Why Is Most Marriage Advice Given to Women? Our Podcast!

by | Dec 13, 2021 | Podcasts, Uncategorized | 7 comments

Why is So Much Marriage Advice Aimed at Women?
Merchandise is Here!

Ever noticed that most marriage books center the majority of their advice on women?

And most instructions for how to get marriages to change focus on what women can do differently.

Today on the Bare Marriage podcast, we’re focusing on WHY the advice is often aimed at women, and the underlying problems that reveals. Plus we’re talking to a university professor who has changd her curriculum for next September to focus on The Great Sex Rescue instead of Every Man’s Battle!

This post should have been up last Thursday, but we had a comedy of errors last week. First Katie, who does my editing and uploading, lost power for 24 hours, so we couldn’t get it up in time. I thought I’d just put this post out on Friday. But then the Josh Duggar verdict came down, and I had something important to say about that, and it was getting a ton of attention, and I didn’t want a new blog post to supersede it. So I decided to wait until Monday to put up the podcast! (Though it was up on social media already).

So here, at long last, is the podcast!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:

 

If you’re watching on YouTube, you’ll see that Rebecca is still really pregnant. We recorded this one before the baby was born last month!

Main Segment: Why do Christians address most marriage advice to women?

We came up with a couple of reasons, including women buying more relationship books for a variety of reasons; women having less power in the relationship and so needing advice on how to change dynamics; and more.

We also talked about how much advice tells women just to pray or let go of all expectations, as if that will magically change things. God doesn’t force someone to change against their will, but we act like, if we pray hard enough, He will. He can change circumstances and soften and harden hearts, but ultimately people retain free will. But the advice about prayer often sounds like the opposite.

And all of this was prompted by an article by Barbara Rainey saying essentially that if you don’t believe your husband is a spiritual leader, you just need to be believe he is and treat him like he is–which is manifestation belief, and not a Christian belief. It’s all very strange.

How Universities are changing how they teach about marriage

I had such an encouraging email conversation with Nicole Parker a while back. She teaches counseling at a Christian university, and has been struggling for twenty years to find books that she likes to assign as textbooks. After reading The Great Sex Rescue, she finally found a book she could wholeheartedly recommend, and she’s tossing Every Man’s Battle and others from her list!

Listen in to our conversation about her vision for what she teaches. I got goosebumps at the end!

The Great Sex Rescue

Changing the conversation about sex & marriage in the evangelical church.

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.

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

Extra info from our main segment:

Why is So Much Marriage Advice Aimed at Women?

What do you think? Why is so much advice aimed at women? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Podcast: Learned Helplessness & Sex

Can we have learned helplessness with sex?  As we talk more about how to get your sex life out of the pit that one, or both, of you have dug for yourselves, I want to talk about a concept discussed in psychology called learned helplessness (which can also lead to...

The “Myth of the Magic Penis” Podcast

It's the podcast where we redefine sex--and talk about how it's about more than the penis! Today on the podcast I'm introducing the series we've been going through this month on the blog--how to recover when one of you, or both of you, have dug your sex life into a...

Comments

We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!

7 Comments

  1. Nathan

    Some of this can be explained by the fact that women buy more relationship books. Also, there’s the belief (true or not) that women are the bridge builders, the peacemakers, the healers, the diplomats, etc.

    And, of course, there’s also the same stuff that this site has been talking about forever. The idea (in some evangelical circles) that the root of marital problems is the wife not being submissive enough, not having sex enough, not praying enough, not making the husband the entire focus of her existence, etc.

    There’s also the related idea that while husbands can complain and point out failings of the wife, the wife should never do that same to her husband, because men are fragile, and can’t have their feelings hurt. Therefore, the theory goes, if there is a problem in the marriage, it’s probably the wife’s fault anyway, and even if it isn’t, she should still do the work to fix it.

    Hopefully we can move past this someday.

    Reply
  2. Nessie

    “If he’s not a leader, just believe he is [and wait for it to happen.]” How would this scenario work? “If she doesn’t desire to have sex with you, just believe she does, and wait for it to happen.” I don’t see that going over well.

    I tried the pray and wait method (well, I added in a few, “How you treat me makes me feel like a whore,” then later, “You ARE treating me as a whore,” and… got invalidation, became embittered, and weakened faith.) After 18 years, I couldn’t take anymore and I “broke.” I moved into guest bedroom and created boundaries. And he FINALLY started to get it that there was something to be fixed. After a year+ of therapy, he realizes there were a lot of toxic dynamics in his upbringing coupled with ADD that have been the root of things. We are finally moving forward- slowly- because he had years of us reinforcing the bad dynamics. I hate that we lost all those years and that our healing is going to take even longer because we have to undo damage before we can rebuild. *If you read this and question if you should even do something, please take action now so you can start healing sooner than later!

    As for Rebecca’s approach in saying, “You hurt me when…” vs. “I feel hurt when…,” I always thought the “I feel” statements were more to help keep the listener jumping to defensiveness? Maybe I’m wrong on that though, but that’s how it was presented to me long ago. But, I appreciate that Rebecca and Connor have enough trust in one another to be so direct and aren’t worried about not setting the other off in defensiveness. Each marriage is different, not cookie cutter.

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    I am so excited about the colleges and seminaries using TGSR! Think of asky those people going out into the world with that perspective and knowledge instead of the old garbage!

    On the main topic, oy, so many books and speakers told me to just sit back, be quiet, and pray. Basically, told me to enable childish behaviors and attitudes. Told me it was my role to make his life as convenient as possible. Told me he was too fragile to hear anything other than affirmation and adoration. It completely took away my respect for the entire male sex.

    Actually having the difficult conversations, direct communication, and establishing boundaries (including saying NO, I will not be treated like this), has brought us to a wonderful place and has given my husband the chance to grow and mature into the person I knew he could be.

    Living in fantasy land is for children. Adults do the hard work.

    Reply
  4. Nathan

    > > too fragile to hear anything other than affirmation and adoration

    This reminds me of a non-Christian article a few years ago. Somebody was writing about the worst part of the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for her was “Good old Uncle Charlie”. Charlie would show up at that time of year, and then offend everybody with loud, obnoxious behavior, rude comments, and so on. She was told by her elders that she shouldn’t say anything to him, since Uncle Charlie was very sensitive and could easily get his feelings hurt.

    So everybody in the entire family had to endure his endless garbage because his feelings were more important than everybody else’s.

    And of course, I won’t even touch on the fact that he’s so fragile, yet also the only one who can lead. That’s already been done.

    Reply
  5. Codec

    Giving somebody the knowledge and opportunities to succeed,- Empowering.

    Expecting someone to succeed even though they dont know how- Humiliating.

    How can you expect anyone to learn to lead if you do not teach them?

    Reply
  6. Jo R

    Given two ideas

    (1) Men are to be heads of their homes, with their wives allowing the husbands to make final decisions

    (2) Wives are to respect their husbands, no matter what

    then it seems inevitable that WOMEN are the ones who must always change in marriage. After all, if he’s the leader, then no matter what decision he makes, his wife must respect it. If it goes badly, well, it certainly can’t be because he was in error. He’s the leader, he’s in charge, he must be the smart one. And if she doesn’t show him respect in the disaster, then she’s automatically in the wrong, even if her idea, opinion, or course of action was actually the right one.

    Those two ideas make a perfect storm for men to put themselves in the position of never doing wrong, and if their wives think their husbands do wrong, then the WIVES are wrong for pointing it out. She must moderate her behavior, her attitude, her thoughts, while he can go blithely on, never changing, never learning (especially from her), never admitting a fault or even just an error.

    Heads husbands win, tails wives lose.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly, Jo. I think this is precisely what is going on. The only thing I’d add to the mix is men growing up being told that emotions are bad and relationships are not the primary thing in life–work is. So then all too many don’t have the skills or practice at working at relationships or communicating needs/feelings, and often retreat into something else.

      I do think this is changing for the millennial generation, but it’s been a big problem for older ones. Men are not made to be less emotional than women or less relational, but we talk like that is gospel truth.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *