Headship is an extension of the life you built when single

Jack has been going on a good tear recently with:

Let me go over some thoughts I had on these.

Sexual authority and sanctification

The fulfillment of sexual authority that a husband or wife has over their spouse is an ideal for the married person to strive after. Done well, this should usher in sanctification and God’s glory in the marriage. To some, it will come naturally. To most, they will have to make a diligent effort to be obedient to God in order to attain a state of sanctification. Too many will neglect this marital duty altogether, and reap the bitter consequences thereof.

Sexual authority is an interesting term. Don’t love it as it’s not intuitive, but I think the concept is sound.

One thing I think most men don’t get with “sexual authority” is that it’s harder to learn. The “not about the nail” tends to be a fundamental misunderstanding of men to grasp how to be dominant toward women in a way that increases sexual desire.

We know that men can increase their sexual attractiveness through various traits such as PSALM (power, status, athleticism, looks, money) as well as headship/leadership and masculinity. This is the first step — be attractive. However, seduction of a wife is based on dominating her both physically and mentally and making her feel like the object of desire (of an attractive man).

If we think back to most women’s porn (50 shades of gray, etc.) it’s the handsome, muscular, confident, rich, assertive leader who selects that “one woman to make her feel special” and then dominates her life. That’s the fantasy. Yet to get from fantasy to reality requires skills that most men aren’t taught (and will never be taught) and tend to be more obscure in nature. Improving attractive traits has been well covered by the ‘sphere and other places, but seduction itself tends to be harder to teach and thus not as well taught as sexual attraction.

I’d say the hardest part about seduction that I think most men will never be able to truly grasp is being socially dominant over women. Women from a young age basically are taught to be pros at verbally sparring, backstabbing, socially manipulating things, and so on, so it’s any wonder why women always run circles around men in the verbal dominance circle. Yet to truly seduce a woman you need to dominate her mind.

Fortunately, the masculine shortcut at this is physical dominance which is much easier to display, which is why packing on the muscle and working out is a must. A man must be able to pick up his wife and softly or roughly man handle her. The literal sweep her off her feet to kiss her. Pin her against a wall and take a kiss and end it abruptly. Leave her wanting more. These types of things can get you most of the way there by increasing the polarity of the masculine-feminine dynamic especially in the bedroom.

But back to the nail on the head, getting into arguments is by nature not leading or being the head, so these things will inevitably be turnoffs. Most men can’t win with the verbal spar of words, so by proxy we have a situation where the husband gets dominated by his wife in an argument. Not only did he fail to lead but he got crushed in the war of words which her hypergamy hates. Big sexual attraction turn off. Only way to win is not to play that game in the first place.

Maybe I can elaborate more in another post if people want more discussion on this.

It’s too easy to blame everything on feminism

So instead of quarrelling about which came first, the chicken or the egg, eventually, we’re going to have to stop ascribing such overwhelming power to Feminism in the abstract, and start picking apart the tacks and threads that hold it all together. In practice, we should start engaging in some brinkmanship with those who are limited by their need of a rhetorical catharsis and those who presume Feminism will continue to be the overriding norm to which all others have to bow.

Largely, I think this goes back to my 4 areas of responsibility in marriage.

  1. Men have a responsibility for their own actions
  2. Men have a responsibility for how they influence their wives
  3. Women have a responsibility for their own actions
  4. Women have a responsibility for how they influence their husbands

In the case of feminism, let’s say the “woman” in this scenario represents that. Yes, that woman/feminism has a negative influence on the man, but the man still has a responsibility for his own actions and how he influences others. So all in all I don’t see anything wrong with subscribing some blame to “sin,” but that blame should not absolve anyone from continuing to do what is right in their lives.

Headship authority takes work

I found the comments to be the most instructive.

RPA –

The answer to your questions about how a patriarch would handle certain situations actually starts with mindset, and that mindset is highly offensive to modern sensibilities. It’s part of what men used to express in male only spaces, but now is what we must think but not say out loud, but I’m feeling good because it’s Friday stateside, so here it goes … in writing.

Every husband needs to understand that in order to do his job as a husband he must think of his wife as the most responsible teenager in the household. When a husband thinks of his wife as his equal in authority bad outcomes abound, very similar to when a child is treated like an equal instead of setting boundaries for them and holding them to the standards you set.

Your traffic violation hypothetical is close to reality for me, except instead of violations the issue is accidents. Mrs. Apostle has had an accident in every car she’s ever had over the past 25 years and has even wrecked 2 of mine. In total she’s been involved in 8 accidents, 3 of which totaled vehicles, 2 others came very very close to being total losses and has resulted in over 100k in liability because 2 of the other drivers were injured.

So what was I to do with my wife’s abysmal driving? To start, we had a month-long argument 2 years ago over who was going to be the driver of the more expensive car. I held my ground and used the insurance money from her wreck to get myself the newer vehicle and gave her the older one I’d been driving, which she then wrecked. We lucked out and found a well maintained 10 year old Toyota for her for under $10k. That’s the limit I’m willing to risk on her driving and I’ve placed strict limits on phone use and other areas of driving that she needs to improve on. Her main issues are focus and attention, which is what I’ve tried to make her correct.

Time will tell if she complies, but if she messes up again she’ll be in a purely functional junker that we can send to the scrap yard if anything goes wrong. The other implications are that she is working extra cases to cover the increased insurance costs and she is not allowed to drive my Tundra or Land Cruiser.

My wife is a middle aged woman with 2 graduate degrees who finished with a 4.0 GPA. She is highly capable of focus and attention to detail when she chooses to put her mind to a task. She merely has to feel like attentive driving is very important to her, which, based on her history, means it is up to me to make her feel that attentive driving is important. Hence, my mindset that she’s the most responsible teenager in my household. Thinking otherwise puts my family at risk.

(There are other quite applicable examples of how this mindset applies, but the driving is the easiest example to give.)

Deti –

The mindset is one of husband being the “responsible” one, setting boundaries, and then holding to them. If the husband has made a decision and set a boundary, then he needs to keep to them.

Not to steal RPA’s thunder, so I’m going to put this under here.

Mrs. deti is a capable, efficient, hard worker who can think rationally when she wants to. Her one area of irresponsibility is her emotions. She is highly emotionally overreactive. Her negative emotions run out of control. She can be overcome with fear, anger, rage, or despair. She has routinely injured her relationships with others with her emotional overreactions, worst of all me.

When this is pointed out to her, she does better. But this is one of her weaknesses and faults. This is one area she struggles in. The only things that seem to improve it are her constant mindfulness and being reminded by me of boundaries I’ve set for her in her treatment of me and our son. Those boundaries have to be constantly manned and defended.

RPB –

Not to steal deti’s thunder, Mrs. Boomer’s area is spending money, not in a reckless spendthrift way, but in a “Hubby’s got the budget, not my area of responsibility” kind of way. When she goes out of town for an errand or two, it seems she can’t just make one or two stops to get stuff, but three or four. And when she has her 78 year old, dementia addled mother that lives with us, it seems to always have to include a food stop along the way. We recently got a puppy, so extra stops to get stuff for the pup, are the “errands du jour.”

She knows I’m on top of the budget, and that I’ll “figure it all out,” but try as I may, I haven’t been able to get her to be more aware exactly WHAT the effect is on our budget. For example, last month I budgeted $500 for the pets, because we had vet expenses. When all was said and done for the month, we’d spent $800 on the pets. The extra three hundred had to be shifted from another area of the budget, or come out of savings. Fortunately, I had no car maintenance in July, so that line item on the budget compensated for the pet’s over spending.

I’m not super complaining here because I’m sure some guys have wives who MINDLESSLY spend money, i.e. with no relation to the family budget at all, aka budget busters; my wife just seems to think, “We need this, or the pup needs this”, so hubby over there will just have to figure it out.

She used to do this with her spending money line item in the budget, however after about two or three months of me, the Patriarch, showing her proof that she busted her spending money budget every single month, she finally got that under control. The point is, I had to show her this until she finally got it; got it like in, “Oh yeah, I see it now. Okay, I’ll watch it closely.” She did for about six months, then I noticed it starting to creep back in, so back on went my Patriarchal hat and she’s reigning it back in, but not at first without a bit of a snarky attitude about it. I gave her the old “Patriarchal stare” when she snarked at me, and she got the message.

Here’s the thing gents, my wife’s not real bad about her spending, she’s actually, from the stories I’ve heard other men tell, fairly mild with her spending habits… BUT she’s still a female, and it’s my job, as that d@mmed, ass-holish Patriarch to reign her in on it, for the good of our family. She benefits too when the monthly budget is adhered to. When we come in under budget for the month, it’s extra money for savings, or something that we/she may want to get.

Just as a final aside, I help people with their personal or family budgets because I’m pretty good at it. I’m just starting to help a guy on my men’s team who has problems with his family’s monthly budget making ends meet. In our first meeting, I asked him, “Who handles the family budget?” Do I even have to tell you what the answer was to that question? LOL! His wife of course! He makes the money (her too, both have jobs), and she handles all of it. He doesn’t even see his family budget because, “Mama’s got it.” Step one buddy, time to get your “Patriarchal hat” out of storage and get back in the family budget game, besides just handing over the moolah to mama to manage.

All of these anecdotes are particularly instructive namely because the Church wants nothing to do with them.

If we look back through the Scriptures, we see the Jesus:Church::husbands:wives analogy as is oft stated. However, Jesus was readily there to correct, teach, rebuke, and chasten the disciples when they started to go off course. Of course, it’s right there in the Scriptures – Husbands are to love their wives like Christ love the Church for the purpose of sanctification.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Whether feminist infiltration or not, the Church does a crap job at this. Egalitarians deny husbandly authority while complementarians try to neuter authority and everything in between. Hence, marriage for men becomes more like “loving your wife as she is” and not using your authority to be her head to teach, correct, and help her be more like Christ.

I get it. Most men are never taught this. Even if they learn it it’s like RPA, deti, and RPB above where they had to come to the “Christian manosphere” for actual Biblical teaching. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth that your marriage could flounder and often be on the brink of destruction for so long because we had not been taught the right things.

Each man who wants to be married or will get married should be taught that he is responsible for being her head and teaching his wife what he wants his household to look like and to be a responsible steward with it. This is a basic minimum, and I would tell any man to dump a woman who doesn’t agree. If she’s rebellious to him being her head before marriage he should run away. The proverbs are clear about contentious and rebellious women in marriage. You don’t want that headache.

If we actually had these things taught in our Churches and to our Christian sons and daughters then the expectations would be there, and we would not be surprised or have a bad taste left in our mouths. It’s like the Church often lying or omitting or just not knowing anything about sexual attractiveness. It’s bitter because we feel like we’ve been living a lie for our whole lives.

But back to sanctification, it’s a continual process. Trust is earned and an expression of the character of godliness

Obviously, a wife who is respectful and submissive even when it is difficult is much easier to trust than one who is disrespectful and rebellious. But there are many different steps that it takes to get there. For instance,

  1. A wife who is disrespectful and rebellious according to her own whims
  2. A wife who knows what is right but can be disrespectful and rebellious when things get tough for her
  3. A wife who knows what is right but has developed greater self control and perseverance but sometimes slips up when things are tough
  4. A wife who knows what is right and it’s rare that she’s disrespectful and rebellious

There can be many in between with these circumstances like how she responds to teaching, correction, or rebuke for good or for evil. You could probably make another whole list or expand this one to 8-9 bullet points with these.

However, the point is that if you and your wife are a Christian and actively wanting to obey God and His Biblical roles and responsibilities, the sanctification process will be gradual over time in most cases and it is a process. This process is cultivated step by step and large jumps though they can happen tend to be unlikely since unlearning ingrained sinfulness is difficult.

If you have a wife at 1-2 but wants to be more godly it take time to get her to 3-4. But you must be vigilant and persistent about being the head of your family and taking responsibility to say “no” (when Adam didn’t) and teach, correct, and train her in righteousness. Even when the world and especially the Church says you are not doing the right thing.

Finally, circling back to the headline of the post: Headship is an extension of the life you built when single.

Building headship (of one) in your own life and taking the steps to master verbal sparring / flirting and all such manner of leadership skills and setting your expectations for marriage right are preparation for marriage. This continues when you get a girlfriend, engaged and married. They all build into each other and take work and practice. Like any new skills they are hard work at first, but once you build the habits of them they become easier and simpler. Hopefully, if you’re reading this you are not surprised by them, but know they are expected by the Bible and you should strive to do them if you want to be married or you are married.

 

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32 Responses to Headship is an extension of the life you built when single

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  2. Ame says:

    This is very interesting … some thoughts from a wife’s pov.

    I agree with everything written here (though I haven’t been out to Jack’s in a good while; just don’t have time.)

    In my first marriage, my husband was always angry with me. Actually, he was simply an angry person, and that meant he was always angry with me. I spent a lot of our marriage tippy-toeing around him and walking on eggshells, never knowing what would set him off. He was perfect in public, but as soon as the doors were closed, he changed. I learned several years into our marriage that his parents were the same.

    One thing he was often angry about was how much money I spent. We took turns, over the years, managing the money. When our second baby was born, it was pretty much all his as she was a high maintenance baby, and they were two years apart (we were married 11 years before our first baby was born). So I would always ask him how much I had to spend … to give me a number. He would never give me a number. Ever. He just said to spend less. We very rarely ate out, so I cooked all our meals at home. I bought clothes on sale and thrift stores and always accepted hand-me-downs for the babies/children’s clothes. I’m not a shopper and have never needed or had a closet full of clothes. So I was always befuddled about how to spend less not knowing what he wanted me to no longer purchase and not having any kind of number to adhere to. By the time he left us (after 20 years of marriage) he was making really good money, and we had a really nice house – a nicer and larger house than I would have picked out, but he didn’t want a smaller house, so we got the one he wanted. But it was still all my fault.

    Anyway … all that to say that it would have been extremely nice and beneficial if he had given me boundaries … “Your budget for food is x. Your budget for clothing is y.” etc. In some warped way, I think it was easier for him to not give me firm boundaries b/c then, if he was angry, he could direct it towards me – not exaggerating here; he blamed me for everything till he died.

    Both my now young-adult daughters read stuff like this out here when I send it to them and they think this is a fantasy kind of ideal, meaning they’d love to have a relationship like this, but they don’t expect it. One of my daughters has decided she’ll likely never marry (and therefore die a virgin), and the other is still hopeful because she really wants to be a wife and mommy.

    I’m NOT blaming anything on men, in case that is a perception from what I’ve written. Just sharing from a pov that strongly agrees with what is written.

    – – –

    Another thought from a wife’s pov … it was interesting that my first husband’s strengths were my weaknesses, however, he expected them to also be my strengths, and he was always angry when they weren’t. And, he became jealous when I excelled at my strengths when those strengths were his weaknesses and he wished they weren’t. I learned to pull back, a lot. One example, I was more athletic than he was, and that seriously bothered him, so I stopped doing anything athletic and never asked to do athletic things where I would be better than he. One example, I would have loved to learn how to snow ski, but he would not have done well, so I never brought it up. One time we went water skiing with a group, and I loved it, but he couldn’t get up on the skis. I knew this bothered him, so I never brought it up again.

    – – –

    In this season of my life, with my now-husband’s health significantly declining, I’ve had to take over all the management of everything. I don’t like it. Management is definitely my weakness. It’s a huge burden for me, and I have to pray about it a lot and accept that I’m not going to excel at it.

  3. Sharkly says:

    Ame,
    Your anecdotes regarding your first husband are not “a wife’s POV” of anything except dealing with a husband with multiple immoral disorders which were probably not very evident to you prior to marriage. Your husband had an intimacy disorder that made him want to create unending conflict and to push you away creating interpersonal distance between you both in the marriage. And because of his desire to have sex completely stripped of the possibility of building intimacy, he often went to prostitutes or masturbated rather than allow his own wife to meet his most intimate needs.

    Knowing what you knew at the time, there likely was not anything you could have done to prevent his descent further into his abnormal addictions. He hid them from you prior to marriage, and he continued to hide them from others in public during your marriage. He clearly knew his desire was to behave in ways he was not willing to have noticed and addressed by others, nor did he chose to get help turning from his wicked behavioral addictions.

    Those disorders of his were caused by childhood trauma and maladaptive coping mechanisms that were layered into his psyche long before he ever met you. He would have done the exact same sort of behavior to whomever he might have married. Only he would have learned to do the things which he found most easily triggered them, not the same specific things he learned were most useful in upsetting you.

    I would again encourage you to spend the $10 to buy Dr. Douglass Weiss’s book:
    Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage

    Don’t solicit your POV on your first marriage on men’s forums if you are not interested in actually getting the answers to resolve those questions. For all the countless hours you’ve spent mentally dwelling on the matter, commenting about that relationship, and getting counselling about the matter, you owe it to those of us who have to continually hear you going through this fruitless soul-searching, to just get Dr. Weiss’s simple and concise book written for laypeople which will explain to you so much of your first husband’s dysfunction, in a way that will allow you to know the truth that can set you free from always wondering about why he was that way, and whether you could have fixed his addictions while he was unwilling to admit to his faultiness and seek to change. He broke you, Ame. Intimacy-Anorexics break the people closest around them, it’s what they do. You owe it to yourself, your daughters, and even your current husband, to get the book already, get the answers, and get better closure on the matter.

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  5. thedeti says:

    I’m not a mental health professional. I just don’t agree there’s such a thing as “intimacy anorexia”. I think it’s more typical mental health issues that manifest as an inability to have a satisfying sex life. It’s almost always childhood trauma: Some need didn’t get met, and some important boundaries didn’t get set.

    In men, it’s usually PTSD or bipolar or depression or on the autism spectrum or some sort of anxiety disorder. Needs not met; boundaries not set.

    In women it’s almost always a crappy family life or bad or unsatisfying sexual experiences, many of which happened in a substance use/abuse context. This almost always leads to women marrying men they’re not sexually attracted to. (Needs not met, boundaries not set.) In women, “intimacy anorexia” is almost always “I’mnotattractedtohimitis”.

    The concept of boundaries are important because they need to get set well before a marriage happens, because then the man and woman need to draw boundaries around the two of them, instead of with each other. The concept of a husband and wife having boundaries with each other is unbiblical. There are not to be any boundaries AT ALL between a husband and wife. Any woman who needs to set boundaries with a husband does not consider herself a wife. Any man who needs to set boundaries with a woman is not a husband. He does not draw boundaries between him and her; he draws her into his own boundaries.

    His expectations for her are not boundaries. They are simply his expectations and standards for her. He expects her to meet them, and he’s well within his rights to expect them to be met.

  6. elspeth says:

    I agree with DS that a lot of this stuff (on the part of both spouses) depends heavily on what you bring with you into marriage. Secondarily, it involves willingness to learn, grow and adapt as you combine the two into a new, more complete marital entity.

  7. Sharkly says:

    I just don’t agree there’s such a thing as “intimacy anorexia”.

    Most folks wouldn’t believe in it, if they weren’t forced to live with it constantly for almost two decades. However this condition was originally characterized, not by scorned spouses, but by doctors who have specialized professionally in working with people on the sex addiction spectrum. While the exhibited behavior can correctly be called “sin”, there is an undeniable pattern to it that the professionals who deal with it have categorized and developed an effective therapy for. If the behavioral addicted person is willing to participate in the treatment, their irrational fear of all forms of intimacy can be decreased, however most of them have to have their life horribly ruined before they’d even consider doing something that broaches their irrational and dysfunctional fear of intimacy. They’d prefer to always blame their partners for their employing intentional distancing behaviors within their marriage.

    Unfortunately, in my case, my wife was promised and then got cash and prizes and the kids for indulging her destructive addiction at the expense of myself, my sons, and the testimony of the Gospel of Christ.

    Although many of the symptoms may at first sound just like ordinary contemptuous behavior, there is far more to it. There is a very very abnormal side to it where the Intimacy-Anorexic lives their whole life refusing to become close to anybody at all. Also, Intimacy-Anorexia isn’t based on a lack of attraction. They usually seek out somebody they are very attracted to in hopes it will help them to overcome their loathing of intimacy. It is an aversion to letting anybody get intimate with you spiritually, emotionally, or physically. While the Intimacy-Anorexic person may consent to sex and even greatly enjoy the sex, they are upset by the fact that sex with their spouse has a tendency to increase intimacy, and they will usually engage in abnormal behaviors specifically intended to sabotage the accompanying intimacy that naturally goes along with the physical sexual release that they actually want.

    You’d have to witness the absolutely bizarre private behavior to believe it. You’d have to witness a person who has voluntarily agreed to have sex with you, in a panic shouting every possible slur and accusation at you to create enmity right as they walk towards the bedroom. Then find them to be fully aroused and dripping with natural lubrication. Then witness as they gradually work themselves into a sexual fervor, using you, while engaging in every possible dissociative behavior they can. Witness them pass the point of no return where they physically lose control of their body as their body exhibits involuntary responses they climax and then crash. Then witness the person quickly compose themselves recoil out away from the bed and hurl panicked insults at you again as they quickly exit the situation. Then witness just minutes later that they’re back to their normal self, their panicked behavior is gone, the insults are suppressed, and they act like everything is normal between you. They literally wanted to have sex with you, and thoroughly enjoyed having sex with you, but yet they went to bizarre and extraordinary lengths to sabotage any possible emotional intimacy or bonding during the sex, because the physical sex act was innately already too intimate for their comfort.

    FWIW, my wife who compulsively never complimented or praised me ever in private after our wedding day, and I could probably count on my hands the nice things she ever said about me in public after we married. Yet she commented to me privately after she had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, and apparently felt sufficiently distanced to say, that she’d thought that, “at least the sex was great” during our marriage. LOL She honestly still believes that bimonthly romps with no foreplay before or cuddling allowed after, sandwiched between screamed insults and characterized by dissociative behaviors throughout, is a great sex life. Intimacy-Anorexics will deny themselves intimate sexual pleasure to avoid their fear and loathing of intimacy, and often then may masturbate or have sex with strangers to meet their suppressed sexual urges.

    Also, Intimacy-Anorexics may be far more inclined to do inappropriate sexual things with children, because children are not capable of responding to them with adult level intimacy, so that makes children seem to be ideal sexual partners to intimacy-anorexics.

    Like with my wife, many of them prefer to work with children rather than adults. She wants to teach other people’s kids, but was repulsed by the idea of homeschooling her own sons.(that might induce too much bonding and familiarity)

    Did I mention that she initially absolutely refused to breast feed her own babies because she felt it was “weird” and a sexual bonding activity. It wasn’t until our oldest son who was born premature and couldn’t hardly latch onto the bottles well and was losing weight and got diagnosed with “failure to thrive”, that an old nurse finally angrily tore open my wife’s gown and forced my wife to offer my son her breast directly. He latched on immediately and for once started drinking without choking. In an instant I realized our son was going to survive! I felt tears welling up in my eyes at the sight of mother and son finally bonding in a lifesaving act. Too bad my wife literally had to initially be forced into trying breastfeeding by medical professionals, against her will, due to her abnormal fear and loathing of all forms of intimacy. On her own, she’d have watched her own son starve to death, rather than engaging in an intimate natural bonding experience. Her dysfunction literally is that crazy.

    I could go on for days, but ultimately you’ll probably never ever witness intimacy-anorexia, because it is always a compulsively well hidden behavioral addiction that affects only a small number of folks. And your ignorance of intimacy-anorexia, changes nothing. It would be like me saying that Antarctica doesn’t exist because I’ve never seen it and so very few people even claim to have seen it, that it is more than likely just a hoax. Seriously! Way more people today claim to have personally seen flying saucers or Bigfoot than claim to have seen Antarctica.

    But, from what Ame has shared publicly, her husband seems to me to likely be a person who may have had such a dysfunction. It is entirely possible that he was very sexually attracted to Ame when he married her, and that she stayed in shape and was very willing to have sex with him, and that he chose to defraud her and to instead masturbate and go to hookers. Just because his disorders, on the sex addiction spectrum, don’t make sense to any sane person, doesn’t mean a dysfunctional person can’t think and behave that way.

    Part of the insidious cruelty of living with people with certain conditions, like intimacy-anorexia, where your “adversary” lives a life of becoming expertly manipulative is just knowing that almost nobody in this life will ever truly believe you. According to Ame, most folks believed her husband, including the churchians, which it is pretty rare when they would side with a husband. You have to continue on by faith knowing God is in control, God will make all things right, and God will eventually work all things out for our eternal good. While Ame was probably trying to mend her relationship in real life, her first husband was probably publicly constructing a grand façade that would appear completely authentic to everyone else, even as he was secretly destroying their marriage, and bringing trouble to his own house.

    FWIW, I, myself, didn’t used to give a hoot for the entire field of psychology, until, like the woman at the well, I met a man who told me everything about my whole life. Without even meeting my wife, he had written a book that described in fine detail every bizarre idiosyncratic behavior of hers, and why she compulsively does them, even when it so obviously is not in her best interest. Seriously, once I saw the truth, I couldn’t un-see it. And don’t worry that intimacy-anorexia doesn’t seemingly make sense to you. That just means you’re normal and sane. but behavioral addictions (spiritual bondages) exist just as surely as other more believed-in substance addictions exist.

    And as I have said before, Dr. Weiss’s therapy resembles a plan for repentance and turning away from one’s evil behavior and establishing good new behavioral patterns. But you can’t get any effective help turning an intimacy withholding woman to repentance in any church, they won’t even follow the procedure Jesus Christ himself specified for the church, even if it means the children’s home gets destroyed instead. They’ll be damned before they’d ever willingly bring shame on one of their goddesses for merely defying her husband and lord. You don’t have to be a genius to see who’s the real entity granted the worth-ship to be hearkened unto in churches.

    Eventually some White Knight will get around to claiming you must not have be sexually attractive enough to her, or something. A defrauded husband can’t ever be left guiltless when a woman sins, somehow he must be made into the source of his own defrauding. For some folks, wives not being sexually attracted enough to their husbands almost becomes a one size fits all answer for why women act as defilers. But they’re just Biblically ignorant.

    Womankind was first made such that even if her husband was made in the image and glory of God, and they lived together in a perfect paradise, and he had never ever done a single thing wrong, and he was the only man on earth, and she had never even seen another man, she’d still disregard him and ruin it all. That is the nature of those defilers. Did more wives make Solomon, the wise, a better man? Or did they corrupt his wisdom and defile his loyalty to the true God?

  8. Ame says:

    Perhaps I should have simply said, from a woman’s pov, I like when clear boundaries are set and adhered to.

  9. Oscar says:

    @ Ame,

    Anyway … all that to say that it would have been extremely nice and beneficial if he had given me boundaries … “Your budget for food is x. Your budget for clothing is y.” etc. In some warped way, I think it was easier for him to not give me firm boundaries b/c then, if he was angry, he could direct it towards me – not exaggerating here; he blamed me for everything till he died.

    That’s a pretty common tactic manipulators use. They either constantly move the goalposts, or they never give you any goalposts. I don’t remember who said that “the mind can endure anything, except uncertainty”, but it’s true.

    Good leaders set clear, measurable standards (see the 10 Commandments), and hold their subordinates to those standards. Healthy, decent people thrive in those conditions.

    It’s funny, because feminists claim that kind of leadership is tyrannical in marriage, but real tyranny is what you experienced. In fact, that’s what tyrannical governments do. They constantly change the rules to keep the population “walking on eggshells, never knowing what would set [the tyrant] off”.

    Men know that manipulation tactic well. The impossible-to-please wife is a common trope, after all. Every man has had this experience with at least one woman he dated and/or was married to. She asked him to do something, he did exactly what she asked him to do, and she got pissed off about it anyway. Or, she makes some vague, nebulous, unachievable request, then gets pissed off because he failed to meet her expectations.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that. Few of us – male or female – received good instruction on these subjects in our youth. We need to teach young people better.

  10. @ Ame

    Sounds like a terrible experience. I know you’ve shared a bunch about it before as well.

    In general, the best advice for most people would just to avoid such people in the first place. No introspection or changes mean they are likely unwilling to repent or actually change behavior. Thus, what is more helpful is usually looking prior to that.

    1. Do you remember noticing any potential yellow or red flags while you were dating or engaged?

    2. Did you ignore them or write them off? How did you respond to them?

  11. Ame says:

    Thank you, DS. Those are great questions; I’ve asked many times. I’ll come back to this later when I have more time and try to articulate a response that might be helpful.

  12. Ame says:

    Thank you, Oscar, and I totally agree.

  13. thedeti says:

    all that to say that it would have been extremely nice and beneficial if he had given me boundaries …

    Just a quibble – the problem isn’t that your first husband failed to put down boundaries. The problem was that he failed to make his needs and expectations clear.

    There’s a difference between boundaries, and standards and expectations.

    Husbands put down standards and expectations for wives. Which is fair – women have all sorts of myriad byzantine standards and expectations for the men they deal with. But there aren’t to be boundaries between husbands and wives.

  14. Ame says:

    DS … this was before internet, so the library and books and sermons and Bible studies, etc, were my source of info.

    I remember being told to write a list, so I did … basic things like being a Christian. He checked off the whole list.

    I liked that he came from a ministry family. I had the impression that ministry families would be healthy and loving (the process of learning that this was not true was very painful, but this would be many years after we were married.)

    He had posters of girls, but from the environment I grew up in, most did.

    The things that I can look back on now after years of experience and see are things I would never have seen then because of the home and beach culture I grew up in.

    IF I had grown up in a healthy home with a father who cared, I likely would have seen some other things, but IDK. I was 19 when I met him and 21 when we married. I did go to my college minister and ask for his advice since I didn’t have my own parents to ask (and didn’t trust them), and he told me that it would be harder to find a husband after I got out of college. That was his advice.

    We went to our pastor for premarital counseling, but, I guess because my husband was from a minister’s family, the pastor said we didn’t really need any guidance so didn’t give us any.

    There was one incident that was huge. Two months before the wedding my parents came out to Texas (where I had gone to college and met him), and they and my then-fiance had a HUGE fight and basically made me choose right then. I could choose the abusive parents I grew up with, or I could choose my fiance. I chose my fiance. The fight was over my youngest sister, then about 15, cussing me out, and my fiance said that would not be acceptable. It escalated to a HUGE blow-out.

    I did not have any misgivings about marrying him. There was nothing in me at any point that even niggled at me that I should question the marriage. And even walking down the isle I began crying and thinking I was so happy and couldn’t believe God had given this man to me to marry and that I wouldn’t have to be in an abusive environment ever again.

    There was definite sexual attraction on both sides, but from our wedding night on, even though I was completely inexperienced, I could tell there was *something.* It was like he was trying to drive demons from him each time we actually had sex. It wasn’t loving or warm or affectionate, ever. And within a year and a half, we were rarely having sex because he didn’t want it. It was very perplexing to me because I knew I was attractive because I worked with the public and was hit on often and had to learn to protect myself from that.

    It wasn’t until our youngest was 3 that I learned of his sex addiction and prostitutes. The next couple years we each went to individual counseling and he went to a sex addiction group therapy. During that time he said that he had hoped getting married would ‘cure’ his addiction, but it did not, so that made him angry. Apparently, this is a real thing for sex addicts.

    According to him, the prostitutes didn’t start till I was pregnant with our Youngest. It was during that pregnancy that he changed significantly and became exceedingly angry and even evil – I remember looking at him and seeing evil coming out of his eyes and thinking that wasn’t *him.* He had always had a temper and been an angry man, though it was so controlled I didn’t see the extent of it till after we were married, but now it was at an extreme level.

    The therapist said that, due to his parents and the things they did, it was like he was almost set up to have a sex addiction b/c it’s not visible like alcohol or drugs.

    The sad thing is that we lived in an area where he had an enormous amount of support and help available. He tried it for awhile, but then he quit it all.

    Sharkly’s theory that he had ‘Intimacy Anorexia’ is very plausible, and from the little I’ve read, fits him perfectly. I always thought that he didn’t *have* to be this way, that he had choices, that he could have made different choices. And I kept praying for him to make those different choices. It was said that if anyone could have prayed their husband to Jesus, it was me (not bragging, just stating). But God doesn’t force His will on anyone.

    Our daughter’s first psychiatrist was when she was five, and he said to me, once, that he thought my husband was bipolar. This was never brought up again, and my husband would have NEVER even considered such a thing as his parents were vehemently against any and all psychiatric and psychological anything.

    It took years to learn how this family operated, mostly because we didn’t live in the same country for many years. Once we did, and I began seeing things, I went through a very painful process of awakening to the reality that this preacher family was very dysfunctional. They were one way in public and a completely different way once the doors were closed.

    Anyway, I’ve often wondered, over the years out here in the manosphere, if any of you men out here would have ‘seen’ the things in him.

    – – –

    My now-husband and I have had a wonderful relationship. Sex has been fun and frequent. He’s rarely angry. He’s kind and generous. He’s been relatively easy to follow … I say relatively b/c there are some things I don’t like but have had to choose to submit to. And the things that my first husband didn’t like about me, my now-husband has said of those things that my first was an idiot 🙂 . It’s been very sad to watch my now-husband’s health decline, and it’s a very sad place to be (he’s had a stroke and has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, so our lives have been turned inside-out).

  15. Ame says:

    Deti, would you expound on that some more, please?

  16. @ Ame

    It’s definitely tougher if your own parents aren’t trustworthy. I think women need more godly women in the faith mentoring them (Titus 2) although that seems to be in low quantities even back then and now.

    Anyway, I’ve often wondered, over the years out here in the manosphere, if any of you men out here would have ‘seen’ the things in him.

    I would think so, but the simple fact of the matter is that we will also ask the hard questions too.

    Blowout anger issues are also not something that you should reasonably expect from a situation like that either. Any type of vast overreaction means someone is hiding some type of issues deep down.

  17. Ame says:

    Yes, that incident was definitely huge. I had no one to talk to about that. Years later I would learn in counseling that he was similar to my paternal grandfather.

    I love mentoring younger women, but finding mentors is hard. I searched for years for a mentor and had given up before I found one. She was precious and SO powerful in my life. Her death affected me greatly.

    Would you be willing to share what kinds of questions you would ask and to whom – the daughter or the young man? I’ll be the one asking the questions for my daughters.

    At my father’s 60th birthday (before she divorced him), my two sisters and my mother and I were in the kitchen together, and in the midst of the conversation my mother shrugged and matter-of-factly said, ‘You all three married men like your dad.’ And I remember wanting to scream, “And where were you?!!! Why didn’t you say anything?!!!”

    So I’ve told my daughters over the years that I would always tell them the truth. They might not like it or follow it, but I would tell them.

    So I would be very grateful to know what questions to ask.

  18. thedeti says:

    Ame

    I’m not sure what you want me to expound on. Difference between boundaries; and standards and expectations?

    Boundaries are lines you draw with another person. “You may not do X to me.” “You doing or saying Y to me or around me is not permitted.” They’re prohibitive. The purpose of boundaries is to prevent harm and to keep another person away. Boundaries delineate conduct or speech that are not permitted or allowed.

    Standards and expectations are things you want or need from another person. The word du jour is “performative” (as opposed to “prohibitive”). They’re whether and how well the other person performs so as to do a task or conduct a relationship. They’re the baseline you need from the other person in order to do a task or to have a relationship. The purpose of standards and expectations is to set a benchmark by which you measure whether and how well the task got done or the relationship works.

    Does that help?

  19. Sharkly says:

    Ame,

    I can certainly sympathize with a lot of what you have shared.

    If your first husband truly did have intimacy-anorexia, it is really hard to spot beforehand. The person will go out of their way to be the exact opposite to attract you, baiting you by giving you what they will later choose to compulsively withhold from you to inflict intentional pain and create distance. Their public life is a vast and laborious façade created to make them appear like a great person and an emotionally normal and responsible person. They are usually quite well liked and respected by those who aren’t immediate family. They show a completely different side of themselves to family in private.

    If you had asked other men, most probably would have seen little reason to be concerned about your first husband. Furthermore, his closest friends would usually all be folks who saw no problem with his behavior and in fact were chosen by him because they would support his dysfunctional aspects, and they would normally be the type of men to not try to get too close to him emotionally, or to seek to get to know him too well, or engage in close male bonding. Often these friends an intimacy-anorexic chooses are other dysfunctional people who are for some reason unlikely to form normal healthy and intimate friendships. Dr. Weiss says that one of the signs that treatment is working on an intimacy-anorexic is that they will often begin to tolerate and start making friendships with more “emotionally healthy” individuals and let go of their dysfunction-enabling friends.

    For the intimacy anorexic their addiction becomes their god. They will arrange their whole life around serving their hidden addiction. Their façade of religion will be sacrificed on the altar of their addiction, whenever the two clash.

    Intimacy-anorexics really do often try to trap exceptionally good people, whose patience and goodwill they can play on, into relationships in which they then abusively break them. If they marry someone selfish, the marriage will blow up immediately, since selfish people aren’t longsuffering and won’t tolerate their behavior for long. They will usually assure that there are no outwardly visible signs by which you can detect their abnormality, except perhaps in their dealing with family and their family’s dysfunctional dealings. Healthy parenting can’t cause intimacy-anorexia, so at least one of their parents will be dysfunctional, creating a dysfunctional home. If his family was overseas, that may not have even been something you got to witness before you got married.

    In a spiritual sense this hidden full-court-press spiritual warfare against you is probably reserved for some of Satan’s most hated enemies, and God’s most trustworthy folks who are selected to endure such testing.

    As to the incident with your family, he may have been taking advantage of a situation where he could begin isolating you while appearing to be defending you. Like with women’s sexual advances, intimacy-anorexics will try to maintain plausible deniability of any evil intent. But I’d have to have been there and been observing it (like God) to give an opinion. By your own testimony, your own family actually was quite dysfunctional, and a good husband might have also sought to separate you from them as well, so it is hard to judge his motives in that instance from just what you’ve related on the internet.

  20. thedeti says:

    Sharkly’s theory that he had ‘Intimacy Anorexia’ is very plausible, and from the little I’ve read, fits him perfectly. I always thought that he didn’t *have* to be this way, that he had choices, that he could have made different choices.

    I mean, I don’t know. If every man and woman with sexual hangups and “issues” can be classified as “intimacy anorexic”, then probably 40% of the entire American population has intimacy anorexia. And I just don’t buy that. But you knew your first husband, and I didn’t.

    I just know men who don’t know how to attract women and women who can’t attract the men they want for commitment. And in my opinion it’s mostly “I’mnotattractedtohimitis” and PTSD and cluster B personality disorders and Madonna-wh0re issues.

    Would you be willing to share what kinds of questions you would ask and to whom – the daughter or the young man? I’ll be the one asking the questions for my daughters.

    Sure. To the young men:

    –have you had girlfriends before you met my daughter?

    –ever had sex before? With men, women, or both?

    –how’s your relationship with your parents? They married? Divorced? Ever married?

    –do you have a job? You in school? What’s your life plan?

    –Do you want to have kids? How many?

    –do you go to church? Have you considered going to church with my daughter, and where you’ll go?

    One thing you’ll check for is his response to stress and conflict. You can’t do this with questioning. You have to do this only by observing how he responds, or hearing about his response from others. I have had a chance to see detiette’s boyfriend respond. And it has been cause for concern.

    Another thing to check for is his response to other men. How he relates to his father. Other men. A potential father in law. I’ve seen how detiette’s boyfriend relates to me. Again – cause for concern.

    To my daughter:

    –do you love him? Does he love you?

    –is he attentive to your needs?

    –can you go to him with concerns, freely and without reservation?

    –do you two get along pretty well?

    –when you fight, what do you fight about? Do things get resolved to your satisfaction and his?

    –do you agree on “the big stuff” (faith, kids, money, lifestyle)?

    –are you physically affectionate? Is he affectionate and do you feel comfortable with that affection?

  21. thedeti says:

    Sharkly, 8/19/22 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for that long description of intimacy anorexia. With all due respect to you and Dr. Weiss, this just sounds like borderline personality disorder with maybe some narcissistic tendencies. But I’m not a mental health expert, so it’s all grain of salt.

  22. Ame says:

    Deti – yes, thank you!

    Boundaries are to the negative.
    Standards and expectations are to the positive.

  23. Ame says:

    Thank you, Deti. I’m going to save all of this to draw from later.

    Harsh that we even have to ask such questions as: –ever had sex before? With men, women, or both? … but we’d be unwise not to.

  24. Ame says:

    Sharkly, every time you elaborate on this, I just nod my head through the whole thing. When I even mentioned the term to my daughters (when you first brought it up), they both said, “That’s Daddy.”

    Perhaps reading the book will happen sometime … right now I’m just in a totally different season. I ponder these things out here some when they come up in conversation … and I help my daughters when it comes up … but my focus is on being my Husband’s Caregiver, and to be quite honest, that’s taking more of me than I have to give right now, so I’m quite overwhelmed … simply meaning that I don’t have mental or emotional space to read his book during this season of my life.

    However, the information you share is very helpful. I’ll save it and perhaps someday share further with my daughters.

    My Aspie-Girl, through research (she’s an avid researcher), has determined she suffers from childhood PTSD rather than autism. This is plausible. Him doing those things during my pregnancy with her created an extremely intense home environment. She knows about the prostitutes – there was a time a few years ago she needed to know what Daddy did. She was ready, and I told her with the caveat that she could not tell her sister until her sister was ready to know. She’s still not ready to know.

    So, Aspie-Girl, my Youngest, has determined that she needs counseling, and she’s ready for that. She will be searching for a counselor before long. I did have both girls in counseling over the years, but it never was productive for her. So now that she’s at a different place with brain development and mental development, I agree that she’s ready. I told her that there were things that happened during my pregnancy with her and the first year of her life, but I will not tell her. When she finds a therapist she trusts, she is welcome to have the therapist call me, and the therapist and I can discuss this and determine if my daughter can handle it. In no way do I ever, EVER, want her to feel or think she is responsible for him screwing prostitutes, and knowing that began when I was pregnant with her could easily cause her brain to go there.

    Within all of this, his ‘Intimacy Anorexia’ will come up. So it is good for me to know about it.

    – – –

    Thank you for the compliment. May I always remain faithful to Holy God.

  25. Ame says:

    Very sorry to hear about your daughter’s b/f. You’re the third parent (one the mom b/c I don’t know the dad), and the other the dad, who are very concerned about the young ‘men’ their daughters are dating 😦 .

  26. Ame says:

    I just know men who don’t know how to attract women and women who can’t attract the men they want for commitment. And in my opinion it’s mostly “I’mnotattractedtohimitis” and PTSD and cluster B personality disorders and Madonna-wh0re issues.

    I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist … but from what relatively little I’ve experienced or been exposed to with those in my circles, if a person has an intense diagnosis such as one of these, that person usually has more than one diagnosis – or at least until the layers are all dealt with and peeled off.

    I do believe Intimacy Anorexia is a real thing.

    One example … after we’d have sex on those more drawn out and rare occasions, and I’d tell him I loved it and wanted it again, he would get angry with me and emotionally totally cut me off.

    Another example … he was huge on going out every Saturday to dinner and a movie, so I always arranged a baby sitter (he could well afford that). We would have a wonderful date, wonderful conversation, hold hands, laugh, fun. When we got home I would take the baby sitter home – they always lived close, within five or ten minutes – and by the time I got back home he would be in bed, supposedly asleep. Every.single.time.

  27. Sharkly says:

    If every man and woman with sexual hangups and “issues” can be classified as “intimacy anorexic”, then probably 40% of the entire American population has intimacy anorexia.

    Nobody here has said anything like that. You’re discrediting your own made up strawman, while you seem to lack knowledge, training, or any experience dealing with intimacy-anorexics. An association of psychological doctors whose clinical practices dealt specifically with psychosexual disorders were the first to recognize a repeating pattern of behaviors that was not properly attributable to any other previously characterized disorders. The condition was studied and then characterized and categorized as its own specific disorder. Therapists who tried to treat it as a typical intimacy disorder did not have much efficacy. Whereas when it was determined that the affected people actually had become addicted to employing dysfunctional intimacy-preventing coping mechanisms they had developed in early childhood, and their intimacy-anorexia was treated as a behavioral addiction, therapists had much better efficacy in abating the condition.

    The disorder is on the sex-addiction-spectrum of disorders, but it involves far more than just the person’s sexual behavior. It is just that sexual behavior is the area in which intimacy-anorexics usually will not be able to adequately hide and control their dysfunctional behavior enough to not exhibit bizarrely abnormal behavior that gives away their carefully hidden addiction.

    thedeti, my wife is not borderline, nor bipolar, nor narcissistic. Trust me, she’s been to shrinks her whole life, and she was not diagnosed with those particular disorders, nor do those conditions accurately fit with her behavior, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was seeing. I’m not one to force somebody into a diagnosis that doesn’t fit.

    Intimacy-Anorexia fits my wife astoundingly perfectly like only scientific truth can, so that I can not only use its simple principles to explain all of her past bizarre and idiosyncratic behavior, but I can actually use the principals of her addiction to precisely predict her future seemingly normal and seemingly abnormal behavior before it happens in decisions and actions that will be controlled by her addiction, so long as she isn’t made aware that I’ve guaranteed people what she will do in advance.

    The legal profession and their myopic overreliance on the DSM for psychological consensus keeps their own profession tied to an always outdated set of changing standards. According to the DSM-5 things like sex addictions and tech addictions still don’t exist yet. LOL

  28. Sharkly says:

    LOL Ame,
    Your two examples sound like they were cut and pasted straight out of the testimonials in one of Dr. Weiss’s other books, “Married & Alone”.

    Even the regimented behavior aspect (doing the same thing on the same day every week) in your second example also sounds reminiscent of my wife’s behavioral addiction.

  29. thedeti says:

    I doubt that intimacy anorexia is on any diagnostic spectra when Dr. Weiss has trademarked the term. See the website https://intimacyanorexia.com/ in which it is referred to with the circled “R” after it, indicating it is a registered trademark.

    I didn’t know therapists and mental health professionals could trademark a mental health disorder’s name. News to me.

    OK. I’m done with this little sidebar.

  30. Sharkly says:

    If you come up with something textually original, I guess you can register it for a trademark. Dr. Weiss probably was the one who first coined the term.

    LOL, I blame the lawyers! Dr. Weiss probably felt the need to trademark it defensively, so that somebody else didn’t register it and prevent him from using the term. Lot’s of people are using the term, even commercially, on the internet, so I can see he clearly hasn’t been prosecuting or charging others for using it.

    Once when the Los Angeles Raiders announced that they were going to move back to Oakland after a long hiatus, an enterprising man quickly registered the name “Oakland Raiders” for a nominal fee, and then later sold the team their name back for many thousands of dollars.

    Luke 11:52a Woe to you lawyers! 😉

  31. thedeti says:

    Yes, we lawyers… defending your rights since 1776….

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