Couples Who Marry Due to Family, Social Pressure 50% More Likely to Divorce: Study – reportage by Leonardo Blair

Couples Who Marry Due to Family, Social Pressure 50% More Likely to Divorce: Study – reportage by Leonardo Blair

And what do conservative Christians (who tend to be hyper-pro-marriage-and-pro-parenthood-and-pro-nuclear family) do BUT to highly pressure and shame single, childless adults into marrying.

I did a post here years ago about a woman who says she felt pressured to marry by her church, so she ended up marrying the wrong guy, and she regretted it, and she divorced (link to that is below, under “Related Posts”).

Christians and pro-nuclear family conservatives deify marriage (and parenthood and the nuclear family) to such an un-biblical, absurd degree that they end up alienating, insulting, and marginalizing any adult who doesn’t marry or have kids for whatever reason, and it needs to stop.

And by the way, for single adult women who had wanted to marry but remain single after the age of 30, 40, or older, getting married is not easy, but so many conservatives incorrectly assume that if you want marriage, it is easy-peasy, it’s a total snap, that if you want marriage, it will “just happen”,

(or, conservatives – and sometimes secular liberals, too – incredibly, insultingly, and unrealistically – expect single, adult women to “settle” for marrying stupid, abusive, weird, disturbed, sexist, ugly, fat, or idiot men
– of course, they hypocritically would not expect their own single adult daughter to marry a loser or weirdo (no, they advise their own single adult daughter to hold out for a quality catch),
but they feel fine advising non-family single females they run into to marry ANY GUY with a pulse who they cross paths with – it is so hypocritical and demeaning).

If one is a single, adult woman who desires marriage, it is not easy to find a decent, compatible man to marry – not on dating sites, bars, or in churches, either (most churches lack marrying-age single men, and some of the men who attend are abusive or are pedophiles who want to marry an adult woman to act as a “beard” to hide their sexual attraction to children).

(Link): Couples Who Marry Due to Family, Social Pressure 50% More Likely to Divorce: Study by Leonardo Blair

Excerpts:

Nov 2, 2022
by Leonardo Blair

Couples who get married due to family or social pressure are up to 50% more at risk of having a union that ends in divorce, according to a recent study from the Marriage Foundation in England and Wales.

The study, “Attitudes towards marriage and commitment,” published in October, asked 2,000 adults who had ever married how much they agreed or disagreed with each of 12 reasons presented by researchers for why they got married.

To ensure that the findings were relevant to today’s families, researchers then focused on 905 couples from the sample who married for the first time after the year 2000 when online dating emerged.

“What this research shows conclusively is that the reasons why people get married has a significant material impact to whether they stay together. While this might seem obvious, this has never been quantified,” said Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation’s research director, in a statement about the study shared with The Christian Post. “But the message is clear. Get married for love and your future together and not because it is either expected of you or because of family pressure.”

Continue reading “Couples Who Marry Due to Family, Social Pressure 50% More Likely to Divorce: Study – reportage by Leonardo Blair”

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

I like seeing content like below.

It’s nice to see that decades-old Hollywood and Christian propaganda about marriage (or romantic relationships overall) “completing” a person or making him or her happy is a bunch of garbage.

This married guy sounds miserable. His wife doesn’t sound happy with him, either.

(Link): Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby,

I am a 50-year-old man, married for 25 years. My wife is older than I. In the beginning, it was great, but our relationship slowly started failing, and now we argue about everything.

I feel like I’m trapped in a cage.

We don’t have one single thing in common anymore.

Continue reading “Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will”

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

The first half to two thirds of this video of what the speakers describe, how they describe the typical views of abusive men, is reminiscent of some Christian Gender Complementarians and their views, and what some complementarian adherents believe.

Especially if you are a Christian single woman who’s wanting to marry AND in particular you were raised by Christian parents or in a church that taught traditional gender roles (perhaps under the phrase or label of “gender complementarianism“) please pay special attention to the video below.

Under “gender complementarian” teachings (and just mainstream, evangelical or Baptist and Christian dating advice), Christian women have been taught to accept all sorts of toxic teachings and to accept on-going mistreatment from a spouse (and from other people in their lives).

Chances are good that if you’re a single Christian woman who was brought up to believe in gender complementarian teachings that you were heavily encouraged to adopt people pleasing or codependent behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes, which will make you attractive to abusers and people with personality disorders (many of whom can be abusive).

Additionally, if you do marry an abusive person (whether he is emotionally, sexually, verbally, or physically abusive) the majority of Christian churches and denominations teach women that divorce is not an option, not even in cases of abuse.

You (if you’re an abused wife asking a Christian for advice or help in regards to your marriage) will usually be told just to “submit more,” give your spouse more sex, and to pray about it – but none of those methods will change your spouse or cause him to stop abusing you.

There is nothing you can say or do that will get your husband to stop abusing you – (Link): nor is it your responsibility to try to fix or change your spouse in the first place.

You have to go into a marriage to a self professing Christian man knowing before-hand  that if your spouse turns abusive, that you must eventually divorce the guy, and you most likely won’t get any help or encouragement in that area from your church, church group, church friends, or pastor.

Most churches and pastors will shame, pressure, and guilt trip an abused wife to stay in the abusive marriage at all costs, because they value the institution of marriage above the safety and mental health of the abused wife.

If you’re a Christian woman in an abusive marriage, your church, church friends, and your preacher will never, ever give you permission to divorce – but you don’t need their permission or approval – you just need your own. It’s your life, not theirs.

(Link – to video on You Tube): Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Excerpts, video description (from text below the video on the You Tube page):

I’m happy to interview Lundy Bancroft, author, and expert on male abuse behaviors and tactics.

Lundy has 30 years experience working in the field of abuse. His book “Why Does He Do That” is a one of the first I read and it helped tremendously.

Lundy is a lifelong advocate for the safety of women and children and it shines through in his books. You may be wondering whether you’re in a relationship with a Narcissist or an Abuser or someone who’s both.

Continue reading “Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast”

The ‘Paralyzed in a Wheelchair’ Analogy – Regarding: Clinical Depression – Also: The Cynical or Victimhood Filter

The ‘Paralyzed in a Wheelchair’ Analogy – Regarding: Clinical Depression – Also: The Cynical or Victimhood Filter

How accurate is it for the clinically depressed, or those who think they are allies to them, to use the “paralyzed and in a wheel chair” comparison to explain how supposedly helpless and incapable the depressed are? I will discuss this topic as this post goes on.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression at a young age by a psychiatrist, and proceeded to see three more psychiatrists until my early 30s.

(I had to move often, which is why I had to change psychiatrists – as to my next- to- last psychiatrist, I dropped her for a new one, because she was terse and grouchy, which I did not like.)

During those years, and even now, I do see a lot of people who have never had depression and who don’t understand what it is.

A lot of mentally healthy people think that clinical depression is the same as regular sadness, and they believe most people can “snap out of” every day, regular sadness within hours or days – which I’d say is probably true.

When people have clinical depression, however, they can’t just “snap out of it” in days or weeks. sadFaceEmoji

Depression doesn’t just dissipate on its own over time, and depression is not always triggered by a single, identifiable event.

If you’d like more background about clinical depression, what it is, how it can be treated, and some information about  its symptoms, I invite you to visit this page about it at the Mayo Clinic:

(Link, from Mayo Clinic): What does the term “clinical depression” mean?

As for me, clinical depression (as well as suicidal impulses) run on both sides of my family, and anxiety is on the maternal side, so I take it that it’s genetic in my case, and not purely situational or due to personal shortcomings, sin, etc.

I lived with clinical depression for 35+ years.

I saw psychiatrists and took doctor prescribed anti-depressant medications for it, which never helped.

During the years I was a devout Christian (I’m not altogether sure what my spiritual beliefs are now), I prayed, read the Bible, had faith God would heal me of the depression and anxiety, but God never did.

Doing good deeds for others, attending church, etc, and so on, never did take the depression or anxiety away.

Continue reading “The ‘Paralyzed in a Wheelchair’ Analogy – Regarding: Clinical Depression – Also: The Cynical or Victimhood Filter”

Surprise! Slate’s Advice Column is Full of Fake Letters

Surprise! Slate’s Advice Column is Full of Fake Letters

(Link): Surprise! Slate’s Advice Column is Full of Fake Letters

by J. Sexton

Slate has an advice column called “Dear Prudence” which has been written by a number of people over the years.

The usual letter is some semi-plausible domestic situation which is always anonymous of course since no one would want their real name associated with these problems in public.

But it turns out that kind of anonymity and the desire for a certain brand of unbelievable, yet morally fashionable, dilemma created another problem.

It left the column open to fakes.

Continue reading “Surprise! Slate’s Advice Column is Full of Fake Letters”

Problems With the Article ‘Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster’

Problems With the Article ‘Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster’

The article I will be addressing in this post:

(Link): Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster

Excerpt:

Evans told CP that until manhood is properly defined, culture cannot be saved.
—///—

I am a (Link): former gender complementarian, so I understand the outlook of a Tony Evans and guys like him, and many of the assumptions that are made about culture and gender roles, but these are views that I no longer share.

Gender Role malarky aside, one of my biggest problems with the views of Tony Evans brought forth in this article is that he is of the mindset -like many Christians are- that culture can or should be saved.

He further thinks that teaching Christian gender roles is the way to go about it.

As I’ve stated many times previously in other posts, the Bible says that Jesus Christ alone saves, and he saves on the individual level.

He doesn’t save groups or cultures.

Continue reading “Problems With the Article ‘Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster’”

Single, Virgin Women Do Not Have Another Standard by Which to Be Saved, Contra Complementarian Group CBMW

Single, Virgin Women Do Not Have Another Standard by Which to Be Saved, Contra Complementarian Group CBMW

The Bible does teach that people should remain virgins until marriage, but oddly, some Christians do things like omit men from this teaching (as though virginity applies only to women).

In this case, they seem to be conflating being single, and a virgin, with receiving salvation, as though there’s some other standard by which others are saved. Christians also frequently make much too much out of the marriage analogy, in which they pretty much seem to suggest that a person has to be married (and having sex) to truly know God or be in relationship with God.

Via the Biblical Personhood blog:

(Link): Is “Biblical” manhood and womanhood compatible with the gospel of Christ?

The Biblical Personhood blog reproduces this quote from a Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood resource:

[from complementarian, CBMW, material:]

48. How can a Christian single woman enter into the mystery of Christ and the Church if she never experiences marriage?
[Their answer promotes offering your virginity to God. Nothing about becoming a Christian.] – CBMW, “Fifty Crucial Questions, Question 48

… The mystery of Christ and the church, likewise, is not about marriage or celibacy. Jesus loved you – male or female, single or married or divorced or widowed – first. Know you are loved by God, love God back, experience God’s love, and see how it never ends, and how it changes you to live for Him.

Continue reading “Single, Virgin Women Do Not Have Another Standard by Which to Be Saved, Contra Complementarian Group CBMW”

Alpha Females Part 4 – From Psychiatrists and Counselors: How and Why Being a Beta Female is Harmful and Damaging to Women

Alpha Females Part 4 – From Psychiatrists and Counselors: How and Why Being a Beta Female is Harmful and Damaging to Women

This commentary will be divided up among a few posts. Here is part 4.

(This post may be edited in the future to re-word things, polish things, add new thoughts or links / For Twitter: #TheAlphaFemalesGuide )

From this series:

Visit Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Part 3B: Response to Venker: Re: Personal Experience

Introduction.

For those new to my blog:

I am a right winger. I was a Republican until recently. I am now a conservative Independent.

I was a conservative Christian for many years (I am no longer sure about what my religious views are), and I (Link): Am A Former Gender Complementarian (someone who believed in and lived out traditional gender roles (what Venker would describe as “feminine” or “beta”), views which are based in large measure on incorrect interpretations and applications about gender in the Bible).

I sometimes agree with secular left wing feminists on some topics, but not always. At times, I disagree with secular and religious left wing feminists and have written several blog posts critiquing some of their views.

This series of blog posts is addressing the dating and relationship advice of author Suzanne Venker, who wrote a book called “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage” which she has lately been marketing online and on TV news shows.

Here is one article by Venker about her relationship views:

(Link, off site):  Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love by S. Venker


As many books and articles on the subjects of boundaries, codependency, and even domestic violence explain, when or if a woman exhibits codependent behaviors or attitudes (such as being passive, having an unwillingness to say no to others, doesn’t put her own needs first), she will tend to attract abusive, selfish, or exploitative individuals.

Unfortunately, many of these same codependent traits are considered “feminine” by many conservatives and by Christians (under the teaching of gender complementarianism). Author Venker touts such traits under the heading of “Beta” or “being nice” or as “being feminine” or “being soft.”

While I myself do not agree with every last facet of secular (or even Christian) feminism, they are at least correct in fighting against expecting such behavior from girls and women, because they realize it leaves females open to being exploited, or treated unfairly at jobs or in relationships.

As this Christian-authored piece explains, feminism (not even secular feminism) is entirely bad, wrong, or off-base:

(Link): Perhaps Feminism is Not The Enemy

I also explained in (Link): Part 2 how many conservatives (and Venker herself) misunderstand, wrongly explain, or misunderstand feminism.

As I explained in (Link): Part 3 of this series, I was a “Beta” myself for many years (as was my mother), which is what Venker says women should be, if they hope to marry or have a happy, stress-free, marriage once they marry.

However, being “Beta” does not guarantee that a woman will attract more men, get more dates, or have a happy marriage – again, as I already explained in Part 3.

WHAT THE EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT WOMEN BEING BETA

Psychiatrists and therapists have written books and articles explaining how and why taking advice such as Venker’s can lead to problems for women, including in the area of dating and marriage.

Below, I will excerpt content from the books The Disease to Please by psychiatrists Harriet B. Braiker, PhD, and counselor Beverly Engel from the book The Nice Girl Syndrome.

First, here are the relevant portions from Venker’s article on Fox News:

(Link):  Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love by S. Venker – on the Fox News site

Today they abound. There are several reasons why, but it’s in large part due to women having been groomed to be leaders rather than to be wives. Simply put, women have become too much like men. They’re too competitive. Too masculine. Too alpha.

That may get them ahead at work. But when it comes to love, it will land them in a ditch.

Every relationship requires a masculine and a feminine energy to thrive. If women want to find peace with men, they must find their feminine…

In essence, being feminine means being nice. It means being soft instead of hard…

…What men want most of all is respect, companionship and sex. If you supply these basics, your husband will do anything for you…

—(end excerpt)—

There, Venker is telling women to deny who they truly are and downplay their personalities, desires, and so on (don’t come on “too strong”), because if they stay as-is, they will repel men, but if they change themselves to make a man happy, they can attract men, or the man they have won’t want to divorce them.

Let’s see what Dr. Braiker has to say about that type of reasoning (spoiler alert: Braiker totally disagrees with Venker).

From the book The Disease to Please:

Page 95:

…If you are the people-pleaser [people-pleaser = Venker’s Beta, Nice, or Feminine] in an unbalanced relationship… you will be forced to deny or suppress your own needs. Inevitably, even the nicest people will become frustrated and angry when their emotional and sexual needs are denied indefinitely.

Healthy relationships that endure are balanced and interdependent. Balanced interdependence means that both partners are aware of and sensitive and responsive to the needs of the other.

—(end excerpt)—

From pages 93-94:

Many people-pleasers [people-pleaser = Beta, Codependent, Nice, or Feminine women] who have used this approach [making a man dependent upon them by doing nice things for him all the time, stifling your own needs, etc., and  using other approaches Venker recommends] sadly discover that manipulating a man into an excessively dependent position – no matter how nice and well-intended your motives – may actually push him into doing the thing you most fear: abandoning you.

—(end excerpt)—

From pages 94 to 95, Braiker gives a case study of a patient of hers named Jennifer who utilized Venker-type methods to hold on to her husband [she always was available to him sexually, she sacrificed her needs to meet his at all times, and sought to “spoil” him].

The result? Jennifer’s husband Ron began having an affair on her with another woman, and later, Jennifer came home one day to find a note of good-bye from her husband, Ron, where he said he was divorcing her for the other woman.

A little later in this same chapter, starting on page 95, Braiker discusses how many career women are what Venker would refer to as ‘Alpha’ in the workplace (confident, competent, assertive, and so forth) but think that to attract or retain a man in their romantic life, that they must behave in what Venker would refer to as a “Beta.”

Braiker explains in this book that this is not so – that acting “Beta” (or “nice” or “feminine” – all which amounts to the same thing, regardless of the terminology used: being a codependent with bad boundaries in practice), causes such women to attract abusive or selfish men. Braiker then spends the rest of the chapter cautioning women from being passive in their romantic life to avoid users, abusers, and narcissists.

Here are a few excerpts, by Braiker (pages 95, 96):

… I have treated many highly successful career women who have entrapped themselves in bad relationships with men by their self-imposed people-pleasing [people-pleasing = being Beta, Nice, Feminine, Codependent] subservience.

A large number of these women who are now at the pinnacle of their professions grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, in an era when femininity and sexual attractiveness still carried with them certain gender stereotypes such as submissiveness, dependency, passivity, and sensitivity.

Today, many of these women, and even a significant number of younger women too, fear that the very traits that account for their success in the workplace – assertiveness, mental toughness, aggressiveness, competitive-ness – become liabilities in their romantic relationships with men.

[Here Braiker inserts the case study of one woman patient who is a CEO]

Many women like my [C.E.O.] patient, harbor misgivings about whether their achievements might boomerang when it comes to relationships with men and come back to haunt them.

…. As a consequence of this dangerous combination [fear of success combined with people-pleasing], they may engage in a range of self-defeating behaviors that can sabotage either their careers or their personal relationships, and often both.

… Some people-pleasing women attempt to resolve the dilemma by splitting their personality traits into two discrete “sides.” They may display their competitive, assertive, and aggressive side at work.

In their personal relationships with men, they may adopt an exaggerated “femininity,” displaying passivity, submissiveness, and compliance. This masquerade, of course, is no solution at all. Rather, it is a recipe for inner conflict, anxiety, identity confusion, and lowered self-esteem.

—(end excerpt)—

Braiker then next, on pages 96-97, offers up the case study of one of her women patients, Helene, who was a successful business woman who was living out what Venker suggests in her book for women to do: be assertive at the job, but be the passive, sweet, sex kitten at home with her mate.

The result of this for Helene? Lots of abuse.

…behind closed doors when they are alone, Bob [Helene’s boyfriend] treats Helene abusively. [Helene has a far more successful career than Bob does, which Bob is aware of.]

Helene defends Bob’s behavior by “understanding” how difficult it is for a man to stand in her shadow.

…Helene realized [via therapy] that she needed to correct some of her own gender stereotypes. Helene believed that by demonstrating her people-pleasing [Beta, nice, feminine] behavior in her personal relationships with men, she was being more feminine and, therefore, more sexually attractive.

[At her place of employment, where she was CEO, Helene tolerated no sexual harassment for herself or for any woman]. However, because of her Disease to Please [being codependent, Beta, nice, and feminine], Helene was actually rewarding a man for treating her abusively behind close doors.

—(end excerpt)—

From page 97:

It is imperative that you recognize how dangerous and self-sabotaging your people-pleasing tendencies with men can become so that you can change the unhealthy dynamic of your relationships. Otherwise, the Disease to Please [being codependent, Beta, nice, and feminine] will serve as a veritable mating call to men who have a perverse need and desire to control nearly every aspect of your behavior. Worse yet, you will allow them to do so.

—(end excerpt)—

Page 98:

Unless you repair the damage by curing the Disease to Please [being codependent, Beta, nice, and feminine]  that produced it, you will limp away from the relationship with the brand of “damaged goods” on your ego. [Then the cycle will repeat itself as you attract yet another abusive, selfish, or jerk boyfriend who mistreats you all over again.]

—(end excerpt)—

As you can see from those excerpts (and there are plenty more in the book), Dr. Braiker strongly warns and advises women against the very traits and attitudes that Venker is telling women in articles, books, and TV appearances that she thinks they should have!

While there are plenty of selfish or abusive men who would enjoy being able to thoroughly control a woman, and a woman who, per Venker’s teaching, willingly goes along with it, a lot of men soon tire of this extreme “feminine” type of woman and dump her.

In her book, starting on page 100, Dr. Braiker discusses a male patient she had once who admitted that he loved to date the sort of women Venker advises women to be, because they were so easy to control. But, the guy soon got tired of dating these passive, wimpy, Beta women.

Here’s what he said:

“…One day, I realized I’m sitting in the boat [of life] all alone. I don’t want the kind of woman who will do anything to please me anymore. It’s boring and lonely. I want a partner who can sit on the boat next to me and keep me company. I want us to please each other without losing all boundaries or identity.”

Another male patient said (page 101):

“I do like to be in control, but I really want someone who will push back. I like steak because it gives me something to chew on. I don’t want to eat pre-chewed baby food. That’s how I wind up feeling about a woman who will give up her own substance just because she’s trying to please me. There’s nothing to chew on; there’s no challenge there at all. I just get bored.”

As Dr. Braiker so succinctly puts it (from page 106):

-There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a man you love happy or wanting to please him. Just be sure that you’re not pleasing him by hurting yourself in the process.

-Any man who is threatened or feels diminished by your intelligence, achievements, success, or talent is NOT someone with whom you are likely to have a gratifying relationship with anyway. Look elsewhere.

—(end excerpt)—

Earlier in the book starting around page 49, Dr. Braiker discusses a single woman patient she had named Miranda who wants badly to get married. Miranda cannot figure out why she can’t seem to hold on to a man.

Miranda wrongly assumes the way to “catch” a man is to take the sort of advice Venker gives in her relationship book – she tries to be very pleasing and agreeable with every man she dates, she molds herself into whatever type of woman she assumes her current boyfriend of the month likes, and so on.

The result is that all these men eventually become bored with Miranda – and break up with her.

As Braiker describes it in the book (page 50), Miranda puts on the “beta” routine that Venker advises:

So, as soon as Miranda finds herself attracted and interested in a man, she puts herself in a subservient, submissive, position. She lavishes men with attention, adoration, and praise. Miranda believes that to be worthy of a man’s love, she must prove she will always put his needs first.

…The truth is that she [Miranda] cannot offer the one thing a healthy man wants and needs the most: the ability to truly share herself because she knows and values who she is.

—(end excerpt)—

Notice that Miranda’s assumptions on how to attract a man are similar to the tactics Venker puts forward in her Fox news article. And, as Braiker goes on to explain, Miranda was her patient because her “beta” femininity was driving men away, and she could not figure out that it was her very beta-femininity-ness that was at fault.

EXCHANGING AGENCY AND INDEPENDENCE FOR BEING OVER-RELIANT ON A MAN

Continuing with my critique of Venker’s views; more from her article at Fox news:

(Link):  Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love by S. Venker – on the Fox News site:

And because I had zero interest in my husband adopting a more feminine role, I set about to become the feminine creature our culture insists women not be.

And here’s what I learned: It’s liberating to be a beta!

I’m an alpha all day long, and it gets tiresome. I concede that I thrive on it; but at the end of the day, I’m spent. Self-reliance is exhausting. Making all the decisions is exhausting. Driving the car, literally or figuratively, is exhausting.

—(end excerpt)—

So, Venker is apparently fine ceding normal adult and personal responsibility to her husband because it makes her life easier. What she’s also sacrificing is her independence, dignity, and agency by doing so.

I take it that Venker is a right winger or conservative: right wingers and conservatives support personal responsibility; they don’t recommend that adults neglect it.

As I explain in an older post, I am a FORMER gender complementarian. Sometimes people on other sites have asked me, “Why do you suppose so many Christian women willingly endure the sexism known as complementarianism?”

One of several reasons so many Christian women remain “stuck” in complementarianism and go along with it is precisely to ride the coat-tails of a husband, because it’s easier going through life with someone taking care of you than it is for you to take care of yourself, by getting a job, taking care of your own car, and so forth.

Christian women are willing to trade off their autonomy, dreams, goals in life, and independence in exchange for male-provided financial stability and having a husband who is like a “father figure” who they can rely on.

In the book of Genesis of the Bible, God, by the way, actually predicted this would happen as a result of sin, when He told Adam and Eve that the woman would desire her husband and turn to the husband – rather than to God.

Ever since, yes, many women have indeed traded off God-reliance (or self-reliance) to depend on a husband for emotional and financial stability. And women like Venker (along with hordes of Christian gender complementarians) are prodding women to keep this up. It’s so sick, and rather tragic.

Women depending on men to this degree – and giving up their identity, needs, and self-hood in the process – is a RESULT of the Fall, a RESULT of sin entering humanity – but Venker and complementarians and other conservatives think this is awesome, healthy, or great for marriages and dating. Sick, sick, sick.

Secular feminism seeks to correct this type of sin that impacts women so strongly (and so this is one aspect of feminism that is good!), ironically.

Secular feminists are trying to free women from this very sin God predicted back in Genesis (and secular feminists – and a smaller number of Christian gender egalitarians – see how damaging it is), but many Christians and conservatives keep trying to cram women back into this same “sin box” and tell them it is “good” for them and for their relationships.

So, Venker finds being responsible and making decisions all day tiring. Well, yes, most people do. But the solution is not to hand over all or most of your personal responsibility to another adult.

Counselor Beverly Engels warns women against this very temptation in her book (Link): The Nice Girl Syndrome.

Engel discusses in the book (pages 212 – 214) that during her early 30s, on a month long trip to Europe, she met a European guy named Jacob. By the time she met this guy, she had been in Europe for a few weeks, was exhausted.

She ends up going to his place, they had sex a time or two, though the second time she didn’t really want to. The guy wasn’t exactly overtly abusive, but she felt she “owed” him sex to be nice to him, since he was now taking care of her. He was making her breakfasts, letting her stay at his home, etc.

For a period of time, due to exhaustion, Engel says she let this Jacob man control her, she was tired of making decisions for herself, she was tired of all the responsibility on this trip, so she was willing to turn the steering wheel over to Jacob – as Venker is asking women to do in their own relationships.

Engel says that is a bad move, and she has regret over her interactions with Jacob to this day. Even though she kept turning the guy down sexually, so long as she stayed at his home, he kept repeatedly bugging her for sex and for more sex. He was super persistent.

Venker’s advice to women boils down to that they infantilize themselves to be more attractive to men. This is bad and dangerous advice.

From page 131 by Engel:

You can’t expect anyone else to take responsibility for your welfare. You are the only one who can take care of you.

The price you pay for looking to someone else to take care of you is dependency, the loss of self, and, ultimately, the inability to control your life.

YOU DON’T WANT TO DATE OR MARRY THE SORT OF MEN VENKER’S ADVICE WILL ATTRACT

From page 45 of Engel’s book:

It used to be that the payoff for being sweet and nice was that one was taken care of and protected by the men and authority figures in one’s life.

Girls and women were perceived as weaker and in need of protection from the “big, bad world,” and boys and men took on the responsibility of making sure that nothing bad happened to them. But those days are gone, along with chivalry and manners.

Most boys and men today do not feel responsible for protecting girls; in fact, many view girls and women as objects to be exploited.

…This doesn’t mean that there aren’t men who like taking on the role of provider and protector. But these men are not necessarily throwbacks to an earlier time – unfortunately, they often take on this role as a way of dominating women. In fact, these men often look for women who are passive, who appear naive and innocent, because such women are easier to control.

–(end excerpt)–

Yes, as you can see, Venker’s advice, if followed, will open you up to appearing very attractive to abusive, selfish, cruel, or self-absorbed men who only want to use you, not care for you or about your needs.

The sorts of men you will attract if you follow Venker’s advice are not the sorts of men you want to date or marry. You want to avoid these guys, not marry them.

I also find this, from Engel’s book, highly pertinent (from page 126), where Engle is discussing a patient she had named Nina:

Nina was painting a picture of a storybook family life – the dutiful wife, the hardworking husband, the kids who were seen but not heard. Or was it? Nina was a young woman who was raised in the 1980s – not the fifties. Something just wasn’t adding up.

After several more sessions and some gentle prodding on my part, Nina finally opened up more about how it really was in her family. As it turned out, it wasn’t so perfect after all.

Yes, her mother was a dutiful wife, but her father was quite demanding. He expected his wife to wait on him hand and foot when he was home, and he was extremely hard to please.

There were many nights when he refused to eat what she [his wife, who was Nina’s mother] had cooked and insisted that she cook something else entirely. He complained if the house wasn’t immaculate and the kids weren’t bathed and dressed up when he got home.

As we continued to explore Nina’s childhood, Nina admitted that it really wasn’t by choice that her mother didn’t have any friends or didn’t go out much. It was at her father’s insistence that Nina’s mother not associate with anyone outside the family.

–(end excerpt)–

If you go by Venker’s marital advice, you may find yourself with a similar dynamic in your marriage that Nina’s mother was in. How many of you married women out there want that sort of loveless, emotionally abusive marriage?

Exchanging your decision-making abilities or duties for a life of ease and simplicity, all so more stress and responsibility falls on your husband, is a lazy, stupid, immature, potentially dangerous thing to do, and it’s actually unfair to your husband. I am dumb-founded that a conservative author any where would recommend that other women do this, or that she does this herself.

I hope this post of mine, with excerpts from books by a psychiatrist and a counselor, both of whom have treated many patients over the years (and hence have way more insight and experience in relationship dynamics than Venker does) clarifies just how terrible, sexist, and harmful relationship advice such as Venker’s is.

If you didn’t want to take my word for it, as (Link): based upon my experience and my mother’s, with how awful it was to utilize Venker-like advice in our own relationships, I hope the insights by professionals (one with a PhD) lends more credence.


I intend on writing a Part 5, if or when I get the time and/or inclination. And then, I think I may finally be done with this series. – Thankfully. This was not something I enjoyed writing all too much.


Related Posts:

(Link):  Alpha Females Part 1 – Nothing New Under the Sun. Conservative Women Keep Issuing Same Sexist, Unhelpful Dating And Marital Advice to Women

(Link):  Alpha Females Part 2 – Defining the Terms – How Anti-Feminists and Complementarians Misrepresent Concepts or Terms

(Link): A Response to Venker: Re: Personal Experience

(Link): Pathologies of Victimhood by R. Gunderman – The Dangers of Victimhood Mentality

(Link): Author Claims Andrea Tantaros’ Book About How Feminism ‘Made Women Miserable’ Was Ghostwritten by a Man

(Link): Help! I Think I Made a Terrible Mistake When Helping My Elderly Neighbor (The Codependency, People Pleasing Trap)

(Link): Graduate Man Who Was Unhappy Being Single, Frustrated He Couldn’t Get a Girlfriend, Hooked on Violent Porn, Terrified Women With Instagram ‘Rape List’ In Stalking Campaign

Woman Says Her Formerly (Supposed) Womanizing Husband Claims He’s Not Interested in Having Sex With Her (Ask Amy)

Woman Says Her Formerly (Supposed) Womanizing Husband Claims He’s Not Interested in Having Sex  With Her (Ask Amy)

This is a Nov. 2016 letter from a married woman to advice columnist “Ask Amy.”

The woman’s husband was quite the horn dog prior to meeting her, or so he says. The husband claims he slept around a lot, prior to them marrying.

I would avoid a guy like this like the plague, but this woman actually found it “touching” or sweet when the guy told her out of the bazillions of women he’s slept with before, she seems special to him – so she married him (sounds like a cheap line a player would use to me, but I digress).

Anyway. The woman is now writing Amy to say their marriage has turned sexless.

I suspect that the guy is probably having affairs with other women, which is one possibility Amy tosses out.

Regardless of his motivations, it remains that this woman is in a sexless marriage.

I never heard things like this from Christians when I was a kid, teen, or older.

All I ever heard growing up was the propaganda that if a woman remains a virgin until marriage, that the married sex will be Fantastic! Roof shattering! Frequent! Always satisfying! Great!

Well apparently, married sex is not what it’s cracked up to be. If you marry, your husband may have so much extra-marital sex with other women, he won’t be interested in having sex with you any longer. Or, the husband may be under so much job stress he won’t want to have sex. Or, he might have depression, which can sap a person’s libido.

There could be any number of reasons why a spouse won’t “put out” in a marriage any more, which will leave you, the other half, sex-less. I seldom see Christians admit that this is a thing, that it happens to couples, which I feel is dishonest of them.

Being married is not – contrary to a lot of conservative Christian propaganda – a guarantee of receiving hot, regular, great sex.

You can read the woman’s letter here:

(Link):  Ask Amy: Wife ponders mystery of husband’s behavior

Dear Amy: I fell madly in love with a wonderful, kind man. He told me that he had been with 30-plus women in his 55-plus years, primarily for sex.

When he told me he really loved me and had never truly felt this way before about any other woman, it won me over, and now we are married.

I am seven years younger than he is and had been divorced for about 15 years. My issue is that now my husband is not interested in having sex with me at all.

He states that he has already had that and now he just wants love.

I have cried, talked and asked for counseling, to no avail. I am ready to walk away. I feel ugly and undesirable.

He has promised to make changes, but in 10 months nothing has changed.

I love him deeply, but my heart is telling me that this is now becoming toxic.

I don’t understand how he can have sex with so many women he didn’t love, but not with the woman he loves.

Do you have any guidance?

Feeling Abandoned

Your husband is not a “wonderful, kind” man. He’s a user and a sexist pig, lady. A wonderful, kind man does not sexually use woman or sleep around to the point he’s bagged 30 plus women over his life. You married a dud.

And by the way, if the guy is saying he will make changes, but ten months later, none have been made, that is your two by four over the head: the man has NO INTENTION of changing. Leave now. Stop wasting your time on this guy. Divorce. Learn to be happy being single.

Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids

Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids

Several Christian blogs have been covering this story lately.

A married Christian father named Peter Newman is reported to have sexually assaulted under-aged boys that he met at a Christian camp called Kamp Kanakuk in Missouri.

A guy named Joe White is the CEO of Kanakuk Ministries, which includes Kamp Kanakuk.

Newman, the reports say, invited some of these boys over to camp property in off-season, after hours, or to his home – sometimes under the pretense of having them over for Bible study.

According to online news, Newman told some of the boys if they allowed him to masturbate them (or vice versa), it would eliminate sexual temptation for them. These reports say Newman also went on to sodomize these boys or perform oral sex on them (or them on him).

If I am understanding the blog coverage and secular news reports correctly, even though the Christians who ran the camp knew (yes, they knew) that this Newman guy was allegedly fondling children, they did nothing about it.

Further (again, if I am understanding the coverage correctly) Newman was later hired to work at Fellowship Memphis Church, a church which (Link): also protected another known sexual deviant who preyed on girls and women within their church during church hours, despite the fact the folks there were aware of his deviant history.

Of course I find child sexual abuse to be horrible, evil, and deviant.

However, the focus of my blog is not child abuse per se.

I tend to focus on the topic of adult singleness and issues that may be of interest to singles – such as how Christians love to discriminate against, or otherwise ignore, singles, and how they promote this bogus notion that married parents are morally superior to single, childless adults. So, when I link to stories about child abuse, it tends to be in a way that relates to singleness.

When I was reading up on this story – mostly skimming articles, I’ve been a little busy lately to devote much time to writing posts for this blog – I noted how some of the promotional work for this Newman guy by Christians at the camp kept emphasizing what  a godly, stand-up guy he supposedly is.

These Christian groups were saying he’s a real great example of “Family Values.”

At one point, the Christians (either the Christian camp or the church, I don’t recall which) had Newman work as a (get this!) speaker about sexual purity for teens at some Christian conference.

Continue reading “Christian Married Father (Promoted by His Christian Employer as being a Family Values Guy) Sexually Assaulted Boys at Christian Camp, Some During Bible Study, Say News Reports – And He Led Sexual Purity Classes for Kids”

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

This is one of those topics I’m working my way through right now. Maybe a year from now, my opinion will flip on it. But here is where I am now.

I was first made aware of this post from John Piper’s “Desiring God” web site via someone posting to SCCL Facebook group.

Here it is:

(Link):  How to Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God by John Piper

Excerpts:

  • I said that one of my reasons for believing this comes from 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I asked, “Is it sin to disobey this Biblical commandment?” Yes.
  • …Some of you then asked the practical question: Well, how do you “eat and drink” to the glory of God? Say, orange juice for breakfast?
  • ….Orange juice was “created to be received with thanksgiving by those whobelieve the truth.” Therefore, unbelievers cannot use orange juice for the purpose God intended—namely, as an occasion for heartfelt gratitude to God from a truth heart of faith.
  • But believers can, and this is how they glorify God. Their drinking orange juice is “sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

Yes, it’s an entire post explaining why and how Christians may drink Orange Juice to the glory of God.

This is a part of Christianity that I am glad to leave behind. In my faith crisis of the last few years, there have been some advantages to ceasing turning to the Bible as an authority in decision-making in life in every area.

Continue reading “On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible”