The Unique Nature of Sexual Intimacy Makes its Abuse Uniquely Destructive

(1 Corinthians 6:15-18  ESV)   (15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!  (16) Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”  (17) But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.  (18) Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

As we have seen in the comments to other posts on this blog that address the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated upon the abuse victim by her “husband” (see Do you tell others about the sexual abuse?), one of the most damaging forms of abuse is that of sexual abuse. Ironically, this is one of the abuser’s tactics that is least talked about. He can carry out atrocious acts of rape and sodomy, yet do so while enjoying a cloak of secrecy and darkness.

The Apostle Paul’s statement to the Corinthians provides us with some insight into why sexual abuse is a particularly powerful tool for evil. Indeed, these words tell us why so many abusers choose this form of weaponry. Notice that Paul zeroes in here on the “one-flesh” aspect of sexual intimacy. We know this from way back in Genesis (Genesis 2:24): “and they shall become one flesh.” Here, Paul says that the same one-fleshness happens even when God’s design for human sexuality is abused (1 Corinthians 16): “he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her.” As a result, just as there is remarkable blessing in our sexuality when it is practiced within the pattern God has ordained (one man, one woman who have covenanted to one another for life), so that same powerful blessing, if distorted, turns into a terrible curse. Thus, sexual sin has a unique aspect for destruction. The one who violates it sins against his own body. Like fire, sexuality has tremendous power to bless, or to consume.

And I think that the abuser knows this. He recognizes the power of sexuality. He understands that here is something that he can take, twist, pervert, and use it to especially damage another human being. In his sexuality, he can perhaps even use an kind of ultimate weapon to bond his victim to himself, thus providing him with the power and control which is the real object of his lust. From the victim’s standpoint, this same sexual attack comes with an “intimacy” of evil that infects her body, mind, and soul in a way that perhaps no other kind of abuse can.

I would also suggest that Paul’s final instruction here sheds real light upon the necessity of separating from the abuser: Flee from sexual immorality. Why? Because it is sin, and it is a particularly destructive sin. Paul, of course, was instructing the Corinthians to cease from sinning sexually themselves. I am not implying here that a victim of sexual abuse is sinning. That guilt lies solely with the abuser. However, it would seem very proper that we also apply this instruction to flee sexual immorality to the victim of sexual abuse. Run! Leave! The thing is terribly damaging to you. It bonds you to your abuser in a uniquely destructive way. (I’m thinking here of the old vampire movies where the victim always becomes the slave of Dracula once she is bitten. Nowadays vampires are being exalted as good guys who have been misunderstood. But then that’s another story.) But my point is that if Christ would have us flee in particular from sexual immorality because it is so powerful and damaging, surely would He not also mean this instruction to victims as well?

And thus, in this light, we shudder at any notion of telling an abuse victim, and especially a victim of sexual abuse, that the Lord requires her to return to her Dracula and let him keep sucking the life out of her.  “Who knows”, she is often told, “you might just one day lead the old Count to salvation in Christ!” Yeah, right.

[June 23, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to June 23, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to June 23, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to June 23, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (June 23, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


Further reading

Sexual abuse in marriage — what should a Christian wife do?


UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

29 thoughts on “The Unique Nature of Sexual Intimacy Makes its Abuse Uniquely Destructive”

  1. Well said, Jeff. I agree. No one has the “right” to so abuse another and no one has the “duty” to submit to such abuse. There is indeed a soul issue here that must be addressed.

    1. Thanks, Larry. Telling someone (in Christ’s name) that they are required to remain in a situation that Christ actually tells them to flee from is a shamefully common pastoral error and it is time we all get it right.

  2. Some try to cover this one over by saying “the marriage bed is undefiled” and anything goes. But anyone who’s lived this kind of lie understands just how much sexual immorality one person can bring to the marriage bed.

    Never saw this particular Scripture in this light, but your post rings with truth.

    Thanks, Jeff.

  3. Question. How does it bond you to your abuser in an uniquely destructive way? What are the signs of that, or what does that damage look like? I, most likely for one, would be interested in knowing what those damages look like, in order to learn or understand some more things about the dynamics of this type of abuse. Thanks.

    1. UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


      Dear Anonymous, I think we all need to explore that question together, and I hope many more people offer their answers to it, but my first thought was that Jeff’s words are a good place to start:

      an “intimacy” of evil that infects her body, mind, and soul.

      There can be body memories of sexual abuse — memories held in the viscera, muscles and tissues in a way that is deeper than mere “mental” remembrance. When something happens that triggers (re-awakens) the memory, the survivor can re-live the physical and emotional experience of when she was being sexually abused, almost as if it is happening in the present moment. Like it’s in full 3-D. It can be pretty overwhelming, when this happens, and some of the work of recovery can be around learning how to manage oneself so that one can touch into the memories (for the purpose of processing, healing, and integration) without being so overwhelmingly flooded that one is simply re-traumatised without any progress towards healing. A good counselor can help the survivor learn to navigate that journey.

      But what about the “intimacy of evil”? For myself, the night when I was sexually abused I was aware at the time that the abuser had an incredibly strong feeling of malice towards me, and was intent on doing what they were about to do to me for the purposes of “screwing me up for life”, so to speak. And this goal would have been achieved, had not God brought me into His kingdom and over many years gradually healed me of all the damage that was done that night. When I say “the abuser” I am referring to a human being, but my spirit tells me that an evil spirit was impelling that human person, and the intense malice emanated from that evil spirit.

      Sexual abuse means that we receive damage INSIDE our bodies, in places where there are an abundance of nerve endings. That’s the physiological reality. Our bodies and psyches are deeply intertwined, especially when it comes to the realm of sexuality. The recent discoveries in neuropsychology about neuronal mirroring in interpersonal relationships give another way of understanding this too.

      Not sure what neuronal mirroring is? If a man is watching a ball game on the TV — maybe a game of cricket where the ball is a about the size of a fist — and the bowler bowls a fast ball which hits the batter smack in his groin, the fellow watching telly will involuntarily gasp and clutch his groin in sympathy, even though he wasn’t hit. Why? Because of neuronal mirroring, which is an aspect of empathy.

      I think that when a woman is sexually abused by a nasty man, not only is her body assaulted and her personal integrity deeply violated, her brain involuntarily senses and mirrors the assailant’s spiritual mindset. And this is beyond her ability to prevent or control, because neuronal mirroring is just part of the way we are constructed. Some people have this innate capacity for mirroring more than others. Sociopaths don’t seem to have it much at all, which goes with them not having empathy for others.

      Hey, I’m not a neuropsychologist; I’ve only read about this stuff and listened to a few interviews with scientists who are at the cutting edge of neuropsychology. So I’m open to correction on this.

  4. Is this what people refer to when they talk about soul ties? These ties are very hard to break, and maybe the perpetrators somehow know that once they possess you in that way, they have formed something that will keep you bonded to them.

    1. I know the term “soul ties” is bandied around a lot, but I’m not sure it is well defined. Maybe it’s a grab-bag term for lots of different phenomena, and therefore not a very helpful term.

      For instance, if a person is burdened by a load of false guilt for being “harsh” or “unforgiving” to someone who had gravely mistreated her, a prayer counselor might label that as a “soul tie” — but a relationship counselor who had a good grasp of Christian doctrine would help the victim to drop her load of false guilt and, lo and behold, the supposed “soul tie” is gone! I wouldn’t call that a “soul tie”, I would say it was false guilt induced by sub-biblical teaching about how to deal with sinners, and what forgiveness is and is not.

      Or take another scenario: a single woman falls in love with a man but within a few months it becomes clear that for a range of reasons they are not really suited to each other. With tears and some angst on both sides, they mutually agree to end the relationship. But the woman had been so deeply affected when she fell in love with him that she can’t “let him go” from her heart. She can, with an effort of will and a good dose of common courtesy, refrain from trying to pester him into renewing the relationship, but she can’t drop the dream, that private place in her heart still glows only for him. Is that a “soul tie”? Or is it just the sense of unrequited love, left hanging? I know this woman (it was me) was stuck there for about 18 months, until one day, after talking it over with her best friend, and deciding that she’d pray for God to “deal with it” in whatever way He saw fit, the feeling left her almost instantaneously a few days later, never to return. She was set free, like God had cut the tie. But was it a “soul tie” to that man’s soul? Or was it just a longing in her own heart, that God so wondrously relieved her of?

      Whatever “soul ties” are, if they exist and are not just a term that is bandied around without any definition, I would never tell people they are “very hard to break”. To say that bespeaks gloom: it can be like a sentence of despair to someone who has come through a bad relationship, or a victim of sexual abuse. I would say that if “soul ties” exist, they can be easily and promptly resolved and dissolved by good counsel and God’s intervention. It’s only a matter of finding the right key (or keys) that can open the door.

      So, going back to what Jeff wrote about how sexual abuse “bonds you to an abuser in a uniquely destructive way”, and the commenter who asked about that bonding — maybe the word “imprinting” would be better than “bonding”. Imprinting connotes the idea of neuronal mirroring, without connoting any idea of a glued-together-unbreakable-bond. After all, God is in the business of setting captives free and breaking the chains of darkness, is He not? He is able to heal all the damage that was done to our souls, our brains, our viscera, our emotions….

      He restores my soul…. (Psalm 23:3)

      1. Thanks, Barb. I was waiting for someone to give that sort of answer. I just feel like the odd one out when I argue along the same lines, in particular when you are among Christians who tend to swallow the latest trend and propagate them authoritatively and with great zeal. It seems like rational answers get thrown out of the window because they don’t sound spiritual (read unscrutinizable) enough.

  5. She said, “We need to talk.” He said, “Sex first, then we can talk.” She said, “I need you to be my friend.” He said, “I can’t be your friend until after the sex. This is how I perceive love.” She said, “That’s the cart before the horse, you can’t have sex, the culmination of a mutual loving relationship until the friendship is there.” He said, “Sex first.”

    She said, “I feel like God has asked me, time and again, to stick my hand into a hole in a wall and behind the wall waits a man to stab at my hand with a knife, and you are that man. I have come time and again, stuck my hand in the wall and been stabbed every time. There will come a day when my heart will not be able to put my hand in that hole again.” He said, “Sorry, but I have to have sex first in order to feel like you are my friend.”

    This was our conversation in 2007. Two months after this, and repeatedly for months afterward, he screamed, “I want a divorce!” The last time he did, I said, “You got it.”

    Yes, sodomy and rape (because I refused the sodomy), this kind of abuse is the most demoralizing that a woman could ever have to suffer, but that wasn’t what put the fear in my heart. Every night I was afraid to die in the bed beside him, because I knew what “liberties” he would take with my dead body before calling for help….”one last fling before it goes in the ground”, sort of thing. But I couldn’t put my finger on just where that fear came from….I thought I was losing it.

    Then he confessed to sexually assaulting me when I was under general anesthesia after gall bladder surgery. I think my subconscious recorded the event, even though I wasn’t awake. And the “unreasonable” fear set in.

    Yes, I, too, was told to go back, be “more submitted” so he would be nicer to me. This has just about killed me, spiritually and physically.

    But God….enough said — well, almost. God informed me that He would not allow my faith to fail and that He would remove my husband from me to a place where I could not “fix it.” And He has, and He is. OH….how I LOVE JESUS!!!

  6. (Mark 10:8 [NIV]) and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

    (Genesis 2:24 [NASB1995]) For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

    (1 Corinthians 6:16 [BSB – Berean Standard Bible]) Or don’t you know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

    (Song of Songs 8:4 [NLT – New Living Translation]) Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.

    These Scriptures tell me that once we have sex, we are considered one-flesh in God’s eyes, therefore, it is an extremely risky proposition needing extreme care when deciding who to give ourselves to. And because women get pregnant by such an act, they are the more vulnerable ones here. Without true love and devotion, he conquered his quest and she (the weaker vessel) now becomes needy and vulnerable. And when compounded with evil intentions, it is simple incomprehensible to me — and yet it happens.

    Even so, one-flesh is still “flesh”. So I would like to believe that Jesus can override the fleshly soul-ties with a double braided cord wrapped with Him in the spirit. [….]

    It’s never was and never will be a level playing field between man and woman (since she bears the physical cost of bringing forth new life) which causes my dander to go up when folks try to level the score on emotional abuse between men and women. Men are far more hurtful to a woman than vice versa. God created it that way. Re-read Gen 3:16! It’s just plain evil when he knows it and uses that power to his advantage and to her destruction. This is WHY she MUST turn away to turn towards Jesus to survive. This is WHY Malachi 2:13-16 was written to men and not women.

    There will always be a few exceptions, but by and large, this is the norm. Turning away from your sinful husband, becoming UNyoked from your unbeliever and allowing him to depart is the only way towards healing and freedom, else I fear wives are still subject and tied to his sinful “flesh”. “If a part of your body sins, cut it off.” (Matthew 5:30).

    Living with an unHoly man while wanting to walk with Christ is next to impossible so long as you are subject to the unHoly man.

    1. Thanks, Anewanon. 🙂

      I redacted the bit in your comment where you referred to the “head” metaphor for the husband. What you were getting at was good, but because the meaning of the word “head” has been so hotly debated in Christian circles, we’d prefer not to open up that can of worms. Hope you understand.

      I really like the way you set that Song of Songs verse alongside the other verses you gave at the start of your comment. 🙂

      And for readers who may not be aware, I’ve written three posts about Genesis 3:16.

      What is the woman’s desire? How Susan Foh’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 fed steroids to abusers. (Pt 1 of 2)

      The woman’s desire in Genesis 3:16 — let’s be consistent with the context and with actual life. (Pt 2 of 2)

      Since the Fall, men have been sinfully disposed to oppress women — but this doesn’t mean women must remain in abusive marriages.

    2. Well said. I totally agree with your comments. It is the church, however, that tries to bring us back into this sinful, unholy relationship….even if it is called marriage. I should have listened to the spirit within me when I had separated from my husband for three years. Unfortunately, the well-meaning pastor got us back together. My decision was simply built on my husband’s agreement to love me like Jesus loved the church. Inasmuch as I realize that this is a greater demand than many men could master, this was what my hope was built on and….gravely disappointed! Many years wasted living with someone who did not love me and was driven to sexual addiction by the master of darkness.

  7. I wonder, in this context, if being forced to have sex against her will for 20 years, a woman would internalize the contempt that her abuser continually showed towards her as he raped her? Would that be a way that the “neuronal mirroring” might imprint her for life? Is there any way she could ever be free from the feelings of worthlessness?

    After telling the pastor one of the reasons I was leaving was because my husband made a practice of raping me every night (after consuming pornography), the pastor asked me if I had orgasms during the sex. This, in a private counseling session he had insisted on having before I left. The inappropriateness of his question still shocks me.

    He also told me that this was not grounds for divorce.

    I told him I didn’t care what he thought and left the husband and that church.

    I have since come to the conclusion that the pastor was probably consuming pornography himself, since “women enjoy being raped” is a common theme in porn. The rage and disgust towards him is welling up inside of me again as I remember this encounter, even though more than a decade has passed.

    1. Stonger Now, I am aghast at such a TERRIBLE response from that pastor when you described what your husband was doing to you. I don’t think most ordinary SINNERS with ZERO counseling training could have re-traumatized you any worse.

  8. What kills me is that all of a sudden — when two people marry — the church acts like they REALLY CARE about relationships and that we should do ANYTHING to ensure that these two people stay together and that sex is a RIGHT of the man in the relationship and women should allow the man to have his way in this — and everything else too — OR ELSE!

    Cults like LDS [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] (check out suicide rates for Mormons) give us super examples of how forcing people to remain in dead marriages to ensure the “sanctity” of the “holy” union, can be deadly and that forcing our children to believe the lie that marriage matters over the humans who inhabit it, is more important. It’s SO gross and EVIL to me now that I know the truth (that some people don’t have a conscience and don’t love others) that the church did NOT love God’s TRUE little children (and therefore God Himself) enough to show us the truth about evil people that’s plainly written in His word, and instead lulled us into a false sense of security by insisting that marriage — if we endure it at all costs — ensures that we are doing God’s will.

    BEFORE we marry evil people we should be forewarned that they do exist and how to identify them biblically.
    BEFORE we give birth to several children we should wisely ensure that our spouse is of the Lord. (Experts can be fooled by evil people so of course we who are NOT experts can be fooled as well.)

    If the church TRULY cares about —
    —serving the Lord,
    —doing God’s will,
    —speaking the truth that’s written in the Bible,
    then they will stop placing a prison stock over two people after they enter into what is actually an UNHOLY union, and instead wisely choose taking care of God’s people and helping them make good decisions and helping them OUT of a legally sanctioned rape and torture fest.

    The clock is ticking and in my life — I’ve wasted most of it due to wrong biblical instruction — which held me prisoner, and denied my children and me the mercy and the love that is the heart of Jesus. Due to these lies — I was not able to walk in unison with Jesus — and guess what, pastors — those of you who wrongly teach from God’s word — are held accountable for this.

    1. that we should do ANYTHING to ensure that these two people stay together and that sex is a RIGHT of the man in the relationship and women should allow the man to have his way in this — and everything else too — OR ELSE!

      I had to comment on this statement. It runs 180° opposed to teaching that our Lord, all the disciples and Paul grew up with. It is good to read Scripture with as much of an understanding of the cultural biases and understandings as we can. The attitude in late 2nd temple Judaism was:

      Sex is a wife’s right and a husband’s responsibility.

      In fact, the frequency of sexual satisfaction the young bride should experience was negotiated between the families and written into the ketubah – marriage contract. The husband was required to live up to it, and could be sued in court for a breach if he did not. Later it was codified in the Mishnah and Talmuds. In many cases it was daily.

      1. David,
        Just finding this — thank you for this information. Could you post a link or a book, etc. that talks about it?

        The longer I walk with Jesus and the more He shows me through His word — backs up what you have written — but I don’t know one single person who has ever been taught the truth of what you’ve said. And I can’t even imagine my parents ensuring that my sexual satisfaction was to be approved beforehand….before they allowed a man to touch me. (My parents are both psychopaths and couldn’t care less how I was treated sexually by my husband and in fact are the ones who told me to shut up and give into sex every single time.)

        To read what you’ve written is kind of sad and sweet at the same time. Sad that so many of us (women) have never even valued ourselves enough to think that we had a right to think of our own sexual satisfaction (due to wrong teaching), and sweet that at other times in history and perhaps other cultures today, there are parents who think this is so important on behalf of their children (‘cuz men who are raised in this belief would probably be taught HOW to satisfy their wives in order to fulfill the contract) that they’d discuss it beforehand.

        Thank you again and just to be clear, what I originally posted wasn’t just true of my life, but of the majority of women I know. I truly have never met a Christian woman who was taught to think of her own desires / wants / needs sexually. And for me and those I know, sex was shrouded in mystery and I was told to just remain a virgin and that it would all work out in the end. And the additional teaching that sex was sinful and dirty and then all the porn addiction and evil surrounding it that has always been around, well, I had no truthful understanding of what sex within a marriage between two children of God was supposed to be like. (Can you imagine inviting God / Jesus / the Holy Spirit INTO this part of your relationship? (The sexual part.) But let’s face it….it’s not like they are closing their eyes in order to give us a minute of alone time….this is actually RIGHT to do….and I can ONLY IMAGINE how awesome sex could be with this element included. But this can only be when BOTH people belong to Jesus and they are in a Godly marriage etc. More life lessons I missed at church.)

  9. Looking back, this is how he bound me to him during engagement (when his mask started to slip) and after all of his infidelities. In the case of our engagement he pushed me and touched me in ways and in situations that made it seem impossible to tell anyone (I would appear just as guilty) and made me feel so dirty that I married him anyway, because I thought I had to. I was too dirty for another. After his infidelities he always came after me and seduced me and even touched me against my will. He knew what he was doing. The sexual act is very binding and wrapped my heart up into an evil man who used it to keep me until he was done with me and ready to abandon me. The notion that I might, by my good behavior, draw him to true faith kept me bound to him just as much. 😦 I hope any woman reading this, and wondering if she should stay, will flee. Please flee. It doesn’t get better.

    1. Hmmm ya, they are predators, ruled and sanctioned by “churchie” predators. What is forgiveness if it is thrown before an evil heart that knows no feeling or repentance?
      Before I was even married, I was saved, turned my heart and life around and gave myself to the Lord. My MIW [Monster In Wedlock] before we got married was challenged by my commitment to Christ, if he could trick me into sex then it would proof to him how worthless I was, and how powerful he was. He basically told me, “If….you just to see how you would react to the veil being torn” [Details redacted from this sentence.] (sorry for the bad word, but that is literally what he said). Sure enough I crawled on my hands and knees to the bathroom, heartbroken in a way I never really felt before. I was then bound to him. Shackled. Imprisoned. If I knew in advance I was being abused by man’s church, if I knew that Evil was something that walked the face of this earth with a smile. Well a lot of big “If’s” but oh my good gravies what a journey we went through….and yes abuse makes me angry.

  10. How widely do you define sexual abuse?
    Do you include long-term denial as abuse?

    It was a few months after we were married that I was told “I love you but I wish sex would just go away,” and “I went 10 years before we got married without anything and I can go another 10 starting right now.”

    Almost 40 years later, not much has changed. Yes, we had a few brief oases when she wanted to get pregnant, and got irate if it did not happen immediately.

    1. Hello, David, what your wife has done is a kind of sexual abuse by neglect. In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, the Apostle Paul tells married believers they must not deprive one another of sexual intimacy except by mutual agreement for a time, and that the time ought not to be too long so that neither spouse is put at high risk of temptation to sexual sin (adultery, use of porn, etc.).

      So your wife has egregiously neglected you in that respect. Even the rabbis around the time of Jesus recognised that this kind of behaviour was a serious violation of the marriage covenant, and they had developed financial penalties and consequences for the offending spouse as a way of trying to get the offender to stop their wrongful behaviour.

      If your wife is doing this out of simple selfishness, yours is a straightforward case of one spouse sexually depriving the other in the way Paul condemns.

      There are other kinds of cases which are not so straightforward. Here are some examples.

      If one spouse has a health issue that makes sexual intimacy very difficult or impossible, that is not that spouse’s fault. The health issue may be a physical disease or disability. Or it may be an emotional / mental problem: one spouse might have been sexually abused in childhood and sexual intimacy is quite scary for that spouse because it triggers fear, shame, and other emotions which are related to the childhood experience. If that is the case, we would encourage the traumatized spouse to consider going to a counselor who specialises in trauma and recovery.

      And then there are the cases where one spouse is abusing the other spouse (usually the abuser is the husband but not always — see our definition of domestic abuse in our sidebar). Because of the pattern of abuse which the abuser has been using on the victim, the victim may withhold sexual intimacy from the abuser….if it’s safe to do so…. Then the abuser turns round and says “YOU ARE DEPRIVING ME OF MY MARITAL RIGHTS!” and coerces or browbeats the victim into giving in to sex. The abuser might tell the church that his wife is withholding sex, but in fact the wife is withholding sex for quite good reasons! She is trying to give her abuser some reasonable consequences for his evil behaviour, so that he might decide to stop abusing her. And she is trying to protect herself from even more ghastly rapes, perverse sex, and other types of sexual cruelty that her abuser might do to her in bed.

      So you can see, like many things in this world, one has to understand the context and the backstory and be able to discern liars from truth-tellers, in order to make a good assessment of the situation.

      But in your case, from what you’ve described, it sounds like your wife was behaving sinfully and unjustly towards you out of her own selfishness.

      Here are some of our posts that relate to these issues:

      Neglect as a form of abuse

      Do you have resources for male victims?

      Defining domestic abuse by a list of behaviors is never going to capture it — This post has a section about withholding sexual intimacy.

      Saying No to sex with one’s spouse

  11. Hi, Barbara, and thanks. It took me a long time to find my way back to this discussion.

    It would seem the issue with her is one of PTSD from childhood abuse. Any kind of sexual activity triggers a flashback (which she defines as lustful fantasy) and puts her into an almost trance-like state where she goes stiff as a board. She is not (or cannot be) an active participant.

    I am not sure I would call that “egregious neglect”.

    1. David,
      I am only recently learning of the long-term effects of sexual abuse and as Barb has commented on it before, it only has to be a one-time sexual violation that can cause life-long problems. From what I’m learning, it can take a lot of work on the part of the victim if they want to grow and heal. From what it sounds like, your wife doesn’t seem to either want to heal from it or possibly isn’t aware that she can.

      Since you are the one here seeking help or perhaps just information on it, I just want to point out that there are resources for you to help you in your life. If your wife decides that she wants to take the journey of healing in this area, there are books, etc. that can help you to be a good ally for her, but still be able to take care of yourself without giving it all away. And if she has chosen not to, again, there are resources to help you.

      I’m sorry for your loss in this area of your life. As is true of all things that are given to us by God to enhance our walk with Him by deepening and strengthening our relationship with each other (when two of God’s children are joined in marriage) — which are just some of the reasons God created sex — it’s sad that you seem to want to please your wife here, but can’t. This is not the case for many of us (that our spouse is desiring to please us) but I do understand the sadness that can come from wanting a deeper relationship with one I love, but not being able to attain it. You are not alone….

  12. Raped By Evil – thank you for that kind reply.

    And some good news: Dear Wife has agreed to seeing a therapist to work on the abuse / bad doctrine issues. We had a brief but productive conversation over the weekend (and she did not blow up or threaten divorce over the content which has happened in the past). She saw and seemed to understand how hurt I was / am over this issue and that she was in the wrong on at least some of it. So now I am looking at therapists in our area, what we can afford, who takes insurance, what kind of trauma they have dealt with, etc.

    40 years after the fact but better late than never, right?

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.