Well, only if you don’t give him enough sex, apparently. Can you believe, I mean, can you really believe that people not only agree with this, but people who do write best-selling Christian marriage books?
My husband and I were at church a few weeks ago, and in a box labelled “free,” I found the book titled “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs”. Immediately, I was intrigued…and also skeptical. Any book that tells you exactly what men or women “need” based solely on gender, I typically roll my eyes at. But I thought I would give it a shot. It was free, after all.
Now, I did agree with some of what the author said in the book. He spoke about some ways that men and women express themselves differently. I have experienced this in my own marriage and can say I mostly agree with the following example:
The author wrote about how men try to fix women’s problems when all women want is someone to listen to them. He said that men need to let women vent. Women need to let men try to ‘fix’ it. Both parties needed to work on it. I’m okay with that.
But I was not okay with pretty much everything else. I could go on and on about how much I disagree with this book (like the fact that this author says men alone need to make the decisions in marriage), but I won’t. I’ll focus on one section. The section titled: “Sexuality – Appreciate His Desire For Sexual Intimacy.”
Now, if you’ve read some of my other posts (like this one) you’ll know I do not agree with the age-old stereotype that men want sex and women only want sex to feel loved. I think this is dangerous and can make women, who naturally and normally have a sex drive, feel like there’s something wrong with them.
It didn’t surprise me that author Dr. Emerson Eggerichs believed and preached this in his book. What did surprise me, however, is what he said on page 253. He wrote:
“The cold, hard truth is that men are often lured into affairs because they are sexually deprived at home. A man who strays is usually given total blame for his affair, but in many cases he is the victim of temptation that his wife helped bring upon him.”
On the next page, the author tells a story about a man who cheated on his wife. He begins this story by saying: “Being trapped by an adulteress is precisely what happened to the husband…”
According to this book, who’s to blame?
A) Wives who don’t have enough sex with their husbands? √
B) Seductresses who “trap” husbands? √
C) The husband himself? ×
Can you see how dangerous this is for women? For men? This book gives men excuses for cheating. It’s telling women that you should not only instantly forgive and forget, but that YOU are at FAULT for your husband’s extremely hurtful actions.
It’s funny how hypocritical this book is. It says that women don’t need physical intimacy for the sake of sex itself – yet, the “adulteress” is the one luring the husband. She clearly wants to have sex with this man. But, how is that possible? Women don’t want sex! Women only want sex to feel loved!
The wife, victim of a cheating husband, is now blamed. The “adulteress” is now blamed. Funny how the husband is never called an “adulterer.”
Women alone are now blamed. The husband, a male, is apparently an insatiable animal incapable of controlling himself. He is apparently the “true” victim. This is the exact same mentality that leads people to believe rape is okay. “What was the man supposed to do? The woman was just standing there naked! He couldn’t control himself.”
I know that is not what the author is saying, but when you shift the blame of cheating from husband to wife – who literally did nothing – then you begin to travel down a road that will lead you to those same conclusions.
Now, do I believe a woman should withhold sex from her husband as revenge, or to manipulate him? No. I also don’t think a man should do that. Do I believe sex is an extremely important part of marriage? Yes. Do I believe that a woman/man should have sex when she/he doesn’t want to because it is their “marital duty?” No.
What kind of man/woman would even want to have sex with an unwilling wife/husband?
The kind of thinking in this book is dangerous. What are you telling men? If your wife is bedridden and literally cannot have sex with you, then what, it’s okay to cheat? If she’s depressed or anxious or has any sort of mental illness and is not in a proper mental state to have sex with you, then it’s okay to cheat? Or is it just if she’s intentionally denying sex? Then it’s really okay to cheat? Did you ever think about maybe WHY she was intentionally denying sex? Maybe seeking counselling is the proper response, not seeking sex with another woman. You know, just maybe.
People need to be held responsible for their actions. A cheating husband is at fault for cheating. Not his wife. Not the woman he cheats with. It is his fault alone. A cheating wife is at fault for cheating. Not her husband. Not the man she cheats with. It is her fault alone.
Now, I’m not stupid. I know that it is probably hard for a man/woman to stay with a partner who consistently denies their most basic desires. But that still doesn’t make it their partner’s fault. As Christians, we are called to remain faithful to our spouse no matter what, not blame them or make excuses for our hurtful actions.