April 6, 2009

"Should I stay with my girlfriend after she gave up sex for religion?"

For some reason, I read that as: Should I stay with my girlfriend after she gave up religion for sex?

I thought that was a more interesting question!

IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O. said:
"I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married."

I would have. I would have been heartily disappointed in some ways but the chance to spend my life with my wife far outweighs the delights of sex.

That's how much I love her. I would be willing to give up even that. Sometimes that's not always a choice. If there was an accident, or something happened that physically prevented sex, that would in no way mean I'd see the relationship as over. It would just mean living the life as it was handed to me, and being the better person for walking with her throughout my life.

As far as the article goes, of course he should break up with her. Unless he's on the same page spiritually they will run into problems no matter what. Good for her that she's taking a step to find more wholeness and inner peace, and it'll be better for her to get away from this guy and find someone who is a much better match.

160 comments:

jimbino said...

The guy's problem is that he considers marrying for sex. That is stupid, as one can have sex, love, companionship, cohabitation, financial security and even children without marrying. Marriage is great for folks who have nothing better to do with their lives, who wish to gain immigration or green card advantages, or who wish to take advantages of the other 1100 benefits the feds unjustly grant folks who are married.

Henry said...

Sounds like the synopsis of a Graham Greene novel. Except that both parties would already be married -- just not to each other.

Buford Gooch said...

Bad divorce, jimbino?

Trooper York said...

I can't get the link. Is it about Tom Cruise?

traditionalguy said...

Selfishness may become your basis for life, but no religion teaches that self-love is the goal for a human life. Marriage is designed to protect the man and the woman from being used and thrown away for a better offer. That lady has wised up. The guy is disappointed like the Wal-mart Christmas sale rioters were disappointed when they could not get to the $50 flatscreen TV first. Selfishness without self control from "religious" teachings about God's ideas for living in a community becomes a cruel set of excuses. Survival only of the Fittest is not a God idea.

Chip Ahoy said...

I hate it when people change dramatically in ways that affect me negatively. I have no good answer to this grievous dilemma.

Joe said...

I suspect that the guy's girlfriend will soon make the decision for him.

Quayle said...

I hate people that have firm convictions, high standards, and honor their commitments.

That is, except when they are managing my money, on the other side of any deal I do, have a stake in any venture in which I also have a stake, or are connected to me in any emotional way.

A world with no God or morals is fine with me.

I just don't want to live with, depend on, or interact with anyone in that world.

srfwotb said...

Most likely, they're going to have to break up. She will find her religious choices makes her anathema to most guys in the modern world and her commitments will be tested as well (i.e. does she really like the churchy guys or is she just trying to control the terms of relationships with non-churchy guys?)

I knew people that were "lesbians" in college as a way of staying heterosexually virginal. Then at age 24 they suddenly went straight to get married and have kids - still fresh as a daisy psychologically.

Marcia said...

The guy says: "I feel upset her religion has become more important than me."

Sorry, dude, in a contest between you and God, God wins. I don't know of any religion whose tenets include: "I am the Lord your God. You shall not have any other gods before me. But, really, your boyfriend is more important."

He should break up with her. And if he doesn't, she should break up with him.

Or he could wait it out and see if the religious conversion really takes. It might not, and then he'll be number 1 again. For a while. Of course, someday it will upset him that the race she's training for is more important than some event he wants her to attend. Then someday he will be upset that her studies and then her job are taking up too much time. Then it will be that he feels she loves the baby more than she loves him.

I don't see this ending in happily ever after.

Joshua said...

Dump the bitch. Nothing worse than a girl who goes from slut to holier than thou. she is just trying to sucker him into marriage. Never let a bitch try to control you with sex. Keep some other options open at all times. Most women do this.

molly said...

I'm on the she's trying to pressure him into getting married faster bandwagon.

John Stodder said...

From the column:

I was very committed to her until she found religion four months ago. Until then she was happy to have sex with me but now she says we must be celibate and pure until we're married.

Evidently, this guy uses words like "very committed" without knowing what they mean. If he was "very committed," he would respond to this by marrying her, right? Or does marriage wait for "very, very committed?"

The real issue is whether his girl's religious conversion will stick. A new convert is inherently unstable in their beliefs at first.

Marcia said...

Joshua and Molly -- That's definitely possible. Of course, you'd think the guy would mention if he was being pressured into marrying her. I don't see that in his letter (at least as printed).

SteveR said...

So I guess driving 550 miles is out of the question.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What? You mean he think's he's going to be getting it regularly after they get married?

ROLFLMAO!LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Revenant said...

Should I stay with my girlfriend after she gave up sex for religion?

No.

Look at it this way; she just decided that the wishes of a guy who doesn't actually exist are more important to her than her boyfriend's wishes are. Dump her and find someone sensible to date.

OSweet said...

Dude's making the common mistake of acting like he cares.

All he has to do is feign indifference, and she'll be begging for it, wedding ring or no.

Daryl said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote: What? You mean he think's he's going to be getting it regularly after they get married?

All the bad things that a woman does when she's dating will be amplified 10x at least once you get married.

Getting married does not solve any problems in a relationship. It only makes them worse. Maybe it's worth it in the long run . . . but it certainly won't solve any of the problems in your relationship.

He should tell the bitch if she won't put out, he'll find someone who will, but that it doesn't necessarily mean they have to break up. That will set her straight.

jimbino said...

No, Gooch, but my friend Einstein endured one and had this to say afterward: "Marriage is the failed attempt to make something lasting out of an incident."

rhhardin said...

She made the letter up.

traditionalguy said...

A new modern non-church going motto: "Survival of the Sluttiest." Thanks for that kind of freedom, but no thanks. It does not work for anyone in the real world. The motto of the church going folks is: "You don't break God's laws, God's laws break you."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ok I'll turn off the snark and be serious for a second.

I think this guy better understand that getting nookie on a regular basis should not be the cornerstone of his relationship. If it is, then his marriage is doomed anyway and it's not going to be God's fault.

Synova said...

I'm disappointed that the Dr. Advice Lady didn't ask him what he was going to do when they were married if they had to be separated for whatever reason, if they are apart for work, or she is sick, since he *needs* to have sex.

It sounds to me like he is "very committed" to having an available sexual partner.

And if she is trying to force the issue of marriage... notice that no where in the letter does it say "celibate for the four months until we are married" or how ever long it will be. I'm betting there never were any real plans to get married at all and his lack of sex is stretching out before him with no end in sight.

And if he doesn't want to marry her, then she's wasting time with him that could be spent finding someone who does want to spend a life together "very committed." (And that works both ways, of course.)

Jeremy said...

Have her call me.

I'm starting a new religion that's dedicated to female ex-lovers.

Susan said...

Anyone who says they are giving up sex for religion--unless they plan to be a nun or a monk---is not interested in a relationship with the opposite sex. If I was the boyfriend, I would be leary. This is a drastic decision--made unilaterally--not a good sign. The answer is easy. Of course he should not stay with his girlfriend. She has made his choice for him.

Revenant said...

I think this guy better understand that getting nookie on a regular basis should not be the cornerstone of his relationship. If it is, then his marriage is doomed anyway and it's not going to be God's fault.

I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married. Rounded to the nearest significant digit, I'm guessing 0.0%. Does that mean that sex is the cornerstone of a marriage? Or does it just mean that sex is a vital and -- until the sex drive dies off later in life -- necessary component of any romantic relationship?

You cannot have a serious relationship without sex. You can have one without religion. Giving up the sexual part of a relationship because of religion is crazy IF the relationship is what really matters to you.

dbp said...

The girl should dump Liam.

He claims to have been very committed to her and yet never brings the possibility of marriage up in his letter.

It shouldn't have taken her getting religeon to prompt a proposal, but if this doesn't do it nothing will. The relationship was going nowhere.

There are unanswered questions though: Is she demanding that he accept her faith as his own?

Bissage said...

I can sympathize with Liam’s dilemma because it is a scientific fact that conniving women do their very best to pressure a man into marriage.

For example, all my girlfriends decided to go off the pill three or four months into the relationship.

Fortunately, I forced them all to get abortions.

rocketeer67 said...

You cannot have a serious relationship without sex.

Speak for yourself, bub.

There's a big difference between, cannot, and will not. Mature, multi-dimensional, fully developed humans know this. I've got serious relationships with lots of people that don't involve sex.

Most normal people do.

Jason (the commenter) said...

She wants to not have sex before marriage (anymore) but she has no problem dating and possibly marrying a guy who isn't religious? Someone who could throw her or her future children off the path to righteousness. She's behaving horribly. She should have dumped him already, and because she didn't he should dump her.

Jeremy said...

Rev - "I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married."

And vice-versa?

Synova said...

Giving up pre-marital sex for religion, or even giving up sex for religion (such as a nun or priest) isn't extreme at all. It's ordinary.

Extreme was my poor neighbor who married a guy and then he went *back* to his church, and since she wasn't his first wife, the pastor said he couldn't *be* married to her. Maybe he'll get over it, but at the time I lived next door she lived alone, no sex, and he (she said) helped her out as much as he could.

Deciding to be celibate *after* marriage for "religious" reasons would violate the marriage vows. Deciding to be celibate after having had sex semi-regularly with your boyfriend isn't even slightly in the same category. Better late than never, and all that.

And Rev is right that sex is necessary. It's necessary to bond a romantic relationship, one person to another. It's what makes *that* relationship different from various other profound friendships. But that's a bigger reason NOT to, than to go ahead and have sex with your boyfriend because he simply can't stand his gratification not being the center of your life.

*Because* sex is important, it makes sense to have it with someone who knows what "very committed" means.

David said...

The Lady Miriam (the advice giver) correctly frames the question he must address: "Am I willing to forgo sex until marriage if that's the only way we can be together?" The answer should tell him what to do.

I'm willing to admit the possibility that she has had a genuine conversion of outlook. If so, that deserves his respect even though it must be confusing. However, it could also be a masquerading power issue. Do they have other unresolved issues of who has power? (Sounds a little like he's missing the power over her as much as the sex.)

Glad it's not me, fella.

Revenant said...

I've got serious relationships with lots of people that don't involve sex.

I would have thought it was obvious that I was referring to romantic relationships specifically. Obviously you can have serious non-romantic relationships without sex; you presumably aren't screwing your mother, for example.

Most normal people do.

No, normal people do not have asexual romances. That's radically abnormal behavior.

Synova said...

She wants to not have sex before marriage (anymore) but she has no problem dating and possibly marrying a guy who isn't religious?

This is actually something *specifically* addressed in the New Testament. The converted person is supposed to stay with their non-converted partner, if the partner is willing to have them.

Brooklyn Redneck said...

What a loser this guy is. His girlfriend sounds nuts and cuts him off all of a sudden and he writes a letter to a female advice columnist.
Why are these men such pussies. Throw the bitch to the curb and man up.

Pogo said...

He was very committed to not buying the cow while the milk was free.

Committed to her?
Not really.
He was just committed to sex on ad ad hoc basis, which meant putting up with her occasional need to actually have a conversation.
But this?
No way.

Surely there are plenty of women aching for just his brand of hooking up. There's just soooo much in it for the ladies.

Paddy O. said...

"I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married."

I would have. I would have been heartily disappointed in some ways but the chance to spend my life with my wife far outweighs the delights of sex.

That's how much I love her. I would be willing to give up even that. Sometimes that's not always a choice. If there was an accident, or something happened that physically prevented sex, that would in no way mean I'd see the relationship as over. It would just mean living the life as it was handed to me, and being the better person for walking with her throughout my life.

As far as the article goes, of course he should break up with her. Unless he's on the same page spiritually they will run into problems no matter what. Good for her that she's taking a step to find more wholeness and inner peace, and it'll be better for her to get away from this guy and find someone who is a much better match.

Revenant said...

The Lady Miriam (the advice giver) correctly frames the question he must address: "Am I willing to forgo sex until marriage if that's the only way we can be together?" The answer should tell him what to do.

That assumes he's the only thinking human being in the relationship. Presumably the woman is sentient, too. Which means she asked herself "am I willing to put aside my religious beliefs until we are married, if that's the only way we can be together" and decided the answer was "no". So why should we condemn the man for not being willing to go without sex until marriage, but not condemn the woman for her unwillingness to set aside her religion until marriage?

Many of you feel that religion is more important than sex. But it is clear that this guy doesn't think the woman's religious beliefs are correct. Are FALSE religious beliefs more important than sex? That seems like a pretty obvious "no". In any case, if your significant other is making major relationship decisions with no apparent rational basis, you need to get the hell out before it is too late. It just doesn't work to build a long-term relationship where only ONE of the two lovers is taking orders from God. You need to be at least roughly on the same page, or the whole thing's doomed.

paul a'barge said...

Um, folks ... she did not give up sex. She's just being celibate until marriage. Big difference here.

I mean, what's with the guy anyway? He's already sampled the wares so he knows what he's getting. If he really wants this girl with all the sex and everything else, he'll marry her. If not, well ... whine on.

I don't get where some commenters are dissing her for being bossy. She's just decided to prioritize her morals.

She's not giving up sex for religion. She's giving up unmarried sex for religion.

Geez.

Revenant said...

If there was an accident, or something happened that physically prevented sex, that would in no way mean I'd see the relationship as over.

That's an entirely different issue. If the person you love physically CANNOT have sex with you then that's no fault of theirs.

But suppose you want to have sex with her, because having sex with her makes you happy. Suppose she's perfectly healthy and capable of having sex with you. She just refuses to do so. This means she's got something she cares more about than you. The same might hold true of you, but the point is that it holds true for at least one of you. I don't think you can build a successful and healthy lifelong romantic relationship if there is anything you care about more than the other person.

Revenant said...

I don't get where some commenters are dissing her for being bossy. She's just decided to prioritize her morals.

Yes, but:

(1): She decided those morals were more important than her boyfriend's happiness, and

(2): The "morals" in question are fuckin' retarded.

Pogo said...

"I don't think you can build a successful and healthy lifelong romantic relationship if there is anything you care about more than the other person."
That seems to be exactly what the guy is doing, caring more about sex than about the person herself.


"She decided those morals were more important than her boyfriend's happiness..."
No, she discovered that those morals were an essential factor for happiness together.

You are free not to marry her.

David said...

Revenant:

Her morals are "fuckin' retarded" because she decides not to have sex outside of marriage? Yikes, that's pretty harsh.

"Many of you feel that religion is more important than sex?" That's even more stupid, Rev. I'm not religious. Sex is more important than religion to me, I guess you would say. The question is not whether he agrees with her beliefs. It's whether she means enough to him that he is willing to accept them even though he might not understand or agree.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Synova : This is actually something *specifically* addressed in the New Testament. The converted person is supposed to stay with their non-converted partner, if the partner is willing to have them.

Well I'm an atheist and the boyfriend is non-religious so the New Testament wont mollify either of us. As far as the New Testament goes I can understand how it might advise a person who converts after being married to a nonbeliever to stick it out, but not if the conversion happens before marriage. How can the marriage even be sanctioned by the church if both people aren't of one mind? It kind of seems fake and I don't think I'm the only person with this opinion, see: 1 Cor 5:9-14 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Redmom2005 said...

Good for you! Congratulations on finding love!! Best wishes for a life of happiness together!!

Erin
45, Fort Wayne IN

David said...

"Love is in the air . . . "

Jennifer said...

The misread question is very much more interesting.

The actual question is lame. You should look both ways before crossing the street. You should say please and thank you. Whether or not you stay with your girlfriend for whatever reason is pretty fucking personal. Grow some balls and make a decision.

In fact, grow some balls and make a decision is my answer to pretty much every advice column question. I'd make a sucky advice columnist.

Richard Fagin said...

I am reminded of the character played by Slim Pickens in the movie "Middle Age Crazy." His wife found religion and wouldn't have sex with him any more. Pickens said, "Jesus may be good for your soul, but He puts a helluva crimp in your nuts."

That has to be one of the best movie lines ever.

Richard Fagin said...

Actually, Jennifer, Dr. Phil makes a pretty decent living dispensing your advice, even if he phrases it differently.

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dbp said...

Revenant said... "Many of you feel that religion is more important than sex. But it is clear that this guy doesn't think the woman's religious beliefs are correct. Are FALSE religious beliefs more important than sex? That seems like a pretty obvious "no"."

let's see; temporary physical pleasure v. the fate of your immortal soul, hmmn. Which one is more valuable?

I am an atheist but recognize that there is no way of knowing if her religious beliefs are in fact FALSE. If he had respect for his girlfriend, he would respect her belief, even as he doesn't share it.

JAL said...

The question the comments raise in my mind is why a number of commenters quickly decide the girl is a bitch and define her so.

Maybe I have a different definition, but it would be a cold day in hell before I myself would have dated someone of that mindset, or I would remain silent if my daughters dated someone who referred to women so casually as bitches.

It smells of a deep character flaw, quite frankly.

Something to do with basic respect for other human beings as starting point.

Revenant said...

"I don't think you can build a successful and healthy lifelong romantic relationship if there is anything you care about more than the other person."

That seems to be exactly what the guy is doing, caring more about sex than about the person herself.

That's what the guy is considering doing. It is what the woman has already done. I'd encourage the guy to follow suit.

Kirk Parker said...

Synova,

Sorry, no dice--the New Testament's advice is to married people. I can't see any justification for transferring that kind of required allegiance to a mere boyfriend/girlfriend.

Revenant said...

"Are FALSE religious beliefs more important than sex? That seems like a pretty obvious "no".""

let's see; temporary physical pleasure v. the fate of your immortal soul, hmmn. Which one is more valuable?

I assume you don't know the meaning of the word "false", because if you do then that response makes no sense at all.

Members of the FLDS believe that men must have multiple wives in order to be saved. If a woman complained that her husband had converted to the FLDS and taken two additional wives, would you snit at her that the state of her husband's immortal soul was more important than her concerns about marital fidelity? Of course not -- because you think the FLDS is full of shit.

Obviously this guy thinks his girlfriend's beliefs about abstaining from sex are wrong. They are, from his perspective, harming their relationship and not doing anything at all to help their "immortal souls". They are *false* beliefs. False religious beliefs are not more important than sex. False religious beliefs are not even more important than your favorite brand of toothpaste.

David said...

JAL: Don't get your shorts too twisted. It's called locker room talk. Pretty harmless stuff by and large, often posturing, often just joking around. (Surely women have a similar phenomenon.)

Outside the locker room guys will do or say things to see if they can get a reaction out of people (like you, perhaps) who are easily offended. This has resulted in a punch line that nearly every guy knows: "Looks like a penis, only smaller." Guys don't need the whole joke to laugh, just the punch line. Most guys will tell you that the woman who first said that (if she actually existed) must have been the coolest woman in the world.)

The guys usually become pussies when confronted with a real life situation (like having daughters.)

Revenant said...

The question the comments raise in my mind is why a number of commenters quickly decide the girl is a bitch and define her so.

Because she is behaving selfishly. She decided to do what made her feel good, and if that hurt her lover then tough cookies for him.

That's the point that a lot of people here are missing. There's a lot of language about how if the guy really loved her then he'd put up with it and yadda yadda yadda. But why doesn't it work both ways? Why is it ok for her to say "what I want is more important than what you want", but if the guys decides to respond by putting HIS interests first then he's a shallow scumbag? Why is "my beliefs tell me sex is bad, so we can't have sex" an acceptable position, but "my beliefs tell me sex is good, so we should have sex" is not? I think a lot of people accept that asymmetrical attitude towards sex because they were raised in an anti-sex belief system like Christianity. But if you don't think that sex is bad in and of itself, there is no reason to treat "no sex" as morally superior to "sex".

The woman in this scenario is setting the ground rules for the relationship: her happiness and beliefs are what's really important. The guy's options are limited to either accepting that lopsided relationship and (shudder) entering into it for life... or getting the hell out. He needs to get the hell out and find a woman who loves him and ISN'T entirely self-centered.

David said...

Revenant says: "The woman in this scenario is setting the ground rules for the relationship: her happiness and beliefs are what's really important. The guy's options are limited to either accepting that lopsided relationship and (shudder) entering into it for life... or getting the hell out."

Revenant, you still don't get it. Each party gets to set the terms of the relationship, Each party has the right to accept or reject the other's terms. Relationships generally work when the terms are clear, and the parties have made a free choice to accept the terms.

She's supposed to set her terms for the relationship. Her terms aren't all that unusual. They used to be pretty much the norm. You seem upset that he doesn't get to set her terms.

It's hard to refrain from speculating what your personal life must be like, but I will try.

Peter V. Bella said...

It seems the guy loves sex more than he loves her. He has three choices; 1.) leave her, 2.) not have sex with her until they get married, or 3.) marry her.

It appears he does not love her enough for choices two or three.

dbp said...

There is no way of knowing if her religious beliefs are in fact FALSE.

Even if they are false, that she believes them and gains sustenance from them gives them value. At least equal in value to his selfish desires.

molly said...

Maybe some Christian can enlighten us as to where exactly the Bible says that premarital sex is sinful. I've never seen an exact quote or anything, and it seems like almost everyone in the Old Testament is having extramarital sex ...

Revenant said...

Revenant, you still don't get it. Each party gets to set the terms of the relationship, Each party has the right to accept or reject the other's terms.

What do you mean, I "don't get it"? You just repeated MY point to me!

David said...

molly said...
"it seems like almost everyone in the Old Testament is having extramarital sex ..."

Molly, how did it work out for them in the Old Testament?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"The question the comments raise in my mind is why a number of commenters quickly decide the girl is a bitch and define her so.

Because she is behaving selfishly. She decided to do what made her feel good, and if that hurt her lover then tough cookies for him."

So if he wants to do what makes him feel good, and if that hurts his lover then tough cookies for her, what does that make him?

Revenant said...

There is no way of knowing if her religious beliefs are in fact FALSE.

You don't have to know. If you don't think that the belief is right you have no obligation to act as if it was.

Take an extreme case as an example. You come home and discover your wife killed all the kids. She said God told her to do it, and to hide the bodies so nobody will know. Do you help her hide the bodies, or do you -- shockingly! -- act on the belief that she's wrong, and call the cops? Obviously you call the cops, even though you cannot prove she wasn't acting on orders from God.

The guy is obligated to "respect" her beliefs in the sense that it would be deeply inappropriate to tell she's a nut. He is not obligated to "respect" her beliefs in the sense of altering his life to accommodate them. If you think someone is completely wrong about a belief, the most respectful thing you can do to them is tell them you disagree and will not be accommodating that belief in your life.

We already know the woman loves her beliefs more than she loves her boyfriend. The only question is whether the boyfriend will adopt the same attitude towards her, or whether he will accept a relationship in which she is the most important thing to him, but he isn't to her.

Revenant said...

So if he wants to do what makes him feel good, and if that hurts his lover then tough cookies for her, what does that make him?

A rapist, presumably. That's the only way I know of to have sex with an unwilling partner.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married. Rounded to the nearest significant digit, I'm guessing 0.0%.

I would agree but that doesn't appear to be the situation here. Accoridng to the link she wants to be celibate until they get married.

You cannot have a serious relationship without sex. You can have one without religion. Giving up the sexual part of a relationship because of religion is crazy IF the relationship is what really matters to you.

Again, it appears to be a temporary hiatus and not a permanent condition. If it was then I would certainly agree he needs to find someone else and she should consider a convent.

I'll go back to what I said before, he should probably define 'regular' in terms of he expectations of frequency. Cause once the honeymoon is over and careers kick in, maybe a rugrat or two come along and he may be lucky to get it once a week.

Revenant said...

Molly, how did it work out for them in the Old Testament?

Well, they lived to be up to 900 years old. Apparently clean living isn't all its cracked up to be. :)

molly said...

Molly, how did it work out for them in the Old Testament?
Didn't Abraham sleeping with his servant create the Jewish population
and some other groups?

David said...

Revenant, I did not even remotely make the same point you did. All of this romantic relationship process implies some respect for the other's needs and wishes, even if you determine that you can not live in the relationship.

You called her morals "fuckin' retarded." You said the relationship she wanted was "lopsided." You called her self centered. You assumed she did not love him. You concluded she could not possibly care for him if she would not put out. You seemed to say (though your prose was unusually foggy here) that her beliefs were objectively false, or at least that the guy was justified in concluding that.

Rev, I have concluded that you are harsh, judgmental and rather foul. I therefore terminate my brief and illuminating epistemological relationship with you on this and all other subjects.

Someone else will have to waste their time dealing with you. Or perhaps someone will conclude that it is time well spent.

Revenant said...

Again, it appears to be a temporary hiatus and not a permanent condition.

I was using the "no sex at all" example to illustrate that sex is, in fact, a cornerstone of a loving relationship.

But sure, it is a temporary hiatus. But the precedent is there: the woman considers her religion more important than her relationship. Suppose her next revelation is that they have to have as many kids as possible? Or restrict sex solely to procreation? Or give away all their possessions and devote their lives to assisting the poor? Or, hell, convert to Islam and move to Mecca?

This isn't really about sex. This is about whether an asymmetrical relationship can be a healthy one.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But why doesn't it work both ways? Why is it ok for her to say "what I want is more important than what you want", but if the guys decides to respond by putting HIS interests first then he's a shallow scumbag?

If he's considering dumping her because she wants to wait till she gets married to have sex then yeah, he's a shallow scumbag. Now if she laid down the law that he could only get it once per month on odd numbered days that don't fall on US or Candian holidays then perhaps you may have a point about her being selfish.

On the other hand, I'll go so far as to say that he probably needs to sit down and re-evaluate his relationship with her based upon her new religious beliefs to see if her new belief set is going to be an issue in their overall relationship and not just whether or not he gets to lay pole whenever he wants.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Rev

I agree with your 6:41 as that is pretty much what I followed up with but you beat me to it ;-) He really needs to re-evaluate his overall relationship because you are right, a religious devotee and a non-religious person are probably going to have problems down the road.

Kirk Parker said...

molly,

No.


You might try actually reading the Old Testament, or at least the first 5 books, or heck even just Genesis and Exodus. I hear there are some pretty decent English-language translations available.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Molly:

"Molly, how did it work out for them in the Old Testament?
Didn't Abraham sleeping with his servant create the Jewish population
and some other groups?"

No, LOL. Very short version: God promised Abraham and Sarah offspring. Sarah took it upon herself to help God out by offering Hagar, her servant, to be impregnated by Abraham, assuming that she herself was too old. Hagar had a baby, Ishmael. Then Sarah had a baby, Isaac. Isaac's son was Jacob, who had 12 sons who headed the 12 tribes of Israel. (Jacob was called Israel, "he struggles with God".) Hagar and Ishmael were driven away when Isaac was born but God provided for them. Ishmael's descendents (physical/spiritual) are thought by some to be the Muslims.

David said...

Molly,

You have me on that one.

Abraham had a special relationship with God, and got away with quite a bit because of it. When his wife Sarai did not conceive, she suggested that Abraham take up with their servant girl. He did so with such enthusiasm that Sarai became jealous and the girl was sent away, penniless, alone and pregnant. (Imagine what she could have done to Abraham with a good lawyer.) But she did not need a lawyer, because an angel of God appeared and told the servant girl (I forget her name) that she would have a son, Ishmael, who would be a father of nations.

Meanwhile Sarai changed her name to Sarah, and resumed sexual relations with Abraham. (You picked a good example. It has real implications for this thread.) At age 99 he fathered a child with Sarah and he died peacefully and respected through the ages.

It's good to remember, though, that when Abraham left Egypt for Canan, his cousin and close friend Lot also left and settled in Sodom. God was less partial to Lot and the outcome was quite different.

molly said...

Nah, I know I need to read the Bible. It's on my list but there are so many other things. So extramarital sex seems to have worked out pretty well in Abraham's case, and my question remains unanswered.

molly said...

I mean, where is it said that sex before marriage is sinful? Specifically?

David said...

Thank you to Laura for informing me what nations it appears that Ishmael fathered.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Sodom. Molly. Sodom.

molly said...

See, why do I need to read the Bible when I can just demand answers of people on the internet? ;)

Revenant said...

You called her morals "fuckin' retarded." You said the relationship she wanted was "lopsided." You called her self centered. You assumed she did not love him.

I didn't say she didn't love him. I said there was something she cared about more than him, which is demonstrably true since she places a higher value on her chastity than on their relationship.

As for the relationship being lopsided, it is. She is setting terms unilaterally and giving the guy a choice between accepting those terms or ending the relationship. It would be different if this had been clear at the beginning of the relationship, but she appears to have changed the rules well after the relationship was underway, and done so without any regard for the guy's feelings on the subject. A relationship in which one party does that, I would characterize as lopsided. If both parties do it I'd say the relationship's over. A healthy relationship is one in which neither party does that.

That's why I said, up front, that the guy needed to get out of the relationship. There's no healthy direction for it to go in.

You seemed to say (though your prose was unusually foggy here) that her beliefs were objectively false, or at least that the guy was justified in concluding that.

I neither said nor implied that her beliefs were objectively false. I said that the guy clearly believed they were false. There may very well actually be a god who cares what the boyfriend does with his penis, although there certainly isn't any evidence for it. Was the guy "justified" in concluding her beliefs were false? He is at least as justified as she is in concluding her beliefs are true, lets put it that way.

Rev, I have concluded that you are harsh, judgmental and rather foul.

Among other things, yes.

David said...

Molly--

Specifically? I'm not sure it's specific enough for some people, but the fact that both fornication and adultery are sins is generally argued as a strong basis for classifying premarital sex as a sin. But you are right that there are quite a number of Old Testament heros who had quite the time--Solomon had 300 concubines, I believe. I have seen present day Christians distinguish this on two bases: (1) Things changed when Jesus came, and there was a generalized break from the mores of the Old Testament, and (2) God did things differently in the old days. Perhaps they are the same point, now that I think about it.

I don't think Jesus ever said no sex before marriage though. He was working at a higher level than that.

You are a lot more fun to chat with than Rev.

Joe said...
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Revenant said...

If he's considering dumping her because she wants to wait till she gets married to have sex then yeah, he's a shallow scumbag.

If a guy informed his girlfriend that he wouldn't be spending any time with her until after they were married because he had more important things to do, would it be selfish of her to dump him? After all, its just temporary, right? They'll be together after the wedding. Or is it just possible that the man in that scenario has tipped his hand, and revealed -- as the woman in this case did -- that he's the one who is selfish and self-absorbed?

I think you're stuck in the "anyone who genuinely WANTS sex has something wrong with them" mindset here and can't see the problem with the underlying behavior. Replace "sex" with something else that a normal, healthy couple enjoys together. Then have one of the partners arbitrarily deny it to the other for a period of months or years -- or, worse yet, use it in a carrot-and-stick powergame to encourage some desired behavior. Then tell me that it is the *recipient* of this ultimatum that is acting selfishly if they push the "Eject" button.

This man owes the woman nothing. He didn't change the ground rules of the relationship; she did. He's not the one insisting that the relatioship has to either change or end; she is. It is Orwellian to paint him as the selfish figure here.

Joe said...

The Bible has plenty to say about premarital sex, unfortunately it doesn't use the modern words for it. Try 1 Corinthians 7:1-2,8-9.

Try this link

Note: I was raised as a Christian, but am now agnostic and believe Christ didn't even exist. However, I respect those who claim to be Christian and live by the Christian ethos. Moreover, I'm thoroughly annoyed by ignoramuses who claim the bible doesn't actually teach certain things, like that fornication is a sin. That's just pure jackassery.

(To put it another way, if you aren't going to take the bible seriously within its context and try to understand it according to the original Greek and Hebrew and the effects of culture and language then please don't argue with it. And yes, I do include believers in that statement. I also get thoroughly annoyed at biblical literalists.)

traditionalguy said...

Molly... The biblical view of having sex is a Prostitute/ client relationship called "having sex" between two people. The biblical view of a Holy Marriage that is pleasing to God is called "Knowing" the other person, and this includes an openess that trusts the other person with the inner secrets and true personality of the partner, and this risky business is only safe when they have willingly entered into a binding covenant. To break up that covenant of Marriage is treated as a serious offense because it breaks a three part covenant between God and the two persons. This lady was educated by the scriptures to value herself as a worthy person, and she has been strong enough to decide to withdraw from their "Lets have sex" as buddies agreement and replace it with the higher standard demanded by a binding Marriage Covenant. If he is an unbeliever,then it will not work out.

Revenant said...

The Bible has plenty to say about premarital sex, unfortunately it doesn't use the modern words for it. Try 1 Corinthians 7:1-2,8-9.

I believe molly was restricting her claims to the Old Testament; Paul's letters to the Corinthians are New Testament.

David said...

Molly, you need to read the Bible because it's one of the outstanding documents of human history and culture, if for no other reason. It's also a hell of a story. Parts you can skip (all the begats.) Read the King James version if you can. The scholars will tell you that it isn't as true a translation as some more recent, but it's wonderfully written (by a committee, no less.)

Joe said...

Revenant, your argument is fundamentally absurd. Yes, the woman made a unilateral decision based on what she believed was best for her and the relationship. You counter argue that she is wrong and that the man must be able to make a unilateral decision about the relationship. Following your argument, any restrictions the woman put on the sexual relationship would be wrong, including frequency. You simply cannot believe in self-determination and believe what you are claiming to believe.

* * *

Dear advise person,

My boyfriend recently watched a movie by Al Gore and now won't use electricity or allow us to use it. I need electricity. This is so unfair.

Advise person,

If you love him, live with it and embrace it, if not, leave you fucking retard.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think it's a case of her not caring about his feelings so much as the case that she's religious now. If she didn't put God before him, she wouldn't be religious in any meaningful sense.

That said, I don't see why he has any obligation to stay with her. Are they married? No. Do they have children? No.

Jennifer's advice is correct.

And yes, I do think it's funny that he used the phrase "very committed." In the context of his letter I read that as "We are very young."

Joe said...

The Bible includes both the Old and the New Testament.

Moreover, read the link. Harlotry, adultery and fornication were forbidden. These are all synonyms. The Bible (and Quran) also declares women on their periods as being unclean. So take that for what it's worth.

molly said...

Molly, you need to read the Bible because it's one of the outstanding documents of human history and culture, if for no other reason.

I know, I know -- I remember reading an illustrated Bible as a kid, but I probably only know the important stories through references in literature. I have the New Oxford Annotated so it's just a matter of me being lazy and fearing all those begats. Plus, I haven't read much of the Bible but I also haven't read Richard II -- these things plague me. Thanks for the urging, though, I should be more responsible and dive in.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think you're stuck in the "anyone who genuinely WANTS sex has something wrong with them" mindset here and can't see the problem with the underlying behavior.

Rev, I am the last person who thinks that anyone who wants sex has something wrong with them. I'm not sure where you're getting this.

I think we both agree that he needs to re-evaluate his relationship with her in light of her new beliefs but not simply on the basis of having to take cold showers until they tie the knot. As you indicated in your 6:41 post, how are her new beliefs going to impact kids, whether she is going to work or not, is she going to make him go to bible study every week etc. I think those are very legitimate reasons for him to reexamine his commitment to her. Now if that isn't an issue with him and it's only going to be whether he's not getting any until they get married then he simply should not get married, period.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If a guy informed his girlfriend that he wouldn't be spending any time with her until after they were married because he had more important things to do, would it be selfish of her to dump him?

No because that's not even remotely analogous to this situation.

Revenant said...

You counter argue that she is wrong and that the man must be able to make a unilateral decision about the relationship.

When did I ever say that? Quote me saying that.

What I said, and have repeated, is that the man should end the relationship. That's the only "unilateral" activity I recommended. I did not say he should stay in the relationship and demand to have his sexual needs met. In fact, I specifically said that that sort of behavior isn't healthy coming from EITHER partner.

Following your argument, any restrictions the woman put on the sexual relationship would be wrong, including frequency.

No, that is not implied by my argument. A balance has to be struck wherein both parties' needs are met to the greatest extent possible. That isn't always possible, especially when -- as in this case -- the parties' desires are mutually exclusive of one another.

David said...

Freeman, gettin' any? (Sleep, I mean. Hope so.)

Revenant said...

No because that's not even remotely analogous to this situation.

It is certainly analogous to this situation. Something any healthy young couple wants is being denied to one party, by the other, because of the latter's personal desires on the subject.

David said...

There are a number of Bibles out with the begats edited out. They sure lived a long time in those days. Probably had compulsory national health care.

I'm getting silly now. It's time to sign off.

Revenant said...

Rev, I am the last person who thinks that anyone who wants sex has something wrong with them. I'm not sure where you're getting this.

Reading back I'm not sure where I got it from either. I completely mistook your tone. :)

traditionalguy said...

Begatting is the subject of this thread, so why edit out the Begatters'(Fathers') role in human procreation? I think it's a nice touch to know who created the first begatter and then track the chain of begatters down to our authority to live our lives today, as title reports do for a parcel of land. That takes away the depression which comes from believing you are only an accident from a wet slime. My sons are happy to have been begat.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, gettin' any? (Sleep, I mean. Hope so.)

No.

molly said...

That takes away the depression which comes from believing you are only an accident from a wet slime.

Actually, I find this to be just the opposite of depressing. And I like to imagine how the rest of the wet slime in the universe is doing.

dbp said...

Revenant said...

"Something any healthy young couple wants is being denied to one party, by the other, because of the latter's personal desires on the subject."

No. If the girlfriend willingly had sex before finding religion, then she desires sex too. What she has discovered is that there are more noble things to aspire to than slaking every desire.

Revenant said...

I think it's a nice touch to know who created the first begatter and then track the chain of begatters down to our authority to live our lives today, as title reports do for a parcel of land.

It generally leaves out the female half of the "begetting", though. This is particularly of interest during times of low population -- the famous question of exactly who Seth and Cain married. It is curious to me that a religion whose ancient texts almost entirely ignore the female line of descent would end up basing membership in the sect on exactly that. I've never heard an explanation for how or why that happened.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The girl is so religious she wont have sex, but next religious enough to marry someone equally religious.

She probably doesn't think they're sexy enough.

Jason (the commenter) said...

molly : I mean, where is it said that sex before marriage is sinful?

David : Sodom. Molly. Sodom.

Sodom was destroyed because its citizens tried forcing their beliefs on other people.

Revenant said...

Actually, I find this to be just the opposite of depressing. And I like to imagine how the rest of the wet slime in the universe is doing.

That's how I feel about it, too. It is fascinating to me that something as amazing as us arose naturally. It is much more inspiring than the idea that some all-powerful guy with too much time on our hands created us for the purpose of making us jump through hoops. Now THAT would be depressing!

But reality is what it is whether it is pleasing or depressing. It is VERY depressing that we have the Congress and President that we currently have, but that doesn't mean I would respect a person who insisted that, say, Ronald Reagan was the REAL President and I was just being duped by the liberal media into thinking he was dead.

Jason said...

Heh.

I made the same decision a number of years ago. I decided I would remain celibate until I married.

Then dated a number of girls who totally seemed into me until I told them what my beliefs were.

These were great, marriageable women. Some of whom married the next guy who schtupped her.

Really, the women in my life had zero interest in a guy who held those values. And this was in Tennessee...the buckle of the Bible Belt.

So that was the end of that. Since then, my "couch conversion ratio" is 100 percent.

In fact, if I laid all my sexual conquests in my 30s end to end...

it would make for a terrific weekend. ;-)

srfwotb said...
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John Lynch said...

Thoughts:

1. What a cowardly way to break up with a guy

2. What a cowardly way to deliver a marriage ultimatum

3. If sincere, what a hell of a downer to a guy. Your sex was so bad that giving it up was easy...

4. Advice to guy: Run! And count yourself lucky that you didn't marry such a woman.

Marriage is about respect and trust. That's why people do it. Not a lot of that in the advice letter. How can you trust someone who suddenly changes their belief system and stops putting out? With no input from you?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Molly, et al. ... if the Bible is foreign to you, I would start with either of two versions, each of which is a paraphrase (not exact translation) expressing the essence of scripture very well in quite ordinary language: 'The Message' or 'The Word on the Street.'

The reason God tries to steer us away from sex before marriage -- let's not even talk about adultery -- is primarily biological and emotional.

a) Upon orgasm the body (especially the female body) releases large quantities of the hormone oxytocin, which creates a deep sense of bonding. In marriage that's fantastic, but if it happens too early in the relationship the woman may well end up feeling bonded to a man who is patently a creep, sicko, or loser. It's hard to cut loose.

b) Generally young women play at sex, for which they're not ready, in order to get what they really want, which is LOVE.

c) Guys play at love, for which they're not ready, in order to get what they really want, ...

d) Consequently it's almost always the girl who gets burned.

If they end up getting married there will be plenty of time for sex. If not, then the sex was a confusing and pointless entanglement for each of them.

God wants the best for us and tries to steer us away from harmful entanglements of all sorts.

There are several Greek words in the Bible, all translated as "sin," but having very different meanings. One is active rebellion against God.

Most common, however, is "hamartia," a term from archery meaning to "miss the mark" particularly by falling short.

When we get entangled in sex before marriage we fall short of God's best plan for our lives. It's not the end of the world -- even King David ("a man after God's own heart") not only committed adultery, but murder as well, yet God still used him for great good.

Some of the strongest evidence for the overall truth of the Bible is that unlike all other heroic literature, its heroes are constantly messing up. To say nothing of having the key witnesses to pivotal events being women, who had no credibility as witnesses in that time and place.

Peter V. Bella said...

Lastg week, the Taiban issued an order that men are entitled to sex with their wives at least four times a week. Many of the comments here regarding the womans choice makes one think that too many people admire the Taliban.

Revenant said...

Many of the comments here regarding the womans choice makes one think that too many people admire the Taliban.

One might indeed think that, were one a complete idiot.

It is particularly amusing to hear *critics* of mindless adherence to religious dogma compared with the Taliban. :)

molly said...
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molly said...

Bart, are you serious? Emotional bonding is going to be part of any serious relationship, sexual or not. Do you think everyone should have arranged marriages so they don't have a chance to begin caring for and relating to their partners? And thanks for the superfluous gender stereotyping, but when I was a teenager desperate for sex I'm pretty sure that what I wanted was ... sex.

Some people want sex before marriage to make sure they're sexually compatible, others want to figure all that out after the wedding. I personally think the former is the more reasonable view, but I don't really think one strategy is any worse than another, as long as both partners are on the same page. The problem with the couple originally discussed in this post is that both partners can no longer see eye to eye on a fundamental part of their relationship, a pretty dull and ordinary problem; the sex/religion element was only what made it interesting.

traditionalguy said...

True story from High school: There was a young and well built freshman girl who wanted love/dates from the older guys and she would put-out generously and lovingly in return. Then one day she decided to stop, and she spread the word excitedly saying "Guess what! I don't fuck anymore". I was intrigued that she could start to call the shots. Her boy "friends" of course dropped her and let everyone know how they had only used her and thought she was ridiculous to expect anything more from them. They were right. No religion involved as far as I know, but a true story.

Pogo said...

Bart Hall

...nicely done.

Molly, what doess "Some people want sex before marriage to make sure they're sexually compatible" actually mean?
What is sexual compatibility, beyond anatomy?
If you're not attracted already, what is 'practice' sex going to tell you?

molly said...

To start with, whether or not someone's idea of a "regular sex life" is Saturday nights and maybe official holidays. Whether people are going to be willing to satisfy your sexual kinks or whether they have ones of their own that are too disturbing for you. Whether or not your partner is going to be happy being completely exclusive, or if they want you to come along for extramarital action. I feel like I would rather experience someone's sexual personality firsthand instead of trusting what they might say about themselves. For a wealth of specific examples I would read some Dan Savage to see what married couples with completely opposing sexual inclinations get themselves into.

Revenant said...

Upon orgasm the body (especially the female body) releases large quantities of the hormone oxytocin, which creates a deep sense of bonding.

Don't state that as if it was a known fact. It is unclear what, if any, effect oxytocin has on human pair bonding. Furthermore, the nature of the oxytocin/sex link is unclear and appears to be the reverse of what you stated -- i.e., it appears most likely that oxytocin encourages sexual arousal, not vice-versa. The science better supports a claim that women have a hard time being aroused by people they aren't bonded with than it does a claim that sex with a man causes bonding.

If the act of flooding your body with oxytocin caused you to fall in love, you could fall in love with anyone of your choice just by regularly popping ecstasy in their presence. That doesn't happen, which strongly suggests your theory is bunk. :)

Kylos said...

Actually Molly, the extramarital sex didn't work out very well at all for Abraham and both of his lines of descendants. Islam traces its origins to Abraham through Ishmael (Abraham's son through his servant Hagar) and Judaism traces its origins to Abraham through Isaac (Abraham's son by his wife Sarah). And there's been plenty of fighting going on between them throughout history.

Revenant, I completely agree that the basis of their relationship changed when she converted to her current belief system. When the core belief system of any party in a relationship changes its bound to affect the very nature of a relationship. That should not eliminate her right to make such a fundamentally personal change in her life. However, she would indeed be ignorant to think that she could expect him to go along with the change as it does affect their pre-existing relationship.

The best solution is going to be a parting of ways unless one or the other changes their worldview. If she's converted to Christianity, then she should also consider the admonition of II Corinthians 6:14 about close relationships with non-christians, along with the prohibitions against pre-marital sex she's chosen to follow. She must be aware of how her decision changes the nature of their relationship and should not be surprised if it brings it to an end.

Pogo said...

"I feel like I would rather experience someone's sexual personality firsthand instead of trusting what they might say about themselves"

What if you're wrong, that this tells you almost nothing about your potential as a couple?

And what makes you believe that you'll discover their "true" 'sexual personality' in such experimentation? Why would you believe that as honest?

molly said...

What if you're wrong, that this tells you almost nothing about your potential as a couple?

That holds only if you don't believe an active and mutually understanding sex life is a fundamental requirement for being a successful couple. For example, if you think sexual compatibility is a matter of "anatomy" -- inserting tab A into slot B, I'm guessing.

And what makes you believe that you'll discover their "true" 'sexual personality' in such experimentation? Why would you believe that as honest?

There's always the possibility that people keep things from one another, but that's humanity, what can you do. At least someone who is no longer a virgin has some idea about what they want, sexually.

Dude, all this discussion teaches us is that we shouldn't date.

Peter V. Bella said...

One might indeed think that, were one a complete idiot.

It is particularly amusing to hear *critics* of mindless adherence to religious dogma compared with the Taliban. :)


Since we are into name calling, try this on for size, you fucking idiot; religion aside, what if she told the mook no more sex until we get married? What now? Or are you one of those primitive morons who belive that sex is your male perogative no matter what the other person thinks; kind of like the Taliban.

Revenant said...

That should not eliminate her right to make such a fundamentally personal change in her life.

Nobody has said that it should. But having the right to do something doesn't imply that your behavior merits automatic respect or immunity from criticism. If a relationship cannot survive a significant change, that's on the head of the person who changed it.

Pogo said...

"That holds only if you don't believe an active and mutually understanding sex life is a fundamental requirement for being a successful couple."

So where's the proof that (1) people who discover this before marriage are in fact more successful couples and (2) people in fact do discover this before marriage?

That is, do marriages with premarital sex last longer?

Revenant said...

Since we are into name calling, try this on for size, you fucking idiot

You compared me to the Taliban. It is a little late to whine about name calling, Peter. If I had responded to you by saying you probably agree with Hitler, would it be reasonable for me to expect you to treat me with respect? If you want a respectful response, try saying something sane.

The Taliban believes that sex before marriage is wrong. So they're in complete agreement with you on that. They also believe, as you pointed out, that husbands have the right to rape their wives if they so choose. You appear to have concluded this is a position I agree with, presumably because you are, as I mentioned earlier, a complete idiot. In reality neither I nor anyone here advocated anything of the kind.

religion aside, what if she told the mook no more sex until we get married?

I said in my 5:54 post, a good four hours before you decided to share your latest insight with us, that the guy's options in that scenario were limited to (a) accepting the woman's wishes or (b) ending the relationship. "Rape her" didn't make the list. I have repeated that position several times since. It says a lot about you that the only things you can think of doing with a girlfriend who disagrees with you about sex are abstention and rape.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Non-nuptial cohabitors, however, are significantly more likely than married or prenuptial cohabiting couples to experience domestic violence, to be sexually unfaithful, to have lower expectations and levels of commitment.

http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/pubwhatshappening.htm

John Lynch said...

Marriage is cool. Changing the rules overnight about sex is not. That's a reason to leave a relationship. Sex is important.

For marriage it's less important because the commitment goes farther than that. But marriage isn't an excuse to stiff your partner, so to speak.

Now, I wouldn't leave my wife if sex was not possible. We're married, and we have enough other things going on (kid, our time together, etc.) I can't see myself living with anyone else, ever.

For someone not yet married it's different. The level of commitment is lower, and sex is more important at the beginning anyway. Sudden changes of rules about sex is a baaaaaaaaad indicator.

Revenant said...

That is, do marriages with premarital sex last longer?

Is length of marriage the statistic you want to be measuring? I would think happiness with the marriage would be a better way to go.

Anyway, the simple answer to your question is "no". The slightly more complicated answer is that the total length of the relationship, pre and post marriage combined, is longer in couples that have premarital sex.

Revenant said...

Non-nuptial cohabitors, however, are significantly more likely than married or prenuptial cohabiting couples to experience domestic violence, to be sexually unfaithful, to have lower expectations and levels of commitment.

Doesn't that pretty much deserve to be filed under "duh"? People who are violent, unfaithful, or unwilling to commit have a much harder time finding spouses than people who are non-violent, faithful, and willing to commit. So, shocker of shockers, we find more violent, unfaithful, and noncommittal people among the unmarried-but-shacked-up than we do among the married. I would expect to find an even higher rate of the violent, unfaithful, and noncommittal among people who aren't in a serious relationship at all -- and for the same reason.

So if you're trying to imply that sex before marriage encourages domestic violence, you're probably confusing cause with effect. :)

Kylos said...

Nobody has said that it should. But having the right to do something doesn't imply that your behavior merits automatic respect or immunity from criticism. If a relationship cannot survive a significant change, that's on the head of the person who changed it.

I don't think it's legitimate to assume that the burden of a failed relationship belongs to the one who changed the terms. When it becomes clears that each individual's worldview and motivating desires are no longer in sync there are two solutions: either realign said desires and worldviews or split. In either case, being consistent in one's worldview is fundamental to sane living. The merits of a worldview can be discussed, and are open to criticism, outside the framework of the relationship, but to lay blame on one party when it becomes clear that significant incompatibilities exist is to ignore that each must live consistently according to their beliefs. Playing the blame game can be self-comforting, but it does nothing to resolve conflicts of fundamental outlook.

Revenant said...

I don't think it's legitimate to assume that the burden of a failed relationship belongs to the one who changed the terms.

If a relationship works, and then one of the two people changes things, after which the relationship no longer works... in what sense is it not their fault that the relationship doesn't work anymore?

Suppose a Jewish guy is dating a Christian girl. Neither is devout, so neither is bothered by the lack of shared faith. Then the Jewish guy undergoes a crisis of faith and becomes much more devout, and is unwilling to consider dating the girl unless she converts.

(Cedarford, pay attention. I'm about to blame a Jew for something, you might want to take notes)

So now the relationship's broken unless the woman is willing to abandon her beliefs (however weakly held) and adopt new ones. If she breaks up with the guy... is it HER fault that the relationship failed? It seems to me it is entirely the guy's fault. He changed. She didn't. All she did want to refuse to change her views about what's right and wrong just because her boyfriend did.

to lay blame on one party when it becomes clear that significant incompatibilities exist is to ignore that each must live consistently according to their beliefs.

But the whole problem here is due to the woman NOT being consistent in her beliefs. She completely changed her worldview about a key aspect of their relationship. She's being "consistent" with a completely different set of beliefs than she had consistently been consistent with prior to four months ago. :)

Kev said...

This is something that's bugged me for a while...

Kylos said:
If she's converted to Christianity, then she should also consider the admonition of II Corinthians 6:14 about close relationships with non-christians, along with the prohibitions against pre-marital sex she's chosen to follow.

And earlier, Synova said:
This is actually something *specifically* addressed in the New Testament. The converted person is supposed to stay with their non-converted partner, if the partner is willing to have them.

Seems like thee two ideas are quite at odds with each other, right? (Synova, do you recall which verse you're referencing?)

This is a sticking point with me, because I've had some former friends (their choice), Southern Baptists all, who used the II Corinthians verse to bludgeon their non-Christian friends over the head if they didn't convert in some specified time and used it as an excuse to stop associating with them.

The funny thing is that the only people in the Gospels who act that way are the Pharisees, who wouldn't seem to be a good role model for Christians in any way. Doing things according to the idea cited by Synova seems much more Christlike of a behavior.

*descends pulpit, apologizes for very temporary threadjack*

Pogo said...

I wrote: "...do marriages with premarital sex last longer?

Revenant said: "Is length of marriage the statistic you want to be measuring? I would think happiness with the marriage would be a better way to go."
1. 'Happiness'? Doesn't that seem about as real a thing as God or "morals"? Why not just count sexual encounters, since that seems to be the primary concern?


"Anyway, the simple answer to your question is "no". ...the total length of the relationship, pre and post marriage combined, is longer in couples that have premarital sex."
Really? Where'd you find that stat?
And if 'total length of the relationship' is the desired goal, why ever get married?
What does being married add anyway?

Darcy said...

Whoa. Paddy O. Pretty amazing comment.

MarkW said...

I wonder how many married men would have agreed to marry their wives if she told him in advance that she would never, ever have sex with him, even after they were married.

But "wouldn't" and "couldn't" are not the same at all. Would I divorce my wife if something happened to her that made her physically unable to have sex? No. But would I divorce her if she simply announced one day that would refuse ever to have sex again? Yes, I probably would--because that would mean something fundamental had gone wrong with our relationship.

Keep in mind too, that sex doesn't have to mean intercourse only, and that even disabled people can be sexually intimate with their partners and satisfy them in other ways.

kentuckyliz said...

If the guy isn't religious, he should break up with her and find himself another heathen ho.

Does he really want to find himself sitting at the dinner table someday, and his fundamentalist wife and children are sitting there talking about how it's too bad that Daddy can't go to heaven with us and is destined to hell?

This woman is going to use Jesus as the argument winner every time, and if he doesn't buy that premise, run. Let her find a fundamentalist boyfriend/husband and live happily ever after.

The New Testament saith:

Fornicators won't inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Go and sin no more.

Do not be unequally yoked.

Before I scrolled down, I thought the title of the post was going to be "Should I stay with my girlfriend after she gave up sex for Lent?"

To which I was going to answer, dude, you get Sundays off because all Sundays are feast days of the resurrection, and when Easter comes, it won't be just Christ rising again from the dead. LOL

commenter said...

Wonder how the guy got this gal in bed in the first place? Hope it wasn't with alcohol, ecstacy, or subtle hypnosis. Maybe it took her a couple acts to figure out his scene.

rocketeer67 said...

You know, Rev? It's one of the things that's always amused me about sexual libertines - they think everybody else is fixated on sex. Classic projection.

No, normal people do not have asexual romances. That's radically abnormal behavior.

It most certainly is not. Normal people have asexual romances all the time. That you cannot even approach understanding that normal people can view sex as appropriate within marriage, while inappropriate without - that's radically abnormal.

Seek help.

Revenant said...

Revenant said: "Is length of marriage the statistic you want to be measuring? I would think happiness with the marriage would be a better way to go."

1. 'Happiness'? Doesn't that seem about as real a thing as God or "morals"?

In the sense that it has no apparent existence outside of the human mind, yes.

Why not just count sexual encounters, since that seems to be the primary concern?

If you think the primary concern of a marriage is sex, counting sexual encounters would make sense. But I don't, so it doesn't.

Really? Where'd you find that stat?

I don't remember. Some study I read years ago.

And if 'total length of the relationship' is the desired goal, why ever get married?

It's traditional?

Revenant said...

"normal people do not have asexual romances. That's radically abnormal behavior."

It most certainly is not. Normal people have asexual romances all the time.

A minority of the population has romances where the sex is put off until after marriage, although the desire for sex remains and the romance/marriage inevitably ends unless that need is ultimately met. The majority of the population doesn't even wait that long. People who have romances without sex being a factor are rare. It mostly happens when one or both partners have damaged sex drives, due to age or medical conditions.

Synova said...

Synova,

Sorry, no dice--the New Testament's advice is to married people. I can't see any justification for transferring that kind of required allegiance to a mere boyfriend/girlfriend.


The New Testament's advice is to people in relationships who probably were very often not married at all because marriage was not necessarily formalized for all classes *and* were most certainly married, if they were, by something other than "legitimate" Christian or Jewish ceremony since they were Greek or Roman.

Synova said...

I (briefly) worked as a resident assistant at a boarding high school (while I was in college) and one day one of the girls in my dormitory comes to me and says...

"My boyfriend says that he'll break up with me if I don't have sex with him. What should I do?"

One of my co-workers, when I was in my 20's and she was a couple years younger told me...

"I've been with him for five years and now we live together and I think that it's just easier to keep on than breaking up. He doesn't want to get married and what if he never does? What should I do?"

In the end women have a "sell-by" date for having a family and children.

Men don't.

It's rational and logical, if family and children are something desired, to put a burden on the man to prove his commitment, so when he's proven to not be serious about building a life together, no matter how much he likes having a sexually willing woman hanging around, the woman can be free to find someone else who wants more.

Of course, she could just get off birth control and put a pin through his condoms and have her babies, but then she's stuck with a "baby daddy" who thought "very committed" was having sex whenever he wanted it.

srfwotb said...

@PaddyO Yes, whoa.

You make me miss the side of my family who is actually capable of living out those values - it's too bad that you can't tell which ones have the scary raging alcoholic side ready to emerge at any moment. (And you really can't tell until they hit their 40s...unfortunately for their wives.)

I was spoiled in a way. I expect guys to be capable of PaddyO sentiment IRL and, of course, most are just not which is underscored by his profile that says he was a monk. Nice to know the sentiment exists though.

srfwotb said...

Back to the trivial: For some reason I find it very amusing that he needed to preface his question by pointing out that he was *an amateur athlete* and met his gf in a running club. (!!) I assume he's emphasizing his good health and therefore need for sex. What if they were both couch potatoes and then the gf went on a fitness program and told him she couldn't have sex with a chub anymore and he had to start work out because her standards had gone up?

I'm guessing if his gf gained weight he'd drop her like a hot potato for "changing the terms of their relationship", so I don't even know why he's deliberating here. The sex must have been good.

Revenant said...

I'm guessing if his gf gained weight he'd drop her like a hot potato for "changing the terms of their relationship", so I don't even know why he's deliberating here.

The fact that he's still with her four months after she cut him off from sex demonstrates that he wasn't just in it for the sex.

It is amazing how much hostility any man faces when he fails to buy in to the modern view that the man's proper role in a relationship is to eat whatever shit his partner sends his way. Women, on the other hand, have no obligations; they can follow their whims, and if the man doesn't respect them he's a pig.

Synova said...

That may be the modern view, Rev, but I really don't think that there are many here who agree with it.

Revenant said...

That may be the modern view, Rev, but I really don't think that there are many here who agree with it.

The attitude people have taken toward this guy -- who has done nothing wrong and is responsible for none of the damage the relationship suffered -- indicates that many of the people here DO feel that way, Synova.

Look at some of these comments. The guy's accused of only caring about sex (clearly false), of having used drugs to get sex (no evidence of that), of being so shallow he'd dump her if she gained weight, of basing his entire life on selfishness, and of of having no morals... all because he's *considering* breaking up with a girl whose attitude and behavior changed radically four months ago, in a way that makes the relationship less fulfilling for him. Sheesh.

commenter said...

The guy gives incomplete info about himself and the frequency and start of the sexual relationship.

Mine was not an accusation, but rather a possibility that was not mentioned.

I find these things stupid to evaluate because of that. My accusation was more at anyone including myself making assumptions in this silly practice exercise.

Revenant said...

Mine was not an accusation, but rather a possibility that was not mentioned.

Well, I hope you're not a child molester. It is definitely a possibility, after all.

Synova said...

I was reacting to the claim that he's athletic and simply has to have sex. What a whiner.

This is a problem for me because I love her and also need to have sex regularly.

I'd be the first one to argue that a person in a (real) relationship has an obligation to put themselves out a bit if their partner has a stronger sex drive. If it's not about the other person, then it's not a relationship.

And I really liked the remark about how he was "really committed" to her "until" this happened.

And his argument isn't at all... can I deal with her newfound religious sensibilities... it's "I need to have sex regularly." What does he think will happen if he doesn't? His wanker falls off?

I think of all the people separated due to year long deployments and I just have this incredibly strong, "Oh poor baby!" reaction to that.

Cry me a river.

Does he want to marry her or not? If NOT, then what are we supposed to think but that he just really likes having a regular, available, convenient sexual partner?

In which case he should break up with her and find one.

commenter said...

No I am not.

But I did live on a college campus on the beer run street within two blocks of a couple liqour store and have even had a guy pass out in my front lawn and his girlfriend sit their crying and nursing him to wake up. I don't have a social life so I listen ...my windows were so thin and even had holes in them.

You want the standard line of I should have a nickel for every sexual encounter I have heard on the street out of drunken lips? You want me to tell the story of a drunk 22 year old coming up and asking me a 49 year old woman for sex?

You wanna hear how many times a young perverted guy called me a milf? How much do you know of healthy sexual attitudes of todays youth? Never in my college days did I hear guys drilling over mothers openly in public.

Even when I was on the street with my sister and a guy AND giirl made sexual comments about the both of us!

Now if I was as vulneable as I was during the stupid process they called divorce and how disgusted with my isolation at the time and willing to do anything to have someone listen to me...- well, I don't need to go there again

I did not find god in a religion or chapel

I found myself and my heart and liver for that matter. which would be all that a god would want anyway of me.

As for sex and a person telling me just enjoy it for their sake?

No! I gott my own answers .

Revenant said...

I was reacting to the claim that he's athletic and simply has to have sex. What a whiner.

Well, obviously he doesn't actually need sex with his girlfriend. But the statement "I need X from this relationship" is never actually true. For example, the statement "I love him and need to be near him" is, technically, always a lie. You NEED food and water. You WANT to be with the person you love. You want them to talk to you, share your feelings, have sex, whatever.

"Need" is only true if you attach the phrase "... for this relationship to be worth my time and effort" to the end of the sentence. The guy needs sex for the relationship to be worth it. Makes sense to me; in my experience these life-altering religious conversion types are action packed with issues and worth staying well the hell away from until they've had time to settle down.

And I really liked the remark about how he was "really committed" to her "until" this happened.

You mean, until she showed that she was more committed to a religion he doesn't believe in than she is to him? :)

What does he think will happen if he doesn't? His wanker falls off?

Presumably he'll be forced to find a less annoying woman to date.

Does he want to marry her or not? If NOT, then what are we supposed to think but that he just really likes having a regular, available, convenient sexual partner?

You can love a person and want them as a boyfriend or girlfriend without wanting to marry them. It is quite common. Do you people seriously think the world is divided up into (a) people who want to marry you, (b) people who just want to use you for sex and (c) people with no romantic interest in you at all? That's a pretty silly view of reality, don't you think? The notion that the only kind of real romantic love is the kind that makes you want to commit to spending the next 30,000 days with the person is pure fiction.

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