A man I know is struggling with (t)his situation. His marriage specifically.
Not long ago, perhaps ten years or eight, his wife confessed an affair. Then another.
Prior to that their marriage had settled into what many marriages settle into…a quasi-cooperative chore sharing roommate type arrangement with occasionally and grudgingly endured starfish sex once or twice a month.
In the period after the confession he says the sexual frequency and enthusiasm spiked. It was as if they had been catapulted through time to the early days of their relationship. I recall when he told me, those years ago, that he was going to stick this out and make the marriage a higher priority and that he believed they would overcome. He believed strongly that intact was what his family was to remain. Not by rote. Not solely for the sake of the children. But for real.
I could not and would not stake out an opposing position to his decision to stay. I supported and support that choice still. However I attempted to share some time release low dose daily red pill rules of thumb with him then, and he was not prepared to swallow anything but handfuls of the pure instant release blue ones. A man on a high dose blue pill regimen who is getting frequent good sex from his attractive wife who remains cheerful while having her worse quality manifest as low level nagging that she keeps to a minimum, this is not a man who is inclined to even consider the red medication.
That is until the blue pills stop masking the other symptoms. Usually this is too late for intervention. And this is where he is now.
He sat through a long lunch with me and kept repeating, “remember when you said this, and this, and this?”, referring to red pill nuggets I’d sprinkled in earlier conversations.
Low level nagging has become systematically trying to remake him. And enthusiastic sex has been dismantled bit by bit with a stealth he likened to the slow boiled frog dilemma.
Now he’s gone and done the thing that motivated him to contact me. He suggested and she agreed to head to the church for his execution some counseling.
Pastor seems to not like inclusion of the stuff about her indiscretions in a general framework of where the couple is today. To my friend, the pastor paraphrases my friend’s wife. When my friend asks for help digesting the fact that the wife was very sexually available to a couple of paramours, followed by a period where she was similarly available to him, the Pastor dismisses the comparison saying, “She already confessed and repented that those were driven by lust”.
My buddy is stuck right there. Who wouldn’t be? He is to accept that the fact that the affairs were only lust. She’d subsequently eschewed lust. She’d been forgiven of lust. Her sexual desire for her husband, both prior to the affairs and today, is more sanctified and lust is suppressed for God’s glory. The wife and the pastor and busy explaining the slow cooker cartoonish claim that women cannot just be sexual on a given day don’tcha know.
I’m thinking about my own impressions about sex over time. The hyper-lust of late teen early 20’s, the early married faithful but mind wandering to the alleged male need for more variety…things like that. I reach the part where things are steady. Where is settled where he is in terms of married sex. Could a man use the expression “just lust” as an excuse for infidelity?
By what term to we describe the desire a man has for his wife? I have seen the debate between Christian men and women on whether it’s ok to lust for a spouse. I’ve always thought it was OK, but I’m not strident in this particular word parsing exercise. Now I wonder, could it be that to Christian women lust is needed in order that they have willful sex with a man (paramour or husband) while she needs to see lust as a bad thing so that infidelity can be walled off with it due to having repented of the lust and been forgiven? The side benefit is that her lack of lust for her husband can be embraced. Heralded as virtue.
Based on what my friend has been telling me I think the churches counseling narrative supports the theory that lust is a motive and an excuse. But it must never be good for it would lead to yucky sex with undeserving husbands,