My Story is Your Story—Even When it’s Not

Comments 65

Imagine this: A magical alternative universe where total strangers randomly being in your house isn’t as scary or bizarre as it would actually be. (Because it’s the only way the next few paragraphs make any sense.)

And now imagine a stranger (who isn’t scary) in your house doing things your small child often does: Carelessly peeing on your toilet. Spitting globs of toothpaste in your sink without adequately rinsing the basin. Leaving toys or whatever scattered all over the living room floor. And NO MATTER HOW MANY FREAKING TIMES YOU’VE TOLD HIM, he doesn’t remember to eat over his plate, leaving 47 million crumbs on and around his seat at the table. Or maybe he puts his fingers on the house and car windows, or he gives you a little mouthy elementary-school sass that kind of makes you want to dropkick him.

If some dude off the street does that, I’ll secretly want to embed a golf club in his face, and might actually take a swing if that dumb bastard leaves another trail of crusted toothpaste in the bathroom sink that requires a power sander to clean.

If someone I kind of knew or was renting a room to did it, I might ask them to go away or find another place to live.

But if my little offspring—the absolute love of my life and my greatest earthly source of pride and joy—does it for the thousandth time? I’ll be frustrated with him for 10 seconds, remind him how easy it is to be less messy, and soon after, be laughing about whatever thing we move on to because he’s my favorite.

I think it’s relevant and noteworthy that three different people could do IDENTICAL things, and I’d react three different ways to each: one, I would hug and love unconditionally; the second, I would evict; and the third, I would face-punt.

All of which strike me as reasonable responses to the occasionally thoughtless, make-you-want-to-tear-out-your-hair-and-drink-excessively behaviors of my young grade schooler.

I have a few points, none of which are currently obvious:

1. Marriages Break Because Neglectful Spouses Devolve From Loved One, to Roommate, to Stranger You Want to Face-Punt

Sure, I love, care for, and am super-quick to forgive my young son in all his youthful innocence and cute-facedness. But what if he shows up in his 20s or 30s, pees all over the toilet, and repeatedly drops food and whatever all over the floor no matter how many times I’ve asked him to respect this seemingly reasonable sanitation policy? Maybe I’ll stop inviting him to dinner. Or maybe I’ll visit his house and pee all over his bathroom after brushing my teeth and leaving nasty toothpaste-saliva drippings in his sink.

If our expectations for our children’s behavior and respect for our instruction can change over time, is it unreasonable for a spouse to expect the same from her or his partner as their relationship evolves and grows through time?

A common marriage complaint from husbands is that their wives happiness is always a moving target. That nothing they do is ever good enough. I remember feeling that way, too.

A common marriage complaint I hear or read from frustrated wives is that her husband is “childish.” She doesn’t mean that he goofs off all the time and laughs hysterically at dick and fart jokes even though that could also be true, but that he never grows out of being the little boy who pees on the toilet or gets crumbs all over the floor during dinner. That could be literal, if she married someone with slob-like tendencies, or it could be metaphorical in the sense that he so rarely demonstrates thoughtfulness about things like housework or dinner plans or the schedules of others in the family.

It’s a dynamic that tends to be okay while dating and early in the marriage, but as the other We’re Gonna Get Divorced dominoes begin to fall, cleaning pee off the toilet rim—or worse, the seat—graduates from gross annoyance to murder motive.

She starts to feel like his mother, her sexual attraction for him dies, and then a bunch of other bad things start to happen.

2. Nothing is One-Size-Fits All

I often write in generalities because writing in specific absolutes, covering EVERY angle of EVERY topic would lead to 97-million-word posts that only my mom would read. There simply aren’t enough hours in a day to write or read about every possible scenario. So, when I write that Husbands Do This, or Wives Do That, or Men Often Think This, or Women Often Feel That, I’m doing so for brevity reasons, and I’m totally aware that almost NOTHING applies to everyone.

I was criticized recently by someone who interprets my writing as A. Blaming Men for Marriage Failure, B. Acting Like a Know-It-All Who Tries to Speak for All Men, and C. Never Holding Women Responsible for Their Role in Failing Marriages.

I don’t blame men. I even said so on the radio once.

I also don’t necessarily think it’s men’s fault—all these common relationship shortcomings we accidentally display—but I think it is our responsibility to right whatever wrongs we can as soon as we’re aware of them.

And I do believe there are specific things women can collectively do to improve relationships.

I think everyone who makes mistakes, should own them, and everyone with the power to make something better, should.

Which brings me to…

3. While I Write For Others, the Stories Are Mostly About Me

I’m just some guy.

There is nothing particularly noteworthy or special about me which is EXACTLY why the relationship conversations we have here matter.

If I was some super-unique case study or obvious outlier, it would be easy to dismiss.

But that’s not what I am, nor what my marriage was.

My marriage was THE Common Modern Divorce Story. And that should scare the shit out of everyone.

Because it’s really hard to see it coming.

What’s the “common” divorce story? It’s two good, well-intentioned people with an honest desire to marry and promise one another forever, only to discover 5-10 years later that their marriage has become joyless, stressful, unsteady and on the brink of failure, and neither person can really explain how or why they got there.

They spent 5-10 years having the exact same fight, because neither could ever figure out the right combination of words or the right behavioral response to their conflict.

And after it happened enough times, one or both of them became so angry, sad and emotionally exhausted that the agony of divorce looked like the better choice than the status quo.

And then more kids grow up a little bit sad and a little bit confused and never see the way marriage is SUPPOSED to be.

And then more people remarry thinking their ex was the problem, only to discover they brought their own baggage to the new relationship, and that the new person has some too, and that they’ve seen this movie before.

And then more things break, and it just keeps happening over and over again, and not very many people ever slow down long enough amid all the pain and dysfunction to just stop.

To just breathe.

To just look inside and ask the hard questions. The ones that makes us squirm years later, and maybe forever.

What have I done to cause this?

What could I have done better?

What choices can I make to be better tomorrow than I was yesterday, so nothing like this ever happens again?

I don’t blame men. I blame me.

And women certainly aren’t guilt-free. I promise to start pointing fingers right after I wake up awesome and perfect every day.

In the meantime, I think being an adult is hard, and I think we all get a little confused when things hurt more than we knew was possible, or when we’re missing too much information, or when we feel Life falling apart because adulthood is unsteady in ways many of us never imagined.

Back when we were young and innocent.

Back when we were getting crumbs and toothpaste spittle everywhere, and the fortunate among us were hugged and forgiven instead of beaten and abused.

Back when we were happy and hopeful, as the fortunate among us can be once again.

If only we’re willing to own our crimes and pay our penance.

Because it’s not them. It’s us.

It’s not you. It’s me.

We worry about what we can control, and try to make a difference when and where we can.

Maybe people won’t always get it. But maybe it can still matter.

Because everyone loves a good redemption story.

And somewhere beneath all the humanity, I think everyone has one to tell.

65 thoughts on “My Story is Your Story—Even When it’s Not”

  1. Maybe I’m missing something but when I read your posts I don’t see you as blaming all men. I see you as taking responsibility for your part and asking men to take responsibility for their part too. None of this is saying that women shouldn’t also do their part. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  2. I’m always seeing things in a new way when I read your blog. My marriage was the same way, just two adults who thought were sure were in love, only to find five years later it was not going to work. At first, I blamed him completely! Of course, but there were things I needed to work on, but in my case there were much worse things.

    I look forward to meeting someone in the future with whom I can grow as a mate, and communicate openly about what we need and want in ‘OUR’ relationship.

    Thanks for this,
    Looking forward to your next,

  3. The ones who really change are the ones who take full responsibility for all the problems of the failed marriage. If you are pointing fingers that your spouse is the problem you’ve got a long way to go. I mean A LONG WAY!

  4. I cringe when I read or hear someone declare, “you’re blaming men.” That’s because the process goes something like this, “accept blame, take responsibility, and embrace the power.” Empower thyself! The alternative is to be a perpetual victim.

    Bringing out maternal feelings in women really will kill sexual attraction, that one is huge. I see that play out over and over again and a lot of men don’t get it. So, whining, pouting, withdrawing, stomping around, declaring it’s not your fault, being irresponsible, these are all forms of emotional immaturity that can trigger a maternal response rather than a romantic one. Soon he’s sleeping on the couch and blaming her. I really wish we could take the blame/shame thing right out of the equation, because it’s more like cause and effect or a dance or something. The sad thing is so many people are just reacting rather than paying attention to what’s really going on.

  5. You are spot on! Ours was also the common modern divorce story, exactly as you said! BUT we had a miracle that brought us back together and we are forever grateful. I agree your blog should be required reading for every engaged and newly wed couple.

  6. ANOTHER insightful post … I LOVE your writings on relationships because I can see myself in them and they are the catalyst that makes me THINK … Sometimes those musings are hard and stretchy, and I like those best of all …
    I was flabbergasted a few weeks (?) ago when you posted about leaving your wife crying in the hospital and the comments on that post got sooooo incredibly VICIOUS and began attacking YOU, personally … until I realized that you wrote it so WELL and were so honest and vulnerable that you made (allowed?) people to relive VIVIDLY their own outrage and frustration from similar situations in their own lives …

    I LOVE your writing … and it even happened to ME … I was reading along, nodding I’m recognition, and was suddenly and unexpectedly hit with this TIDAL wave of sheer rage at something my husband had done after the birth of our last child. It was TRIGGERED by your post, but I realized that it was not really directed at YOU … but I was not expecting such a POWERFULLY visceral reaction to something toughness and selfish that my husband had done years ago … to be honest, I felt more intense outrage at that moment, reading your blig, than I had allowed myself to feel in the moment …

    Those kinds of reactions must be difficult (and perhaps even baffling) for you to get … but, honestly, your writing is THAT good … and that is the very reason that I think you NEED to KEEP being willing to share your raw, vulnerable self in your journey of self awareness … i, for one, NEED that mirror held up for me to see myself and my relationships (past and present and even future) more clearly (brutally?) than I have been able to just on my own …

    So … once again, THANK YOU!

  7. I’ve really enjoyed your writing, though it ignited a white hot rage streak in my about my ex (not husband, but we had all the same problems). But I think it’s also finally let me process everything and move past said rage a bit, too, so that’s good. Now I can be all “Send my love” like Adele and hope he is better to the next one.

  8. Love Love Love Love Love this! I am not married nor divorced, but I can imagine everything you were talking about. And it’s funny too! Tis always a bonus.

  9. Matt, this is kind of off the subject, but I was thinking about the post where you describe the worst thing your wife ever did- the thing that made you “die a little” bit inside.
    I am just wondering if you told her. Did you ever tell her, “wow- I get the reasons why you want to go back, but that just killed me a little bit.” or anything along those lines?
    For me, it is really, really hard to imagine a man feeling that way. I am glad they do (feel), but I always assume that men aren’t really affected by anything.
    And, I am thinking – it would help us women know what you guys are feeling, especially in the things that sort of devastate you a little.
    Do you remember how you responded?
    If you didn’t actually tell her how hers words affected you, why?

    1. fromscratchmom

      Linds, I think there is a very specific reason why many of us women have trouble understanding if and how men feel things. Men spend a lot of time and energy telling women that they don’t and claiming that women’s emotions are wrong or even evil. Even Matt tells us often that men just wouldn’t care if a friend or a wife forgot to call and say they were going to be late, that men would never start to feel unloved no matter how many times they’d told their wives that something bothered them/was effecting them adversely but that the wife just kept doing that same thing and resenting the reminders or repeated attempts to address the issue, like leaving a dish out.

      There is some kind of a major breakdown between the way men feel and the way women feel OR the way the each express their feelings OR the way they empathize and/or admit to themselves how they feel. It still feels impossible to pick it apart to me. But I’ve lived it all my life and seen and heard from a million other women out there in internetland and in person that men claim this superior rationality and some kind of lack of emotion and look down on women’s emotions and dismiss them and hurt them over and over and within some religious traditions project great blame that a woman hurting is 100% at fault and just needs to submit and everything will be awesome with her man who is clearly perfect except being permanently connected to her flawed self.

      There ought to be an answer for where the breakdown is when men turn around and claim both that they don’t have feelings AND that wives hurt them with lack of respect or with lack of sex or with any of a million things that felt like lack of respect to them. Clearly they cannot be both totally dismissive of all emotion and free from such irrational encumbrances AND hurt and blaming women for hurting them. But often all we see is the harsher side of men like the guy here who almost says exactly the right stuff in a couple of places but then turns out to just be claiming all sorts of negatives about fatties and zero differences between genders and all those evil women stirring up trouble for all the perfect men. I wonder if you saw what I wrote to IB recently about the compare and contrast in Job 31 between the good guy Job was and the bad guy that he wanted to never be. “I’m not going to be ‘that guy'”. The bad guy hides his sins deep within his heart. And I think it isn’t a rare failing. I wish we could see men striving to be godly and to be Job 31 men like I see so many many women (a majority of those I actually spend time with) striving to be Proverbs 31 women. I’m not sure where the breakdown is. But I still see more men in secular culture and in a lot of churches looking to women to fulfill men and gratify them but refusing to be men who women will be inspired to respect and support. That is why I soooo appreciate Matt and a few of his male commenters here willing to stand up and be counted as men who really take the responsibility and who care about real ways to do that and that really good minority of men in churches that I see in real life. They are such a strong contrast against the world in general and all its strife and brokenness!!!

      1. Hey Mom,
        “There is some kind of major breakdown between the way men feel and the way women feel OR the way they each express their feelings OR the way they empathize and/or admit to themselves how they feel. It still feels impossible to pick it apart to me.”

        Yeah, people and relationships are pretty complex. It could also be that a mans expectations of behavior from his friends, is much different than a wife’s expectation of behavior from her husband.
        It is really a different relationship, and I would say it isn’t exclusively guys, but maybe more so. What I mean is if your a friend, I don’t have the same expectation as I would a partner. I have chronically late friends, so I expect them to be late. What if I had a chronically late husband? I would likely expect that, too, really. But if it was random behavior that signified some serious inconsideration -like being late for dinner and not calling, and this not being an expected behavior- then there would be all kinds of anger and anxiety waiting for him when he got home. But, I bet the same would be true the other way around.

        What really inspired my question was actually a tendency I have to experience a reaction to something, and to not necessarily say anything about it- I don’t for a couple of reasons-
        #1) I feel like my emotion would be seen as unreasonable, #2) I don’t know how to express it and #3) I question would it legitimately be appropriate to express. (Like if I said, “I get so anxious when you talk about that.” would likely make the person it is addressed to not talk about whatever subject. Sometimes that isn’t appropriate. Sometimes, if you are able, you need to look past your own affect and listen to what the person is talking about. At some point it may be more appropriate to say something. )

        Another thing I was thinking was how our facial expressions can express our feelings, even when they aren’t expressed. But you’re right- if I see a facial expression and ask what it means ,a man is likely to responsed with something like “nothing”, and shrug it off. When he was specifically asked about how he felt about something, he denies feeling anything.

        I think I would always speak up if someone asked me specifically.

        I was just wondering if the “why’s” for a man are the same “why’s” for me.

        And, yes- it did also made me think about what happens when anyone has seriously repressed emotions, both personally and in relationships.

        ….in other news I totally failed at climbing a rock wall yesterday, but made up for that by drinking a few too many Mimosa’s this afternoon, the contents of which I am still processing slightly :).

        I don’t mean to be personal and pry, or sound – whatever, but I do want to ask you how you are caring for yourself
        Are you doing anything nice for yourself?
        I hope you are, because you deserve it, Lady!
        We all need to be reminded of the joys in life. (Failed challenges, mimosa’s and friends are that for me.. 🙂

      2. Fromscratchmom

        Thanks for asking, Lind. 😉 I am trying to figure out some self-care although it often feels like I have a long way to go. I have been going back every now and then to the therapist I had previously seen for years for my EMDR therapy. I went out once with my friend who is also my boss, a couple of months ago. I try to make time with my girls every few days to just cuddle or watch a show or something, although life sometimes gets in the way. I sometimes take essential oil and Epsom salts baths. Ooh, essential oils…I get a lot out of them! I sometimes remember to do my breathing exercises. Lol. (Buteyko breath work)

        There’s a lot of *sometimes* succeeding going on here. :p

        Life feels pretty dysfunctional and chaotic right now, but I keep trying. I journal. And I pray and meditate. I keep touch with friends and prayer warriors through the wonder of the Internet. (Too bad my ex has quit paying for Internet for his girls. It’ll be gone tomorrow, or soon. But I’ll check in a bit from work or the library still. And although I’ve never had a mimosa, I do drink a little. It might have been as rare as a couple of times a year at some points, but I’m sure it’s averaging more than twice a month in these last several months….still uncommon enough to avoid pulling me out of my lightweight/cheap relief status. When I make myself a martini you wouldn’t believe what a teeny tiny version I make! At some point I’ll be better off on several fronts. There is real healing.

        1. It’s really easy for me to empathize with chaotic dysfunction. If I could tell you what I would tell myself in the middle of it , First, I would tell you that it really won’t last forever, and second, it’s ok to let loose or to break down- you don’t have to hold it together.
          And last- you are loved wholley and completely. Always.
          Enjoy the martini’s and the essential oils. (It’s ok to make it a double once in a while 😉

  10. Women need to submit and surrender to their husbands, prioritize taking care of the family, and respect their husband as the leader and head of the family.

    Men need to provide for their wives and children, compliment their wives often, and remember how delicate their wife’s feminine nature is. They also need to stand firm like a man and not pedestalize their wives or supplicate to them – otherwise their wives will lose respect for them.

    Both need to be quick to forgive and to overlook small things that annoy you.

    Bottom line: wives crave love from their husbands, and husbands crave respect from their wives.

    If a couple understands all this, I feel it is close to a certainty that their marriage will be a success!

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I am really reluctant to respond to your comment because I don’t think it will change, or expand, how you see things. It is certainly your right to think and believe and act the way you chose to, however I think it is dangerous in relationships to claim to know how /what other people “need to” do. (Same with when “should” and “ought” are repeatedly used. )
      You are saying women need love and men need respect. I can agree those are human needs, but I don’t think one gender has a greater need over the other for either of them.
      Men also need love and women also need respect.
      When respect is not given by either party, “love” is quickly diminished. And, really, I don’t think love cant be given without respect.
      Again, I don’t think anything I say will necessarily change your mind, but the model that has been set up (men need respect and women need love) has created a dynamic where its women’s job to protect a mans ego. The problem with that is that the man’s ego becomes so fragile that he cant stand it when a woman stands up for herself and the disrespect that SHE is repeatedly served.
      It shouldn’t feel like disrespect to a man for a women to draw boundaries and ask for respect in return.
      AND love isn’t treating the women like she is fragile. Love is genuinely caring who that person is and how you are affecting that person. If you look at your wife and you see “A women” vs. the PERSON you married you may have missed something essential.
      Jeff, if you want to love like the bible says- he say’s to love your neighbor, and even love your enemies, it is good to first listen, instead of claiming to know the answer. I believe you truly believe that your formula would work if everyone followed along.
      I agree your solution is really easy and simple. But you have to ask yourself why it hasn’t worked. It’s because it removes the fact that we are people, individuals with unique needs and desires- and yes, God made us that way.
      We cant all follow some simple to-do list and there, it’s all fixed.
      Life doesn’t work that way. That’s why God sent Jesus, remember? 🙂

      I hope you read this in the spirit of kindness that was meant.

      Also, here is another blog post that may interest you

      1. “The problem with that is that the man’s ego becomes so fragile that he cant stand it when a woman stands up for herself and the disrespect that SHE is repeatedly served.
        It shouldn’t feel like disrespect to a man for a women to draw boundaries and ask for respect in return.”

        This is so true. We are different, but we’re both human. All humans need love and respect. This exact dynamic plays out constantly in my home. If I speak up in any way, he feels insulted, then disrespects me. Rinse, repeat. It’s absurd.

  11. Linds01,

    Yep, you’re right. Men and women are completely identical and interchangeable. There is no difference between them at all, and they should act exactly the same towards each other. After all, they have identical emotional needs, identical roles in the marriage, identical reactions to things, etc.

    This is what you are actually saying. I’ll leave it to other readers to judge whether what you say has any validity – I submit it does not. But a lot of young women now finish school believing what you claim, due to years of feminist brainwashing. Which is one of the reasons why I maintain that the majority of young American women today are just not wife material…and that men therefore marry them at their own risk.

    But then again, maybe you’re right…and men don’t really cotton to a wife who is soft, submissive, soft-spoken, devoted, feminine, caring, respectful, sweet, etc. And women are not attracted to men who are strong, masculine, independent, successful, intelligent, make good leaders, etc. Because that’s “stereotyping”. Uh-huh. Right. Sure.

    That’s like saying that just because some chubby chasers prefer a woman who weighs 300 pounds, that it therefore makes no difference to a woman’s success in romance how fat she is. Because saying that men as a whole prefer women who are in shape versus very obese is “stereotyping”, right?

    So I’m sorry linds, but just not buying what you’re selling.

  12. Good morning, Jeff.
    You said “Men and women are completely identical and interchangeable…This is what you are actually saying”
    First I would like to say that no, that is not what I was saying. While you have a right to your opinion you do not have a right to telling me what mine is.
    You brought up defining gender characteristics as stereotyping. That isn’t was I was saying at all.
    The either/or view that you are assuming (“you either see something this way, or you see it that way”) is not a good place to start a meaningful conversation. Could it be possible that things are an “and” instead of “either/or”? (Things are thisway and that way).
    I have different hormones then men, true. However that changes as I get older- does that make me stop being a women when I turn 55?
    There are absolutely differences in men and women, but we aren’t different species, we are still human beings.
    Look at it like this- if a 5 year old of either gender needs love and respect to learn to be a well rounded person, then a 25, or a 65 year old needs the same thing.
    (and yes, I believe in respecting the personhood and basic diginity of a child).

    What is or is not wife material is truly, truly based on the individual- your last paragraph describes that explicitely. So I am not seeing how you can say all women should be what you describe as “wife material” and then point out that men have different preferences and those preferences matter.

    And, honestly a man who expects me to be submissive and cater to his needs is not marriage material in my book & I do get a say in that.

    The bottom line is the world is the way it is, even if you don’t agree with it.
    I am sorry if that upsets you.
    I don’t think banging our opposing views together , without actually hearing what is being said , is exactly productive, so I am going to let this be my lasts response.
    If you have anything else you would like to add, I will read it.

  13. Linds, your views don’t “upset” me…nowadays, your view is the default kids are taught in school. Which is the root of many of our problems.

    You admit you are not wife material for a man like me, who expects my wife to submit to my leadership, respect me, and embody what you might call the traditional feminine traits. So we agree here. I’m just trying to get the point across to the young single men out there today, that they should seriously consider giving a pass to women like you – instead, they should wife up the young lady who is sweet, demure, soft-spoken, feminine, submissive to her husband’s leadership, devoted, caring, etc. You know, the kind of woman that truly loves to be a woman (having no desire to ape masculine characteristics), and who makes her husband feel like a man.

    These young men should avoid women who are aggressive, sarcastic, loud, brash, overly independent, over-educated, argumentative, feminist, etc. Because these kinds of women will not be able to properly bond to their husband and will trigger lots of strife in the marriage. If the young men follow my advice, I can tell them that the chances they will have a life-long, stable, happy marriage are excellent.

    To learn more, do some research on Laura Doyle and her “Surrendered Wife” movement. Also check out “Peaceful Wife” on YouTube, as she has some great videos explaining this and how she applies it in her own life. Of course, you could also read the New Testament…where St. Paul explicitly instructs wives to submit to their husbands. But hey, who reads the Word of God anymore…amiright? That’s sooooo pre-third wave feminism!

    1. Well, I would advise women to avoid all men who believe scripture is comprised of nothing more than “wives submit.” Us sweet and gentle spirits can never nurture such egos enough, we can never submit enough, we can never unleash our feminine charms on such men enough, because they seek to elevate themselves by making sure they can keep someone beneath them.

      It never works because one cannot pluck the jewels out of another’s crown to make one’s own crown bigger. If you ever find a man threatened by the weight of your crown…. find a man with bigger hands.

      That’s what I did and some 30 years later, we seem to have mastered the bonding part.

      1. “It never works”? Sorry, but you’re just wrong. It worked for centuries, until the feminists and cultural Marxists took an axe to marriage. And for those smart enough to see thru the leftist propaganda, it still works today. It’s worked for me and my wife for 15 years and counting. It works for all the women posting their testimonials on Laura Doyle’s site for the surrendered wife movement.

        Meanwhile, my wife knows quite a few women who have bought into the feminist propaganda and are trying to have such a “modern” marriage. They are all unhappy, and many are divorced. As a matter of fact, another one is filing papers this week – they have 2 little boys under 10 years old who will be devastated. I can’t help but think all this heartache could be avoided if these wives would just submit to their husbands, as the Bible commands them to, and become surrendered wives.

        But no, they would rather rebel against the commands of God…even as Eve did in the Garden. Ahhh, female rebellion has quite a long pedigree, no? And how much suffering has resulted!

        But for you single young men reading this, don’t try to change the rebellious, feminist women. They are too damaged. Just “next them” and move on, until you find a traditional, sweet, submissive girl who will respect her husband as the head of the household. Marry that girl and live happily ever after. You can thank me later. And let the others get cats and plenty of batteries to keep them company!

        1. Jeff,
          In spite of your good intentions I think one day (maybe in heaven) you will see a more complete picture.
          For now, as Matt reported , the readership here is 60-70% women. The 30-40% of men here have the ability to think for themselves, so all you are really doing is saying some pretty inflammatory words to a bunch of women. In some ways I’d call that harassment, but mostly it’s it is the antithesis of the character of the God you claim to believe in.
          Why don’t you allow others the choice of reading your words by inviting them to your own blog. And have the self respect to accept a declined invitation if they don’t want to.
          Trust God that he will right the wrongs, you don’t have to take that on as your own mission. He is a lot more effective at it, anyway.
          Your time may be better invested in the relationships around you.

      2. fromscratchmom

        The fallacious logic here is very sad and yet so very obvious. This idea that men are perfect and that women are The Evil In The World is simply not Biblical. You have to hack the word of God up into a million tiny bits and then sort them yourself to which ones you want, to make it say that. Men are commanded to love their wives, not to feel the warm fuzzies and be gratified by all the subservience and super submissive sex and brag to their man-friends that their wife swallows (literal conversation heard among Christian men who had wives striving to be godly wives and I have nothing against swallowing if that is what works out between two people with love and trust and safety and respect between them, just against evil husbands making wives into a public spectacle of their pride with no consideration for her possible need for privacy). But men who insist on being the opposite of what Christ commands them to be as husbands, men who claim that all women who dare to notice God’s teachings to men are feminists, will persist as long as Satan persists roving back and forth looking for all who he can devour. Lord, hasten the day! Submission is one part of marriage.

        There is much more taught about marriage than just submission.

        Sometimes 20 years of submission leads to being abandoned and filling out papers for a guardian ad litem to help protect a child from an abusive man. But I guess that just means to some people that some poor perfect man chose a women so feminist and evil that she wrongly became unwilling to continue to submit after he drank himself into oblivion for years, abandoned his position as the head of the family, and took up daily a lifestyle of adultery, drinking, and debauchery with a Proverbs 5:5 woman. Nevermind all the times that woman had been bitterly accused by actual feminists of being the anti-femininst. Nevermind how she tried to help her children have love and forgiveness, patience, and an easy-going manner not easily hurt. Nevermind how successfully those children still showed love, respect and concern right up to the bitter end of the sinful man’s role in the home. It somehow must be the fault of feminism and all the evils of women.

        But men will continue to get on the internet claiming the name of Christ and calling every woman who dares to care what God really said in the beautiful fullness of his teachings, feminist. Such an unjust accusation is no more accurate and no better than a person wrongfully crying rape when it wasn’t true but suited the purposes of the moment to say it.

    2. I find it interesting that Jeff wants men to avoid sarcastic women. But his last paragraph is dripping with sarcasm. It must be one of those gender things (Godly women are avoid sarcasm and be submissive and respectful, but Godly men are encouraged to be sarcastic to all who don’t share their point of view…)

      “Of course, you could also read the New Testament…where St. Paul explicitly instructs wives to submit to their husbands. But hey, who reads the Word of God anymore…amiright? That’s sooooo pre-third wave feminism!”

      1. Yes, Lissy. And sadly, those who do read and revere all the scriptures might wish such creatures would read the whole thing and not just the bits that make them feel justified in treating women to dripping sarcasm and general mean-spiritedness. Alas, what can you do but know them by their fruits and move on to find godly people or people seeking truth and goodness to interact with.

        Loved what you wrote there in yours as well, IB. You are a light in the world to this barely younger woman. 😉

    3. Are you kidding me?

      Laura Doyle and her ‘Surrendered Wife’ movement — HA! This is classic Red Pill misogyny! The Red Pill guys endorse her, and she has promoted her ‘material’ to the Women’s Red PIll subreddit, and her husband has promoted it in the Red Pill blogs.

      You can be feminine and a good, traditional woman without being subjugated to a philosophy that claims women are disposable objects who should be manipulated and controlled to get what a man wants. Red Pill promotes ‘DREAD GAMING” your wife by threatening divorce, openly flirting with other women, and telling her, “F— me, or f— you!”

      No thanks!!!

  14. To linds (on Aug 3):

    So because you disagree with me, I should just shut up? And politely expressing disagreement with you (no profanity, no threats, etc) constitutes harassment? And by quoting what the Bible explicitly commands women to do in marriage (namely, submit to their husbands), I am going against the character of Almighty God?

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You are truly going out of your way to demonstrate that the rebellious nature of Eve is alive and well in modern women. And this is precisely why so many are not wife material and are not fit for marriage!

    Finally, consider this. Eve said, in an echo of Lucifer, “Non Serviam!” (I will not serve). The Blessed Mother of God, by contrast, gave to the Angel Gabriel her “Fiat” (behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word). These are two diametrically opposed responses to God’s will.

    Which of the two female role models would you say that you most resemble? I think the answer is obvious. You need to repent and stop rebelling against the God-ordained order. Remember, pride is one of the 7 deadly sins. This is why the Blessed Mother had not an ounce of pride in her, only humility…and yet she is now crowned the Queen of Heaven!

    Some things for you to ponder. (But again, I would warn young men just to stay clear of women like yourself, rather than make the mistake of thinking they can change you. That usually leads only to disaster)

    1. Jeff,
      Again- I’m not going to fight with you.

      Lets say you are right and women are pretty much a lower life form than men, evil in fact.

      Then why would you want to continue to communicate here?

      We are a majority of women. We are all evil heathens. We are not the men you are trying to


      If it is to tell us how horrible we are, we have heard you.

      But, out of respect for the women here, it would be appreciated if you did not make

      comments that directly insults and inflames any group of people.

      If you are unsure or unaware of how insulting your language is, I will just say that any words

      that take a stance of superiority over anyone with absolutely no humility yourself, will likely

      come across as very demeaning and insulting.

      I am asking for consideration of other readers, out of common courtesy.

      1. Linds, when have I said women are “horrible” and a “lower life form”? Stop putting words in my mouth. This just shows you are well aware that you’re in the wrong.

        What I actually said is that many young ladies today are not good wife material, due to being brainwashed with leftist, feminst, cultural Marxist indoctrination. And I stand by that statement. But I also have pointed out to the single young men who may read these comments that there are good, sweet-natured, non-rebellious young ladies out there…and that they should seek out such women and wife them up.

        You seem to be taking my viewpoint very personally. I find that curious – by contrast, you keep trying to insult me, but I just laugh it off. It means nothing to me. So why do my views get so under your skin? Well, I don’t know you…but I can only surmise that it’s because it hits a little too close too home. Perhaps you recognize a bit too much of yourself in the picture I paint of the typical, damaged, feminist-indoctrinated women of today?

        If so, let me remind you that you can change. It would be a lot more productive than trying to insult me. Start by getting on your knees and begging God for forgiveness for your rebellious nature. Then study the lives of the female saints, and esp the holy Mother of God. Research Laura Doyle’s site for surrendered wives. Check out “Peaceful Wife” on YouTube and view her vids. Find a surrendered wife in your neck of the woods and have her mentor you. Bring a sense of peace into your life, by accepting with a loving heart the role God has assigned you in the natural order. Take joy in your femininity, instead of trying to squash it and behave like a man.

        In my family, I am the man of the house and my wife is happy in her femininity to embrace her supportive role. Our children see this, and they notice how happy we are and how smoothly everything functions.

        I hope you will seriously consider my advice, and that other rebellious women who read this will do the same. And I hope the young men will take my advice to steer clear of feminist, rebellious women…and most certainly to avoid wifing them up! Best of luck to you!

        P.S. I thought you said several posts back that you weren’t gonna respond to my posts?

  15. I’m going to apologize on behalf of so called Christian red pill men such as Jeff, who seem to have been brainwashed and indoctrinated into the curse of Eve cult where women are all rebellious and responsible for the fall of man.

    Naturally such men are not my fault, but still, I really am sorry for the harm they do in the world, to themselves and to others. That’s not Christ at all, nor is it what He taught. It’s actually dark, ugly, and it makes me feel a bit ill.

    If you want to know how Jesus Christ really feels about women, read about the woman at the well, the woman with the perfume, the adulteress about to be stoned, the women at the foot of the cross, the women at the tomb. You can also keep in mind that the Creator of the universe once rendered himself vulnerable and defenseless, and curled up inside of Mary.

    1. Amen, IB! Thank you for saying this.
      I don’t want to give him any reason to continue to comment, but there is a point when defense mechanisms are defending you against reality. I think he flew past that point years ago. I kind of feel sorry for him.

    2. Insanity, (Quite an appropriate name, btw)

      You can stop white knighting – it’s not gonna get you laid. And as far as your religious references, why no refrerence to “wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord”? That seems pretty clear to me! But you are encouraging and making excuses for female rebellion, and this is a serious sin. So maybe you should apologize for yourself, and not worry about me.

      Oh, and a word to the wise: no one respects limp-wristed white knights…not even the women you are trying to supplicate yourself to. I hope one day you will develop some self-respect.

      1. Alright. I think we can all reasonably conclude that everyone has their own opinions on this subject.

        No more, please.

        Jeff, you have every right to say what you think here, and I welcome your opinions regardless of whether I agree with them, or whether anyone else agrees with them.

        But we’re not going to troll and flame one another in the comments here.

        No one likes that shit.

        A few observations:

        1. IB is a woman, and a long-time contributor around here. I don’t always agree with her. But she’s always kind, and that matters.

        2. Linds, regardless of whether you agreed with her analysis, is also kind and said nothing inflammatory, in fact going out of her way to not have a silly internet-comments fight.

        There are two more things unlikely to happen in these internet comments:

        1. We won’t change one another’s mind if we disagree about something.

        2. We won’t somehow solve all the mysteries of the universe, prove God’s existence with such obviousness that no doubters are left, nor convince the masses that some particular section of 2,000-year-old (or older) texts is indisputably THE WAY we must all do things. (And I’m a churchgoer.)

        If someone wants to argue with that, they can go read Leviticus a bunch of times and get back to me.

        There is way too much treating people like shit in this world. There’s way too much of it in the comments of this very blog, and I’ve been part of the problem a time or two.

        But it’s not going to happen any more in this thread.

        Be kind, for God’s sake. It’s not even hard.

      2. fromscratchmom

        I apologize, Matt. I’d already written and hit enter up above then scrolled down further and saw what you had written here. Sincere apologies!

  16. Btw, in case any of you single guys are wondering if I can be more specific regarding what kind of girl you should avoid, no problem. Here you go:

    The chick that wrote this article is a perfect example of the kind of gal you need to run from, immediately. Don’t try to change her, just next her. If you make the mistake of getting involved with her or, even worse, seriously involved…then don’t expect much sympathy when it all goes horribly wrong. And quite possibly, you even end up with your life pretty much ruined.

    Women like this are broken on the inside. They are (very) damaged goods. And they have a blackness in their souls that believe me, you want no part of. Avoid them like the plague. Let the sucker mangina white-knights like InsanityBytes have them. If you follow this advice, you are head and shoulders ahead of your peers already!

  17. Matt,

    I left the above post before I saw your response. It’s your blog, so if you think there should be a break in comments on this thread, I can respect that. I have a boating week-end with the family lined up anyway, so I’ll be busy doing that.

    I didn’t know IB was a woman, she sounded like a white knight to me. Anyway, my point still stands.

    Finally, I hope you can appreciate, Matt, that I have been polite in all my comments so far. Some women like Linds have this crazy idea that someone politely but firmly expressing a different viewpoint form her means he is “harrassing” her. We need to be very careful about this here in the U.S. – in other countries like Australia and some European countries, women have pushed successfully to repeal freedom of speech and have men criminally prosecuted for “hurting their feelings”. Just more fruit of female rebellion – apparently, eventually you end up with a police state.

    So ok, that’s it from me. All the best Matt, and readers.

    1. Jeff,

      You talk about happy marriages with submissive wifes. Well, all well and good, live and let live I say. I do not doubt those marriages exist at all. However, there are also plenty of unhappy marriages with submissive wives, wives who have gone out of their way to be godly, respectful, submissive etc, lik Fromscratchmom wrote about further up, but who get adultery and a host of other negatives in return from their husbands. If you want to have a serious discussion, you can’t discount the stories of others, stories that are just as true as your experiences.

      There are marriages where the wife has been submissive and her hsuband is happy, but then she ends up leaving because she can’t take it anymore. I think Shannon a while ago mentioned a couple like that.

      I read another story of a man and woman who lived traditionally, he made the money, she stayed home. He ended up being a serial adulterer, but they managed to work out there marriage. The man in that marriage said that part of what led to their marital dysfunction was precisely the notion that the man is supposed to be the leader, the woman is supposed to be submissive. Now that they have a truly mutual respecftul and egalitarian marriage, they are both happy and connected.

      For couples who try to be modern and egalitarian but aren’t happy, I don’t think the only possible problem is that the wife isn’t submissive. Sure it could be the solution for some. Again, live and let live. For others though, the problem is actually that the relationship isn’t egalitarian *enough*. Or that they just haven’t managed to work out their conflicts, meat eachothers needs or whatever else. Among many others, John Gottman is one who has found marriages tend to do well when the man accepts influence. Brent Atkinson is another one who has found that relationships that work as a democracry (one person one vote work out best).

      All this to say, I don’t doubt that you know of happy marriages where the wife is submissive. However, other people have just as true experiences of unhappy marriages with a submissive wife, and happy egalitarian marriages. You can’t discount those experiences just like we can’t discount yours.

      I must say, I find it very hard to agree that you have “politely but firmly expressed” a different viewpoint. Like another commenter pointed out, you have used sarcasm, which is not polite.

      Here’s one example of your sarcasm:
      “Of course, you could also read the New Testament…where St. Paul explicitly instructs wives to submit to their husbands. But hey, who reads the Word of God anymore…amiright? That’s sooooo pre-third wave feminism!”

      If you want us to take your statement about discussing politely seriously, then please explain how this is polite.

      As a response to Lindsey, you said:
      “Yep, you’re right. Men and women are completely identical and interchangeable. There is no difference between them at all, and they should act exactly the same towards each other. After all, they have identical emotional needs, identical roles in the marriage, identical reactions to things, etc.

      This is what you are actually saying.”

      You are here putting words in her mouth. Later on you complained about her putting words in your mouth. Again, if you want us to take your statement about discussing politely seriously, then please explain how this is polite.

    2. I’m not a Christian. What I do know though, is that not all christians see things exactly the same way you do. I don’t see how you can be convinced that your way of viewing things are necessarily more correct than other christians. If there is an almighty god, then that god knows the truth, not you. Talking to other people as if you know the absolute truth and they are wrong when they don’t agree with you is disrespectful, in my opinion.

      I must say, I’m one of the women I would think you’d describe as modern, leftist etc.
      What’s interesting though, is that I would actully have characterized IB, possible also FromScratchmom, as people who are quite conservative christians in some ways, and who also believe in a wife being submissive! This is not to say I know the truth about these ladies of course. I even asked IB on her point of view on submission in marriage on another post, because I’d picked up that she believes in this (that is my impression at least).

      The thing is, despite our ideological differences, I have never had a discussion with either of these two ladies that I felt were disrespectful. I’ve disagreed with quite a few of their opinions, yes. And I have found much to ponder from what they’ve said about a whole host of things. And I believe we’ve agreed about quite a bit too.

      So when people find what you say offensive Jeff, there’s a good chance that it isn’t because they’re not conservatice christians who believe in a wife’s submission, or because they can’t stomach someone being a conservative christian who believes in a wife’s submission. There’s a good chance that they find what you’re saying offensive because you’re actually expressing yourself in a disrespectful way.

      1. Donkey, I really am a fan of submission, of the bible, of what it has to teach us about healthy marriages. I do have a relatively happy marriage, sometimes it is actually downright awesome. That is primarily what I blog about myself, submission and issues around faith and marriage. It can be challenging because there are so many myths, misconceptions, and false teachings.

        Something I find interesting in these discussions is the attempts to stereotype people when ideologies are ruling the day, rather than taking people as individuals at face value. So on the internet I am sometimes perceived as a radical feminist or else a submissive doormat. I think we all do that to some extent, make assumptions about one another, but when it becomes all about ideology rather than communication, that’s when things get either ugly or comical depending on your perspective.

        1. Can’t stay for long, but head nod to both IB and Donkey (and IB, I love how you tend to view things through humor:)…
          Because of the hugely dichotomous thinking that runs through our society today, I reallly do try to listen to other voices and opinions that I don’t necessarily share. But , Donkey- you nailed it- it’s the disrectful presentation.
          Unfortunately the “whoever yells loudest wins” mode is what a lot of people fall into. Even if the arguments are twisted, and end up just being words that attack , they don’t get it. The point to them is to win, to walk away feeling superior, and they are right and you are wrong. Yuck- just yuck. The amount of projection that was thrown back really makes me think it’s borderline pathological. (And I’m being generous with the “borderline” part..)

      2. Jeff, I’m quoting you again:

        “Insanity, (Quite an appropriate name, btw)”
        August 3, 2016 at 8:59 PM

        “Finally, I hope you can appreciate, Matt, that I have been polite in all my comments so far.”
        August 3, 2016 at 9:45 PM

        I doubt there is anything you can say at this point that will convince people that that last statement I quoted is true.

        1. Donkey-Dear :),
          He said alot worse than that in a few different places, but honestly it is not worth the argument. He will likely take anything you say and make you the one at fault. He wont see what you are saying- he is one of those that will deny the sky is blue , no matter how much evidence you point out. He isnt in touch with reality. Likely, the more you point out areas he is wrong the more wound up he will get- I think it would be the kinder thing to do, to not give him the fuel he needs to feel that anger. That is my quasi- professional opinion at least.

      3. Donkey: “I’m not a Christian”

        Right. So why I would listen to any advice you had to give on marriage? Right off the bat I would consider you completely unsuitable as wife material. You lack the proper frame of reference right from the get-go,

        So the good news is, you can save your breath.

      4. You’re certainly free to not listen to me, but since you asked, here I go:

        If you believe we’re all created in your god’s image then that would include me. Also, since we’re all fallible human beings, it’s within the realms of possibilities that I have some perspectives on marriage that your god would find more beneficial than yours. I’m just saying, it’s possible, and that’s a reason why you could consider what I write.

        Then I would like to say that IB, Lindsey, Fromscratchmom and Matt are all Christians. Perhaps you ought to consider more openly some of what they have to say, since they share such a fundamental thing with yourself, instead of concluding that one or more of the ladies are wrong, a continuation of Eve’s rebellious nature, insinuating that they’re crazy ( see your comment about IB’s name that I quoted further up) etc?

        Lastly I would like to say that, in additon to mentioning that I’m not christian, I made some points about inconsitensies in your statements and ways of reasoning.

        To repeat myself, you have seen happy marriages with submissive wives and unhappy egalitarian marriages. That’s true. Other people have seen unhappy marriages with submissive wives and happy egalitarian wives. Also true. It seems like you want people to conclude that you’re right, partly based on your experiences, but by that same logic, you would have to at least parly conclude that those other people are right in their opinions about marriage. This doesn’t add up. You will have to improve/expand your reasoning and/or arguments for people to take you more seriously, because when people can see logical inconsistensies quite easily, they can’t in good faith give weight to your arguments.

        You have also said you’ve been polite up to a certain point in your comments. I quoted you on that. I also quoted several statements you made before that point, that showed examples of you not being polite. You will either have to 1.) admit this is not true, 2.) make a convincing argument as to why those statements are not infact inpolite as I and others are saying or 3.) it will be very clear to most everyone, Christian or not, that you are lying /saying you are polite when you’re not. I doubt many people, Christians or not, find people who are caught in a blatant lie and won’t admit it very trustworthy or convincing.

        Lastly, I apologize for any spelling errors/poor phrasing/grammar, I’m born and live in a non-English speaking country.

      5. (to clarify, admit that what you’re saying about having been polite is not true)

      6. Jeff Strand, if you still believe my opinions on marriage have no value because I’m not Christian, then well, ok.

        However, the argument hat I’m not Christian would not hold water when it comes to the inconsistensies and logical flaws in your statements that I’ve pointed out. That’s simply a matter of observation and some typing (not of morality), which a non Christian can do. Much like a non Christian could teach you French. I’m looking forward to your comments on the points I’ve made further up, should you choose to make them.

      7. And I’ll just add Jeff Strand, you’re not alone in this. Everything I believe I’ve shown you’ve done (use sarcasm, be inpolite, have logical inconsistensies, most likely lie) are all things I know I’ve done myself too.

        I know I’ve been sarcastic and rude. My sweet soft spoken friend (I believe you’d find her personality quite appealing, except that she doesn’t share your religious beliefs and beliefs about submission) handed my derriere to me on a platter in a discussion once, quite rightly calling out that I were putting words in her mouth. And I’ve certainly been guilty of logical inconsistensies and outright lies too.

  18. Thanks Matt. Learned a valuable lesson… Do not check “Notify me of new comments via email.” LOL

  19. Donkey, You can outline an argument pretty well! Nice :)!…
    I still think it is likely all for naught, but o-well.

  20. Donkey,

    I just told you I wouldn’t read your posts, and you post all that? Lol. Didn’t read it, won’t read it. Hope you had fun typing all that stuff.

    1. Jeff,
      Just wanted you to know what we do when inappropriate men are throwing a temper tantrums in the nursing home-
      We give you estrogen!
      And we laugh,laugh,laugh…

  21. Jeff, earlier you said you wouldn’t listen to my advice on marriage since I’m not Christian. . Most of what I wrote is actually not about marriage but about what I believe to be your logical inconsistenies and rude and dishonest behaviour in this comment section.

    So, if you’re honestly not opposed to honest discussion you could just go ahead and read and respond to my comments, and just skip over any part that has to do with marriage advice.

    I’ll be very clear, I believe the real reason you won’t read and respond to my comments is that your mind will give you any excuse to not face some uncomfortable truths. Most of my points were the same that other (several of them Christian) commenters have made in any case, and you didn’t acknowledge their points either, even when a quote from you was provided to ilustrate their arguments. I’m not quite sure why I bothered, why I thought it would be any different with me.

    By the way, if you had read my previous comments, you would also have seen me acknowledge that I know that I’m quilty of similar behaviour in my life. Have been trying to do better for a while though.

    I’ll most likely stop here, as I doubt Jeff will respond.

    May we both deeply connect with our inner wholeness and goodness. Amongst other things, that would free us from the various forms of foolishness we’ve enagaged in here.

  22. Pingback: The One Where I Defend My Ideas Against Charges of Sexism and a Lack of Credibility | Must Be This Tall To Ride

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top
Matt Fray

Get my latest writing!

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter as I continue an on-going exploration of love and relationships.