Supposedly Woman-Honoring and Pro-Marriage Focus On the Family Group Wants Wives to Blame Themselves If or When Their Husbands Commit Adultery – Re: Book: ‘How God Used the Other Woman,’ by Tina Konkin
I have some new developments in my personal life that have kept me busy the last month or two, which is why I’ve not been blogging as often.
During this time, I do recall seeing comments on other people’s blogs and on Twitter, about some idiotic, sexist, stupid book that “Focus On The Family” was recommending or selling.
Here is a page about the book by Tina Konkin that created an uproar:
(Link): How God Used “the Other Woman”: Saving Your Marriage After Infidelity via Focus On The Family site
Excerpts about that book from the site:
In How God Used “the Other Woman,” Konkin shares how she and her husband Ron saved their marriage after his affair and fought to make it better than ever before.
I am horrified to see that this Tina Konkin works as (or claims to be) (Link): a “relationship expert.”
This awful book of hers is also being sold at Wal-Mart.
From what I can recall, it’s a book for Christian wives that tells them how to approach their husband or their marriage if and whenever their husband should commit adultery,
and their view is that you, you Christian wife, should blame yourself for your husband’s adultery, don’t hold him accountable, and just write off the situation as a learning experience.
Below you will find a few links or videos to work by other people refuting such a disgusting viewpoint.
Before I get to those resources, though, I wanted to point out how utterly hypocritical these conservative secular and conservative Christian groups are, who proclaim they respect women, and marriage, and The Nuclear Family.
It is not honoring or respecting women for Christians to blame the women if their husbands commit adultery; it’s not respectful or loving of women to teach them they must stay in abusive marriages (which is in fact what many conservative Christians do teach).
It’s not respectful of the institution of marriage to glibly write off a husband’s infidelity as basically no big deal, to argue that men just “can’t help it,” or to just dismiss an affairs as though it’s a learning experience for a wife, or that the wife is somehow to blame for the husband’s infidelity.
And none of those attitudes are “pro family.”
None of those sexist views will ultimately keep a family together, and these groups claim to be about supporting “the family.”
Their positions on some topics are anti-thetical to what they say they cherish.
Some of the most anti-woman, anti-marriage, or anti-family rhetoric I’ve ever seen actually comes from those (like conservative think tanks, complementarians, and conservative Christians) who frequently claim to be supportive and respectful of women, marriage, and “the family.”
But they usually have creepy, unsettling parallels with extremist Muslim or Mormon groups who convey many of the same harmful or derogatory views about women, marriage, and family.
As a never-married (single) woman, who was once Christian (and I don’t know what I believe now), I absolutely will never again listen or take advice from Christians – especially not “pro family” or complementarian groups – such as “Focus On The Family.”
I have zero interest in, and am not stupid enough, to take dating advice or “here’s how to get married” advice from people who think if I do get married that I should stay and endure physical or verbal abuse (should I marry an abusive person), or that I should blame myself and “let it go” if my husband commits adultery.
This is clearly a religion that expects women to be brainwashed into thinking they should put up with poor treatment by men, even by their own husbands, if they are married.
And I say, “not interested!” to that.
(Granted, (Link): not all Christians believe this way or teach these things, but there is a hefty percentage of them who do.)
Some of the resources I link you to below may be from Christian or Non-Christian sources; at least one link is to an atheist site that regularly covers the idiocy in Christendom.
You know a situation involving Christians, or a Christian sermon, teaching, Christian book, or whatever else, is downright awful if this “Friendly Atheist” site covers it.
Conservatives: What Ever Happened to Personal Responsibility?
I happen to be a conservative, and I’ve noticed that other conservatives get very fed up with the liberal penchant for dismissing the bad behavior of certain groups of people, or types of people, by saying, “but what about personal responsibility?”
Now, that is a good question – what about personal responsibility?
But many of the same conservatives who criticize the many liberals who neglect this concept are the very same ones who justify, excuse, or dismiss men for men’s many shortcomings – such as committing adultery.
Then, suddenly, some of these conservatives argue that the man in question should not be held personally accountable for his poor choices and behavior because of reasons X, Y, and Z.
Some of the favorite “let the man shirk his personal responsibility for his actions” attitudes held by many conservatives – in regards to sexual sin – includes, but is not limited to excuses and rationalizations, such as,
- -“But God created men to be visually stimulated! All day, men are subjected to TV commercials and highway-side billboards of bikini-clad women, so the poor things cannot help it if they view porn or have affairs as an outlet”
(Did God create men to be “visually wired,” or more “visually wired” than women are? No, God did not.
This concept is not even in the Bible. And this sort of thing is certainly never dredged up in the Bible to “let men off the hook” for their sexual failings.
I have blog posts covering this subject too, and blog posts that discuss – with links to research – that women are also “visually wired” and “visually stimulated”)
-“But the wife let herself go! They’re both 50 years old, and she let herself get wrinkly or overweight, so you can’t blame the poor dear for wanting to nail a 30 year old svelte hottie”
I have seriously seen Christians bring up such rationales in years past any time a married man, especially a Christian one, is caught having had affairs or is found to have porn addiction issues.
There is this odd conservative tendency to let such men shirk their personal responsibility for their marital or sexual shortcomings: but these same types of conservatives also complain out the yin yang that liberals place feelings over facts and don’t hold people accountable for their actions.
As I said, some of the following material may be from Christian or Non-Christian sites, some may be from moderate, conservative, or liberal sites:
(Link): Awful book published by Focus on the Family(TM) on infidelity – via “Divorce Minister” blog
The problem is that Konkin is implying that she drove her husband to cheat. Somehow, she’s responsible for his actions, even though he is a grown-ass man. It’s also a suspicious story coming from Focus on the Family, because they basically blame women for everything, including original sin.
Rebuilding a marriage after an affair is a two-step process: Repentance of the one who cheated, and then addressing the relationship
Many people, in the comments, were conflating the two. “Knowing how you played your role in marriage problems is essential if you want to rebuild!” I’d agree. It is.
But here’s the thing.
You can’t rebuild until the cheater repents.
The first step must be repentance.
(Link): The Myth Continues: Focus on the Family Blames the Victim by Dena Johnson Martin
There has been a firestorm erupting over an advertisement from Focus on the Family for a new book about a marriage that was reconciled after adultery. The book is titled How God Used the Other Woman: Saving Your Marriage After Infidelity.
…However, the advertisement for this book states:
“Her husband’s infidelity didn’t mean the end of Tina Konkin’s marriage. Her willingness to answer the question, “What role did you play in this?” saved her marriage.”
Let me start by saying I have tremendous respect for (Link): Focus on the Family and its founder, James Dobson. However, I do believe this advertisement furthers the myth that it takes two to cause an affair. It heaps blame on the victim instead of placing the blame where it belongs: on the unfaithful spouse.
I have heard from a number of readers who have reached out to Focus on the Family in the midst of their pain, and the results have been mixed. Some have been told they must stay and pray for reconciliation; others have been told they are free to leave. Every situation is unique, but this tendency to blame the victim for a spouse’s adultery must end now.
It seems that sexual sin is the only time culture allows us to blame the victim. We hear stories of rape where women are blamed because of what they are wearing or where they are.
And we constantly hear the stories of how spouses are blamed for their partner’s infidelity.
They weren’t loving well. They nagged. They didn’t provide well enough. They gained weight.
Whatever it might be, the innocent spouse is blamed.
We don’t blame the victim of a drunk driving accident for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We don’t blame the murdered spouse for causing the abuse that escalated to death.
We don’t blame the victim of a robbery for leaving their home unsecured. But we continue to blame the faithful spouse for his/her spouse’s actions which perpetuates the lies and further destroys the victim.
…As I said earlier, I have respect for Focus on the Family, but they need to take a long, hard look at the advertising for this book. Anyone who tells you to look at “your role” in your spouse’s affair is letting the adulterous spouse off easily.
The correct question is to look straight at the adulterer and lay the full blame at their feet. Make sure they know they are the reason the marriage (and their spouse) is in shambles.
(read the rest of that editorial (Link): here)
(Link): A New Book from Focus on the Family Blames Women When Their Husbands Cheat
BY SARAHBETH CAPLIN (on the Friendly Atheist site)
July 30, 2019
The conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family isn’t exactly known for being egalitarian or feminist… or thoughtful or inclusive or tolerant or accepting. But a new book from their publishing company offers the most on-brand kind of victim-blaming.
The title says it all: How God Used “the Other Woman”: Saving Your Marriage after Infidelity. The book, by marriage counselor (!!!) Tina Konkin, is all about how you should respond to discovering your partner is having an affair by… taking a long hard look at your own flaws.
— end list of resources —
Never, ever take advice from people – such as 99% of (usually conservative) Christians who believe that it’s proper, good, right, godly, God’s design, moral, or wise, for you (and just due to your biological sex, you were born female) to always, or almost always, surrender your boundaries, to tolerate poor treatment, and to go through life passively.
Jesus and God are not going to protect you, or deliver you, from allowing yourself to go through life being used or abused by men, (or by anyone), regardless of why you are doing it, even if your motives are good, or you think you are honoring God by staying in a horrible relationship, or by allowing others to walk all over you.
Trust me, I know, I lived it.
Visit any forums or blogs by and for Christian women who discuss how and why they divorced their Christian husbands because their Christian husbands were physically, sexually, financially, or emotionally abusing them.
The churches of these abused Christian wives usually did not back them up but instead victim-blamed them, told them to stay in the abusive marriages.
Further, God did not “save” these women from their horrible marriages, nor did God intervene to warn them prior to the wedding “don’t marry this guy!” – Nope.
God allowed these women to live out their choices (including walking into relationships with abusers), and Christians did nothing to help these women leave a destructive marriage (or whatever other type of destructive relationship) but told them to stay in it.
So do not waste your time taking relationship advice from people who do not put your best interests first and foremost, people with sexist theology who think God wants women to endure such treatment.
You are better off making up your mind about what you think is right for you, not listening to what Christian laypersons, Christian counselors or authors have to say about marriage, divorce, and etc, because 99% of them will never, ever be on your side or encourage you to divorce or to stand up for yourself, or to engage in any other healthy behavior.
And to reiterate:
Some of the most Anti-Woman, Anti-Marriage, and Anti-Family teachings come not from feminists or from liberals, but from Christian groups (and some secular conservative ones) who purport to be supportive and respectful of women, marriage, and “the nuclear family.”
And I am not a liberal myself, I’m a conservative – but I can spot when other conservatives are being absolute hypocrites on some issues, this being one of them.
(Link): Women: Stop Asking Pat Robertson For Romantic Relationship Advice – Whether You Are Divorced or Single – Pat Robertson Replies to Letter from Four Time Divorced Woman Who Wants to Know If God Will Send Her a Non-Abusive Husband