Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tonight I Am Suffering From Shitty Marriage Advice Rage

My rage is brought to you by Pinterest. Thanks a lot, you glorious creative bastards!

First I came across a post about how to have a rockin' marriage. Her number one piece of advice was to remember that men have only three needs: Food, Sex, and a Girlfriend (or wife who acts like a girlfriend). Skip down to advice number 4, where she suggested that one never go more than 72 hours without giving one's husband sex.

"I have talked to friends who have said things to their husbands like "no, not now... maybe tomorrow... not in the mood..." {see #1 above.} it's not about you, and even if it wasn't your idea, it will be soon. {and because of #1 up there, i like to make sure it's my idea more often than not...}."

So, a rockin' marriage requires marrying a Neanderthal who is perfectly content with fucking someone who doesn't want sex just to have his needs met. Got it.

Then I came across these two pins within minutes of each other:

I added that red part. Because Seriously.

Let's talk about my marriage for a damn minute. We WERE religious, and now we're atheists. At no point in our marriage (and we were married in a Mormon temple) have I ever been submissive. Nor have I ever believed that my number one priority was to please my man. Nor have I ever had sex if I wasn't up for it.

Yet, here we are.

Has it been perfect? Nope. Do we need an artificial hierarchy to believe it's worth it? NOPE.

Based on these three similarly toxic marriage posts, men are selfish, will only marry and remain married to a woman who treats HIM as number one, and somehow LOVE means being served. All of these paint the men as being entitled and the women as being property.

If you are in a fundamentalist submissive marriage, then you are not going to see it this way, but that is because scripture has been bastardized over the centuries and you have Stockholm Syndrome while your men are church-condoned narcissists.

A voluntary sub-dom relationship is one thing.

Being coerced by religious belief to accept that God will only love you if you have an unequal master-servant relationship is another thing entirely.

"By some slight of the hand, Christian Patriarchy convinces women to willingly and eagerly be subservient slaves while seeing themselves at the same time as being of equal value to their masters. You have to give some credit to the Christian Patriarchy movement: such a feat is as mind-boggling and impressive as it is horrifying and tragic." - "Men and Women in Christian Patriarchy: Masters and Slaves or Equals?" by Libby Anne

Let me tell you something else about my marriage, something I have that you ladies don't and never will if you continue to embrace these beliefs.

My husband stays with me because he likes my company and not because of what I can do for him. You may have a nice marriage, but I have a real love. Not love because I obey him. Not love because I have him on a pedestal. Love because of who I am, not the role I play. Neither of us feels like we HAVE to stay together, and that's an awesome feeling, to know that someone stays because they WANT to.

As for divorce, I am not willing to do absolutely everything required to keep my man happy in order to make him stay. I don't accept everything unconditionally. I would rather end a marriage then stay with someone who could replace me at any moment if I wasn't fulfilling wifely duties. I want a family where everyone stays together because we genuinely enjoy all pitching in together to make home a happy place where everyone is equally important and cared for. 

I want a home that everyone enjoys coming home to, not just the patriarch of the family.

We are not authoritarian parents, because we don't want our children to obey us out of fear, but instead we want them to trust us because we treat them with dignity and as equals to us in the family (sound like a great way to raise brats? Well ask anyone who knows us - our kids are fun, caring, and awesome).

We do not have a family hierarchy because the necessity of one is a LIE. Want one? Fine. But it's not REQUIRED for a lasting marriage or lasting happiness.

 I learned that truth when we left our church and began interacting more with alternative families. Open marriages. Polygyny and Polyandry. Same-sex couples. Polyamory. Long-term domestic partnerships without the legal contract. It opened my mind to what family really means, and what actually keeps two people (or more) together. It's not religion or putting a god first that makes a happy family. It's not one person being the head. It's not heterosexuality or monogamy. It's not even staying together, since I know couples who have stayed married for decades who would divorce if they thought they could afford it.

In all the relationships I see that are both lasting AND happy, there is ONE common thread.

What makes a happy family is an equal level of kindness. PERIOD.


  1. "So, a rockin' marriage requires marrying a Neanderthal who is perfectly content with fucking someone who doesn't want sex just to have his needs met. Got it."
    - Thank you for this part specifically. In my last relationship I thought the burden was on me and me alone to make the relationship work. I thought I had to everything possible to be the perfect girlfriend. I was a mess, I was taken advantage of and I'm better now but if that idea wasn't pushed so damn hard maybe I would have woke up sooner.

    1. I'm sorry, and I'm glad things are better for you!

  2. I know this isn't related, but I've decided that your youngest has River Song hair.
    That is all.

  3. Actually I like the post too. I just don't really have anything to add. :)

    All types of relationships are the best when everybody wants to be there, nobody is forced, everybody is respected, and everybody is loved. yep yep yep.

  4. So I googled that blog you referenced to on pinterest because I just had to see it for myself. It just sounded ridiculous. But having actually read what she wrote, I think you're taking her remarks the wrong way. She doesn't say 'if you don't want sex, it's your duty to give it to him because it fulfills his needs'. She basically states that you might not be in the mood for sex, but you likely will be, so give it a chance. That's a far cry from being some submissive toy who bends to the will of an oppressive patriarch as you seem to imply. Sex is good, it's healing, and it brings people closer. It's pretty rare that two people get "in the mood" at the exact same time. Someone usually has to instigate it. So if your partner isn't necessarily in the mood (maybe they had a bad day, or aren't feeling 100%) don't count sex out. It's a great way to help them feel better. I'm in a very healthy relationship, and so when I read what she wrote, that's how I interpret it, a way to help your partner. But that's just me. From what I can tell, she seems to be in a healthy relationship too.

    Completely unrelated, but you have 3 very cute kids!

    1. While I agree it's not about him forcing her or her hating it, there are two things going on here that actually are not healthy, and while it works for her, passing it on as sound advice is a terrible idea.

      The first key is how she brought up friends of hers as examples. This wasn't about how she and her husband approach the bedroom. She specifically states that her friends sometimes turn sex down, and that they and us should remember it's not about us. If I was one of those friends, I'd be really hurt that she chose to shame me like that on her blog.

      Second. the gender stereotypes. These get repeated in the comments sections, where she and others claim that it's a proven fact that men are more physical and women are more emotional. Actual, I like more sex than my husband, and he prefers more cuddle time. Many relationships are like this. Perpetuating stereotypes in marriage is wrong and actually causes serious problems in some relationships.

      Another woman in the comments section had the same concern, that her post was playing on stereotypes that can be very insulting for both men and women. In an article I link to here, another woman said that she often had sex with her husband when she didn't want to because she too believed men needed it. When her husband found it, it embarrassed him, and now they make certain it is always something they both want and that they are both up for it.

      I hate very much when people pass this kind of crap along as advice because for some people this arrangement would breed resentment, as it would in mine. No two marriages are alike. I am never, ever going to have sex with my husband unless I am up for it. And yes, it is about me. It's about both of us.