Posts Tagged ‘relationships

25
Apr
12

Loosening or Tightening the Knot

I dislike absolutes in life, especially casually tossed out, hyperbolic blanket statements. They dig under my scalp and into my brain like psychic chiggers.

I know, I know…given past experience, you probably figure this is a post that’s going to be about racial stuff. And then you go back to the headline and get confused and wonder, “Is it about lynching somehow, whether literal or metaphorical?”

Nah.

The blanket statements and knots I’m talking about relate to marriage (or any other similar relationship between two people—any theoretically committed, long-term gig to be by each other’s side, in each other’s bodies and juggling each other’s hearts).

I’m a veteran of marriage, having been in one for more than 14 years now, and having dated my amazing (and lovely, and talented and smart and yes every so often frustrating and infuriating) partner for a couple years before she became my wife. I don’t think that makes me an expert, but I have enough hours logged now that I can say a few things with authority.

First, no marriage fails in a vacuum and second, no marriage is doomed.

Save your retorts for the end; give me a chance to explain. This isn’t one of those religious “You can’t ever let your marriage go to pieces” posts.

You see, one of the people I follow on Twitter (and who follows me) is going through a separation (her second with this man, I guess) and probably to divorce. We’ve traded a few tweets and I’m sure many other people on Twitter have communicated with her too, with support, commiseration, questions and maybe even criticism.

She seems to have a pretty healthy outlook overall about the situation, even though it’s stressful, obviously. But she made a tweet today that took me aback, about how she wasn’t innocent in the breakup, and that it is entirely her fault.

No, it isn’t.

I can say this with assurance, and it goes to the first of my earlier assertions: No marriage fails in a vacuum.

Just as it takes two people to make the relationship (well, usually two; it can be more, of course), it takes both of them to tear it asunder. In the heat of emotional things like this, it’s easy for both parties to point the finger of blame, or even for their friends and family to assign the role of villain to one person.

But I’ve come close to the abyss in my marriage. There have been some rough times in recent memory and moments I thought it was all over. My wife and I have come back from the brink, and I have a very good feeling that we either won’t get to the brink again, or we’ll figure out again how to avoid going over the edge if we do.

Something interesting has happened for me in the travails I’ve faced in my own marriage: Realizing where I’ve gone wrong (mostly because I was willing to look inside myself and my actions in the context of the marriage; many people aren’t willing to do that). Now, I’m not going to say who was mostly to blame for the near ending of the marriage. But while one of us was noticeably more responsible for the dilemmas we faced, neither of us was anywhere near guiltless.

Fact is that in any relationship like this, no one is blameless. One person might be 99% to blame and the other 1% to blame, but there are always contributions and failures on both sides, and rarely is it so lopsided as to even be 80% or 90% in one person’s corner.

And that is part of the reason why no marriage is inherently doomed to failure (my second assertion). Because there is blame to go around, there are opportunities for both parties to fix things. If both parties are willing to truly look at themselves as honestly as possible and at the other person, those people will be able to get to the heart of what’s causing the rift.

Once the causes (and rarely is it just one thing) are identified, they can be fixed.

I don’t care how dire it is. They can be fixed.

However, the question is often: Should they be fixed?

And another question, perhaps more central to the issue, is: Are both people willing to do what needs doing?

Both people can make the commitment to change whatever needs changing in their behaviors, attitudes, perceptions or whatever else. They can save the marriage.

The question is never “can a marriage be saved” but rather “is it worth the effort/pain/time to save it?”

In our case, it has been worth it. Some major changes have been made. Changes that many would not be willing to make and that some might even say neither person should have been willing to make.

As to the former, not everyone can make the necessary changes. That doesn’t make them bad people or failures. We can only go as far as we feel we have the strength to go.

As for the latter point, whether the changes should have been made, well…that’s no one else’s fucking business. It only matters that we felt the marriage was worth keeping and that whatever discomforts might come with making changes were worth the payoff. No one looking from the outside toward the inside can truly judge whether there’s something worth saving; only those on the inside can really decide.

That’s not to say people on the outside can’t help with insights, observations and advice. But they don’t get to make the decision, and they sure as hell shouldn’t be coming out with “I told you so” comments if an attempt to save things fails. Because, bottom line, it isn’t their marriage; it isn’t their call.

30
Nov
11

Porn in Perspective

So, I know I teased you all recently (pun intended) that those among you interested in seeing my erotica-writing side might get a little peek at my skills without me giving up my super-secret, more kink-oriented venue under NAME REDACTED. I’m still going to do that, but haven’t quite worked out the best logistics under which to do that (though a story is already written).

In the meantime, do you want to know how I feel about porn?

Well, I’ve mentioned it from time to time around here at the blog (most famously here and here, and some of my views religiously/scripturally have changed since then, but my basic thrust *wink* is the same), but now I’ve also done a guest post about porn and attitudes about it (mostly my own) at Adventures in Estrogen, a blog by one of my Twitter pals Lady Estrogen.

I don’t go into any gory details or reveal any of my own kink areas in it, so it should be relatively safe even for relatives and others who know me in real life to read. Still, you may not want to know why I think there are good things about porn, and so it’s up to you whether to go read it, though I’d love for you to visit Lady Estrogen even if you don’t want to read my piece. And it is…

Porn Is Great & Porn Is Good…Sorta

17
Sep
11

Twitter’s a Drug, Y’all!

So, I’m taking some time off. Wish I could say it was some time off work, but nah, it’s time off from Twitter. I’m going to give it a week and see how things are, then decide how often I want to be on it. (For the record, Twitter is my main form of social media…I hardly ever log into Facebook, Google+ or any of the other major or minor networks)

The decision (which I tweeted about, so people wouldn’t wonder where I went) struck some people as sudden, a few of my favorite tweeps among them—and my wife as well—but there’s a reason. Well, actually, more than one, but most of it boils down to time. Twitter takes time. It can take too much time, and when your life is already chronologically challenged like mine, that’s a big thing. Then again, most drugs are time-stealers.

Yeah, Twitter’s a drug. I said it. More on that in a minute. (And it doesn’t mean I think Twitter is bad.)

So, how did I get to the point I figured I need a good chunk of time off? Well, the tipping point came Saturday morning, when my wife told me she was a bit surprised I didn’t check on her the previous evening when she was sick, and simply came to bed at around 1:30 (which is a pretty usual time for me, just so you know), rolled over to my side, and went to sleep. Apparently, she meant it as a light comment. But it didn’t sound light. And my response led to a response by her which set up a nasty feedback loop. I won’t go into details. We both overreacted. Doesn’t matter who “started it” or who “overreacted more” or even if there was any quantitative difference. But an interesting thing that my wife did was to strongly suggest I not interact with her on Twitter anymore. The “why” isn’t important. What is important is the impression she had that my presence on Twitter with regard to her had caused her some hurt. (How does this tie in with the whole “not checking on her while sick” thing? Trust me, there’s a connection, but let’s not get off track now.)

Also, for what it’s worth, we’ve both apologized to each other for the morning weirdness, and my wife has indicated it’s not necessary for me to step back sharply on Twitter interactions with her nor mentions of her on Twitter. Nor did she ever tell me to stop tweeting for any amount of time. Let’s make that clear.

That very same day, a few hours after the blow-up between me and the wife had blown over, one of my tweeps responded to a tweet I had made the night before. It wasn’t an angry response, mind you. But it was a misunderstanding of the thrust of what I had posted online (Something to the effect of “By what strange alchemy does the Japanese language make most of the men sound angry and most of the women sound inherently giggly?”). My intent, aside from a slight bit of humor, was to point out that whenever I hear Japanese (and this is the only language I’ve witnessed this in), it so very, very often evokes specific gender differences and cultural mores in the very intonations. But my tweep first noted I was engaging in stereotyping and then in sexism. I wasn’t doing either, because my point was what it sounded like, not how I viewed the people who spoke the language, and I simply wondered at why that occurred in the speaking of that language so much.

It didn’t turn into a Twitter argument or anything. She’s reasonable and I explained myself. So, no bad blood. But, on top of the comments by my wife, it was another example of Twitter causing me to step in something I hadn’t intended to step into. Having cleaned up both messes (the encounters with the wife and the tweep) doesn’t make stepping into them to begin with any more pleasant.

So, I started thinking about Twitter. I started thinking about how I use it to be witty. Or snarky. Or edgy. Or insightful. Or banal. Or a combination of these and other things. I wondered if I’m using Twitter too much and trying too hard. Could it be that this particular social network was encouraging me to engage online frequently to the detriment of my interpersonal relationships (marriage, parenting, friendships, etc.)? I thought about how Twitter works in my life. Every few days or so, I might have a day when I didn’t check Twitter much, or at least not until nighttime when Little Girl Blue was in bed, but I pretty much checked it every day. Most days, I checked it frequently, and often I would go back a ways and see what tweeps were saying. Even when I didn’t go back far, just looking at responses to me or by my favorite people on Twitter could take a while.

Does it eat up all my time? No. I’m not addicted. But Twitter IS a drug of sorts.

This isn’t all bad. Alcohol is a drug, too. I like to have a glass or two of wine most nights. I like beers and ales. I rarely get drunk, but a light buzz is nice when the day is done and I no longer have to go anywhere by car or deal with deadlines. Also, almost every day of my life involves caffeine, which is also a drug. Nicotine and marijuana are both drugs, neither of which I have any particular grudge against. There are many other drugs, of course, that are of more concern to me and which I would likely never so much as touch, and most of them do tend to begin the ruin of many a person’s life. Then again, even the hardest drugs can be used more or less responsibly by a precious few people without leading to addiction, personality changes or whatever.

So, calling Twitter a drug isn’t an insult. I’m not knocking Twitter, nor am I making judgments or casting dispersions on people who use it. After all, I plan to come back to it. And Twitter isn’t the only form of social media that can eat at our time, sometimes too much so, or even lead to addictive behavior among some users.

Thing is, though, I could get more done if I stepped away from Twitter. In fact, by stepping away I’m already getting something done: I’m updating this blog for the first time in a while.

I’m trying to write commentary and short stories for four blogs that are solely my own (two publicly attached to my name and two that remain anonymous due to sexual content) and a fifth that I share with someone else (also anonymous and sexual in nature…yeah, I’m a randy kind of guy…sue me.)

Twitter easily eats a couple hours each day. Probably more many days. Sure, I stay up late and do a lot of the tweeting then, and it’s not like I tweet when I’m supposed to be doing work for my paying job, but it still eats up time. Time that could be used for other forms of writing I’ve been neglecting, my fiction being the one first and foremost in my mind. But I also could be catching up on the many movies I want to watch on DVD or streaming on Netflix. I could be catching up on several great cable TV series that I missed because Little Girl Blue hogs the TV during the day and evening. I could be reading more novels that I want to read.

Yeah, you noticed I didn’t mention family. That’s because I don’t do all that much social media when it’s family time or the wife and I are doing stuff. I’ve been known to check Twitter very quickly at times, for example, when we’re shopping or something and I’d otherwise be standing around looking clueless while my wife is picking out clothes for our daughter or something, but I rarely take it out if I’m actually supposed to be engaging with my family. Still, the fact I even do…however rarely and briefly…pull out my phone and turn on the Twitter app during the occasional meal out still says something about the druggy nature of Twitter.

Again, drugs aren’t all bad. If I’m losing my mind due to exhaustion I may need to guzzle my coffee quickly when my family is trying to talk to me. If I’ve had a really rough day, having a glass of wine at dinner might be a good idea just to chill a bit.

But to my mind, there are a lot things I could have been doing that I wasn’t because I was on Twitter (all my blogs have suffered in recent weeks for lack of regular updates, for one thing).

Am I giving Twitter up? No. I like it. It’s fun. And it doesn’t cause me to become violent, spend all my money, engage in hazardous sex, crash my car or anything like that. As far as drugs go, it’s not a bad one. But I’m going to clear my system of Twitter just a little and then reassess after a week how I feel and how often I really want to be on Twitter going forward. I need to find out how much I get done without it, to better gauge how much time I should spend with it in the future.

Maybe that will mean getting rid of many people whose tweets I rarely read. Maybe it will mean taking every other day off of Twitter. Maybe it will means a strict time limit each day. Who knows?

You won’t see me on Twitter for a week, give or take, but maybe you’ll see me here more often.

05
Apr
09

Keeping it Together

couple-embacingMrs. Blue and I have had our moments over the years, as have all married couples. With the decline of income over the years and the addition of Little Girl Blue along with Son of Blue, pressures have been higher than ever and, I dare say, we’ve had more big arguments in the past four years than we did in the prior seven we were married and the two during which we dated.

There have been times I was certain my marriage was over. In truth, those feelings have never lasted very long. Both myself and Mrs. Blue love each other and despite the occasional animosity that happens in life, we are devoted to each other and committed to our marriage and family. That isn’t to say that things couldn’t break at some point, but we’ve fought for our relationship, and staying together has always been the choice.

This kind of thing is on my mind a lot in recent months, not so much because of any particular pressures in my own marriage, but in those of people whom I know online (no, not personal, real-life friends, but people I do feel a kinship for online). A while back, it was SocietyVs, author of the Losing My Religion blog, whose wife had cheated on him and left him for a time. The separation didn’t last terribly long, and last I heard, they were still working hard on the relationship and SocietyVs, far from wanting payback for marital infidelity, had used this as a chance to see where he’s gone wrong emotionally and otherwise in the relationship.

On the less positive end of the spectrum, one of my top three or four favorite bloggers of all time, Chez at Deus Ex Malcontent, seems to be at the end of his marriage, after recently bringing a child into the world. He’s posted very honestly, even brutally at times some might say, about the situation. Through it, he has been careful not to lay blame at his wife’s feet but also to make clear that separation or divorce aren’t his choices. They pulled their marriage back from the brink a couple years ago, I understand, but it doesn’t look good this time around.

It’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten most of the responses to SoceityVs when he was posting about his marital travails, so I don’t recall if people were giving him some of the party lines of either you must stay together and fight for your marriage or you must break up now because otherwise you will both hate each other eventually. I seem to recall most comments were in the supportive range and more neutral and useful in their advice.

So, too, comments for Chez have trended toward balance and logic, but there are those who have said things like:

  • You must stay together for the good of the child
  • You must break up or you will make life hell for the child
  • It always takes TWO people to ruin a marriage
  • So, which of you gave us first!

And so on. While not the most common of comments, some of those on the fringed ends of the spectrum infuriate me with their black-and-white approach.

All of that is a very long-winded introduction to what I think will be relatively brief marriage advice from me here to anyone whose marriage is on the rocks or seems to be.

You must be willing to fight.

But you must choose your battles carefully.

And you must be fighting a good fight.

Now, the tricky part is knowing which battles to pick and understanding whether you’re really fighting the good fight. To me, I think it is important that in deciding these things, one must take their own interests out of the equation if at all possible.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look out for yourself, your sanity and your own interests. Such things are important, but they don’t always involve a “fight.”

What I am talking about is when you make choices like:

  • Will I fight to keep this marriage together?
  • Will I fight for custody of the child or children?

Those are the two biggest fights I can think of. There may be others, but those are the most primal, I think, and neither of them can be made properly if you are considering your own wants and needs.

So, to the first bullet point, which might generally be called fighting for something: Staying together only makes sense if the two of you truly both need and want each other. You must be useful to each other and supportive of each other, whether that support is active and overt or more subsoncsious and subtle. If you aren’t both bringing something invaluable and irreplaceable to the other, why be married? Why be together at all? And this is why you must start by considering what the other person needs before you factor in your needs.

The second bullet point is more of the theme fighting over something, and it, too, requires you to divorce yourself from you own desires. Especially in the case of children, are you fighting for them because they are best off with you, or because you simply want to hurt the other spouse? Scoring points with children is a godawful thing to do, and I personally like the idea of God striking people with a bolt of lightning for using kids as weapons in a relationship. When my parents divorced, they refused to put me in the middle of things, and I will always be grateful to them for that.

I think that those people who stay married “for the sake of the children” are not that different than people who fight for custody in a divorce, just the flip side of the same coin really, and special attention should be paid to whether it really is best for that child that the parents be together. It might be, but it also might be the worst choice you could make. So again, think of the children first before thinking of yourself, or yourselves as a marital unit.

Yes, marriages and custody and the like are often worth fighting for. But sometimes, the war is already lost by the time you realize you’re engaged in yet another battle. Sometimes, there is nothing left to fight for, or fight over, and you need to make sure you aren’t still in a conflict that you are no longer likely able to win.

02
Mar
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Faces by Miz Pink

pink-image-trioWhat kinda face are you putting out there? What’s your persona? What it the way you present yourself to the world?

Because ya know there ain’t nothing wrong with have different faces with different groups or different people or in different places. We aren’t just one person but many. We have a core personality sure but that doesn’t mean we don’t tweak it for one person or anoter or tap more deeply into one aspect a certain gathering compared to another aspect at some other gathering.

It’s not dishonest to be different with different people. I don’t talk Jesus as much with my non-church-going people as I do with my Bible study group. I don’t talk about sex or relationship woes as much with my Bible study group as I do with my girlfriends.

But what we need to be sure of is that we don’t make up a personality solely for the sake of fitting in. If I am acting a fool with my girlfriends and doing things that are morally or socially questionable, I’m not being honest to my Christian core and maybe those aren’t good people to be hanging out with. If I have to manufacture safe topics to speak with my Bible study group and can never manage to find a suitable non-biblical topic of smalltalk with them, then maybe the only thing I have in common with them is faith and I would be happier and get more out of Bible study with a group of Christians with whom I connect better.

It’s nice to have variety in our relationships and how we interact. Just make sure that you’re honest to yourself and with yourself and with others when you do.

13
Jan
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Sex by Miz Pink

pinkdress-pinupMy little brother…Okay he ain’t so little these days but anyway…

My little brother used to love model airplanes and model cars.

But he didn’t have much patience so usually he’d get mom or dad to buy the snap-on models. The ones that didn’t need glue. The only sticky things in em were the decals. Sometimes he’d get one of the planes or cars that used model glue (that stuff stank) but not often.

Thing is, the ones he glued together lasted the longest. They didn’t break as quickly (or at all) and they were the planes still hanging from his ceiling when he went off to college.

Patience vs. impatience. Precision vs. speed. Long run vs. short run.

Sex my friends, is the glue in a good relationship between a couple of adult folks. Well, it’s one of the glues anyway.

Point is that…well…you can have snap-on sex and maybe your relationship doesn’t hold up over the long run (or maybe you luck out and it does) or you can have gluey sex and increase your chances of never divorcing and never regretting those vows.

Your choice.

13
Jan
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Sex by Deacon Blue

loving-touchTwo-fer Tuesday is a bit late in coming today. My fault.

Anyway, to today’s topic for this shindig. Sex has been on my mind a lot lately.

Could you please stop…stop snickering damn it! *Sigh*

OK, sex has been on my mind more “a lot” than usual.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking that frankly, the Christian church as a whole, across denominations and regions of the world, doesn’t seem to do very well with sex. It’s the topic that no one talks about. Aside from mention of folks in Sodom trying to do the nasty with new visitors to town, or various people “knowing” each other, you hardly hear a peep about sex in church.

I think that’s bad.

No, I’m not advocating that pastors and preachers start doing sex-related sermons. Yeesh. Imagine how many parents’ hands would be plastered on kids’ ears in a heartbeat and all the simultaneous strokes and heart attacks suffered by the more traditional folks of middle age or senior years.

But I think it needs to be addressed more. I think there needs to be a mechanism whereby young folks learn about what sex should be and why it’s something special. Not something shameful and also not something to rush into.

Couples about to get married, whether the two have done the do yet or not, need pre-marriage counseling as a routine thing. All churches should require that of couples before they get married in that church. This is an area I’ll give the Roman Catholic Church some credit for. I don’t know exactly what they teach or how well, but last I knew, they did require couples to attend classes before getting married.

Oh, stop laughing. Plenty of priests have had sex, and not with altar boys in most cases, no matter what you want to think. Most of them before becoming priests, but there are some horndog Catholic priests who get feminine treats on the side. And even the real honest-to-God virginal ones can still dispense wisdom of some sort, even if it’s from a fucking manual.

My point is that couples go into relationships—and marriages, with some pretty screwed up ideas about sex. People who think it should only be for making babies. Women who think it’s their duty to give pleasure and do what the husband says, no matter what. Men who think that they’ve done their wife a service just by sticking their dicks in them and wouldn’t know a real orgasm, or how to give one, if their lives depended on it. All of those notions are wrong but they’re also very pervasive among Christians. And there are more.

Sex is part of a loving marriage and something that should be a regular part of our adult lives, not just to procreate but to build better marriages. Keeping the topic of sex undercover and out of sight doesn’t help anyone. No one but Satan, anyway, in my opinion.

17
Dec
08

Gimme Some Lovin’

the_kissSo, I have nothing much on my mind today. I will be posting another installment of my novel soon, possibly tomorrow, but no deep thoughts right now. But I will say this: My brother-in-blogging Big Man had a nice post that generated some good comments recently, about sex/intimacy/relationships. Check it out by clicking here.

I not only say that to drive him some traffic (for those of you who don’t already frequent both of our blogs) but also because I took some of my own advice that I doled out in the comments section.

I made a point of grooming more than just at the basic level. I sprayed some “smell goods” on myself, I even dressed in a button down shirt and tie one day, even though I work at home and my wife does half of her work at home. I have made a pointed effort to walk downstairs to kiss her for no particular reason and just tell her how much I love and desire her.

It’s been a pretty good week so far.

I’m not saying Mrs. Blue and I have had some kind of earth-shattering encounter as a result of this, but we’ve had some intimate moments that went beyond the chaste. More to the point, though, I’ve felt much closer to her in general, and I think she’d say the same. Even if she has been teasing me to stop kissing her neck and get back to work.

In our busy lives, we can fool ourselves into thinking we’re too busy to make time for the person we love. It’s important not to do that, though.

Not just because we want to remind them how much we love them.

But also because we need to remind them why they love us.

11
Jun
08

Sex as a weapon

I wonder how many couples out there are engaging in a kind of sexual assault on a regular basis and don’t even realize it? I don’t mean that they’re physically forcing the other spouse to have sex and possibly using (or threatening to use) violence as part of that—though I know there are a few too many folks, most of them men, who do that and wouldn’t think of it as abuse as long as they’re married to the victim. What I’m talking about is more subtle, but still insidious. Less violent, but still damaging.

To get a sense of where I’m going with this, let’s run with the term sexual assault and take out the word sexual for a moment. Assault can be verbal or physical, and can be illegal either way. Is calling someone a racial or sexual epithet assault? Sure. Is it as bad as threatening their life or physical health? No, but that still doesn’t make it right. Is shoving someone who really hasn’t done anything serious to you assault? Yes, and the fact that you didn’t draw blood or break a nose or kill a person doing it doesn’t make it morally defensible.

So, sexual assault—and the more intimate, serial and individual-focused version known as sexual abuse—don’t have to be something dramatic like throwing a person down to the ground and pinning them so that you can invade their bodies. But before I go on, let me quote a couple pieces of scripture that I’ve mentioned before in my various posts about sexual relations between couples.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time… First Corinthians chapter 7, verses 3-5

So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church. Ephesians chapter 5, verses 28 and 29

We must remember that as in so many things with God, extremism at either end of the spectrum really pisses Him off.

We cannot be demanding of our partner all the sex we want whenever we want at whatever cost. At the same time, we cannot be withholding sex for no good reason. Sex is, primarily, not an activity for making babies but for building intimacy between couples. That is why it feels so damn good when you do it right and sometimes even when you aren’t performing so well. Sex is something that is supposed to be a constant in marriage (no, not every day kind of constant—unless of course that’s what you both want and you’re in good enough shape for it). Even if you’re the kind of couple who wants as many kids as God will give you and you shun birth control, the woman is still going to have a nine-month period every year or so during which the sex is just for keeping you as emotionally connected as you can be. And sex isn’t supposed to just go away when you get too old to have kids anymore.

So, to turn sex into a weapon in a relationship is a terribly screwed up thing to do. Yet many couples, either both members of the couple or just one of them, often do use sex as a weapon against the other, and think nothing of it. They don’t appreciate the fact that they are assualting and abusing the person that they supposedly love so much.

To harangue your husband or wife into having sex by saying, “You’d do it if you really loved me” or “If I can’t get what I want here, I’ll find someone who will give it to me” or anything like that is a form of sexual assault. It’s an emotional attack. It’s guilting someone into doing something they don’t feel like doing right now. It’s wrong.

Or consider the spouse who says, “You won’t get anything until you do this or that.” Withholding sex for some petty reason or personal gain or selfish desire in many cases. That, again, is using sex against your partner; using it as a weapon.

How about the spouse who says, “Honey, there’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and I was wondering…” or “I’ve never wanted to tell you that such-and-such turns me on because I didn’t want you to think I was weird” and, instead of getting a supportive ear and at least a consideration of validating the surprise desire—the other spouse goes in for the kill. Instead of being open and loving, the spouse tell his or her partner “You’re sick” or “I’ll never do that” or “I don’t think I can ever be with you again after hearing that” or laughs the partner to scorn. I mean, considering the wide array of kinks and fetishes out there, only a very, very few rank as so heinous that a person needs professional help. And even then, the spouse should be willing to urge the spouse toward help with love and a desire to curb those feeling and not start out of the gates with revulsion and rejection.

That isn’t to say that a spouse doesn’t have the right to “have a headache” sometimes. Typically, “no” means no, and that includes the marriage bed. Being married doesn’t let you off the hook for respecting the other person’s body and emotions. So, when our spouses say, “Not tonight,” we need to respect that, as long as it doesn’t become an unhealthy habit—and even if it becomes an unhealthy habit, we don’t get to just take what we want. We cannot expect that our spouse is always an open vessel or ready tool for our pleasure. And if there is a habit of constantly withholding or constantly demanding, perhaps it’s time to assess whether the two of you really should be together.

Guns, swords, closed fists, knives, clubs and the like are obvious weapons. But a beautiful little pedestal-top statue or tchachke-esque snowglobe on the shelf can be injurious or even deadly too, swung with enough force toward a vulnerable part of the body.

Get the picture? Rape is obvious sexual assault. But demanding or withholding sex in “nonviolent” ways can be dangerous too, when done at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons or done so often that you psychologically injure or emotionally kill your other half in the relationship.

It’s kind of like that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” thing. Sometimes, our bodies can be the loaded weapon in a relationship. Use them right, please.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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