Advice to Young Marrieds? Why Michelle Duggar’s Newlywed Sex Advice Hurts Women AND Men

We don’t usually publish a post on Tuesday but this one by Phil Monroe is so terrific we couldn’t resist.

In the post Phil gives this advice to men: “1 Corinthians 7 doesn’t give you the right to demand sex. Notice that your body is not yours to control. That control is given to your wife.”


Other related posts by Phil Monroe at his website Musings of a Christian Psychologist:

1 Corinthians 7: Whose body is trump? [Internet Archive link]

Do men need sex? Wants vs. needs and the making of weak men [Internet Archive link]


Musings on Faith and Psychology

A couple of days ago my social media sites were all a rage about some advice given by Michelle Duggar (19 Kids and Counting fame) in one of her blogs. Here’s the oft-quoted part,

She told me: “Michelle, I know you’re so excited. You’re a bride-to-be, but some day you’ll be at this point. I’ve been married three years and I’m still happily married. I have one child, we’re expecting our second and I’m big pregnant. You’ve got to remember this. Anyone can iron Jim Bob’s shirt, anybody can make lunch for him. He can get his lunch somewhere else. But you are the only one who can meet that special need that he has in his life for intimacy. You’re it. You’re the only one. So don’t forget that, that he needs you. So when you are exhausted at the end of the day, maybe from dealing with…

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6 thoughts on “Advice to Young Marrieds? Why Michelle Duggar’s Newlywed Sex Advice Hurts Women AND Men”

  1. Michelle’s advice was horrible. I read about it somewhere yesterday. Phil’s advice was spot on. I love the fact that he said don’t take blogs as the final source of advice, even his!! I don’t know that I agree that a book is any better. There are probably a lot of really bad books out there, as well. Point: John Piper, “This Momentary Marriage”. I would caution anyone to read that book. It is on my “to be burned” pile.

  2. My former church was a LOT like this. I remember attending a bridal shower there where the bride-to-be’s mother gave a short speech. In it, the mother said, “You were a young woman under the authority of your father and now you’ll become a young wife under the authority of your husband.” She went on along that vein, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this girl sounds like chattel.” To some extent – I think perhaps even a large extent – to these men, she is.

    One of the strange things that jumped out at me when reading Michelle’s advice was that in her description of the husband’s needs, it was all reduced to servile functions. The relationship of husband and wife seemed reduced to functionality, not individuals joining in a union of relationship. I didn’t read Michelle Duggar’s entire piece of advice though, but the advice of the Christian psychologist was refreshing. Very respectful.

  3. Comment from Sarah:

    There is a lot of advice from books and studies about putting your hubby’s needs before your own and stop complaining about him not giving in return. It isn’t stated bluntly but it is implied a lot of times through a million little pieces of advice. God will meet your needs while your husband does not. And a big one: stay in the marriage if they want to stay in it and get a life of your own. Just stay married. That is more important than anything. It gives permission to the abuser to go undetected for years as he sits back and gives nothing or drags you from marriage seminar to marriage seminar pointing out all you do wrong. I’m just shocked at how naive and soft on evil we are.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment.

      I saw your comment (which we didn’t publish) about originally posting this comment on the wrong post. Thanks for pointing that out. I moved your comment here under my gravatar and eliminated the comment on the other post.

      Again, welcome!

  4. Phil Monroe said, “Finally, and most importantly, remember that sex is a want, not a need. Sure, it is a powerful want and a good desire. But that does not mean it is a must-have.”

    This is not what I was taught at church Bible studies, sermons and women’s conferences. We were told over and over again that men need sex and that women should never deny the husband sex. They did make an exception, “for certain circumstances like abuse” which they didn’t elaborate on.

    I don’t think Michelle Duggar should be the one getting the criticism here when what she says in her blog is not any different from what I’ve heard in most Protestant churches.

    1. I agree that what Michelle Duggar says is what is commonly taught in many ‘c’hurches. But I think that it is reasonable to criticise Michelle Duggar as what she has said is in the public domain and she has a fairly wide influence. Anyone who has influence in Christian circles who is teaching this unbalanced stuff needs to be criticised. And the more influence they have, the more they need to be held accountable.

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