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BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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Mental Illness and Depression

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seeking perspective brought to the table some vital and rarely-voiced thoughts about treating mental illness, specifically depression, in Her Past Newly Revealed:

seeking perspective wrote:I fully acknowledge that anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed without trying other approaches first, but I feel compelled to address some misunderstanding I am seeing here.

1. Anti-depressants correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. Sometimes (especially with mild depression) other approaches can work. Exercise, light therapy, and counseling are always worth trying first. However, this simply may not be enough for many people. If the depression is moderate or severe, the proper medication can help the person get to a point of being open to these other approaches. Quite frankly, someone whose depression is beyond a mild response to a life situation (such as a death or a sudden hormonal change) is usually not able to even try those things. When I sat in my laundry room with a knife pointing toward my stomach, I thought maybe I should see a counselor--and my mind promptly went to a bone-deep sigh that I would probably fail at counseling just as I had failed at everything else in my life. I was pretty sure I wasn't worth my own effort. I will always be grateful to a God who answered my wordless desperate plea for help and for a doctor who asked me the right questions and heard what I was too afraid to say.

2. The seeming prevalence of anti-depressants might not be a reflection of some assumed character flaw on the part of individuals or society. Consider that it might be a result of medical advances that finally allow us to treat something that used to cause years-long daily suffering. It might also be the result of the fact that people are making a genuine effort to be transparent about their treatment in an effort to destigmatize mental illness. (By the way, comments like I've seen here perpetuate the stigma.)

3. Most people on anti-depressants are not trying to avoid dealing with life; they are trying to be able to deal with life. Anti-depressants are hardly a happy pill or magic pill. They provide what the brain needs in order to function appropriately. Using medication allowed me to face my problems and start working through them. I did have a week or two of being super happy and upbeat; it was a response to finally being able to experience any joy at all. After feeling so off for years, I was elated at being able to feel normally again. Also, bear in mind that what others may allow you to see of their depression may appear to be nothing more than a sob story; you are likely not hearing the full truth. In my real life, I often take a light-hearted approach if I talk about my depression so other people don't have to sit there and try to figure out how to respond when hearing about someone's suicidal ideation.

4. Some people can use anti-depressants for just a short time and are then fine. Some can address depression using other means. Others need to stay on the medication long term. I would love to be able to function normally without the medication--but when I have tried to go without (under a doctor's supervision), I have felt myself sinking into a mudpit of sorrow and dysfunction. I am aware of it as it happens, and as much as I know what to do and try to do it, it just isn't enough to pull me back up. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. Don't assume that just because one approach worked for your relative or neighbor, it will work for everyone.

Several comments on this thread are insulting and dismissive. It is true that other approaches can work for some people, that we as a society use a lot of medication, and that anti-depressants sometimes come with side effects that interfere with other aspects of life. However, it is also true that for many of us, anti-depressants have saved our lives. Depression that is untreated can deepen and interfere with life far more than any medication side effects do.

If you have not experienced depression, it is easy to make abstract comments about anti-depressants as a trend and a reflection of society's problems. Please remember, though, that for many of us, this is not about society but about the very real lives we are trying to live.
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If you are ISOLATED, Remember this as you read TMB

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From Refused and Feeling Hopeless.

In one of the best posts I've read in years, TillWeHaveFaces encouraged a very isolated, confused, young poster to remember that her isolated experience is not the whole world, and to understand the richness of the TMB community in providing a broad perspective to her in this way...

The point is that even if everyone you know is saying the same thing (bad teaching, discouraging you, etc), that doesn't necessarily mean that they are right and you are wrong. It may just mean that you live in an isolated community with stinkin' thinkin', and you need to get some opinions and counsel from people outside your tiny, ingrown, groupthink community or church.

TillWeHaveFaces wrote:I have remained silent on this thread because there is little I can offer that others have not offered more convincingly, with solid, lived-in wisdom.

That said, I hear your note of doubt, given that your entire IRL support system (such as it is) is singing off the same page of the same erroneous hymnbook.

So I'd say, consider this: the community here at TMB encompasses many, many denominations and traditions of Christianity, from all areas of the country and even from around the world. (This is an English speaking board, but we do have English speakers -- ESL, perhaps, in some cases -- from Europe, Asia and Africa among our contributing members.)

As such, at times our off-topic discussions on theology and politics can get rather intense. We are not a single hive mind, but reflect the beautiful diversity of the Church Universal, the Body of Christ.

So I ask you to consider, even as you hear your husband (in name only, apparently), in-laws, pastor, mother, and father giving you the same un-Biblical advice -- remember that they apparently all come from the same church denomination, in the same general area of the country.

Meanwhile, this diverse community, representing a tapestry of geographical and denominational distinctions, is telling you THE EXACT SAME THING. Namely, that this marriage is not even a marriage, and that you have Biblical cause for standing up for your husband and requiring that he treat you as a wife as a condition of sharing a home and a bed.

There may be some debate over the best means to that end. (Personally, I think you should move in with mom and tell her that she'd have to kick you out if she wants you to leave.) That said, I sense zero disagreement from this community that this situation is unacceptable on multiple levels, and that you are within your rights as a believing spouse to stand up for change.

Please hold on to that tightly, whatever you do.
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What is the way to a man's heart?

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From the thread: "The way to a man's heart.." (Which kind of posed the question "Sex or Good Cooking?")

C_Brown wrote:I think what a lot of men really want can be summed up as `domestic bliss`. A home that they can come to after work that is a refuge from the cares of the day. Where they feel wanted and respected and admired and desired by their wife.
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Angry that he pursues you? Would you rather he not?

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This letter was posted a few weeks ago. It struck me that her attitude and change was so important that it should be a sticky thread at the top of the Those Who Said No section. She is a woman who has made it though the struggle and seems to really "get" it.

DW of 2P wrote:Are you wondering why some lady you don't even know is typing you a message about sex? Believe me when I tell you this is the LAST thing I thought I would ever be doing. Sex is not my favorite subject and I’m rather private about it. So what gives? I think I understand what you and your husband are going through and I want to help. I have never written to anyone else about this, so don’t think you are just a number for me or that I’m on a mission to wake up wives to the joys of sex, etc. I am not that person. I’m a mom coming out of a tiring 15 years of battling with my husband over sex and it’s finally over and I am so relieved and we are happy now. I want to spare you those years and that is the only reason I am writing to you. I needed a lifeline a long time ago but didn’t have one. I can be that for you IF you want. I’m not going to go into all I learned that helped right now because none of it will matter if you don’t want to hear , so instead I want to tell you what happened with us:

I couldn’t believe when we started fighting about this. I think it was only one month into marriage. Sex became this BIG DEAL and I didn’t understand it. I could not understand why it seemed to trump every other part of our very good life together. We were the best of friends and then we got married and it seemed like the rules changed. He wanted sex a lot and at different times and wanted it to be “fun” and I was trying to be as into it as he was but he didn’t think I was. I tried a little but as I was still new to things I just wasn’t as eager or interested and other things took precedence. Then he started pouting, and kind of withdrawing. It hurt me. I tried to ask him what was wrong. The answer, you guessed it, sex. I’m thinking, REALLY? Can you just back off? We are trying to have a nice life here. (We were together a couple of times a week; I was a virgin when I got married so I was still trying to figure out how I felt about it). The point is, for various reasons which I think are VERY TYPICAL in marriage, we started down a really bad slope of misunderstanding. It led to hurt in both of us (I thought it was his issue, he thought it was mine), and a slow killing of our peace and tenderness and happiness with each other. My husband would try to “find” me, because he was missing our closeness but he always tried to reconnect with me in a sexual way – flirting, comments, suggestions of what to try in bed, and on and on. This put me off and I was even less enthused. I had already unknowingly, started shutting him out of my heart, building walls.

What I did not realize is that I was hurting my husband just as much as he was hurting me, maybe more because for guys the area of physical intimacy is THE way they FEEL loved. These walls I built were killing my husband. It’s really to his credit that we were able to maintain a loving marriage and a friendship with each other through these 16 years, but it tore up his heart THE. WHOLE. TIME. I did not marry my best friend to break his heart. I really didn’t. I wanted to make him happy. I just did not understand what this sex monster was and why it was tearing us apart and I honestly thought it was his fault for being so sex crazed all the time.

Toward the end, I was filled up with anger, sadness, hurt, fear, and thoughts that kept running through my head – he never should have gotten stuck with me, he probably wishes he would have married someone else. This caused me to shut down even further. We were getting nowhere and finally after 15 years, I started to crack. All this anger I stuffed and all the hiding behind my walls came back to bite me and it scared me to death. I could not believe how far we had fallen, how bad such a good marriage, of 2 kind and good hearted people, with such good intentions, could crumble. It took me 15 years to realize we weren’t going to make it unless something changed and because I knew sex was a monster in our marriage, I knew I had to face it. I am putting my heart and time into these words to you because I want to spare you those years. You guys are young and you have the opportunity to basically start over with BOTH of your eyes open to what your RELATIONSHIP needs. It’s not just about sex, it’s NOT. I tried to ask a couple of people about things, but I was so embarrassed. No one shared with me how I was suffocating this man I promised to take care of and love. Instead I heard, “öh, my husband gets it once a week like every other man”. Well, she doesn’t know what I know now, that her husband was dying inside. Not for sex, but for a connection to her heart. Because it's his connection that affects every part of the marriage. HE’S NOT LOOKING FOR SEX, HE’S LOOKING FOR YOU – that should be your new mantra. He wants YOU.

I could go on now with what I have learned and what I know and what we have both learned and how we have freedom and love and peace again in our marriage. But you have to want to hear it. I knew I needed to talk to someone, I was dying inside. I didn’t want our family to fall apart, but who can you talk to about this stuff? That’s how I ended up on the marriage bed forums. I don’t know if you read my other post to you or not, but I explain it a little there. Anyway it was so freeing to be able to vent and shout and disagree and ask questions. I heard and learned what I needed to and so did my husband.

I had to lay down my guard though. And that was really tough. But I prayed and asked God to let me be obedient to Him. And I believed He would not let me fall. It was in my surrendering to God that I was able to let my guard down and open up to hear.

I have no interest in talking about different positions and toys and varieties (what?) because those are for you guys to figure out and talk about, but there’s no way you even care about this stuff right now, right? Your hearts need to be connected and enjoying each other first. And that’s the point. Sex is not the point. Sex is a by product of connected loving hearts. It can grow from there. The reason it’s been made such a big deal to your husband is because it is THE WAY he is wired to receive your love... When he pesters you about sex he is really saying I love you, I love us, you mean the world to me. I know he doesn’t do a very good job explaining that. Mine didn’t either. I remember walking around Target one afternoon just so so mad at my husband for making this such an issue and wanting to talk about it all the time. And then I realized I could be walking around sad that he isn’t into me, instead of mad that he is into me. And I thought, well that’s kind of crazy, why am I so mad at him for being into me? Isn’t that what I want? So the answer is yes, that’s what I want, but I don’t want the feelings of being a disappointment, a wet blanket, and pressure to come with it. That’s where the talking together is so helpful. I’d be happy to share some a ha moments that helped or just be a listening ear anytime, you know where to find me.

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Premarital Sex- Where is it forbidden in the Bible?

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Where is premarital sex specifically forbidden in the Bible?
Where in the Bible is it called sin?

It is important that believers know the answer to these questions. Here's Kilarin's post which does a pretty good job of addressing the issue. Here's the link.

Kilarin wrote:
Re: Premarital sex as sin

Unread postby Kilarin » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:45 pm
Some of the below have already been mentioned:

[bible]Ex 22:16 "If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.[/bible]

While it doesn't specifically call it a sin, this text makes no bones about the fact that if you have sex before marriage, you must get married. I think the simplest interpretation of this text is that premarital sex is a sin, and getting married is the proper response to that sin, just like paying back what you took is the proper response to the sin of theft. But even if we take the extreme position that premarital sex is NOT a sin, this text limits that to ONE time. Because if you don't get married to that person you are now breaking the law.

And I'll throw another set of texts in here that I feel are very interesting:

[bible]Ez 23:1-3 The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; they played the harlot in Egypt; they played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled

Ez 23:8 She did not give up her harlotry which she had practiced since her days in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon her.

Ez 23:21 Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.[/bible]

These are Revised Standard Version, but KJV or NIV all read about the same. Now, obviously, this is an allegory, but the actual allegory isn't what we are interested here right now, its the base image the allegory is built upon. And that base image makes the clear statement, repeated multiple times, that a young virgin having her breasts fondled is committing an act of harlotry.

There is no statement here that the men laying with and fondling her were married. If a virgin having her breasts fondled is committing an act of harlotry, I think the issue of whether or not sexual intercourse before marriage is sexual immorality is pretty clear.

Paul makes the most direct statement against premarital sex in the Bible I believe:

[bible]1 Co 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.[/bible]
The word translated as "fornication" is the Greek work porneia, which in Paul's time simply meant "Sexual Immorality."

But if Paul considered sex between single people to be a lawful relationship, this text makes no sense. Why would you need to get married to avoid sexual immorality if sex between singles is not immoral? If that were the case, Paul would have just said, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every single man only have sex with other single women, and let every single woman only have sex with other single men." Actually, if sex between single people isn't a sin, the BEST way to avoid sexual immorality is for no one to get married at all, because then everyone who isn't related can have sex. A position that is so unbiblical as to be completely ridiculous, but it is the logical conclusion if we try to hold that premarital sex is not a sin.

It's very clear that Paul felt that sex between singles was included in sexual immorality, any other interpretation turns this text, and huge sections of the Bible into nonsense.

Another new testament reference from our Lord Himself:

[bible]Mat 19:10-12 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."[/bible]
When the disciples say it is better not to get married, Jesus very clearly states that choosing not to be married means choosing to live as a eunuch. Seems to imply no sex pretty clearly to me.

I think the biblical position that premarital sex is immoral is pretty solid.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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In the Bad feelings thread, the OP wrote, among other things:

purple10 wrote:Now that I've lost my virginity to DH I feel like I have nothing else to offer him.


This was wyseguy's reply to the OP.

wyseguy wrote:I think what the OP is feeling is a result of how the church really only teaches half of God's sexual ethic.

God's sexual ethic - no sex outside of marriage, lots of sex inside marriage.
Satan's sexual ethic - lots of sex outside of marriage, no sex inside marriage.

The church teaches with a near manic obsession the first part of both sexual ethics but rarely mentions, let alone effectively teaches and encourages, the second part. We use phrases like "saving myself for marriage" with no real understanding of what exactly such a statement should mean from God's perspective. We are right to save ourselves sexually for marriage, that is a right and God honoring thing but again is really only part of the overall picture. We treat virginity like it is some end goal, the last thing to cross off the bucket list of our single life. Saving our virginity for marriage isn't an end, it is a beginning. While commendable, waiting until marriage for sex only fulfills part of what God intends for us sexually. What comes next is a lifetime spent fulfilling the latter part of God's sexual ethic.

Sure we technically lose our virginity when the marriage covenant is consummated. What so few young people these days are taught is to focus on what they've gained. Yes, the OP lost her virginity on her wedding night. She gave a precious gift to her husband and she is to be strongly commended for doing that in this day and age. However, she also gained something of immense value as well. The gift of virginity is compensated by the gift of God-honoring sexuality and a deeply fulfilling (sexual) relationship meant to last the remainder of one's life. Purity inside of marriage means so much more than purity outside of or before marriage.

Granted, the initial fumbling about of two people who have never had sex can take some time to get used to. Godly sexuality isn't for the risk averse. It takes a lot of communication about things that we just aren't used to discussing. It takes time to develop a vernacular within a marriage let alone a degree of comfort talking about these things. However, it takes a commitment to a degree of honesty that is seldom afforded in any other context. Hint: its part of the reason why Godly sexuality involves more than just physical intimacy.

To the OP, I would say this. You pleased God by holding onto your virginity until the commitment to your husband was made. However, like any good and perfect gift, it comes from above with the intention to use it to glorify God. You've done that. You have fulfilled the first half of God's sexual ethic. You trusted in God that He would see you through that part and God has been faithful to you in that. Now trust in His perfect sexual ethic and spend the rest of your life joyously fulfilling the latter part knowing that He will be faithful there as well. Open up to your husband and help him discover how he can serve you in this area while carefully listening to him so you can serve him. Pursue an active sex life with your husband marked by wild and reckless abandon in joyous pursuit of ever increasing closeness, intimacy, and fun. You are still pure in the eyes of God.

What else can you offer your husband? Simply put, you. If that isn't an incredible gift of immense worth, I'm not entirely certain what would be. You can give him your body and mind freely and without reservation. You can devote yourself to the study and practice of how to pleasure him to the absolute best of your ability. You can teach him how he can pleasure you to the best of his ability. You can give him the grace of being able to make mistakes and have those moments where you both laugh and say "that was worth trying, but I don't think it worked like we'd hoped". You can extend to him forgiveness when he needs it. You can do all of this safe in the knowledge that all of it honors God in the same way as abstaining from sex before you got married did.


wyseguy then added these thoughts later in the thread:

wyseguy wrote:It seems to me that virginity is like the wrapping on a gift. When we're born we're given the gift of sexuality wrapped and unused. We're not truly aware of it until we develop and mature, but it is still there. Like a Christmas present, it sits and awaits the moment when it can be opened. The wrapping paper may be beautiful and made of precious materials but ultimately it is what is inside the wrapping paper that is the real gift. Now, if I am to be a responsible gift giver, I really shouldn't open that gift, give it to someone else, neglect the gift, or deliberately pretend the gift isn't there. When the right moment arrives, I can give that gift to the one it is intended for and watch with great joy as they unwrap it. However, once that gift is unwrapped, the recipient of this gift can take it out of the box and use that gift according to its purpose. The gift wrapping has served its purpose, but the long term benefit of the gift inside is what we hold onto. We don't mourn the loss of the gift's wrapping. We delight in the true gift beneath the wrapping that can be enjoyed long after the wrapping is a distant memory.
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Myths

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From the Myths topic.Addressing the myth that sex is unimportant in marriage...


Leah wrote:It might be possible for a person to survive forever without sex, but I can tell you; a marriage is doomed without it.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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From: Guys, what does desire look like?

jokerman wrote:Some thoughts:

-You know how men are always accused of pawing their wives in the kitchen and grabbing her in public and talking about "what we can do later"? We'd like it if you did that to us.
-From time to time we have female board members who talk about being very interested in learning a new sexual skill or how excited they are to buy new toys or wanting to explore some part of their husband. Board member Cowgirl often posted things like this. I think desire looks like that; an explicit, unhesitant, non-bashful interest in sex.

If a wife is saying she can't develop this, I guess I wonder why not. Women seem to be able to get intensely interested in new things all the time; they become absorbed in their academic major at age 20, they get absorbed in a career at age 25, and once they have a child they become child rearing experts and mommy bloggers by their early 30s. If they start doing yoga or running or cooking or scrapbooking, they get obsessed with that. Why is sex the one thing they claim they just can't get excited about? That seems fishy. For many women, it takes a willingness to explore the "blocks" in her psyche that are holding her back, whether its her religious misconceptions or her family of origin or some past trauma.

I also find it odd when I see flashes of desire, and then it goes away. Recently, my wife got obsessed with the movie "This is 40" (Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann). The marriage in the movie experiences some intense challenges but they end up realizing how much they love each other. After watching the movie, DW became very intense and sure of herself, and it was great. And then . . . things went back to normal. What the heck? Why is it so rare to be able to tap into that?
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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From Being lied to, repeatedly

Bear said something that really stuck out to me… (emphasis is mine)

Bear wrote:They say: "No man is a hero to his valet". But, boy do we wish we're always the hero in our Loves eyes. It can be incredibly hard (and extremely lonely) to find yourself on the edges of keeping things together.


GG
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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From just plain frustrated

Job's response to a husband's passivity.

Job29Man wrote:[bible]For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. -- 1 Samuel 15:23 (KJV)[/bible]

The Bible says rebellion is like witchcraft, and stubbornness (unteachable spirit) is like idolatry. You have a rebellious wife. You have a stubborn/unteachable wife. The Bible seems to be saying that she is flirting with sin as serious as witchcraft and idolatry. And you The Twit are the spiritual head of the house, responsible to root out heresy from your home. Are you going to let this heresy stand in your house, or are you going to remove it? That's not a rhetorical question. It's a real question.

IMHO all your actions so far fall way short of actually rooting out the heresy of rebellion from your home.

Mrs Twit is rebelling against God, against His Holy Word the Bible, and rebelling against her husband. Her actions and her words, are actually heretical. She has perverted doctrine in her head and it is YOUR responsibility as the spiritual leader of the home to take decisive action against this heresy. Otherwise you are equally responsible for having heresy in the house.

The Twit wrote: I was trying to get something started and she pushed me away.

You keep asking for sex "today." When she says "No. Not today." that just pushes you off for a day. You need her to go on record with her intentions.
Next time ask: " Do you intend to have sexual intercourse with me at any time this month?" If you get a "No" then ask "this year?" If "no" then ask "ever again in our lives?"
You've spent years playing cat-and-mouse with her. She's the 8 pound female cat, and you are the 4 ounce mouse that she keeps batting up against the wall, paws and releases you, watches you recover your feet, and then she bats you up against the wall again. The Twit, stop playing her game on her terms. Now is the time for you to become the 12 pound muscular Tom Cat (her mate) who approaches her and says "I want to have sex today, now." Then when she tries to bat you like a little mouse you stand your ground and say. "No. It's not going to be that way any longer. I'm the Tom Cat. This is my house. I'll be sleeping in the big bed now. You can come join me there and have sex, or you can sleep on the couch if the children aren't using it, or in the basement with the mice. But upstairs? And in the Big Bedroom? Uh uh, there ain't no mice around here."

The Twit wrote:What is my takeaway? The biggest area that she needs to understand that sex is a critical building block of marriage. I am at a loss because she does get some sex in marriage positive messages in some of the other areas
You need a formal, sit-down meeting with her, where you both talk in your normal volume of voice (no whispers) and you "have it out... get ALL your cards on the table." Answers like "I don't know... not sure ... " or blank stares are not allowed, not acceptable.


The Twit wrote: - I have been noticing more and more what is coming into our lives -
What does this mean? Could you give an example? I'm confused.

The Twit wrote:... part of the benefit of being home more. Yet she still will not admit that sex is critical.
And it "seems" to me like until she admits that sex is critical then you are powerless, at a standstill, with no options. It seems that you think she holds all the cards as long as she avoids this. The Twit, my friend, you need to create a crisis in her life that forces the issue. In Parliamentary terms, it is time to "Call the question."

The Twit wrote: I am planning of clearing out the basement and making it more of a bedroom for me...
Do you hear yourself TT? :shock: "Basement more of a bedroom for me"? How is that calling the question? How is that decisive action? If your 7 year old schoolchild came to you saying "There's a bully on the playground who always kicks me in the shins, and it hurts! Ouch!" Would your counsel to him be?... "Well, I'll tell you how to stop THAT! Here's what you do... Next time teacher calls recess, you just stay indoors and color instead of going out into the fresh air and sunshine to play! That'll teach THAT mean bully that he can't push you around anymore! And then when he's out playing with all your friends and you are inside the dark classroom you just go on over to the window and say to him... 'Take THAT, you bully!' "

In your real-life so far here's what I'm reading in your words...
"Well, I'll show you wife! I'm going to take decisive action! I'll just go sleep in the basement where I'm out of sight, out of mind. That way you'll be comfortable in my big marriage bed upstairs and I'll be in the basement where you won't be reminded about your embarrassing behavior and the children will learn that ...'when Daddies and Mommies disagree (about sex), even when the Mommy is wrong she prevails, and the Mommy takes over the bedroom and then the Daddy moves to the basement with the storage boxes and the mice. And then we all go to church on Sunday and Wednesday, and we smile like a big happy Christian family. :D That's what my Daddy's and Mommy's actions teach me is God's design for marriage!' And now that I know this, that's how I'll be sure to conduct MY marriage too! :( " :(

TT, you can tell I'm really disturbed by this ullllllllltraaaaaaa slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww motion train-wreck you are describing. I don't mean to pick on you, really. I'm rooting for you brother. But because you are my brother I'm giving you my best observations without any hanky-twisting... just straight-up. The time has come for you to make some requirements. In Matthew 18 the LORD describes a process which starts with calm conversations, and works it's way up through higher levels of urgency until it results in a "requirement."

You need to INSIST, by laying out some very real "requirements", each one with actual deadlines that can be written on a calendar for BOTH to see (not a secret calendar in your drawer), and with consequences for failure to be reasonable, failure to cooperate.

For example:

1. Read the rest of the book. Deadline: August 2, 5 pm.
2. Have a sit-down discussion with me, in NON-whispered tones, about sexual intercourse in our marriage. Appointment: August 2, 6 pm.
3. Come to agreement about sexual intercourse in our marriage. Deadline: August 2, 9 pm.
4. Failure to come to agreement by 8/2/15 at 9 pm will result in a second meeting on August 3, from 6-9 pm.
5. Failure to come to participate in the 8/3/15 meeting or to come to agreement by 8/3/15 at 9 pm will result in me (TT) setting an appointment with the pastor about what I should do with a wife who refuses sexual intercourse with me. You are welcome at that meeting with the pastor. That meeting will take commence by 8/10/15 at 6 pm. At that meeting you will be free to bring up any accusations against me that you wish. THAT will be your forum to complain about me, and to justify your behavior by finishing the statement "Pastor, I refuse to have sexual intercourse with my husband because..."
6. If you do not attend that meeting, I will go nonetheless. I will only do this if you force my hand by withholding regular, at least weekly, sexual intercourse past August 3rd, 2015 at 9 pm. This is the beginning of the Matthew 18 process for us. I have something against you. You have sinned against me, and continue to sin against me every day. I estimate that we can get through all the steps of Matthew 18, and I do mean ALL the steps of Matthew 18 by November 30 at 9 pm. I could be off a little bit depending on the schedule of the Pastor and Elders of the church but, there you have it.



The way to do this is by taking this kind of action, with real action steps, deadlines, and consequences. Everything else is just smoke, mirrors, and wishful thinking. Bring in the Pastor? Really? Yes, really! That's how you combat heresy. IMO you oppose this heresy openly and with the help of the elders (if needed) or you face the anger of God over it. I think that anger of God will be against YOU for not rooting out the heresy.
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