Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sacrifices and Zelda

No more lambs, sheep, or goats. No more burnings offered upon the altar to forgive your sins against the Lord. Easter is always a great time for reflection on how much God loves us. He offered up a sacrifice on our behalf to atone for our sins. No greater sacrifice could be offered. All we have to do is accept the gift. That's it.....

It's so simple. It's hard to accept, but it is very simple. Our most righteous works are filthy rags and there is nothing that can't be forgiven. Hitler, himself, may be there in heaven with the Apostles. We don't know the personal relationship with God of anyone.  If someone tells me they are a Christian and have accepted Christ as their savior, I can't possibly say it is otherwise.

How successfully you live your life will be determined by other things. God gives us that guidance in the Bible. If you were going to play a video game and had the benefit of the creator telling you how to play it, wouldn't it be wise to listen to him? Perhaps not a perfect metaphor, but one that helps me. I like to imagine how the parables of Jesus would be told today. "Life is like a first person shooter game..." "The Kingdom of God is like finishing The Legends of Zelda..." I know Jesus would be funny too.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Vikings and The Bible

More must see TV. These two shows have recently come out on the History channel. I and my family are enjoying them greatly. There is a lot of pausing on the DVR. The children have lots of questions. We talk about the different issues and scenes that come up and sometimes don't even finish watching the episode. I've known more than a few churchian types that ban TV from their homes. I find this to be an over reaction. If you can't understand how to use the tools of this world to better see God's Word, that is something you should work on. The internet definitely falls in this same category.

Is it fear of temptation? Have these people been greatly tempted in the past and therefore just remove themselves from that temptation. If so, I understand the initial reaction. However, following this mentality would necessarily lead to a Mennonite or Amish society of believers in a short time. This becomes a conflict between avoiding the temptress and understanding that things are neither clean, nor unclean. This is also where a community of believers is so important in our lives. Having people to hold you accountable helps you understand the difference between going to a strip club by yourself and having a healthy sex life with your spouse. Identifying Satan's lies in society is something we need to share with each other.

Back to the TV shows. Our family enjoys alien and zombie movies as well. Vikings and The Bible have kept us enthralled and given us great opportunities to talk more about God's Word. In fact the children have been rereading the Bible to more clearly understand certain stories. It's awesome. I find the enslaved monk on Vikings to be an awesome character. This monk has to deal with being a Christian slave in a pagan society. He has some great lines in the show including his questioning of why God allowed this to happen to him. The visual aids of understanding what happened in the Bible has also been great. Seeing what the parting of the Red Sea would look like is cool.

So if you are looking for some quality family entertainment, I highly recommend both. Get ready to crack open the Bible or crack open a digital version of the Bible (gasp!). Your kids will enjoy it and remember it when they are long gone from your home.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Personal responsibility

Someone will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say again that the greatest good of man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living - that you are still less likely to believe. And yet what I say is true, although a thing of which it is hard for me to persuade you. - Plato
"The life which is unexamined is not worth living."

I have been accused It has been correctly observed that I take part in personal responsibility shaming.


Doesn't being the victim get tiring? Doesn't it get infuriating to live with the belief that all the wrong in one's life is the fault of someone or something else? How can one possibly maintain a healthy mental condition when they pretend to be so powerless in their circumstances?

What is denied to oneself is the liberation that comes from owning one's personal responsibility. It is an indescribable feeling.

Agency - the only word that comes to mind.

This desire that exists to protect all souls from ever being convicted of their personal responsibility is so inherently evil. It is sad enough to witness someone grasping at straws to blame anything for their disposition or circumstance. To coddle and protect this denies them providence.

It is a very simple process to begin the journey of personal responsibility. Not to be confused with it being easy. It's not. But it is very simple.

It hurts.

The Crossfit gym I go to has a slogan: "It's supposed to hurt" - I love it.

What you'll find, after being brave enough or having enough faith to start the journey, is that you'll seek it. You will begin to examine all of your thoughts, moods, and actions. You will take captive irrational thoughts, you will pray for a more pleasant disposition, and you will change your actions.

You will quite literally hunger for correction for you will come to know it is a crucial element to acquiring wisdom.

So, what are some examples?

For me, when I'm feeling off or irritable, I will literally go to the calendar. If it is that time of the month I will quickly dismiss my mood as invalid and implement my go to solutions. I'll read the Bible, pray, drink some coffee, read something funny, go to the gym, take some Primrose, look at beautiful things etc. I will apologize for any outward expressions of a negative mood I may have given my family. If need be, I will excuse myself from them - I give myself a time out.

If it is not that time, I analyze what is occurring in my life. I will sit in quiet contemplation until that which is bothering me comes to mind. I will then assess if there is anything I can do about it. If there is, I take action. If there is nothing I can do about it, I go through the process I listed above.

The woman who told me I was personal responsibility shaming is an obese woman with every justification possible of why she is obese - a professional victim. If what is affecting your mood is something that will take a long process to change (like losing weight and getting fit and healthy), you must...MUST take action. Every time the sadness and self condemnation enters your brain. You must make a commitment to taking action. Inaction is defeat. You have no right to wallow in a pity party if you have chosen inaction. Get up and get moving. If your accumulation of fat has caused you to feel bad, realize that your mood has affected the tranquility of your home. Confess this truth to your husband. Just say the words: "I'm sorry my mood has been sour, I am struggling with how far I've let myself go. I'm working to change this. Please forgive me. Please pray for me."

Ladies, I promise you...PROMISE, you will feel such an intimate connection with your husband if you will just confess to him your responsibility of your moods and ask for his forgiveness. What you will also come to know is that you've wasted precious time not doing this. Because men...they are so awesome. It is a rare man who will not bless you with his support and encouragement. Part of the unique nature of men is empathy. When anyone, man or woman, confesses personal responsibility and accountability to them, they feel compassion. They present solutions without judgement and respond positively to this measure of respect.

It is an outward expression of respect to confess your personal responsibility for your thoughts, moods, and actions to your husband.

Do this and be blessed. 

Gay Marriage

The SCOTUS decision can't possibly mean anything to Bible believing Christians. Nations come and go in history. The US is no different. One day it will no longer exist. That is reality. What some government decides about the definition of a certain word does not preempt God's Word. All of this debate is about money and people living outside of God's commands wanting acceptance. If every Christian denomination accepted gay marriage, it wouldn't change God's Word.

This whole issue is a lot about nothing. Why would you desire the agreement of a government that denies God's Word in so many other areas. Your enemies, often, define who you are more than your friends. If the masses want to give financial benefit to certain types of individuals based on who they have sex with, it is no concern of mine. It won't change my belief in God's Word, nor will it change what the Bible says about it. It certainly won't change the effects of such arrangements. Gravity is what it is. The more you try to prove it doesn't exist, the more you prove its existence.

Life will not end if the SCOTUS decides black is white and white is black. Lot was saved. We just need to focus on what matters, and it isn't black robe decisions.

Monday, March 25, 2013


My favorite part of this blogging experience has been reading of the victories and successes that are happening in people's lives. All over the sphere we can read of changes individuals are undergoing as they swallow the red pill, become Christians, or become obedient to God's commands in marriage. As I wrote in one of my earliest posts, Now let me at the truth, this change evokes an intensity of conviction and is just fantastic to read about.

Our prayers are needed for this situation: 
It's been, eh, maybe a year and a half or so since I started looking into Christianity after finding To Love, Honor and Vacuum, then Dalrock, then SSM (and others, but these were the most influential in my interest in the Christian model of marriage) - PeopleGrowing
Her fiance is not yet a Christian. But how fantastic for her to be seeking! Keep reading that Bible, PG.

This next commenter from Alpha Game came in with arms a flailin':
Advocating men to develop strategies to con women into sex is not a Christian precept. Encourage men to be protectors and providers. If the the primary aim of Game is sex, you deserve whatever stupid shit you get, so stop whining about women's poor character and own your own. Women aren't hanging around waiting to be gamed for sex; we like to feel desired, but we like equally/better having our children taken care of (ask any wife what turns her on about her husband and it will be hugely related to the way he shows love and care for his children). Convince her you can be trusted to take care of her, be the leader in sexual restraint and after marriage in finding out what it takes to have great sex with your wife, care about your children as much as your sex drive, don't be a stupid noob for pussy (just whack off, really, please). Accept that she doesn't have testosterone; you don't have estrogen/progesterone fluctuations. You are different and have different needs. It's astonishing to me the energy put it to trying to figure out how to fuck a woman. Whack off or get a robot; really. Please. Using flesh and blood women doesn't make sense. Clearly, it's more about the game and conquest than the flesh and blood person, maybe even the the sex. - Disillusioned 
One month later she's changed her moniker and her tone:
...The effect of the Red Pill was more a revelation about me and the lies that feminism had perpetrated on society and other men that led to a alternate combinations of despair and burning anger. If there was any hatred, it was toward feminism not specific women or women in general. But the sudden understanding that the latent Alpha characteristics I'd unknowingly had in my youth and early marriage had slowly leeched away was a lot to take....

 [...]Some of my female/emotional, old-person frustrated reaction to Game (I blathered on one very bad day as "Disillusioned"), is - it really doesn't freaking matter which sex-organ you possess, you still have to own your own shit and learn from your own mistakes and apply honorable/workable solutions to your situation to stop doing harm.

[...]Alpha Game - at its best - calls men to be alphas. We women need to speak the truth, as well. And all of us, male and female, need to take responsibility for our part in the decline/Fall. Otherwise, we risk repeating the same mistakes.  - Ioweenie 
A woman who I've become increasingly fond of  broke my heart just before Christmas with this at Alpha Game:  
This is my second Christmas with no family and no friends, and I'm at the point where I'd lay down my life for someone who made me feel like he or she cared. - Signe
She's since changed her name - seems Asgard wasn't all Loki conquered. And they have started blogging together:
I know what I should be doing, but the loneliness is close to crushing.  It's weird, the reversal; at first, I couldn't get my head around being constantly around him 24/7, sleeping in the same bed, and sharing all our meals.  But now, it's like I'm missing a limb or something.  I keep expecting to turn around and see him staring at me, smirking.

I know I should be unpacking, cleaning, figuring out what to fix around here, figuring out what to plant when the snow finally melts off and the ground thaws--but I'm totally unmotivated.  I miss him so much, and he's only been gone a few hours and he'll be back for supper.

Maybe I'm psychotic or something.  Maybe it's because I've spent most of my waking hours with him since he hired me, and all of them once we took to the road.  Maybe it's because he's just that awesome. - Sigyn
An email arrived in my inbox from a woman living half a world away from home, in the UAE, whose husband had come across my blog:    
...we both want an awesome, God centered marriage it's just knowing exactly what we can do now to help ourselves get there...
I encouraged her to keep reading. She had only read one of my posts. Here's the latest:
...I'm enjoying reading the posts that have the word "submission" in them. [...] I confessed that I had a hardened heart towards him and that I will be working on submitting to him from here on out. I just asked that he would be patient with me.
My favorite victory is a woman who has decided to not blow up her marriage after learning of her husband's past infidelity.  They were both very different individuals then. And, did you know, Jesus doesn't require divorce when there has been sexual immorality? This woman has chosen to not have that hardened heart. Nope, instead she has chosen forgiveness. She has chosen obedience to God's word, to change her ways, submit to her husband, and treasure her family. Can you even imagine the blessings she will know? I have no quotes to offer because this is a family that we know and love personally.

But, here's a little Mumford and Sons with yet another bit of perfection: 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Cease resistance and submit to authority.

Are you ready yet ladies?

It's not going to make sense. It won't be easy.

You could fill my email with every reason why your husband isn't ready for you to surrender. Why he isn't the man he should be yet to deserve your surrender. You can tell me all that he does wrong. You can tell me all of your fears and your doubts. And you would be right to stay in your rebellion if there were any requirements made of your husband to earn your surrender.

You would be justified in any secular circle. You would be justified amongst the congregations of most churches today.

What are you looking for? Are you looking to be justified in your rebellion? Or are you longing to hear the words "Well done good and faithful servant?" Matthew 25:23

 Enter into the joy of your lord.
How I wish I could help you understand this has nothing to do with your husband. 

Oh, there will be blessings. He will likely be overcome with happiness and awe at your new peaceful countenance. He will be very thankful for a tranquil home. 

But none of that is why you'll do it. 

You will do it when you have the faith necessary to "enter into the joy of your lord." 

You've received the tremendous gift of salvation. And you're stopping short of the unbelievable gifts yet waiting for you.  You're listening to a worldly lie and trusting that for happiness and contentment. You'll look long and hard and will come up empty. You're listening to the lies that this surrender isn't necessary. Yet something within you is left unfulfilled. 

You wonder, "what about me" because you still haven't a clue how very big your God is. 

He loves you. That is why He has commanded this of you. 


Enter into the joy of your lord.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Be the rock

This should be the most difficult time in my life. It isn't. This should be the most insecure SD is in her married life. It isn't. Explaining how submission works to a non-biblically based Christian is like explaining the color mauve to a blind person. It's not quite that bad, but it's close.

SD has no fear because I don't live in fear. As a Christian man, I know what the Bible says about God's provision. I know what it says about not living in fear. I have lived this throughout my life. I trust in God's Word, Christ's salvation, and the Holy Spirit's guidance. It isn't easy. It's simple.

I live my life expecting the worst case scenario. Being comfortable with that is my beginning of progress. I build from that foundation. Sometimes, you have to start with your salvation. It doesn't matter. Start there. Build from that foundation and pray.

The reason these times should be difficult to SD and me is because of the financial insecurity, career change, and home of residence change. The reason this isn't a problem for us is because I have made a habit of embracing challenge in my life and trusting God. Again, if you aren't a Christian, this won't make sense to you. I am. The worst time in my life was when I thought SD was going to leave me. I returned to my rock. My salvation. Then, God's Word. Then, I implemented God's Word. When you build on the rock, you can always tear down to the foundation and rebuild.

I assume, if you are reading this, you have need for Truth in your life. Find the foundation of your life and build. When you do this, Truth becomes self evident. My wife and children are not afraid of our transition. They trust me. I am not afraid because I trust in God. Be the rock of your family.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Too thick don't stick

The first person I heard this phrase from was a friend's father. The friend was RLB's former business partner's wife. She was eighteen years older than me and her father was in the last years of his life. I had been spending more time with this woman because of the business our husbands were operating. Her father was seeing me around more with her. One day, very casually, he gave her a knowing look and said, "you know, too thick don't stick..."

I admit, I felt a bit offended by his stating that. I took it to mean he was saying something negative about my character. In essence he was. He was stating some wisdom he knew about women's nature.

The phrase resonated with me. Especially when, after spending too much time with this friend, I started disliking her. I got to know her very well. I knew her strengths, I knew her weakness, I knew the condition of her marriage, I knew her spending habits, I knew....way too much about her. We spent weekends with this couple, went on vacations together, dined out together, I went shopping with her. We were the best of friends...until we weren't.

Vox's post at Alpha Game: The hunt for weakness, highlights this female phenomenon when it comes to intersexual relationships.
No doubt most men will dislike the need to anticipate, misdirect, and obfuscate when they would like nothing better than to bare their souls and be accepted for whom they truly are, warts and all.  But the paradox of intersexual relations is that in order to be truly accepted, loved, and desired by a woman, a man must always keep a part of himself hidden well away from her. - VD
The best way for a woman to maintain a positive relationship with another women is very similar to what Vox has stated here; always keep a part of yourself hidden well away from her. In other words, do not get too close.

I have a good friend who recently moved to the same town her best friend lives. Up until the move, they talked on the phone frequently and would see each other no more than a couple of times a year. Now that she lives five minutes away, their friendship is struggling. My friend has come to know too much about her best friend. She knows her good and her ugly.

I've seen this occur among women countless numbers of times. I see it quite often in military communities. When you move as often as the typical military family, you, as a woman, seek out female companions. It's tough to live in a new area and not know anyone, especially when your husband gets deployed. Unfortunately, proper discernment isn't always used when choosing friends and then too much time is spent together. All is revealed in a short period of time and it usually doesn't bode well for the friendship.

Women have a natural tendency to be judgmental. "To each his own" is a cute saying, but it is the rare woman that can maintain a friendship with a woman she spends a considerable amount of time with. Because of our tendency to talk about everything and anything, we allow individuals with very different life perspectives and moralities to come in close and know too much about us and we'll know too much about them.

Familiarity breeds contempt - we've all heard it, and it's true for women.

Though it seems counter-intuitive, if you want to maintain a healthy friendship with women, you need to learn what men have come to understand about their relationships with women, you need to "anticipate, misdirect, and obfuscate" instead of baring your souls. You also need to limit the amount of time you spend with them. It might seem like a good idea to gather together everyday to let the kids play, drink coffee and's not. It won't take long before you'll be bickering to your husband about something she said or did that you just don't like. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fat shaming part II

My previous post on fat shaming continues to draw attention from the herd. The herd I have betrayed. I have been banished for my treachery. How dare I speak of losing weight for my husband...a...a...a MAN!  ANY other reason will do, but damn if what gets your ass off the couch and to the gym is out of a desire to please the...enemy. I am a "disgusting and repulsive" human being according to one fatty. She also has this to say:
...losing weight and keeping it off is a herculean endeavor, and almost nobody succeeds in the long run.

And of course her husband "likes me just fine, exactly the way I am."

The lack of reading comprehension of these blithering idiots is just fascinating. I'll say it again. Not once has RLB ever expressed to me his dislike of my accumulated cellulite. Not once did he express his dissatisfaction with my appearance. Not once. 

Do you want to know how I found out that my husband might be disappointed in how I'd let myself go? By individuals in the blogosphere who dared to tell the truth.

I was not personally happy with my weight gain. I looked in the mirror, I saw it. I was ashamed of my gluttonous habits. I sought to justify it. I tried to rationalize it. I tried to pretend it wasn't affecting my attitude. But it was.

When you sit down on patio chair and your legs press hard on the sides of it, you think about it. When you put on a shirt and you stretch out the waist to cover some rolls, you think about it. When you go to your favorite jeans store and learn that if you gain anymore weight, you'll no longer be able to shop there, you think about it.


All those thoughts...did nothing to change me. I felt bad for myself. I started hating the way I looked and I allowed it to affect my attitude and my sensitivities. Any mention of fat people was about me...obviously. The herd was calling: "Don't feel bad, it's what's on the inside that matters."

What was on the inside was a woman getting increasingly ugly. A woman getting angry and bitter. What was on the inside were self deprecating thoughts and a bitchy attitude. What was on the inside was far uglier than what was showing on the outside.

I just finished packaging up two large garbage bags full of clothes that no longer fit me. They're all too big.

How I wish I could express to you what has changed on the inside.

We watched The Biggest Loser for the first time this year. What an inspiring show. Take a look at the winner's pictures. The most obvious part of this woman's transformation (and all of the contestants) was what took place on the inside.

Read some of their motivations though: 
Once the weight is off, Danni looks forward to being able to wear a bikini on vacation and to helping others with their weight loss struggle.
 (Pam) says she looks forward to "returning to my fabulous self" and can't wait to shop in regular clothing stores and feel sexy again.
(Nikki) wants to be more active with her husband and be able to wear a bikini (or any bathing suit)
Alex looks forward to losing weight so she can wear all the revealing clothes that summer brings, like a bikini, strapless tops and shorts, and finally feel comfortable in her own skin.
 Hmmm, the elusive bikini.

Why would women want to wear one of those

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lets us fix you


It might work when you are mega star Chris Martin writing these words to the "sensitive and moody" Gwyneth Paltrow in the wake of her father's death. However, after learning of their marriage being on the rocks, I remain skeptical. One can certainly conclude the "fix you" concept will not turn out so well for a red pill, Christian woman and a blue pill, secular man:
I have a question, and the more input I can get the better, so feel free to post this if you would like, although I confess I doubt it's going to be very relevant to most people.  Still, I didn't want to derail another of your blog-comments sections.

My problem (if that's right) is this:  in trying to change to be more submissive to become a better wife to my fiance (wedding in October), he is actually saying he is very uncomfortable with me making such changes.  My motivation is (best as I can account for it!) to make him happier and be better helpmeet, to have a more peaceful home, and, let's be honest, to have that joy and peace I've witnessed among you and the other red pill ladies.  There's definitely benefits for myself too, but I feel like I want to do it for US.  As I explained all this to him, and we were trying to puzzle out why/how he was so uncomfortable with it, he asked that I put the question out to those who inspired me in the first place, so here I am.

I'll go ahead and give you some background, as well as my theory, and see what you make of it, if you can spare me the time.

So, we have been dating for almost 4 years, engaged since last October, cohabiting since the November before that.  We originally fell into a sort of flip-flop of the traditional model - he had just gotten back from the military when we met and had no job so I paid for everything. We were fairly egalitarian in our decision-making, but I took the lead in most social situations as he and I both agree that he is basically what Alpha Game Plan describes as a sigma.  I was also very defensive, and at least somewhat controlling.  I was definitely "Strong, sassy independent!"  Certainly, there were times I worried (and expressed to him) that, as a budding psychologist, some part of me was "in it" for the "fixer-upper" challenge.  While both of us have our issues, his very troubled up-bringing made his more "noticeable" - so for quite a while it was all about how WE needed to fix HIM.  He is basically secular - he has some beliefs, but they are extremely unorganized and he is pretty anti-religion.

It's been, eh, maybe a year and a half or so since I started looking into Christianity after finding To Love, Honor and Vacuum, then Dalrock, then SSM (and others, but these were the most influential in my interest in the Christian model of marriage).  He mocks the manosphere and doesn't like to talk religion, so I didn't bother talking about it with him much after he rebuffed my initial attempts.  (I also made some, eh, tactical errors in linking him to certain Rollo posts at the beginning which were probably not the best priming material) 

Instead, over the last several months, I have simply tried to be more mindful of my behavior.  Trying to make sure I am pleasant, not turning down requests, being more supportive, etc.  Definitely not perfect!  Haha!  But better than I was.  I also made my New Year's Resolution to read my entire Bible over the course of the year, rather than just the snippets from blog discussions.

In our initial conversations he expressed that he was wary of the Christian stuff because he was afraid of me turning into one of the Churchian hypocrites (not quite the words he used, but the sense) and getting all "God will provide!  (so I can sit on my ass and not try!)" and that sort of thing.  I reassured him (I thought) and he did admit that I had been easier to get along with and he liked that.

I started following some of Dalrock's advice to a reader who wanted to encourage her husband to be more take charge - the advice being to defer, to quietly transfer decisions to him, and basically to make a "leadership void" and let him fill it - and then, to appreciate and submit to his decisions.  It was working, and I did see him begin to "step up" so to speak, and he seemed more confident to me. 

Annnnnd then, a few days ago, I sent him links to amazon for the books "The Surrendered Wife" and "Fascinating Womanhood" and said, "Hey, I would like these at some point, maybe for my birthday or something."  This was the SHTF moment.  "Submission" is a bad word to him; he wonders why I want to change all this if I'm not unhappy, worries that I must BE unhappy, doesn't understand how a book published in the 60s could POSSIBLY be relevant any more, so on.  He doesn't like the idea of the traditional wife, and seems to think that I want to become some sort of doormat/automaton that is incapable of making decisions and wants to be totally powerless. 

I've tried to clarify all this, and it helped a bit, but he still remains fundamentally very wary.  He talked with his shrink about this (he goes once a month) and it helped settle his mind some, but OTOH, he and his shrink both discussed that maybe I'm taking people's online personas too much at face value and not doing my research enough - not realizing just how long I've been looking, and not pestering him about it. Next month I will be going with him to talk with him and his shrink, so hopefully that'll help, but we'll see.

SOOOOO.  That, I think, is all the relevant background (and maybe overkill - I tried to keep it short, but I'm not good at that)  My theory, which I expressed to him, and he... kind of agrees with, but doesn't seem to feel fully explains his feelings....  Is that he is uncomfortable because, honestly, I am fundamentally changing "the agreement".  I have been changing and will probably continue to change a lot from the person he first started dating.  He didn't bargain on all this, and so has to decide if he's still "in".  Part of why I recently DID start talking about all this with him is because I KNEW it was happening and didn't want to be deceptive about it - he has a right to know what he's signing up for, after all. 

I know there are places for men to go vent when they go red pill and try to change the dynamic with their wives - but I didn't know where, as a woman to go when I'm red pill and trying to change with my future husband!  Maybe I should have done like the men and just let my "game" do the work and not overtly address - but it seems to me that, while that works and is sensible and aligned with the male role for men to do, it doesn't seem aligned with the female role... 

Sorry for the long story, and I know you are probably busy with your own family, but any insight you can share with me as to why this is bothering my fiance and what I can do to smooth the transition would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much for your time, your wonderful blog and comments, and for the guidance you have already offered me in prior posts!
The best advice RLB and I can offer is for you to read 2 Corinthians 6:11-18. My suspicion is that you have been reading the Bible and are seeing the Truth calling out to you. You have the answers to your questions. You just want to see if there is an exclusion clause - one of the "it'll be okay if he's a good guy" exceptions." Or the "if you really love him, that's all that matters, things will work out." 

My advice to you would be drastically different if you were already married. However, you are not. You are not yet involved in a Covenant marriage with God. God blesses the marriage of a submissive wife and an unbeliever, however I don't believe you'll be able to trick God - he will know you chose an unbeliever, on purpose. Also, I don't know of a single scripture to support that God will do anything more with your fiance in light of your submission. He is the same to you as any unbeliever. Certainly not hopeless to the Good News, but not sanctified by you as a husband would be. (1 Corinthians 7:14)

As a Christian, you have come to know the significance of the marriage relationship for the two who shall become one and for the children as you go forth and multiply. Can you honestly enter into a Covenant with God with this man when he has already expressed no desire to be obedient to God's commands for marriage? When he questions the very existence of the God he'd be in covenant with?  That doesn't make sense. And I don't think it makes sense to you anymore either.

If you are just planning a state sanctioned marriage license,  I'm afraid I'll be of little help. RLB and I do not give secular advice. There's no way we can. Your fiance has a subjective morality based upon something I haven't a clue about. In no way could I understand what is bothering him or what would help him. The possibilities are limitless.

There are many red flag indicators of marital failure in just this email you wrote to me. From the length of time you've been shacking up, the length of your engagement, mental instability, differing religious views. Statistically you don't have much going for you. I would never adivse for you to have children in this situation.

I'm curious to know your level of attraction for this man. As what you've mentioned wouldn't indicate the attraction to be very high. Marrying someone you are not attracted to is yet another set up for failure.

Your theory is correct, you are changing the deal. He does have a right to know what he's signing up for - that his future wife will not agree with him on fundamental life issues and will continually seek to fix him. I think he'd be right to walk away at this point as well and preserve himself from the devastation of divorce.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Leader of the pack

About a year before my mother died she got a cat for a companion. Dolly was a beautiful, long haired, calico. She became my cat after my mother died and later RLB and our children's cat. When she was around twelve years old, RLB thought it'd be a good idea to get a hamster. That way our kids would be able to experience a smaller pet's life and death before having Dolly the cat die.

The hamster, Rocky, seemed to bring out the wild in Dolly as she became a hunter shortly after Rocky arrived. In her old age, with only hind claws, she would bring home mice, chipmunks, and rabbits. One mouse was regurgitated at the foot of the hamster's cage. We're unsure if that was a gift or a warning. When she brought home the rabbit she separated its head and stood with the headless body at the doorstep until someone would open the door to see the evidence of her awesomeness.

The plan, to have our children experience a pet's death, failed. RLB joined the Army and was stationed first in South Korea. The fifteen-year-old cat and three-year-old hamster would have to go live with my sister when we moved. Though our children would miss their pets, they missed their father much more. We hadn't lived with him for six months and he went on to Korea a month before we did.

While we were in Korea, the hamster did eventually die. But, we were unable to have our planned little kid pet funeral for it. Shortly after we got to Korea, we were at a carnival where our daughter won a couple of gold fish. And again, when it was time to move back to the States, we had to give the gold fish to some friends. There would be no little kid gold fish funeral either.

Dolly waited until we returned from Korea to die. She was sixteen when we visited her last. She had become my sister's cat at that point, it wouldn't have been right to move her with us. She'd become frail, had lost all of her weight and her teeth. My sister was unable to make a decision to put the cat down to alleviate her suffering. We said goodbye to her that last visit and received a call a couple of days later that she had died.

Once we settled in at our Stateside duty station RLB allowed us to start collecting pets. First was Bob, the basset hound. Then Tommy, a thirteen-year-old, large tabby cat whose owner had become allergic to him. We bought a house and RLB agreed to getting Bob a friend to play with (Tommy didn't like to play with Bob). He bought Betty, another basset hound. Our daughters again wanted a couple of rodents so RLB bought a cage that came with a couple of hamsters.

Last summer a dumped kitten showed up in our garage. The girls and I begged RLB to keep him. He agreed but the cat would be an outdoor cat whose job it would be to take care of the mice. This cat, Odie, has become RLB's killer cat who is doing a fine job earning his keep. However, the only human he likes is RLB. He hates me. I can't even touch the damn thing without it biting or clawing me. The girls desperately want Odie to love them. They bring him in the house on occasion to cuddle until his lack of indoor etiquette gets too offensive. He yells at them, scratches and bites, bites the other pets, and gets returned to his home in the garage. RLB gets quite the kick out of this cat who jumps up in his lap and purrs and cuddles. All the rest of us get from him are glares and hisses. But it is pretty entertaining when he brings back his latest kill. Hopefully we'll have fewer snakes now that we have RLB's killer taking care of the mice.

In February one of the hamsters died. Finally, we had our first not-so-little kid funeral for a pet. Over the last month Tommy went through some significant changes. He just turned sixteen and was starting to lose weight rapidly. His legs were getting stiff and weak under him and occasionally he'd miss when he'd attempt to jump. Also, he was eliminating around the house, unable to make it back to his litter box. He was showing signs of becoming increasingly disoriented.

We started to discuss euthanizing Tommy. Each time our daughters would cry and plead for his life. Each time someone would discover where Tommy had peed, the girls would plead, "it's okay, we can clean it up, please don't kill Tommy." I struggled with this and vacillated back and forth in my mind. Though it was obvious Tommy's health was not going to improve and that any amount of treatment would not prolong his life substantially. He was sixteen. He was elderly. It was time. Thankfully, I am not the decision maker of this home.

When the decision was made, it was final. RLB did not vacillate. It was the most humane choice and it was his responsibility to make. The girls and I took pictures of Tommy, pet and loved on him one last time and said goodbye. RLB and our son took the cat and proceeded to do what I, as a woman, am far too weak to do.

The guys came back into the house to get us so that we could participate in Tommy's burial. He was already wrapped peacefully in a blanket and lowered into his grave. Later the girls made a headstone for him. There were some tears and hugs but later as we played games at the kitchen table, we laughed, made some "too soon" jokes, cried a little more, talked about Tommy's silliness and how much we'll miss him.

RLB noted later how well the girls handled the events of the day. I know why. We're girls. One of our most significant needs is the need to be led. We need to have decisions made definitively for us. When that happens, we can be calm. Women have an extraordinary ability to weather any storm, if there is certainty. Indecision, uncertainty, vacillation, and a lack of assuredness are what causes insecurity, fretfulness, and emotional turmoil in a woman. This is all clear evidence to me that God's commands for the natural order of a household are for our benefit.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tastes like chicken

Being married to an introvert, I've come to understand that being "out and about" is close to hell to them. He's not shy at all, he just doesn't find being in the public very appealing. I can't say I blame him, people are annoying. When there is a function I have to be at or desire to go to, I'll ask him if he wants to go. But I don't expect his answer to be anything but the look that says, "are you kidding?"

Since his injury, not only does he not want to go many places, he also considers how painful it will be. He needs to have a proper chair to sit on or a way he can walk around to get relief from his back pain. So what I was asking of him was really a stretch. I wanted to go to the rodeo. I'd never been to one and we won't be in rodeo country for long. I'd been talking about wanting to go for years so finally, last summer he agreed to go. He took enough pain medication with him to be able to tolerate sitting in the stands for short increments.

His back pain was intense, still is, but what I didn't know then is how much of a mental toll chronic pain is on the sufferer. A lot has improved in that area for him by learning coping skills and just plain acceptance that this might be his condition for life. At the time of the rodeo, however, it was still new and unfortunately, my husband with the usual great sense of humor was not going to appreciate what I was about to do to him.

The gentleman in front of us brought up a big basket full of breaded and fried chicken nuggets. RLB asked if I'd go get him some. No problem, but, I couldn't find the vender who was selling them. I only found one cart that was selling food like that and the sign said "Calf Fries." I'd never heard of calf fries before but what people were walking away with were baskets full of what looked like breaded and fried chicken nuggets. So I asked the young lady what these calf fries were. Many of you already know and are either saying "oh gross" or "yum, those are awesome." They are breaded and fried bull testicles served with a side of ranch dressing.

Immediately two entities appeared upon my shoulders. One said, "do it, this will be hilarious." And the other, of course, said, "don't you dare, he will be so mad at you." It wouldn't be much of a story if the the good angel won, would it?

I planned on giving them to him, taking a picture of him eating one, laughing at the disgusted look on his face, and then telling him. I promise, that was the plan. However, I gave them to him and before I could even get a picture, he was tearing into them. So, apparently they taste like chicken because he didn't even question them. He just kept dippin and eatin, dippin and eatin. I was busting a gut laughing at this point and couldn't keep it from him anymore.

He was not happy.

He's forgiven me now and uses every opportunity he can to remind me of how evil women can be. When we watch a show where the wife does something even remotely similar to her husband he says to the kids, "see, just like mom, women are evil." It's true. I can't deny it.

It's still funny.

But now it's really hard to get him to go anywhere.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband" - An excellent book for your marriage

In searching through books that are marketed to help marriage relationships, I remembered one I read very early on in our marriage. It impacted my life in a great way. Prior to reading it, I'd have called myself a Christian if you asked me but I was in deep rebellion and hadn't read the Bible since I was a child. In fact, I was so awful that in the midst of a huge fight with RLB, he pulled out his Bible and began reading and ashamedly I screeched at him:  "What are you doing? That's just an ancient book written by 40 different men, like that's going to help you!"

The book I'm about to tell you about honestly helped me confirm my Christian faith. I remember praying the sinner's prayer while I was reading it. I regret that I didn't read it over and over again to move on from that to living a life in obedience to God.

The book is called, You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband by Darien B. Cooper.

It was seventeen years ago when I read this book. All those years, I had already read the keys to a successful marriage but I allowed, sin, rebellion, unbiblical books and advice to overshadow the truths I had learned.

This book does not do what so many marriage books today do, it does not absolve women of their responsibilities in marriage. In fact, the whole book is about just that; how we, as women, ought to be in our marriages. The book is not only biblically based, the author uses scripture references consistently throughout as the foundation of all of her advice.

Here are some of the highlights:
God provides definite solutions to life's problems - including a detailed outline of how a successful marriage may be maintained. 

We are to be responders to our husband's love, protection, and leadership.

True submission never imprisons us. 

The woman will find happiness as she meets her husband's needs. 

Worry, jealously, discouragement, a critical attitude, and bitterness may be signs that you are controlling your own life. 

Both Christianity and marriage involve a deliberate choice. 

God did not give you the job of convicting your husband of sin and error. 

Your husband needs your support, not your protection or smothering. 

Your home should be a haven, a place where both of you can relax and be yourselves. 

Regardless of your husband's spiritual status, your role - your way of relating to him - should be the same. 

In any successfully functioning unit, someone must assume major responsibilities, make final decisions, and direct activities in order to prevent disorder and chaos. 

The final authority in your life must be God's Word. 

The phrase "as to the Lord" keeps this act of submission from being slavery and makes it a voluntary act of love. 

Submission is an attitude. 

Your submission to your husband is part of God's plan for order in our world. 

The woman's role is crucial, strategic, and often hard to fill. 

You should have great freedom and joy in satisfying your husband's sexual desires and needs, just as he should have the same freedom and joy in satisfying yours. 

Know more about your husband's needs and wants than any other woman. 

When you make sex an exciting and satisfying part of your life together, you will please your husband and be obedient to Christ's instructions to you. 

Make your bedroom the most beautiful room in your home, since this is the room where you and your husband regularly display love for each other. 

As you wholeheartedly desire to satisfy your husband sexually and respond positively to his actions, you will have increased sexual satisfaction.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this book!

I will continue searching for more great books and will continue to criticize the ones that deceive. I've added a list to the blog. As I come across books I'd recommend, I will add them to the list. 

Liberal Apocalypse

This would be funny if it weren't so tragic. The Steubenville rape trial is a living testimony to why you need a rock solid moral system in your life, especially if you have children. The short version is an underage white girl was allegedly raped by two black football players. SWPL types enjoy the championships the football team brings home. OTOH, they don't like their daughters being raped. What to do?

Here's an idea. Teach your children biblical values. Things like not letting your daughters go to parties without someone to take care of them (brothers, cousins) or let them think they should be able to walk around naked in public (slutwalks). Or this one, teach your sons not to sexually penetrate girls that are not their wives. You might have to be in their lives to accomplish these tasks. You also might need to know things about your children, like who their friends are and where they are going. The Christian parent looks at this and may see tragedy, but would not see it as a possibility of happening to or around their children. This situation is ridiculously (biblically) preventable. Talk to your children early and often about these things.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fantasy baseball preview

Fantasy baseball is just around the corner. I thought a bit of scouting would be appropriate.

Peter - A Rock you can build a team around. Don't be surprised if he goes 0 for 3 on any given night.
Paul - Kind of blind to the fastball. Once he figures it out, he will persevere.
Luther - True game changer. Not afraid of an un-Orthodox approach.
Moses - Definite team leader. Looks lost sometimes, but will come through in the clutch.
Abraham - Hard to tell how old he is. He changed his name. Rumor has it his best performance is late in life.
Joseph - A bit flamboyant. Hard to get into the right uniform. Good vision.
David - He will surprise you. Needs to know there is some money involved in performance, but definitely hits hard.
Solomon - Not the greatest upbringing. Wise beyond his years.
Calvin - Acts like he knows it's coming. Even when he strikes out, he seems to have expected it.
Zwingli - Also a game changer, just don't put him on the same team as Luther.
Job - Not real good in the start of a game. A bit hot headed.
Daniel - Calm in the clutch. Hard to rattle him.
Jonah - He'll go through the nasty to get the job done.
Noah - Sometimes he's the only one out there.
John the Baptist - He will lead you to a way out of a tough situation.
Samson - Serious power hitter. Gets tied up sometimes on the inner bitch...I mean pitch.

Others awaiting scouting reports:

I'm a bit of a fantasy baseball fan, bear with me. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

(This is why I swear)

Now is the time for all good, big breasted, feminists to come to the aid of their herd.

Reduce those boobies so nasty sexist men won't think you appear weak. Do it in the name of progress! Do it to "stick it to the man" - the hostile, female objectifying, sexist pigs!

It is science, sexist men prefer big boobs!

The best way you can avoid these horrible individuals is to just not be on their radar. Cut your hair, pile on the pounds, dress like a frump and for goodness sakes, hide those ta-tas!

Signs you have already become a victim of benevolent sexism:

-Your overlord opens doors for you!
-He keeps you tucked away at home while he gets to go make the money!
-He suppresses your intellect by making you mother the children!
-He compliments your hair and body indicating he is pleased by your looks!

Call our victim's hotline immediately! Though this benevolent sexism "makes us feel better about where we are in our own lives" - it must be reported as the hate crime that it is! We must spread awareness!

To recap, if you are well endowed, it's time to go under the knife. And, if you see or hear of traditional roles being played out in a home near you (or even more tragically, in your own home), report those bastards at once!

Manosphere Limerick

Ministers...what to do? Part II

So after reading the comments and several suggested links, I have come to some conclusions. First, it's not easy to just discuss a singular issue even with men. Holy crap do people go off on tangents and I get caught up in it as well. Second, it's all about money and power to ministers.

The comments were about no buildings (i.e. debt service), church boards having influence (positive or negative), and withholding money (male control of finances). All of these are money and power related. I propose the best way to deal with a minister is to attack that issue right off the bat. In any opening conversation with the minister, you must set the tone of biblical authority in your life and the resulting consequences. Ask them if their position as minister is more important than the authority of the bible. Ask them if their positions on volatile issues are determined by the denominational view or independent of it. Ask how they differ from denominational doctrine. Have them cite why their view is more biblically based than the denomination. Attack immediately. If they show a disregard of the bible in any of these areas, confront them and give him a chance to change. If he doesn't, move on. It isn't worth putting your family in a non-biblical church to feel good about getting your attendance sheet checked.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Subtle disrespect

Blogger Empathologism illustrates this subtlety in his post The Hamster Whisperer (and his son) and challenges his readers to see it:

Stage-Couple has just gotten into the truck to go to a track meet. The wife (called “wife” from here on), picks up a piece of paper, sees that it is an invoice from a recently hired lawn chemical service, and a conversation busts out.
Wife: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?
Husband: Oh, they came the other day, i saw them here
Wife: Then why is the yard not green?
(took hubby a second, then he realized she meant the green color that some companies add to the chemicals to show its been applied)
Husband: This company must not add the green color, or they will on the next treatment, maybe, but i saw the two men and the truck and they were spraying the yard
Wife: Did they have a professional looking truck? Did it look like a decent sized company? Were they wearing uniforms?
Husband: yes yes and yes
Some quiet minutes…
Wife: Did they do the back yard, are you sure they did the back yard?
Husband (the tiny flicker of irritation, but keeping it hidden): I didn’t literally see them do the back yard but I cant imagine why they wouldn’t
Wife: I guess we will see when the weeds don’t die in the back
Husband: So, you don’t trust them? Do you generally distrust folks we choose to do business with?
Wife: No, I trust people, I already explained to you the reason I asked about the back yard was the lack of green color painted on the grass.
Pause for unpacking, or stop to scream.

If you didn't catch it, read this and then read the above conversation again:
...he was left with a bad taste in his mouth because he wanted, more than anything, for her to realize that asking him if the dudes sprayed the back yard was like saying he was not capable to handle little things like the lawn service without someone coaching him on all the right accountability to lay out.
...when speaking to his son, husband discovered that the son had followed along, correctly, in real time, to the whole conversation, and he understood not only the head fake of raising the green color again, but more importantly the implied challenge to husbands ability to do the most basic things.
Those of you ladies who are training your hamster to shut up probably caught it right away. A wife who has chosen to obey the words of Ephesians 5:33, will find it's the smallest details in life which are so important. They speak volumes about the inner thought processes and convictions of a woman abiding in the Word in all things.

Here's how an Ephesians 5:33 wife's conversation goes:
Wife:  Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?

 Husband: Oh, they came the other day, i saw them here 

Wife: Oh, okay. Great!
The result - harmony. No showing of disrespect, no questioning of her husband's capabilities, no belittling, no fretting.

We can do this, ladies. We can train our tongues. And, the more we choose to train our tongues, the more we train our brains and our hearts. Our eyes will be opened to how easy it gets to defer to our husbands and show respect. We will separate ourselves from our sinful natures that undermine our husband's authority. We will begin to see this subtle disrespect quickly in life situations around us, especially with our children. In those times, we will be able to properly mentor them to hold their tongues.

I told RLB about this exchange after I read it and explained the disrespect I found in the woman's responses. He admitted it hadn't occurred to him. I told him I wanted to write a post about it. I think it is fabulous that Empathologism is illustrating examples like this so men can become "hamster whisperers" and feel that as Christian women we need to start doing our part. These are fitness tests. They are disrespectful and they undermine our attraction to our husbands*.  He suspected I'd need to do a better job explaining it with this post because it was hard for him to follow when I was telling him.

It is not hard for women to understand. Flip the script and it becomes blatantly evident:
Husband: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service? 

Wife: Oh, they came the other day, I saw them here

Husband: Then why is the yard not green? Did they have a professional looking truck? Did it look like a decent sized company? Were they wearing uniforms? 

Wife: Do you think I'm an incompetent idiot? No, some white van showed up with a couple of masked men and I just figured it was the lawn company and didn't question it. Geez. 
We will immediately see the distrust of our competence in a hypothetical situation of a husband asking such questions because we project his motive to what ours would be in asking those questions. I know with certainty that I'm being disrespectful and belittling to RLB when I ask questions like that.

But...but...what if they didn't actually spray the yard?

I'm quite sure the husband will see in a matter of time if the weeds have grown back up and will either question the lawn service company or not use them in the future. It doesn't matter. Nothing is accomplished by a wife questioning the way this one did. I know when I was not committed to obeying Ephesians 5:33, RLB would have gladly paid any fee for harmony in our home. Think about that ladies. Think of the dollar amount your husband would pay for you to shut your mouth so that the questioning, nit picking, undermining, and belittling stop and don't build up over time.

*If our husbands do not catch this behavior as the disrespect it is and call us on it, it lessens our attraction to him. Questioning our husband's competence sabotages the intimacy of our marriages. It sends negative feedback into our conscious and our subconscious minds. Overtime we are rolling our eyes, snarking about his abilities to do anything right, placing ourselves as superiors over him, rebelling to God's word and indulging in sin. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

On having lost a bit of Sunshine

In doing some blog maintenance, I, like several bloggers will, have had to adjust my blog roll after the deletion of one of my favorite blogs, The Woman and the Dragon.

I don't know the circumstances around the decision to delete the blog and will not speculate. However, I will miss Sunshine Mary's blog and am very grateful for all the time, thought, and wisdom she put into it. I appreciate all of the real life issues she brought to light and the thought provoking commentary and discussions that followed.

Titus 2 women are hard to come by and should be treasured when we do have the opportunity to sit at their feet to learn. I know this was what SSM often referred to:  
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. - Titus 2:3-5
So what should we do after saying goodbye? We press on, to honor the principles she stood for. I have long understood we should not follow the man, man will fail you, we should follow the principles of the man when they are good and biblical.

We all have differing reasons we read the blogs we do. Some are eagerly seeking truth and hope for their lives, others read to confirm their convictions, and some read to challenge details. I have heard the testimonies of many who have had their lives bettered in mighty ways thanks to the writings of SSM. I recently commented on one of these testimonies and offered the encouragement for SSM to never grow weary:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

These verses from Hebrews are my prayer for you, SSM, should you read this. Thank you for all you have given.

We'll miss you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ministers...what to do?

How can we affect the ministers in today's Christian churches? The more I think about it; the harder this task seems to me. If we start with why they preach the way they do, we might start to get somewhere.

1. Seminary teaching. Much of the feminist teaching starts at the teaching level of new ministers. Looking at Martin Luther's life, you can see why the Catholic Church had such a problem with him. He was involved with the teaching of new priests. That is a huge problem for large organizations bent on maintaining their status quo.

2. Elders/church board. This is again a status quo issue. No one likes change in long established organizations. Usurping a board's desires will lead to unemployment for a minister.

3. Women control spending. The way to raise donations is to keep the butts in the seats that control the purse strings. The fact is most women in today's families control the spending. If a minister starts talking about how women need to change, they aren't likely to park their wide asses in the pews.

4. The minister is the alpha of his group. Even if he is a beta type in any other situation, he has the lead dog status in church. He is not likely to take kindly to a change in his thinking. A parishioner is low on his totem pole of status.

Fortunately, men are logical. I have some ideas about how to address these issues and will share them soon. I would appreciate any input from others on how to address these or other issues. Any problems you may have ended up in with ministers would be welcome as well.

To be clear. The reason this is important is because the family is the foundation of our culture. If we don't have spiritual leaders that help and understand the issues at play in today's society, our families will perish. That is what we are seeing happen in real time. Criticizing and doing nothing isn't really my nature. I make a habit of interviewing ministers and current parishioners before subjecting my family to a church. I have found them wanting. I'm sure I'm not alone on that. A game plan on how to deal with this in the future is what I hope to develop.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another analysis of a popular marriage book

I was asked in my previous post what I thought of the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Today, Sunshine Mary has a guest post up by Anon who speaks of his experience having read the book with his wife. I direct your attention to that post* and the discussion there. I concur with what Anon has to say:
I think this kind of advice might work well in a red pill marriage. In a case like that, the man could take the lead and hold the woman accountable to a third party (the book is presented as a Christian). But in a situation where your wife does not have the insight or the intrinsic accountability (and real reasons to do the work), it just falls apart.
This echoes what I said in answer to the question I was asked about the book: "Heh - I remember that when I read that book, I instigated even more arguments with RLB. Fitness tests galore. I'll add it to my list to review. It'll be interesting to read it through a red pill lense."

Like Anon says above, I lacked the insight or intrinsic accountability to make use of this book. I was still very "me" oriented and in rebellion to God's commands for women in marriage. This book gave me the permission to whine and complain about all the ways RLB was not loving me right. I read "Acts of service" and thought "yeah, I'd like that, why don't you ever do that? That must be why my love tank is empty." And then I read "Words of affirmation" and thought, "oh, for sure, I need you to say more things that will fill up my love tank." And on and on my hamster brain went. Having no understanding that this "empty love tank" concept had completely to do with rebellion to God's commands and nothing to do with RLB.

I remember days of anguish and confusion about our marriage. Wondering why I just could not settle my brain and find contentment in the relationship we had. Why I was continually seeking out and reading these marriage books and nothing was improving (in my mind). I know RLB went through long periods of "why can't you just be happy?"

I search for a way for me to get across to you the difference of what I feel today compared to the fretfulness and discontent I felt back then. It is overwhelming to me how it didn't have a thing to do with RLB. It was all about God. Even as a Christian, I was not abiding in the Word as I needed to, to settle my anxious heart. I think back now remembering how ignorant I was and sad the answer was right in my hands - the Bible. I can not even conjure up the same unsettled feelings now. They just don't exist in this home anymore.

What a beautiful gift I've been given. I wish I could give it away to every unsettled heart reading this. But that would take away the significance of accepting it on Faith.

Update: *That blog is no longer available, but here is the guest post Anon had originally submitted to The Woman and the Dragon discussing his perspective of The Five Love Languages:
           A thought experiment:
Let us suppose we were to conduct a sociological attitudes survey by polling 200 school children ranging from 6-18 years old.  We would randomly select 100 American girls and 100 boys. Our survey would contain one question-
“What are the things that are innately a part of being [male/female] that you have to do daily battle against in order to make yourself a better person?”
(Of course, we would have to word the question age appropriately for the little ones).
What kinds of answers do you think that survey would yield? In order for this piece to makes sense, I will give my opinion but the survey has not been conducted. It is based on  41 years of observing my culture.
From the boys we would get responses like:
We are violent.
We are aggressive.
We are cruel.
We are too competitive.
We are mean.
We are dumber than girls.
From the girls we would get:
What are you talking about? Grrrrrls are AWESOME!
You might also hear attempts to deflect from actually answering the question like:
We are too forgiving
We love without holding back
We take too much BS from men
All of which essentially have nothing to do with the question (and don't make any sense--how can you love "too much?")
What you should get is:
We are vain. (No truly masculine man spends the same amount of time in front of a mirror)
We have poor impulse control. (Diagnosed Borderline Personality at an exponentially higher rate than men)
We are attracted to violent/powerful/cruel men. (For every Nazi that women like to point to, there was a woman at home waiting with her legs spread).
There are others, but I am not a woman, so it is not my lot in life to face female demons. It is my contention that the same survey of 20, 30, 40 and 50 something women would yield the same result.
As I try to figure out why Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages” book (and workbook) was such a failure for me and my wife, it occurs to me—this book (and all like it) requires both parties to be introspective and accountable. If my basic presupposition above is true, it was doomed from the start.
My story starts when I was deployed and happened to have regular access to Skype. My wife wanted to “stay connected” while I was there and one of the ways SHE decided to do so was to go through marriage self-help books together using the Skype venue. At the core, each one of these had the same outcome—I would diligently do the homework or exercises between chapters, (while engaged with the enemy on a foreign battlefield, no less) bring my work to the next Skype session, and my wife would not have hers done. She would give excuses like “this chapter didn’t really speak to me,” or “I was too busy this week” or whatever.
We tried modifying the assignments, spreading them our over more time, whatever. It never worked. She started to show signs of guilt that I was getting them done, and she wasn’t.  She would express the guilt by hurling accusations at me like “you are just doing the work so well to make me feel like a bad wife.”
She was the one who wanted to do these. She picked the damn books out. I had no say, really.
So after Chapman’s book, we stopped. The first two were similar—one was a devotional style book for couples. Doesn’t matter—we just quit.
Specifically with regard to the “Five Languages” book, let’s take a look at the basic hypothesis.  It states, more or less, that different people have varying subjective ways of sending and receiving love messages to each other, and more often than not, couples’ “languages” don’t match. Makes sense, right? In fact, I would suggest one does not need Gary Chapman to point this out. It’s kind of a no-brainer.
However, and as I mentioned earlier—there is an assumption when he creates his workbook that both parties come to the exercises with an open heart, willing to look inward and make changes for the other in order to create harmony for the relationship.
The problem is--no woman in a marriage 2.0 marriage has any idea what that paragraph even means. It is filled with so many presuppositions that are frankly not a part of what is now called “marriage” that it will be doomed to the kind of failure I had with it. I foolishly thought that my wife would be able to read each chapter and ask herself tough questions about her own motivations, instincts and baggage that might be interfering with our relationship. I foolishly thought that the abstraction—“the relationship” was a thing worth working on. She labors under several different assumptions, many of which have been explored time and again on this very website. I will not get into them here.
As for the specific tenets—the languages themselves—what are they and what kinds of exercises do you have to do in the workbooks? Let’s look:
1.       Words of affirmation—just what it sounds like. All of the assignments require the participants to make some kind of effort to affirm the other person verbally.
2.       Quality time—Some people just like the time spent together. Therefore, these assignments revolve around setting aside time for the person who’s primary language is “quality time.”
3.       Receiving Gifts—Easy enough, I guess. If one person “feels” love from receiving gifts, you get them more gifts.
4.       Acts of service—This one I had really hoped my wife would get, as the things that I do around the house are my way of saying “I love you, so you don’t have to do this.” It never sunk in, because the INSIDE of our house is just as likely to be taken care of by me as it is by her.
5.       Physical touch—Of course, Chapman tries to pretend like there is no humongous gulf between what men mean by this and women. My guess is, a survey of churchian women who read this part (and don’t like icky sex with their husbands anymore) love this chapter because it means, hug me, hold my hand, kiss me but DON’T GET TURNED ON, YOU PERV!
I think this kind of advice might work well in a red pill marriage. In a case like that, the man could take the lead and hold the woman accountable to a third party (the book is presented as a Christian). But in a situation where your wife does not have the insight or the intrinsic accountability (and real reasons to do the work) it just falls apart.
I will end with this—As many readers of SSMs blog are aware, I am new at this. I have extensive training in human behavior, but I am on a steep learning curve regarding the red pill. The comment that sparked this guest post opined that it’s not simply a bad idea to try “the 5 love languages”  to help your marriage, but that a woman is actually TURNED OFF by these suggestions. So readers—why is that?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exposing the (humorous) lies in marriage books - Part 3

In finishing the book For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, I've reached the chapter discussing sex. The chapter is titled "With sex, her "no" doesn't mean you." I don't take issue with them discussing the reasons why a woman would be tempted to say "no," even with the authors failing to reference the very important verse 5 from 1 Corinthians 7:
Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
What is disconcerting is the authors wrote this for married men and men who aren't married. They state their advice is about wives and "SO's" (significant others). But like most churchians of today, are too cowardly to discus the sin of unmarried sex. Remember, chapter one states: "This book holds to a biblical world view...we have seen that these findings are consistent with biblical principles."

Here are their "Five truths about women and sex:"
Truth #1. She has a lower sex drive than you - and she'd change that if she could. 
Truth #2. She needs more warm-up time than you.
Truth #3. Your body (no matter how much of a stud you are) does not by itself turn on her body.
Truth #4. For her, sex starts in her heart.
Truth #5. She wants pleasure as much as you do - and if it's not happening, she may be reluctant.
They acquired their information from surveys so I can't argue with their findings. I've learned, however, that a lot of the temptation for us women to say "no" or to not initiate sex comes from a lack of submission to our husbands, diminished attraction due to our husbands failing our fitness tests (another reason women need to recognize when they're doing this and stop) and our husband's participation in over supplicating behavior (that is many times by our own request). Here's the suggestions for "ordinary husbands" to overcome these truths: 
1) Pay attention to her - it's the little things. 
2) Give Chase, Agent 007, (The time for pursuit is...always.)
3) Warm her up.
4) Sometimes, hug her just to hug her
5) Help her around the house. It helps you. 
6) Don't take "not tonight" personally - use it as a learning tool. 
7) Clean up your act
8) When in doubt, ask her.
Most of these suggestions will only contribute to the problem. When you look at these in comparison to an infamous PUA's (pick up artist) advice at Chateau Hartiste, you see a stark contrast. As well as what Athol Kay has to say at Married Man Sex Life. Of course Roissy nor Athol claim to be giving advice for Christian marriages however the frame they suggest for men leads to much more success in our personal experience (as well as testimonies I've read from various bloggers and commenters).

Number five is particularly amusing, here is the full section: 
     On the survey, about 60 percent of women interviewed said that simple helpfulness around the house would increase the likelihood that they would want to make love more frequently - if only because they would have more energy! As you'd expect, the margin was significantly higher (up to 70 percent) among women who worked outside the home or had school-age kids. 
     As one stay-at-home mom said, "My husband and I have a little joke between us. I say, 'Honey, there is nothing more sexy than watching you clean something. And there's really nothing more sexy than watching you clean the toilet!' It's all about feeling that he wants to take care of me." 
     This is not just anecdotal opinion, either. A recent study by famed marriage psychologist John Gottman found that men who do more housework have both happier marriages and better sex lives. 
     Picking up the broom or doing dishes after a hard day on the job isn't exactly...well, what were you thinking when you were thinking you couldn't wait to get home! But as Gottman found, this kind of sacrificial support can often be more impressive than a dozen roses.

I can almost hear you all laughing as I'm sure you've read at least one of hundreds of write ups referencing the most recent information from The American Sociological Rewiew  that disproves this ridiculous advice. Again, I direct you to where pretty lies perish to read what the wordsmith, Roissy, has coined as "Manboob-Schwyzer Syndrome."

Ladies, really, housework is not that exhausting. You are prioritizing wrong if you are too tired for sex. Do you really think your husband cares if the floor is not waxed if he is having sex with you? The only time my muscles even get sore from housework is when it is "deep cleaning" time and I'm scrubbing behind appliances, cleaning light fixtures, and washing windows. And even then the soreness isn't even close to what I feel after an average day of lifting at the gym - and that gives me sexual energy.

I personally, can not stand how it looks to have a man pushing a vacuum or folding a load of laundry. I find it emasculating and not attractive at all. Now, RLB behind a chainsaw...different story.

That concludes my analysis of this book. I'll be reading their other book, For Women Only, next. I will be keeping my eyes open for Christian marriage books that do offer biblical and helpful advice. There's got to be some out there....