I’ve been fixing terrible quotations from some Christian marriage & sex books!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve likely seen these. And I sent them out to my email subscribers last Friday, too! But if you just read the blog, you may have missed them.
But I’ve been having fun making them, and they’re doing quite well on social media! I want to help people recognize when something is harmful, and show what should have been said instead.
Today I’m sending in the edits for our new book The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex, which is coming out next March. So I’ve had a HUGE writing deadline for the last few weeks. So I thought that rather than write a big post today, I’d share these with you, plus share some links to some great podcasts I’ve been on lately!
Here’s the Fixed It For You that started it all:
Here’s my personal favorite (which was an Emerson Eggerichs one as well):
Here’s the one that was shared and liked the most!
And, hey, I’m even fixing myself!
I’ve done a few others, but that gives you a sense.
I’ve also been on a ton of podcasts lately (not just our own Bare Marriage podcast!).
I’ve been talking all about The Great Sex Rescue on about 5 or 6 podcasts a week, so it’s been really busy. I try to share most on social media, but I thought I’d give a quick cross-section of the types of things I’ve been doing today. And if I’ve been on your podcast, and I’m not mentioning it, I am trying to put them in rotation on social media!
A Wife Like Me
I spoke with Amanda Davidson in this two-part podcast about the things women typically feel in marriage with young kids. So we took this one entirely from the perspective of young moms! And it was a lot of fun. There’s also a follow-up episode which you can get to from the link!
Everything is Okay Podcast
This one was very different–because I was talking with three guys! We talked about youth group, the “all men struggle with lust” message, and more! Interesting to talk more from the perspective of husbands about what our survey of 20,000 women showed us, and the insights from The Great Sex Rescue.
Justin Khoe YouTube
Rebecca and I were on this one together–and it was a LONG conversation! But we were talking purity culture and Generation Z/young millennials on this podcast with Justin Khoe and his co-host Morgan. Great fun!
The Great Sex Rescue
What if you’re NOT the problem with your sex life?
What if the things that you’ve been taught have messed things up–and what if there’s a way to escape these messages?
Welcome to the Great Sex Rescue.
So that can catch you up on what I’ve been doing OUTSIDE of the blog!
If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure you’re signed up for my emails, and, of course, follow me on social media.
Have you heard me on a podcast lately that you liked? Let me know in the comments! Or do you have a quote you’d like me to fix? Let’s talk!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of Bare Marriage
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I do believe that it is possible for long term, persistent sexual refusal to be considered a sin. If a husband is using porn we don’t say “well there must be a reason, let’s figure out what that is and fix it”. No, we say thats sin and he needs to stop. But when a wife refuses any kind of sexual intimacy for years on end, we don’t say “that’s sin and it needs to stop” rather we start asking why. I do believe this is a double standard.
Chris, the difference is porn is always sinful.
It isn’t a sin to not have sex.
It is a sin to refuse sex as a means of punishing, controlling, or abusing your spouse. But, we aren’t talking about those reasons.
And, of course we ask why someone turns to porn. We don’t just say stop. There’s no healing without understanding. Any true recovery program addresses that.
To be fair to Chris. We are supposed to be having sex in our marriages. To say it’s not a sin to always refuse ignores what the Bible tells us. Yes, with porn good recovery programs will look at the why someone turned to porn etc in order to have someone become healthy. However, we don’t put the same pressure on women and men to treat refusal the same way we do porn. I do not know of a program for people who refuse sex to help them get to the root of why. To be honest I also don’t know a lot of women or men who would be willing to go to such a group. However, that lack of a resource and unwillingness doesn’t make sex in marriage optional.
I agree women should be given the chance to find out why. There could be many reasons. However, that means the work needs to be done and the husbands and wives of refusing spouses shouldn’t be dismissed with a deal with it attitude.
You know what? I think we need to coin new phrases. We stuck with “sexual refusal” for too long and shoved every woman in it who says no or not now regardless of reason.
How about sexual reluctance?
I also think there is resistance to getting help because men typically approach it as how can I get laid again instead of how can I help and support my wife. How can I walk through this with her.
Katydid, this is in response to your comment below but I don’t see a “Reply” button after it.
I agree we need to coin new terms. I would add “sexually oblivious “ to the list. If you came up to me and informed me that the price of beef in Argentina went up by five cents a pound yesterday my reaction would be “well that stinks if you are in the market for Argentinian beef, but that has nothing to do with me”. Some women are the same with sex. You can tell them that sex should be a part of a healthy marriage and they will say “I agree, but what does that have to do with me?” They just don’t see themselves as being involved. It’s hard to comprehend I realize, but “sexually oblivious” should be one of our new terms.
Wasn’t one of the findings of TGSR that sexless marriages very rarely just happen? Main causes are porn use, male sexual dysfunction, anorgasmia, vaginismus, and not feeling close during sex. So, definitely need to know if any of those is a factor, before assuming it’s simply refusal. Why would you not want to fix those things?
I think you’ve brought something important to light. We can’t always tell if it’s sexual refusal or if it’s something else.
I love this series! It is a great tool to see right there in front of you the toxic teaching and the applicable correction.
I will say that there has been tongue in cheek clap back about the “doesn’t take very long” point of EE’s quote that is spit-out-your-coffee funny, but I have one careful caveat:
The length of time sexy time takes is completely between you and your spouse. You aren’t “doing it wrong” if your time isn’t as long as the average or other couples. I will say hubby and I actually get bored with typically prescribed foreplay and even afterglow. And we are both fairly quick to orgasm. Our sexy time doesn’t usually last longer than 20 minutes. And we are both satisfied with that. That is us and others may not understand and that is ok. But, in case other couples are speedy and happy, you’re fine. No shade!
Totally hear you on this one! You do what works for you. But in the context of a book that never once mentions foreplay or that a woman should feel good, too? Definitely kind of, well, funny. 🙂
I would agree that long term depriving CAN be sinful. First, though, as Sheila has pointed out many times, there’s an important difference between refusal and depriving.
Long term depriving as a means to punish, control or abuse – sinful (already covered above)
Long term depriving because the spouse is engaged in porn, affairs, abuse or other bad behavior – not sinful
Long term depriving just because the spouse doesn’t want to – Not sure.
A general quote that I’ll fix…
Original: The wife is responsible for her husbands sins.
Fixed: We are all responsible for our own sins.
Regarding the above discussion, I can intellectually understand how long-term refusal could be a sin, but the problem with telling her that she’s obligated is that it means that her feelings don’t matter.
I’m curious how Sheila went from hating the obligation message in 1991 to promoting it in 2012. I already know why she went to unpromoting it now.
Recently, I was wondering why fewer than 100% of women hate Every Man’s Battle, and then I realized something. There was a time in my life when I might not have realized that “merciful vial of methadone” meant “used like a second-choice drug”. I might have inferred “merciful, healing hero”, which I wanted to be. Now I know that women who try to be the hero often get used and dehumanized, but women who haven’t realized that won’t notice the harm in that book.
I think the thing was that in 1991 the obligation sex message messed me up–but I also didn’t realize I could reject it. I thought it was just fact. And then when I was teaching at marriage conferences, it was still taught, so again–I thought that’s just how it was. As I read more and more comments on the blog, and talked to more women, and read Love & Respect, and then did the survey, i realized there was a different way of teaching this that wasn’t toxic, and that we didn’t need that message. I think I just needed permission to let it go. I hope that what The Great Sex Rescue has done, and what this blog has done, is given couples permission to let that message go, and replace it with something healthy.
I can see why these are taking off on social media. They’re very eye-catching and provocative.
The one from Sheet Music especially caught my attention. I can see how the original quote is woefully one-sided, but I’m not sure Sheila’s response is much better. When I read the original and Sheila’s corrected version, I get the image of one spouse yelling at the other, “You have no idea what I’m going through!” And the other spouse responding, “Oh yeah? Well I’ve got it worse than you do!” It seems to put the couple in competition with each other and undermine the intimacy that Sheila (and probably Sheet Music too) are striving for. I’d rather see a quote that makes me picture a couple saying to each other, “How can I best support you in the suffering you endure within your own vocation?”
I think it’s okay to acknowledge someone’s hurt even if it isn’t as bad as another person’s. By analogy, my husband struggles with mental health, and that results in some days when he isn’t as emotionally available to me as I would want him to be. Those times are difficult for me. If I told someone that and got the answer, “But he’s suffering more,” I would agree but I wouldn’t feel heard. Of course he’s suffering; no one is questioning that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t seek support and empathy for my struggles too.
So going back to the original quote, I don’t think it’s wrong for a husband to be honest with his wife about her period being a difficult time for him. What they do about that difficulty is a decision for each couple to make together, but they shouldn’t be discouraged from having that conversation.