized for any and all disrespect a few times now, and I have opened myself up for more specific criticism if you or anyone has a problem with something I’ve said a few times now also. I can’t see that you have shown a similar level of effort, humility and openness to criticism towards me. You have made more than one disrespectful comment towards me (saying that I have never ending needs, that I need to get out more, implied that I think everything is about me all the time). So even if I have failed in behaving respectfully towards you or others on this blog and I’m just not realizing it (and that’s certainly possible), I think you concluding (as it seems to me that you’re doing) that there’s been a significant problem with my behavior and hardly none with yours, is an unfair and dishonest conclusion.

      My apology for any and all disrespect I have shown still stands, and I’m still willing to discuss any failing of mine more specifically with you and/or others. I would need you to acknowledge that you have used inappropriate language to me first though, because I have taken the first humble steps a few times now (apologizing sincerely for anywhere I’ve been disrespectful, inviting criticism), and I would need to see more willingness on your end to engage with me in a more respectful manner even when it’s hard. If you want to not discuss this any more, that’s your choice of course and fine with me. If you want to talk with me in the futue about unrelated things, that’s fine with me too. Unless you explicitly tell me otherwise, I will feel free to comment to you about other things too.

      My new main boundary: I can’t control how you or anyone speaks to me. And I can’t control how Matt reacts or doesn’t react to comments either. But if I see antyhing that I deem to be rude, unfair, disrespectful etc towards me, I will strive to stand up for myself and call you or anyone else out on it. And of course I’ll try to treat you and others with respect too.

      Take care,
      Donkey

      Like

      • Matt says:

        I’ve never seen you be anything but fair, kind, patient, intelligent, curious, and even friendly when you might not have felt like being that way.

        Maybe I missed something, but I can’t imagine a scenario in which you have anything to apologize for.

        Like

  23. linds01 says:

    Matt,
    I hate to be on this side of the fence.

    I was going to write this before I read your last post.

    I want to apologize for asking you to compromise your values. I don’t think people should easily abandon their values because someone tells them to.

    But, I do think there is a place and time when what we are upholding as values causes harm to something else. If we were a family (Which I know we are not- continue reading) then it would be hoped for that an obnoxious guest would be asked to leave.

    I think there has been a big disconnect between expectations of readers and writer.

    You view this similarly to a work environment, I think other people (including myself) viewed it as more of a community.

    People develop emotions and connections. It would be silly for them to be expected not to.

    However, I know you have stated several times, especially over the last 2 months or so how the blog is not as high a priority to you as maybe others would have wished. No blame there.

    You have been clear about your boundaries and what you are willing to give/not give.

    So, you don’t “owe” us anything.

    I hate that this all happened. But, I think the outcome is the best one at this point in time.

    We are too involved and are expecting too much from you.

    This is not the place to have a community.

    But, while you can go on and have a great day without really feeling there was a loss. There are people who are hurt.

    I’m one of them. But- what ev’s.

    I was getting good stuff from your blog to implement in my life, not so that this could be my life.

    I hope there are no hard feelings. And, I cant change your opinion of me.

    You have to know I never wanted to have conflict with you.

    Peace.

    Like

  24. Wifey says:

    Sad that this internal conflict is exactly what shit stirrers love and ultimately their goal. Some people get immense satisfaction out of causing chaos. Goal achieved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • marilyn sims says:

      Hello again,

      I went to a site called The Good Men Project where Matt’s articles appear to see if there was something I could learn there about how to conduct civil discourse when matters of high controversy are the subject of debate and passionate feelings are aroused.

      Instead of guidance, I found this, “How Did the Good Men Project Get Hijacked By Such Bad Guys?” The short answer seems to be — LEADERSHIP or perhaps more accurately, the quality of the leadership. If you have a few minutes I would really appreciate it if you read the article and provided some feedback. I do not see this site as in immediate danger of being overrun by vandals and yet I know now how easily the purposes for which Matt started this blog can be subverted by one “shit stirrer”.

      Like

  25. Amy says:

    Hi! Can I still comment on the original post? I think it is a very interesting topic. I have been married for 19 years. There are many nights when I feel like I am too tired to be intimate. But I have to say if I make the effort I am never sorry I did. My husband has a much higher drive than I do. But I try not to say no too often. It benefits my marriage and myself to have a husband that feels loved. He has told me that it feels like a rejection when I turn him down which was actually a huge shock to me. I never knew it was so personal if I just didn’t feel like it or would rather sleep or watch TV. If I am sick or totally exhausted that is a different story. But otherwise I try to accommodate. Someone once said that having sex was like exercising. You often don’t feel like it, but you are never sorry you did once you are done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      You certainly can. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

      It makes a lot of sense. Phrases like “duty-sex” can mean something good or bad depending on the spin we put on it.

      Thank you for sharing the concept in a way that is healthy and part of giving to your marriage.

      Pretty great.

      Like

  26. Felicity says:

    Hey Matt! You always write good stuff. I wonder if you read the verses after Ephesians 5:22 that talk about how men should love their wives as Christ loves the church? Where they are instructed to love their wives as they would love themselves? I think you summed the concept up to a degree in the last few verses…. but what a difference it would make in a lot of marriages if it were actually practiced. I know my husband would get more sex if he loved me with a love that was unselfish.

    Perhaps… just perhaps… even aside from the sex… wives would have less trouble respecting, and submitting to our husbands if we knew beyond a doubt they had our best interests at heart. In my own upbringing – submission was always aligned with subjection and control – but perhaps in a perfect world, submission should be more closely aligned to trust?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you, Felicity.

      I hope it was clear that I was NOT advocating submission so much as I was trying to defend biblical teaching related to it. Because it’s truly not the sexist and domineering version that, I think, all of the abusers use to justify being as they are.

      I like partnership. I like equality. I like MUTUAL submission and service to one another.

      This does NOT mean “be a doormat who obeys the other.”

      It means give and love without expectation. It means love hard even when it’s inconvenient and we don’t “feel” like it.

      I’m totally okay with a submissive-wife marriage of that’s the desired and agreed-upon arrangement of two people who legitimately love each other.

      But to ADVOCATE male dominance and wives having babies and making sandwiches and demonstrating blatant disrespect and hostility toward women who DON’T want that relationship structure seems non-sensical to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Felicity says:

        Yep. Totally got that :) It was more that often that verse is quoted alone without the context in the next verses showing how men are called to love their wives – which brings that mutual submission and trust. Make sense? Submission is in general a word that brings negative connotations I think. I’ll never advocate male dominance either. It definitely isn’t biblical. I’m all for mutual submission, respect, encouragement, and love, in and out of the bedroom. Keep on keeping on!

        Liked by 2 people

  27. Well, I suspect part of the reason why we believe men have a higher sex drive is related to biology, but it is also socialization. Men do not learn how to get their needs for affection met in other ways. So women can emotionally connect through conversation, romance, bubble baths, hugs, eating chocolate ice cream, whatever. Men have few ways to relate and connect that are socially acceptable and learned behavior.

    If you look at statistics about cheating and affairs, gender is pretty evenly balanced. I don’t have a study, but I think men and women must be evenly balanced in how much sex we are having, since we are pretty much having sex with one another. So there is a disconnect when we believe men have higher sex drives and yet women seem to be the ones having all the sex.

    Like

  28. OKRickety says:

    Matt,

    Since this post is considering Christianity, I am going to comment accordingly.

    “The Bible doesn’t tell men to MAKE their wives submit.

    The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands. The ball is 100 percent in the women’s court.”
    […]
    “So, all of this submission talk was rooted in “serving the Lord.” The cultural norm in the year 72 was for women to follow their husbands’ lead. But the culture norm (and ultra-specific Bible-based expectation) ALSO was for these husbands to be GODLY men. Men of profound character whose family leadership was rooted wholly and completely in humbly serving God and “treating other people in a kind and generous way” or “being commendably decent or generous.””
    […]
    “Conclusion #1: EVEN IF what Paul wrote nearly two millennia ago is the ACTUAL, not-to-be-ignored-lest-ye-be-damned Word of God, the instruction was not: Hey Women! You’re supposed to be your husband’s slave and do whatever he says no matter what! He’s the boss!

    The instruction was: IF you marry a godly (holy, not god-like) man, follow his humble and loving lead.

    Anything other than that set of conditions renders the agreement null and void.

    Conclusion #2: EVEN IF those suggestions are culturally relevant in 2016, they only apply to two people who are married, practice Christianity together, and who entered the marriage with the understanding that, so long as the husband behaves as holy men do, that his wife will defer to him on familial matters.”

    The New Testament states in Ephesians 5:24, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:5, and 1 Peter 3:1 that wives are to submit to their husbands. The first two of these texts also state that husbands are to love their wives. If the cultural norm expected this, then I find it surprising that this would be specifically stated multiple times. It is my opinion that this behavior was actually contradictory to the cultural norm, so there was a necessity to give this teaching. Additionally, I believe that this teaching is also contradictory to the cultural norm of today, so it is still important, relevant, and necessary.

    I strongly disagree with your assertions that the Christian wife’s submission to her husband requires marriage to a Christian man, or is conditional on “his humble and loving” leading or “so long as the husband behaves as holy men do”. None of these scriptures provides any allowance to the wife to justify failure to submit to the husband. Note: They also do not provide any allowance to the husband to justify failure to love his wife.

    You will find that 1 Peter 3:1,2 specifically addresses marriage to a non-Christian husband. It states: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” It clearly states that a wife is to be submissive to her non-Christian husband.

    You are correct in saying “The Bible doesn’t tell men to MAKE their wives submit. The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands. The ball is 100 percent in the women’s court.”. It is also true that Christian husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

    However, you are wrong to assert that a Christian wife’s submission requires a godly, Christian husband who is behaving as holy men do.

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  29. Tez says:

    At the risk of over simplifying, if he takes care of my heart I will take care of his ‘needs’. ( I really wanted to be crude here but chose to do otherwise ).
    Guys NEED sex, women NEED their hearts to be taken care of. Unfortunately, in my experience, the physical will usually trump the emotional. I have been guilty of just giving in to shut him the bloody hell up. It created problems because as simple as he may be on the outside he knew I wasn’t into it and was just ‘giving it up’ to keep the peace while inside I was dying from neglect.
    We seem to have found our way through it and it’s a place I don’t want to revisit. He just had to stop treading the face of the earth thinking he is entitled to my body without putting the work into me first. So those who think they are owed something as special as good sex, get off your high horse.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. masterhead69 says:

    Very intriguing. A compromise must be had.
    Loved it!
    cum visit me anytime
    Masterhead69.wordpress.com

    Like

  31. Shawn McManus says:

    Does one owe a spouse sex? Does one owe a spouse faithful monogamy?

    The traditional marriage vows have both man and wife pledging both sex and faithfulness to the other.

    That is what the phrases “…to have and to hold, forsaking all others…” mean. Whether or not that means the same thing as “owe” can be debated forever.

    I have to expand on the OP though: If either of the spouses are asking either of these questions of themselves or the others, then there is trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Wow, you covered quite a bit of information. I personally don’t agree with entitlement…marriage is a partnership. Therefore , both should be in agreeance to respect each other …without the entitlement of ownership.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Amanda says:

    It’s…it’s like you’re in my head.

    Amazingly written article.

    Liked by 1 person

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