Leah wrote:I took the term to mean habitual and automatic.
You are correct, Leah. Thank you.
I also use the word "nonchalant" not to assign motive, but as an observation of the person's actions. I can't see directly into a person's heart, but if I have long and intimate association with a particular person, I can observe how they are acting toward me and make some basic deductions. Making deductions upon a person's repeated actions is an integral and necessary part of any relationship dynamic. We all do it, and as married people we have a basic right to do so.
Even in the everyday work world we see this play out even in our interactions with people we don't know well or at all. For example, if I see someone on the street approaching me with furtive actions, and appearing to single me out, I'm smart to note that and to take my own evasive or protective response. At that point, I have no idea if their heart motive is robbery, harassment, or just hitting me up for some loose change. All I know is that they are acting toward me in a way that signals ill intent. I'd be foolish to disregard their actions and pretend I didn't notice.
In dysfunctional marriages, and even in many other intimate, long-term relationships that have serious underlying issues, a good maxim to hold to is, "Don't listen to what they say as much as watch what they do."
We can talk all day long about giving the benefit of the doubt to a longtime refusing spouse, and trying to give some credence to a laundry list of excuses for not having sex, but when the refuser has demonstrated repeatedly, over the years, that the marriage bed is just not interesting enough to bother about, the refused spouse would be foolish to believe anything other than what he/she has repeatedly, for years, observed with their own eyes.
I know when my wife is bored with something. Nobody's got to tell me, "Hey, look! Every time you mention going to visit so-and-so, she yawns or rolls her eyes. She doesn't want to go." I know my wife better than anyone else alive. And ditto, her knowing me. She's often nailed me with the truth when I've given her excuses (lies) to the contrary. How do you hide your attitudes from a person you've shared your life with for thirty-some years. You don't
. You better believe they know all the cues you use to show your interest or disinterest in something. Gut instinct or godly wisdom tells a spouse they're being put off, minimized, or deflected.
How many refused spouses on TMB have said, "When I mention sex to my spouse, they heave a sigh, roll their eyes, pinch their lips together, shake their heads"? How many refused spouses on these boards have said their spouse "Give in" after a month of being pestered for sex, or "services" them quickly, often telling the refused spouse to "hurry up"? This isn't conjecture. These attitudes reflect boredom, disinterest, disdain, and control of the other spouse.
Long-term refusers who are generally getting their needs met will often come up with a lengthy list of (often inane) excuses, and they get offended when the refused finally refuses to believe them anymore. This may be unpleasant to hear, but long-term refusers who are "Meh" about sex lie
. Their list of excuses is just that, excuses. They are not the truth. Better to just come out and say to their spouse, "I won't have sex with you except once-a-month, on my terms, so don't ever ask again." I hate hearing that, but at least I can deal with that, because it's honest, straightforward selfishness. Actually, from reading these boards, many refusers do come right out and say these things. Happens all the time.
Sooner or later, the refused will figure out that they're being played. They (the refused) will finally figure out that, no matter what they do--work longer hours, become more cheerful, do all the housework or hire a maid so the refuser can have more "personal time"--it will never be enough to warrant enthusiastic, engaged sex from the refuser. Hoops are there for a reason, and the more hoops a refused jumps through, the more hoops he/she will find waiting on the other side.
Many times the long-term refused will reach a saturation point and give up trying. Sometimes they turn it over to the Lord and live in sexual misery. Sometimes they turn to porn, preferring the short term release of sin to struggling one more day without sex of any kind. Sometimes the refused's sex drive withers and evaporates. And sometimes the refused will actually become the refuser. Their heart is hardened to the refusing spouse, who suddenly realizes that the one power they've held all those years is now irrelevant. I've known refusing spouses to become terrified of losing the one they've refused for so long, and frantically try to revive sex that the refused will no longer provide.
What lackadaisical (nonchalant) refusers don't quite understand is that, a person deprived of the main thing they married for--the oneness, the intimacy of married sexual union--can reach a point where they just don't care anymore. Something happens, inside, to some refused. Call it a switch flipped, a line crossed, whatever, and they just don't care anymore. Not a godly attitude, but if you're talking about self-protection, maybe this is a relevant example. Very, very sad.
And, just so there's no misunderstanding, I never said that the refuser was responsible for the refused turning to porn. What I said, repeatedly, is that, if a refused spouse turns to porn after years/decades of being minimized, called a pervert, emasculated, etc., then the refused is seeing a harvest of bad fruit from all the years they've invested in refusing the one who loves them with all their heart. What I said is that a longtime, "nonchalant" refuser cannot point to the refused's eventual porn use and cry foul. I said that the refuser was seeing cause-and-effect, a sinful reaction (porn) to the refuser's own persistent sin.
Sorry for the long post.