Why Does Emerson Eggerichs Consider a Woman Crying in the Shower Before Sex “A Goldmine”?

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Abuse, Uncategorized | 106 comments

How Emerson Eggerichs Fails to Recognize Coercion in Marriage

It’s Time to Revisit Love & Respect!

It’s three years ago this week that we launched our first series looking at the problems with the book Love & Respect. Since then we’ve received over 1000 stories of how that book made people’s marriages worse, or enabled abuse in their marriage. That series served as the catalyst for us to do our huge research project of 20,000 women, looking at how teachings in best-selling evangelical books affected women’s marital and sexual satisfaction (you can read the results in The Great Sex Rescue).

Every year, around this time of year, I like to revisit it. In 2020 we published our open letter to Focus on the Family about their support for Love & Respect. Last year I wrote a viral Twitter thread about the problems with how evangelicals see sex, and penned an editorial for RNS.

And this year, I’ve asked my son-in-law Connor, who works behind the scenes on the blog, to analyze one of Eggerichs’ problematic podcasts, bit by bit (similar to how Connor looked at the gaslighting Eggerichs did to abuse victims in a sermon series in Houston). 

Tomorrow Connor will be walking us through this in a podcast, but here it is for you to analyze today.

Sheila Wray Gregoire

My wife’s birthday is coming up again, so as per tradition, it’s time to celebrate by once again looking at what Emmerson Eggerichs has to say about marriage.

Yay…

Let’s analyze an episode of The Love & Respect podcast

So let’s launch right into the subject of today’s critique. The Love and Respect Podcast is a podcast put out by Emerson Eggerichs and his son-turned-psychologist, Jonathan Eggerichs. The episode in question? Episode 039 – Tuesday Night is Coming Part 2 – A Good Woman’s View of Sex. One of our patreons sent us this podcast link because she found the episode very disturbing and right in line with what Sheila, Rebecca, and Joanna talked about regarding the obligation sex message and coercion in their book The Great Sex Rescue.

In this episode, Emerson responds to a letter that a woman sent in where she discusses the struggles with sex in her marriage. Emerson declares this woman good, wise, and a gold-mine thanks to her view of sex.

So what is this good woman’s view of sex, you ask?

I’ll sum it up before going into a detailed breakdown of the episode.

Our Scenario

This woman was afraid to live in sin and didn’t want her husband to mistreat her. Consequently, every three days for two years she cried in the shower and then initiated sex with her husband.

That’s it. That’s the dream. That’s the goal. “If you’ve got a wife like this woman, you got a goldmine” (15:38).

I think to most people reading this, that last paragraph will seem ridiculous. And it is. But what we need to do is break down the points Emerson makes around this statement to show how he got there using mainstream ideas and teachings that are commonly accepted as fact in some places–and especially in his best-selling book Love & Respect, which is still a widely used marriage curriculum in North American churches..

A few notes about my methods before we begin: Anything bolded in quotation marks is a direct quote from Episode 039 of the Love and Respect podcast, and will include a timestamp of where it appears in said podcast. If you want to listen to the original, or hear any of the quotes yourself, you can find the episode on the Love and Respect site here.

Without further ado, let’s get into it, starting with Emerson’s recap of his previous episode where he talked about what to do when your wife says she wants a divorce.

Your wife says she wants a divorce? “Don’t take those words at face value” (1:48).

Emerson backs this up by saying to the husbands that he knows they have heard their wives say “you always do this” or “you never do that,” and his point is that “she will overstate things” (2:14). He goes on to argue that when women say they want a divorce, that is an extreme example of this overstatement of things, so you don’t need to believe her. She’s just exaggerating emotionally because that what women do apparently

He does provide another reason that a woman might say she wants a divorce, or is done with the relationship. He explains that sometimes, rather than being an emotional outburst that they don’t mean, they are throwing that out there just to test the marriage and make sure it’s still solid. Emerson gives the analogy of kicking a fence from time to time to make sure it’s not going to fall over. The wife is testing her husband’s commitment.

So these are two reasons that Emerson claims women tell their husbands they are done with the marriage. Does he acknowledge that a third reason might be that something is seriously wrong in the marriage? No. All he adds is that, whatever the wife’s motivations, she is always wrong to bring up divorce.

“One should never use the d-word” (2:27).

Here is the longer quote. “That can pop out in some people’s marriages. It’s- it’s really taboo, it’s something one should never use. One should never use the d-word as we say. It’s uh, off limits. It’s out of bounds…” (2:27). No caveats, no recognition that maybe there’s a good reason for someone to bring up divorce, or that maybe if a wife does bring it up, the husband should at the very least take it seriously. No, his only advice to the husbands is this:

“Stay the course on loving her” (3:00).

That doesn’t sound quite right to me. I hear him saying that if Rebecca were to approach me and tell me she wanted out, I should just keep doing what I’m doing. Stay the course. Whatever I’m doing is working.

I think if this actually happened to me and I wanted to save the marriage, then yes, I should keep loving her… But there’s clearly also a lot of work to do there. I need to ask, among other things, if I even actually am loving her.

  • Maybe I’m being selfish.
  • Maybe I’m not loving her enough.
  • Maybe there are subtle ways I am being cruel to her.
  • Maybe she is running low on the emotional resources she needs to cope with life, and I am one of the big things actively draining those resources instead of lightening the load.

There are a lot of things to consider.

And if my wife is just saying that to kick the fence and test me, that’s also manipulative and unhealthy behavior from her. Either way, we need to have some serious talks and work out what is happening and how to fix it.

Also, why does the bad advice have to be so gendered?

Emerson plays off the never and always talk like it’s a thing we all know women do, but I looked for research to support this and came up totally empty. There’s no reason to believe that this kind of thinking in extremes (which is called absolutist language, thought, or cognition) is an inherently female thing. What researchers have found is that it is correlated with depression and anxiety. So if your spouse is using a lot of language like this, it may be a sign that they are struggling and could use your help and support. And if you come from a culture where wives actually are a lot more likely to use absolutist language, maybe it’s time to examine how your culture treats wives.

Pretty much everything here that Emerson accuses women of doing, men are equally capable of.

Emerson’s son, Jonathan, actually came in clutch here. After Emerson finished talking about the previous episode, Jonathan chimed in seemingly agreeing with Emerson’s advice, but while subtly sneaking in that either partner can use this kind of language, and that the answer is patience, proper counsel, deeper examination, and not jumping to conclusions. It was a neat little sleight-of-hand course correction from Jonathan. I’m sure there is plenty for me and Jonathan to disagree on (like the fact that he didn’t outright call Emerson out on the sexism), but you better believe this little bit elicited a small fist bump from me.

But now let’s talk about the main section–a woman is crying in the shower before sex.

So a woman wrote in to the Love and Respect podcast talking about how she believed that her husband had a need she had to meet, and if she ever said no she would be in sin. So she never said no and she initiated every three days for two years even though she had a low sex drive. Nothing in their marriage improved, and she would often cry in the shower beforehand specifically because of the feelings of obligation and coercion. She cried because she felt God didn’t afford her any choice, and that if she didn’t initiate every third day her husband would mistreat her. She says “even thinking about it to this day is so painful” (9:06).

Emerson’s response is to bring up the passage from Corinthians that she references, and how it is about mutual submission and equal say. And then instead of acknowledging that maybe that actually does mean she can say no sometimes (and seek a change that doesn’t leave her crying in the shower when faced with something that is supposed to be beautiful and intimate), he affirms her decisions, actions, and interpretations and talks about what a good and obedient wife she is for meeting her husband’s needs. He holds her up as the gold standard for other wives to imitate, and simply tells the guys that it doesn’t make sense to mistreat a wife who is doing everything right like this. The message for men essentially boils down to this:

Emerson Eggerichs’ Message to Men

IF my wife is making sacrifices and being obedient so I never have to endure the horror of not being able to use her for my climax whenever is convenient for me, THEN I should reward her by not being a jerk. And if she could show some initiative on this, that would be appreciated. 

That is the ‘beautiful’ image of mutuality that Emerson is trying to paint here.

Here’s the problem. No one NEEDS sex.

I hate it when people talk about MENS needs. Men need food. We need air. We need God. We don’t need sex. When we are teenagers, we are expected to go without sex. If our wives pass away, we are expected to not have sex. If you aren’t married yet, you aren’t “totally deprived” (15:48), you aren’t “subjected to demonic attack” (15:50) by not having sex. If you sin while unmarried, that’s on you and you need to own it and repent. We understand THAT in the church, but why do think that suddenly changes when  a guy gets married and becomes an issue of her disobedience?

Sex, like marriage, is an OPTIONAL part of life that I believe God intended for situations where it can be a spiritually enriching way for two people to experience Love together. It is NOT a need that entitles you to physically use another person’s body. It’s a want. We can WANT sex, but so can women.

“She’s not tortured here. This is not a situation where she’s being crucified” (12:36)

His further advice to wives is along these lines. If you are doing all this suffering and he is still mistreating you, that’s fine. To stop would be to disobey God and to deprive your husband, but to continue is to please God.

He says of the woman who wrote in, “nothing she’s done is wasted, everything she’s done has touched the heart of Christ” (11:30). And then Emerson makes sure to minimize her unhappiness, her crying in the shower, and her being coerced into sex every three days by a man who holds emotional neglect over her like a stick that he isn’t afraid to swing if he doesn’t get what he feels he is owed. He puts her suffering in place by saying “She’s not tortured here. This is not a situation where she’s being crucified” (12:36).

I don’t even need to tell you why that is a messed up thing to say. But I will anyway! Here we go!

First off, the metric for whether something should be allowed to continue or not isn’t ‘is it as bad as crucifixion?’ And frankly, using the crucifixion of Jesus (who gave himself in the ultimate sacrifice to do the impossible for every man, woman, and child by allowing us to come before God washed clean of all our sins) as a yardstick for human suffering both diminishes His crucifixion and misses its point.

Secondly, being emotionally coerced into an unwanted violation every three days for two years doesn’t sound like it’s not torture. If she doesn’t want to have sex, that’s rape. If she can’t say no, but wishes she could, that’s rape.

You know who isn’t being tortured or raped? A husband who’s wife says no sometimes. Heck, she can say no ALL the time, and he’s still not being tortured or raped. But Emerson says “sex is a huge, huge issue to men” (21:29).

Again though, men don’t NEED sex any more than women do. Despite that, not once in this podcast about a good woman’s view of sex does Emerson talk about women enjoying sex, much like how he doesn’t talk about men being disobedient to God. And I think this points us to a big problem that I see whenever I look at Emerson’s work.

I don’t think Emerson Eggerichs understands anything about women.

Hear me out.

According to him, “you turn on a woman sexually by not having anything to do with her sexually” (16:35). “This is a classic truth, an axiom, a basic principle” (16:47).

Emerson talks about how men are able to compartmentalize the emotional and spiritual from the physical, and be totally energized by just the physical aspect of sex. Meanwhile women are turned on by non-sexual things like husbands ‘helping’ with household chores or spending time with them.

“Why is it that your wife wants you to vacuum? Um, it isn’t necessarily because she’s this domestic engineer who has a whip in hand and wants you to abide by every command she gives you. Maybe it’s because she realizes it’s a sexual turn on to her” (17:27).

But that’s not foreplay. Those are basic requirements for being a grown-up in a relationship. The only time I am ‘helping’ with housework is when Rebecca is actively doing something and I jump in with her. The rest of the time it’s just called ‘doing’ housework.

Oh, there isn’t room on the counter to make dinner later today because there are dirty dishes? I am going to ‘do’ the dishes. Not ‘help’ with the dishes. I am part owner of the dishes. I am partly responsible for dirtying the dishes. I will take part in eating the dinner that one or both of us prepare on the newly cleaned counter of the house we own together.

I don’t spend time with Rebecca to ‘get’ something out of it. I spend time with her because I like her and I am emotionally fulfilled by spending time with her. That’s kind of why she is the one I married. Even if we both have stuff to do, if there is a way for us to sit on the couch with our feet in each other’s laps while we do it, then that’s what we’ll do. Because we like each other, and healthy men have just as much desire for emotional intimacy as healthy women do.

And also, can Emerson think of no other reason that the wife might want the husband to vacuum? Like maybe because the floor is dirty? Maybe some women get hot watching their husband vacuum (in which case, rock on. You two do your thing), but it’s far more often the case that when the husband does basic adult stuff in the wife’s place, the wife feels she finally has just enough emotional energy to let her husband use her body for his physical urges.

Granted, for some women that may be the closest their husbands have come to turning them on. Like the sexual light switch is still off, but at least the husband lit a candle.

Emerson makes no recognition of the fact that women are also designed to get sexually turned on by sexual things.

Well, except for three days a month when women are capable of getting pregnant, and may therefore experience sexual appetite, according to him.

Now, there is no shame in it if you really struggle with sexual arousal in your marriage. There are a lot of reasons for that to happen, especially when we are hearing people like Emerson who all but say ‘sex isn’t for you, ladies.’ There are also ways for you to reclaim that part of yourself, like Sheila, Rebecca, and Joanna’s The Great Sex Rescue or The Orgasm Course. And in Sheila’s upcoming books The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (totally revamped from the 2012 edition!), there are huge sections on how arousal works for women.

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.

But the fact is, women are designed to get turned on by sexual things. And they are capable of physically enjoying sex.

Saying that women aren’t turned on sexually by sexual things, only housework and talking and such, is almost as bad as saying something like “you can’t tell if a woman is sexually turned on.” If someone were to say that, it would make me want to question whether that hypothetical person has ever actually gotten their wife turned on. That’s certainly not someone that anyone should be taking sex or marriage advice from.

Anyways, later Emerson says “You can’t tell if a woman is sexually turned on” (18:16), which is just… wow. I don’t really have a comment to make about that (though in tomorrow’s podcast, Sheila will share her eloquent thoughts on that quote).

Emerson seems really confident about his generalized assumptions about female sexuality though.

He explains to men how their wives will respond to his advice. Not how they might respond. How they will respond.

He says to men that if you are doing the non-sexual stuff for her, you can still communicate your sexual interest “and she will get that, I mean in fact she’ll go along with that. She enjoys that” (24:17).

If you are doing the non-sexual things, “it does turn her on sexually, she will engage in the sexual intimacy between husband and wife, not unlike the Song of Solomon. She’s not going to be unresponsive” (24:33).

Like we’ve said about most things Emerson has put out there, this seems like a really dangerous thing to tell people as a blanket statement. Because what happens when the manipulative, emotionally abusive, self-centered husband tries this advice and it doesn’t magically make him sexually appealing to his poor wife? Cue the gaslighting and exploitation.

“She must be broken; she must be wrong; she is living in sin; she is being disobedient; Emerson said it would be like Song of Solomon, and that’s in the bible so she has to do it; he is doing everything right; she is failing; he is being tortured; she literally gives him no choice but to turn to porn; he can’t be blamed for getting his NEEDS met elsewhere; she needs to give him what is owed…

Emerson sounds like a man who doesn’t know to get a woman to say yes, but rather just how to get her to stop saying no.

He doesn’t seem to get that sex is supposed to fulfill the same longings in women that it does in men and vice versa. Sex is supposed to be about physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy, but Emerson says guys are perfectly fine with just the physical component, and women don’t want the physical, they just agree to it if they get the emotional and spiritual. He splits it up, and in so doing makes sex into a hollow shell of what it should be.

If a husband can’t make sex physically enjoyable for his wife, they need to stop and figure that out. Because otherwise he is the one depriving her. And if he can’t be emotionally and spiritually intimate with her, meaning he is only pursuing sex for the physical, that sounds like lust to me. That’s not God’s design for sex. It’s meant for more than just making a man’s penis feel good for a few short minutes at the expense of his wife’s happiness.

There’s a lot more to say about the Love and Respect podcast, but these are the points I really wanted to make in this post. We will be talking about it as well on our podcast tomorrow, so be sure to check that out if get the chance!

All in all, I feel really sorry for the woman who emailed in about crying in the shower, and I wish she got better advice than “Yep, you’re doing great and you are very wise. Good job.”

Emerson Eggerichs Ignoring Marital Rape

What do you think? What will it take to get people to understand how toxic Emerson Eggerichs’ advice is? Let’s talk in the comments!

The Biggest Supporter of Love & Respect is Focus on the Family

They publish the book and heavily promote it, and promote video series with Emerson Eggerichs. They also heavily promote his book Mothers & Sons, which primes the next generation of boys to feel they deserve unconditional respect, regardless of how they act. Please consider your giving to Focus on the Family, and contact them about your concerns. Without Focus on the Family’s support, the Love & Respect ministry would dwindle considerably.

The Following People Have Endorsed Love & Respect

  • “Millions of lives and marriages – and in many ways, our whole culture – are completely different today because of the work of Emerson Eggerichs and Love and Respect ministries.” Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of For Women Only
  • “Occasionally I run into somebody whose material, what they’re teaching, and the quality of the person rocks my world.” Dave Ramsey
  • “probably the most helpful [marriage book and seminar] we have ever experienced.” Michael Hyatt
  • “With his Love and Respect concept, Emerson Eggerichs has discovered what can only be described as the Holy Grail of marital counseling.” Eric Metaxas
  • “Dr. Emerson Eggerichs …is … balancing this scale [towards respect]” Dr. James Dobson
  • “People around the world, in every kind of business need to hear this simple yet life changing message.” Anne Beiler
  • “I couldn’t recommend Dr. Eggerichs highly enough. I call him the Billy Graham of marriage.” Kendrick Vinar, lead pastor Grace Church of Chapel Hill

If any of these people would like to rescind or qualify their endorsements, please reach out, even confidentially. If any would like a confidential conversation about the problems with Love & Respect, please reach out. 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

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

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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

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106 Comments

  1. Emmy

    So, this Eggerich guy, he claims to have a “ministry” of some kind?

    Reply
    • Emmy

      …I’d rather call it ‘vandalism’.

      Reply
  2. Amy

    What in the what?!?! I guess I shouldn’t surprised at this point. It makes me so angry, frustrated and sad. Even if the husband in the example wasn’t demanding sex, she believed and internalized the obligation/3 days message. It shows how destructive this teaching is from every angle.

    Thank you for continuing to champion truth and Jesus’ heart for his daughters.

    Reply
  3. Jane Eyre

    I wish Eggreichs would understand that without physical pleasure, sex is emotionally and spiritually empty.

    Maybe if it’s usually quite fun, one or two blah experiences don’t change that. But when sex is boring and painful, it just sucks. There is no intimacy in watching my husband use my body for pleasure I cannot even begin to comprehend. No amount of vacuuming or dish-doing changes how hard it sucks.

    Reply
    • Amy

      That’s because him selfishly using his wife’s body as essentially his personal masturbatory receptacle is just rape. No amount of housework can justify rape.

      Reply
  4. Meredith

    I went into marriage believing that if my husband wasn’t abusing me or cheating on me then divorce should never be on the table.

    Then two years ago I finally came to a breaking point in my marriage. My husband never abused me and never cheated on me. But we had been stuck in unhealthy patterns for years and I was fed up. Previously I had done what patriarchal marriage teachers would have approved- stuffed my feelings. Twice a year or so I would have a giant meltdown and tell my husband things needed to change. He would promise they would, but they didn’t. So at last I told him that if he wasn’t willing to change and get counseling and work through the crap together, I didn’t want to be married to him any longer. And I meant it.

    Guess what? I got my husband’s attention. He started doing the work. We started counseling. We began digging down through all the accumulated crap in our marriage to see if there was a foundation we wanted to save. It was very painful, and exhausting, and hard. It would have been “easy” to just keep coasting on the surface and putting up with being miserable- because at least then we wouldn’t have had to risk finding out that we didn’t really want to be married any longer.

    But I’m so thankful that my husband listened to me and that we did the work. We are in a much healthier, happier place today, and we are glad to be married.

    People like EE kill marriage. They hold up marriages that are living death and call it God’s design. They are blasphemers.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I love your story, Meredith! Thank you. And I completely agree with your assessment.

      Reply
    • Mara R

      It’s a good thing he hadn’t hear Eggerichs opinion that, when women say ‘divorce’ they don’t really mean it.
      Glad your husband believed you AND did the long hard work with you of making things right.

      Reply
  5. Codec

    Do not take the word “divorce at face value.

    What kind of Alice in Wonderland Humpty Dumpty nonsense is this?

    Words have meanings. Someone saying they no longer wish to be married to you is a pretty serious thing to say.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly! And he makes it sound like it’s normal–“this happens to me all the time.” or at least “this happens to tons of guys I know.” I’m sorry, if that happens to you a lot, then you’re not in a good marriage and you have absolutely no business teaching about marriage. And if it happens a lot in your community, that should be a red flag that the community isn’t healthy. The fact that he thinks this isn’t a big deal shows he is completely unqualified to be a teacher in this arena (if not in all arenas).

      Reply
    • AspenP

      Bahaha! “Alice in Wonderland Humpty Dumpty logic.” Love this SO much.

      Reply
  6. Jo R

    Is he subconsciously telling us about HIS sex life? I’d guess so, so poor Mrs. E. (Talk about me-search, instead of research!)

    Wives married to men with this mindset should get their husbands a blow-up sex doll for their next wedding anniversary or his birthday. At least the doll wouldn’t mind being used exclusively for his ejaculation, nor would it cry in the shower (or, as, er, some of us have done, actually IN bed during sex).

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Mesearch, yes, people have been hinting at it while trying not to be crass. I’ve seen the phrase “evangelical men telling on themselves,” which seems to be a nice way of putting it. After all, Sheila has the numbers to show for it.

      But I think mesearch is used differently in academic settings (and Eggerichs has no academic credentials to be doing what he’s doing, most of them don’t). It typically means that one’s personal experience inspired one to do the research, but the research is still conducted to academic standards, peer-review and all. So you will find social scientists who grew up poor, won a scholarship to a top university, and now research how poverty affects cognitive functioning in children. I know a psychologist who was painfully shy as a child and published a paper on how shy people interact with others. It’s not unusual 🙂

      Reply
  7. Nathan

    I was going to make a comment about how many people (men and women) will often “emotionally exaggerate”, but Connor already covered that.

    Slightly fixing a passage from earlier…
    > > I wish Eggreichs would understand that [WITH ONLY] physical pleasure, sex is emotionally and spiritually empty.

    Maybe this is another definition of lust: Nothing BUT physical desire and pleasure. Physical desire and pleasure is an important part of the entire experience, of course, but not the ONLY part.

    Also, that’s different from looking at somebody and feeling sexual attraction or desire, which isn’t lusting, as we’ve mentioned before.

    Reply
  8. Tori

    Bravo to the whole thing. Excellent. And I love your writing voice, Connor, it’s relatable and engaging! I’m going to comment on just one aspect of the article because it’s a “OMG WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THIS” moment.

    A friend and I have been discussing the deeply problematic nature of the “housework as foreplay” concept and here is what we have discovered: men sharing housework CAN be a component of building desire for sex in women, but not because the act is a turn-on (unless it is, like Conor said, in which case game on).

    1) Adult women are attracted to grown men who behave as such. Participating in adult responsibilities around the house without being repeatedly reminded or coerced like a child or teenager is adult behavior and therefore contributes to the over all grown man aesthetic that aids in sexual attraction.

    2) Both partners being equally engaged in the doing of life is a partnership and promotes intimacy. It puts us on the same page, doing the same things, understanding one another. It shows that he doesn’t think her work is beneath him. It promotes a healthy bond.

    The whole “do housework to get sex” thing is so toxic (EMERSON EGGERICHS!!!) because not only does it reduce women to beings that are so oriented around housework that it actually becomes sexual for us, but it is also a barrier to intimacy because it prompts men to do the acts for selfish reasons that may get them what they want but in the end do not strengthen their marriages.

    Thank you for this post!

    Reply
      • Susie

        What a blessing to know that your daughter is loved and cared for the way God intended!

        Reply
    • Jo R

      A woman who has to do all the normal activities of life (meal prep, laundry, cleaning house, raising kids) because her husband thinks he shouldn’t have to has, in point of fact, a husband who is NOT acting like an adult but like just another child that Mommy had to take care of.

      Guess what, guys? Women are not attracted to the idea of having sex with their children, even the ones they’re married to. 🙄🙄🙄

      Reply
  9. Susie

    Respectively, in 2005 & 2009, I bought just about every “marriage” book the local Christian bookstore had for each of my 2 children in preparation for their upcoming weddings/marriages. Ohhhh to get a refund — I’d take them on a cruise as part of my “Please forgive me!”.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I hear you! It’s not too late to make sure they’ve never read them!

      Reply
      • Tina

        Or the stupid proper and care of husband’s 🤮🤢

        Reply
    • A2bbethany

      Before I married, I read my parents collection of books. Studied them really and hated the picture they painted. But I knew marriage was better than risking not being protected by my one abuser.(I assumed that was the price….abuse from one but protection from the others)

      Then on our engagement, my mother-in-law gave us sheet music. Which reinforced my expectations, and left tons of practical questions. Which I googled and found Sheila.

      Now in full circle, my sex rescue books just came! I ordered them each a copy, to hopefully help them, as they thought I was helped by their books.

      Reply
  10. Sam

    Great post as always. Eggerich is so bizarre even in the “normal” wife behavior – like you said, if your wife is really “kicking the fence” and threatening divorce to get a rise from you, that’s crazy behavior and definitely not normal. Same if a girlfriend was doing that to a boyfriend. He needs to run ASAP.

    Reply
  11. Nathan

    > > the deeply problematic nature of the “housework as foreplay” concept

    I seem to remember Sheila calling this “choreplay”. It could also be interpreted as transactional sex.

    Reply
  12. Lyn

    Sheila, as God would have it, I found your website just when you were beginning this “calling” of taking on this book & Eggerrichs. Coincidentally (or not actually) that destructive book had played a terrible part in my crumbling marriage – only I didn’t know it was one of a few tools being used on me – and more intentionally after I had finally filed and moved out after 23 years, just 2.5 years ago. Shortly after I was diag w/ PTSD (yes, from this marriage).

    He would never listen to my “needs” for myself or our relationship. He refused. Men should listen. With already built-in chauvinism raised in a strict legalistic “Christian” home, this book only sealed the deal. It was his full on permission. He actually thought it would get me back! He just had to be firmer!

    I’m still in therapy, he refuses counseling – I’ve given up on the marriage.

    It is clear to me Emerson Eggerich has no idea what the love of Jesus is really all about. In my eyes, he is a very broken & dysfunctional man who is taking out all of his anger on the women of the world. He is abusive and should not be allowed in any church anywhere except to repent for the damage he has done to marriages. He like many other men who’ve abused the pulpit and the bedroom, need to know the love of Jesus before they can ever truly love, let alone teach about it in relationship.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It really does sound like he has never properly processed the trauma of his father strangling his mother. It’s awful.

      Reply
  13. Kat

    What did God intend for all aspects of marriage and relationships at creation? He gave us a hint. Eden means ” Pleasure” (on a mind blowing level). His intention for His children was pure, unadulterated happiness.
    We cannot make ourself happy at the expense of someone else, and remain truly happy. If a wife is cowering in the shower with tears mingling with the water falling on her body because she has to “crucify” her own desires to pleasure her husband, then there is something very wrong in their relationship that needs to be changed for the happiness of them both. If, for her, sex has become the “thing” that sucks the oxygen of happiness from her life, then they both need to find the root problems that breathe new, fresh air into her and make sex joyful for her (hint it’s probably way more than hormones). AND, conversely, if sex has become such a huge chore for her, how can he derive the full measure of pleasure from her every 3rd day “chore”? His own delight is diminished by not treasuring his wife.

    Reply
  14. Elsie

    I’m so horrified that Eggrich would say that it’s a good thing for a wife to make herself have frequent sex even though it’s causing her extreme emotional distress and trauma.

    The only way that someone could say something like that is if they don’t see women as human beings but only as objects to be used.

    Reply
    • Mara R

      Or the other thing that stuck out to me, besides seeing women as objects to be used…

      It almost seems that Eggerichs sees women as rebellious and irrational children who over exaggerate their pain and needs by crying in the shower or threatening divorce.

      The minimization of the pain and needs of women is insane. Acting like women aren’t really in need or in pain doesn’t make the need or pain go away. It just sweeps it under the rug so broken and immature men don’t have to see it.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Absolutely. But if the way you see marriage is that everything revolves around what the man wants (he can leave a wet towel on the bed for her to have to clean up if he wants and if she complains she’s in sin), then it’s not surprising that he discounts women’s pain.

        Reply
  15. Amy

    I don’t understand the concept of telling my husband I want a divorce and him not taking it seriously. I moved out and about a week later the sheriff delivered the divorce filing paperwork to him. At that point, I’m guessing that he considered my communication that I wanted a divorce was 100% serious.

    Reply
    • Rebecca

      Of the very few Christians I know who have gotten divorced, by the time the wife said “I want to separate” or “I want a divorce” she was completely done. She had nothing left. And the husbands were taken by surprise and suddenly wanted to try to save the marriage, but the wife was kind of like, “you never listened before, and it’s too late now”.

      If your spouse is saying they want to get divorced, umm I think you’d better take that seriously! Obviously you haven’t been paying attention if you thought everything was fine 🤦‍♀️

      Reply
      • Jane Eyre

        I remember reading “Men are from Mars” when I was a teenager. It talked about how men will ignore or downplay problems until a wife is about to lose it, and then – then! – he will move heaven and earth to fix things. This was presented as “who men are” and a fundamentally sweet thing about them.

        It made me never want to get married.

        Reply
        • Tina

          Burn all those books!

          Reply
  16. Martina

    Just can’t believe what I am reading!
    How does anybody get this from the Bible?
    It makes me so sad that people get this advice and woman are trapped into arrangements like this. (cannot get myself to write marriages here) But also for the men and children to live like this. Love is ment to be so much more and reflecting so much more of God’s love for us.
    We were just reading Songs of Solomon with our kids. So much beauty to pass on how men speak of their loved one and how woman speak of their loved one. Love to pass THAT on to my kids.

    Reply
    • Wendy

      From being raised by an abusive father, being brought up in a patriarchal religious system that twists scriptures to fit their desire to control and dominate, then marrying a covert narcissistic abusive man add a little water, and Wala you get ME. Lol

      Seriously looking back I have no idea how I’ve ended up escaping all the nonsense I was taught and yet still maintaining my absolute love of Christ and His Word. The grace of God for sure.

      Someone raised with the love of an emotionally healthy daddy would probably come from a much different place of understanding of scripture than someone whose daddy used scripture to abuse and control. I’m just grateful I didn’t turn away from my real Father.

      Reply
  17. Melissa

    Jonathan Eggerichs is a psychologist? Wow. Bro, you know better. Stand up to your dad. I think you know deep down that what he says is at the least absurd, and at the worst it is downright dangerous. The very nature of your chosen profession demands you speak up against such horrific teachings.

    Reply
    • Connor Lindenbach

      Yeah I find it interesting how Jonathan will do little course corrections on what Emerson has just finished ranting about, like he does recognize is off-base, but yet still stands by his dad and enables him.

      Reply
      • Melissa

        That says to me that he is scared of his dad, which doesn’t reflect well on Emerson’s parenting. I’m not saying Emerson is a “bad” parent, but if your well educated adult child is too scared of you to speak up, there’s an issue.

        Reply
  18. Cynthia

    So this explains some of the more mystifying stuff I’ve seen as a divorce lawyer – like the wife who actually prepared an entire booklet on why she considered her husband evil and included the fact that he wanted BJs, and like the husbands who seem genuinely astonished that their wives “suddenly” left when the wives claim that they had been making their unhappiness known for years and he refused to do anything.

    Reply
  19. Jess

    “Chores as foreplay” teaching made me suspicious and aloft of my innocent husband. I wanted to hear and see his desire for me, not be sneaky about it. (Thankfully he never resorted to such trickery and built my trust so he could tidy in peace.) What a difficult expectation to be aroused by something completely nonsexual! I hate this so much because it is rooted in the idea that women are not sexual. Removing a turnoff is not the same thing as turning someone on.

    Reply
    • Connor Lindenbach

      This exactly!

      It’s like performing basic hygiene. I think for most people it is a prerequisite rather than a turn-on

      Reply
  20. EOF

    Anyone whose husband has ever used chores as foreplay knows it’s not a turn-on. Seeing him do the dishes (or whatever) instead makes your stomach churn acid, knowing what’s coming that night. It makes his “help” almost worse than not doing anything at all. Both are just as bad – either you’re doing all the work while he plays video games or he does his duty so he’ll get to use your body later.

    It’s a no win situation. Thanks, EE, for making Christian women’s lives even more unbearable, one couple at a time!

    Reply
      • Myra West

        It really is; I felt so dirty everytime I forced myself; everytime I knew if I didn’t want the day ruined by his anger or I wanted to do something like hang out with friends and not be harassed later when he drank, I would force myself to have sex; or the occasional times I worked and needed him to watch our kids and wanted to make sure he was in the best possible mood for them. I could have said no but I didn’t want to deal with the consequences. He has literally said if you have sex with me I will do anything you want. That’s not how a healthy relationship works. Also in the same breath If I said no I would get the what’s the point in being married if I can’t have sex with my wife and a litany of verbally abusive words and emotional abuse. We are separated but he still expects sex and thinks I’m punishing him by not having it no matter how calmly I explain the reasons.

        Reply
        • Jo R

          “Needed him to watch our kids…”

          Note to that special brand of male Christian teachers, authors, and pastors shoveling this load of 💩 : THIS is the epitome of what your Scripture twisting has done. You make women be single parents in their own homes because too many men think looking after THEIR OWN children is a nearly inexcusable interruption in their day to do a bit of “babysitting.”

          And that “teaching” is the natural, inevitable outcome of turning women into prostitutes—in the the truest sense of “on-demand sex providers”—in their own homes. If a man’s wife is actually his personal whore, why wouldn’t he consider the natural, inevitable consequences of his actions—children—to be a burden she should bear entirely on her own? He just wanted the pleasure, not any of the responsibilities that arise before, during, and after.

          🤬🤬🤬

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Yep! And Gary Thomas even did it in Married Sex, and he should know better. “Erica had four children…” “Timothy helped…” No, Erica AND Timothy had four children, and it’s not helping if they’re your kids!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh, Myra, I’m so sorry! The only thing I’d say is that at this point you don’t need to explain. Google “grey rock”. It’s fascinating. And it may be the strategy you need. Natalie at Flying Free has written a lot about it. But sometimes you just say nothing. And I’m so sorry for what you’re going through!

          Reply
  21. Jo R

    A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.—Jesus, John 10:10, CSB

    Guess we know who the thieves are, since crying in the shower before sex is considered “abundant living.”

    Reply
  22. Laura

    Wow! Just wow! I wish I had all this commentary years ago. Not that it would have changed the outcome of my marriage…divorce. But maybe I would have been wiser and not been the woman in the shower. Soooo many lady friends in my old church are subscribed to this thinking. What can we do? They won’t read, they won’t listen, they won’t open their eyes. Makes me so very sad.

    Reply
  23. LJ

    ‘The horror’?! Wow. So these so called Christian men prefer to basically coherce/rape their wives rather than masturbate. Words fail me.

    Reply
  24. CMT

    I don’t think I have the stomach to listen to that LR podcast myself, but from what’s quoted here, it sounds like EE doesn’t think he’s talking about an actual person. The image of a woman crying in the shower, steeling herself to… go have sex with the person who supposedly loves her (!) is so heartbreaking. Yet he really never says, no, that isn’t right?

    I hope that letter wasn’t real. Maybe they cooked it up to make a point. Or sometimes people write BS to advice columns just to see if they will run it; maybe someone made this all up.

    If it’s real, I hope something clicks for her and she realizes how wrong and spiritually abusive the answer she got was. If this were a movie she would somehow find this post and all the comments from outraged people who are on her side, and realize she deserves better.

    Reply
    • Wendy

      Unfortunately, it is/was more real than you know, and so surreal looking back. See my post below. Thank you for your hopefulness. Something did finally click 4 years later and I got out. I have no idea how I endured as long as I did, except God is good.

      Reply
      • CMT

        That was literally you?? That is a heartbreaking story. I don’t know what to say except sister, I’m glad you’re free now. May God restore the years the locusts have eaten.

        Reply
      • Tina

        Prayers to u. When church leaders say how often are u have sex? If your not having sex there’s something wrong with your marriage!! Uh no its called I made boundaries. When I feel safe and respected then I will have sex.

        Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m sure the letter is real, because I’ve had some like that, and there’s a very similar example in Every Heart Restored. But I see no evidence that Emerson Eggerichs ever accepts women’s explanations for why they feel badly. I don’t see any place where he tells the story of a woman’s pain where he doesn’t discount it or simply say the answer is to stay the course and keep respecting her husband.

      Reply
      • CMT

        Well, if being respected is your god given right, and being inconvenienced by someone else’s needs or desires equals disrespect, then why would you validate another person’s pain? That might mean you would have to take off your blue glasses. It might mean facing up to the fact you’ve been in the wrong. It might mean you would have to change.

        On an individual level, I get it. Change is hard. Nobody likes to admit when they’ve &%~+ed up. What is a little mind-bending to me is that people who should know better platform this.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Yes, me, too. It’s not Eggerichs that is mind-bending. It’s the fact that so many churches host their DVD study and use their materials, and Focus on the Family promotes it.

          Reply
      • Walking Away…

        That. That is the problem: he is a disgustingly egocentric misogynist who PROFITS GREATLY from victimizing women and enabling men to sin in the name of Christ.

        False teacher…wolf in sheep’s clothing….call him what you want. I think they make millstones for the necks of people like this….

        Reply
  25. Rachel

    I think the best point here is that Emmerson truly doesn’t know anything about women. I mean, seriously, these things he comes up with are so out of touch and made up it isn’t even funny!

    Reply
  26. Thankful Reader

    Thank you for disecting this podcast! I can’t believe people can listen to this and *not* see how harmful these teachings are.

    Reply
  27. Wendy

    This is/was me. I am the one who wrote the e-mail in 2015 after listening to one of Emerson’s previous podcasts. I am the “Susie Smith” Emerson E. talks about. He didn’t even bother to change my last name, which at the time was Smith. He also didn’t ask if he could read my letter on air. This podcast was after my “good-willed Christian” husband (now ex) taught the L&R series at our church twice. This was after years of living in an abusive marriage and being manipulated by him and convinced by others that this ridiculous every three days like clockwork rule would make our marriage blissful and of course make him stop being abusive. It was always my fault my husband was psychologically/emotionally, spiritually, and sexually abusive towards me.

    I heard the obligation message for years, I didn’t know anything different. There were no books I was aware of debating this nonsense. Scripture was quoted and this stuff was taught as gospel. The teaching was coming from so many Christian authors and leaders I truly thought God required this of me. My walk with Christ was and is my most precious relationship and these teachings manipulated that desire to please Him and created deep pain in the depths of my soul because I truly thought Christ was grieved by me (like I was the one being selfish when in actuality I was being coercively raped). Tortured like Christ no, abused and mistreated in a soul-crushing way, yes. Gaslighted into thinking my emotional pain was crazy and unwarranted, yep. After all who doesn’t love to be raped, er I mean, have sex right?

    At the time I didn’t but now I think it is funny how Emerson turned the podcast into a how to turn on your wife sexually, he completely missed the point. (vacuuming is not and never has been an aphrodisiac for me) I was still so confused about my own marriage, but I was trying to make a point. BE NICE, BE KIND. It’s amazing how that works.

    My marriage lasted another 4 horrendous years after this podcast. I never gave up seeking help, I never stopped crying out to God. I just kept hearing this same message over and over again while in my Christian circle of influence. There did finally come a point when everything fell into place and started making some sense. I stepped into the wonderful world of Google search and learned something different. I learned about something called covert narcissistic abuse. Within that same time period, I also found out that my husband was and had been cheating on me for some time.

    I found out about the women, then men, then those “men” who looked to be of questionable age. I found the hidden porn addiction, the xxx job searches, alcohol, the trips out of town to gay bars, the double life. Crazy as it sounds he hid it so well no one knew, not our church family, not our friends, not my family or his. I found out about all of it in a matter of just a few weeks. I wonder if Emerson would still think my ex-husband is a “good-willed man”. (Smirk emoji) Seems in his eyes pretty much anything goes and men are still labeled good and worthy of undying respect.

    I was faithful for 17 years, I stayed and put up with abusive treatment because I was raised to believe adultery was the only grounds for divorce. I was constantly told to do more and try harder and things would improve, they didn’t. I’ve been happily divorced now for over 1 1/2 years. This “Good-Willed man” put the last nail in the coffin by requesting termination of his parental rights from our three children this December. All I can feel is gratefulness that I am finally free and my children are now safe.

    Please keep teaching and calling out the bad theology of these “Christian” authors and please keep teaching us good theology. People who are desperate will seek these books out and devour them to try and find help and the best thing that most of these books offer is more pain and bondage. I know I’ve read almost all of them. In 17 years I’ve come across only a few that have really made a difference in a good way. That is just sad and needs to change. I am grateful for what you all do. Thank you Conner and Keith for showing us what it looks like when real men love their women. Some of us have never seen or experienced that. Thank you, Shelia, Rebecca, and the rest of the team for putting yourself out there and taking the blowback that I’ve seen y’all endure. You are truly a gift from God to those of us who have been in a dry desert with no water for quite some time.

    Reply
    • Hannah

      So, so sorry to hear of your experience. Really grateful that you are in a much better place now.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, wow, Wendy. Thank you so much for commenting. I’m so, so sorry for what you endured and especially the horrible advice Emerson Eggerichs gave you which just contributed to abuse. I’m so glad to hear that you’re now safe, and that your kids are free of him too. That’s a blessing.

      I’d love to send you a copy of The Great Sex Rescue, so I’ll email you. And I am so, so sorry that it was “Christian” resources that made you feel that you were the one in the wrong. That’s heartbreaking.

      Reply
      • Rene Rickman

        Sheila, I don’t believe it to be coincidental that Wendy came across this podcast and commentary. I’d love to hear her on an interview. Imagine the power of a firsthand experience and then “the rest of the story”. She came across your post where I had shared it in a group I admin. So it seems divinely orchestrated that she would see it! Wendy has gone from Victim to Victor. Her full story deserves telling. ( And she gave me permission to comment. I had offered to take the post down in our group) ❤
        So much truth and healing taking place and gaining momentum!

        Reply
      • Wendy

        Thank you! If it wasn’t for resources like yours and private FB groups filled with other women who have endured as much or more sharing their stories I don’t know where I would be. I am absolutely joyful to be coming out of the fog of patriarchal/misogynic teaching to see how much God really loves and cares for us as women.

        Reply
    • Walking Away…

      Dear Wendy,

      Your story matters more than you will ever know. You matter more than you will ever know. Your voice matters more than you will ever know. Your life matters more than you will ever know: to Jesus, to countless other women who are suffering as you did/are, and to the Body of Christ.

      Your story made me feel horrified and desperate at every single level on your behalf, and on behalf of so many of us who have endured indescribable suffering at the hands of EE’s twisted, destructive teachings.

      I know it takes so very long to find true freedom after such violating and ongoing abuse in the Name of Jesus, but you are courageously on the road to this freedom. Your life is being redeemed one small, painful step at a time, even on days when you feel all is lost. May you continue to experience the grief and compassion of Jesus for you on this long healing journey!

      Keep telling your story that WILL impact other women for true freedom in Christ, as well! ❤️❤️❤️

      Reply
      • Wendy

        Wow! My eyes are leaking. Thank you for your kindness. At times I am still amazed at how I endured as long as I did without having a complete breakdown. I can honestly say it was God’s hand in my life.

        I do look back to process and heal, but try not to look back and long for what I didn’t have. I don’t get a do-over so that would just create overwhelming depression. I try to look at how God has taken the evil things that have happened that He never intended, but still brought good from it.

        I have always known at some point I needed to tell my story. I think it is so funny and amazing how this all worked out. Like getting a gentle nudge saying, now’s the time. Lol

        Reply
    • Connor Lindenbach

      Wow, thank you so much for having the courage to speak about your experience here. As I was listening to the podcast and writing the post, I was lamenting that though it might be helpful or illuminating for some people, there was nothing I could do for you.

      I am overjoyed to hear that you challenged and questioned on your own and were able to find freedom from a toxic situation, though I am sorry about what was taken from you.

      God bless you and your children, Wendy

      Reply
      • Wendy

        Thank you, Conner!

        Reply
    • R

      Wendy, I’ve been absolutely sick since reading about the things this author said in his podcast, and I’ve been praying for you. I was so glad to wake up this morning and see that you are free from this abuse. Thank you for sharing your story!

      I also had an abusive childhood while being raised by “upstanding” parents, which as you’ve noted affects all of our adult interactions. I’m sure you are in therapy, and each person’s needs are different obviously, but I would like to humbly submit for anyone needing a therapy direction that Internal Family Systems therapy coupled with EMDR therapy has been life-changing for me in overcoming childhood (and adulthood!). Traditional talk therapy can be beneficial for some but does not help overcome trauma. For anyone considering therapy: You are so BRAVE, don’t give up until you find a therapist who’s amazing, and know that the emotional work is long and hard but so worth it. FREEDOM is absolutely attainable. I’m living proof.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes! That’s the combo I tend to recommend as well: IFS and EMDR. I’ve heard from so many people who have found great healing from this.

        Reply
      • Mara R

        Wendy, everything R says about therapy.
        In addition, perhaps for you, perhaps more for others who are reading this comment thread and are still stuck in these things, or still trying to figure out where to start concerning the best therapy for them…
        For free you can look at Dr. Ramani’s videos concerning all things Narcissism on her youtube channel.
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Qixc77KhCo88E5muxUjmA

        Reply
        • Nessie

          Another great youtube channel is Surviving Narcissism. The more I learned about narcissism, the more I recognized
          it in “authorities” such as Emerson, and it really helped me feel better able to set and maintain boundaries, not doubt that inner voice, etc.

          Wendy- you are absolutely amazing. That you held on for so long, continuing to look with hope for the right way to go and pursuing it is truly inspirational. So glad that you are happy, healing, and your children are safer now. I’m stopping now to pray that all of you continue in your healing journey and know Christ’s love deeper and more fully each day. Thank you for helping others by sharing your pain and experiences.

          Reply
          • Wendy

            Thank you for the prayers Nessie, those are always appreciated.

        • Wendy

          Yes, I love Dr. Ramani! I subscribe to her Youtube channel.

          Dr. Carter was my first exposure to understanding narcissistic abuse, I took a class called “Free to be” and cried through all of it. That was the moment I realized this person I married and gave over 18 years of my life to never truly loved me and had no intention of ever-changing. That was a gut punch. I can remember that moment like it was yesterday.

          Reply
      • Wendy

        I have been in therapy off and on since the divorce and I am blessed to have a wonderful family that is super supportive. I was eventually able to find counselors who understood narcissistic abuse and who helped me process what was happening.

        Reply
    • Katie

      When I read this post I immediately thought, “Oh, Lord, let her find Sheila and these resources!!” Obviously there was nothing to indicate (in this post at least) when the letter was received. I’m so sorry for the way things were for you but so glad you are where you are now, even though it was a painful path. We need stories like yours so thank you for sharing!

      Reply
    • Tina

      I see you Wendy. I hear you.
      We all have a story. I am so glad you finally saw what was really happening. It took me 14 years. Then the pieces fell into place.
      I learned so much about me saying No in sex. Being used as a quicky. Etc etc.
      Boundaries Boundaries is what I have learned. Reaching out to other recovery healthy people.

      You are such a strong woman! ❤

      Reply
  28. Ruthie

    Well actually, Emerson, it does sound as if your gospel is about men needing sex and so you have actually crucified women. Women are sacrificed on the altar of a patriarchal view of sex.

    I feel so guilty that my husband and I were once at our friends’ place when they were newly weds and I noticed that they had Love & Respect on their bookshelf. I felt sooo sad but I wasn’t courageous enough to bring it up. And back then I had more of an “oh well, each to their own” mentality. They had a horrible marriage and divorced. When my sister got married she got given Love & Respect as a gift (seriously!?) and I was like DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!!

    Keep up the excellent work, team.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s okay. The point is you’re speaking up now. Some of us need time (I sure did!).

      Reply
  29. Nessie

    E.E. talks about how women aren’t enduring torture/crucifixion, like that is an insane comparison. Yet he makes it seem as though men ARE enduring torture/crucifixion when their wives don’t service them (I refuse to call that situation “sex.”)

    “If you’ve got a wife like this woman, you got a goldmine.” As if we needed more proof he thinks of women as possessions.
    “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

    Truly appreciate the TLHV team for doing this research, helping us clearly see how we have been scripturally manipulated and gaslit for years so we can finally heal in Christ. I think the Holy Spirit has nudged many of us (those gut feelings of resources being off) but we didn’t discern/trust Him over the teachings we’ve been brainwashed with for years.

    Reply
  30. AT

    Besides all the obvious flaws in EE’s teachings, his gendered generalizations make me angry. Please don’t TELL me what I “like” as a woman…. what I feel, how I think, what turns me on. I am a UNIQUELY CREATED PERSON. And men are, too! The majority of scripture applies to both sexes, and we are all called to become more Christlike.

    Reply
  31. Louise

    The more I read from Mr Eggerichs, the more worried I become about his wife and his marriage. His lack of knowledge and understanding of male and female sexuality, and of Christian relationships in general make me very concerned that she might be in an abusive marriage. This is not a dig at the Eggerichs at all; I don’t think he’s malicious in his views but he is very very wrong.

    Reply
  32. Jeannie Miller

    What the…

    HOWWWW is this guy still being taken seriously??

    I would like to call in that show, and tell him that I have vaginismus and endometriosis which makes sex impossible. Wonder what he would have to say to that.

    We read L&R when we dated. I can’t believe I used to take any of it seriously. When the honeymoon came and we couldn’t have sex, I was afraid my new husband was going to turn to porn or have an affair….but I wouldn’t have blamed him.

    How blind i was!! I’m thankful to have discovered the podcast and blog! And thankful my husband thought L&R was ridiculous even when I didn’t lol

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      You’ve got a good husband!

      I hope you’re getting help with the vaginismus and endometriois. That sounds so difficult! I’m so sorry.

      Reply
  33. Paula Waterman

    I am a mediator. Mostly divorce mediation. If Conner ever wants some perspective on that I’d love to talk to him. Loved this article by him. So nice to hear a man’s voice who gets it.

    Reply
  34. Stephanie

    I don’t know how I stumbled onto this but I was mentally cheering ALL the way through! Thank you for speaking TRUTH, can we move on from the tired list of toxic marriage “rules” and actually talk about healthy, thriving, mutually-fulfilling friendship/relationships. Well done.

    Reply
  35. M

    When I first heard if this series, I just had an unsettled feeling. All these generalizations about men and women. People need help unifying not more excuses to be separate. And worst of all it is true the wives are punished if they don’t follow the rules. It’s like we aren’t people…

    Reply
  36. John

    After listening to his podcast directly, I feel that the language above largely mis-portrays his viewpoint. Said another way, if he read your descriptions of what he is “really saying”, I think he’d quickly disagree. In fact, my takeaway from his podcast was mostly a criticism of the guy in that situation. Your comments on his praise of the woman’s efforts I feel are mistaken (certainly in my takeaway, but I also believe kn his intent). I took his statements to mean not “this is right (or wrong)” but “this woman is pouring her SOUL out in effort: where the heck are you?!”.

    It sounds like a lot of the concern seems to come from directional use of gendered language, but please consider (both equally import). 1) he seems to be speaking in a specific situation in which these things are happening (even in the intro) and expanding on this (again, consider: if you asked him directly, would his answer be “only ever guys do…” and “only ever girls do…”, or would it be “this is the situation I was speaking to, but applies equally if roles are reversed”). 2) at the beginning of the podcast they talk about not missing the forest for the trees in argument (in the context of extreme language becoming the point of the conversation, when excusing that minor inaccuracy would allow both parties to really get to the heart of the matter. I feel this may be the case with the gendered language: i think if y’all took him as using gender neutral terms throughout, you may find this to be much more positive! 🙂 hell, as a guy, I identified far more with the woman in the situation, and found his affirmation of my efforts (trying to step up for my partner) to be SO validating! 🙂 my partner is not NEARLY as bad as that in the story, but I guess that’s part of my point: I can learn so many positive thjngs, even if the story isn’t about me directly (in terms of the sex of the people or the situation). I get that I’m less common (guys with less sex drive), but just cause his story was about the reverse situation didn’t put me off from taking away encouragement and a path forward.

    I’d never listened to either group before, and actually found y’all’s podcast first. 🙂 I figured that the best way to evaluate your fair handling of difficult situations (especially when traditional roles are reversed: a difficult thing to talk about) is how you assess others you disagree with. :/ I was saddened by your response here, and honestly am not gonna pursue y’all right now (I hope to come back in a while, as I was SO excited about your other episode titles and topics: honestly, I just don’t trust you to give you an hour of my time right now, out of belief that you’ll treat those topics in the same way you treated this one: a somewhat mocking and irreverent representation of a person you disagree with).

    Sitting back and pwning is fun. I get it. But I really believe that there is more genuine help to be had from taking others at their best. Correct the bad, echo the good, and treat others fairly! 🙂 I hope the above somewhat displays this: I’m not just gonna rant “you suck, lame!”. I think the conversation and serious discussion is SO much more valuable to engage others from diverse views! 🙂 and the humanization of those who disagree with us (or who we disagree with) is important, too.

    I hope those who read this check out his podcast for themselves (it’s 30 min of content), and see if they really agree with the article/podcast’a assessment. If you do, great! If you don’t, great! 🙂 no matter who you agree with, I hope doing so helps you to humanize those you DISAGREE with: remember that both groups here are people, both have GENUINELY helped lots of others, and both are worthy of respect!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      John, it is not just a matter of disagreeing. He missed major red flags for sexual coercion, and the woman who wrote the letter came on our podcast two weeks later to elaborate on her story.

      What he did was malpractice. Anyone who is versed in sexual coercion could see the signs. There really is not excuse for that.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        OH, and the fact that you did not pick up on the very obvious marital rape that was occurring, too, makes your judgment rather suspect as well. Perhaps when rape is involved, it isn’t just a matter of a difference of opinion?

        Reply
  37. Angela

    The thing that I don’t understand is the fact that there are so many marriage bloggers (decent, normal men and women) who endorse this book.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I don’t get it either!

      Reply

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