It is well known that Christian women who subscribe to traditional notions of marriage don’t actually have any of their own ideas, being no more than puppets of their husbands. Well known to everybody except me, apparently, as I learned with surprise that I was not in fact the author of the blog post “Counseling, Feelings, and the Roles of Husband and Wife” which I have also discovered promulgates a dangerous, harmful model of marriage in which the wife’s feelings are not the ultimate authority. And now, here to explain more about the kind attention lavished on my post is that prime example of toxic masculinity, my husband.
An opening salvo declaring my wife toxic, abusive, and unsafe to be around greeted me in a post titled “How Not to Resolve Marital Issues?” My wife had just forwarded me a link to the blog “No Longer Quivering” which purports to be “a gathering place for women escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse”, but appears to be nothing more than a venue for a woman named Suzanne to spew hatred against those with opposing views. She had stumbled across one of my oppressed wife’s blog posts and had concocted a loathsome image of my wife from it.
I commented that my wife was none of those awful things and was actually quite great. Suzanne decided I, rather than my wife, was the one that wrote the post and she was “pretty sure [my wife] didn’t exist” My wife posted a single comment declaring she wrote the post and wishing everyone the same marital happiness she has. Suzanne decided I was controlling my wife and advised her to divorce me. Then she banned both myself and my wife from posting further comments.
We were told we were too young to give marriage advice and threatened with an investigation from Child Protective Services. Suzanne lectured us about how the First Amendment gave her the right to say nasty things about us, and then deleted posts and banned users she disagreed with. At no point was there a hint of civility or basic comprehension of anything my wife or I wrote.
That same day, on another of Suzanne’s blogs, she posted “Nothing Bitcher[sic]… than a man. Currently my husband happens to be crankier and bitchier than two drag queens fighting over the last wand of mascara in Rite Aid. Or if you find that offensive two Trump fans fighting over the last MAGA cap if you like.” She then explained how her elderly husband was recovering from pneumonia and how back in the bad old days at her old church, she would have treated and cared for him. But now she realizes the error of her past ways and has a new philosophy: “That’s on him. Me, I’m moving through my day and tasks like a boss… Learning that I am not responsible for anyone’s emotions but my own has been incredibly freeing.” This is the abusive spiritual background she is a survivor of.
But mature adults understand that a successful family often requires self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. Once when my wife was blinded for a day after our son scratched her cornea, I took off from work and cared for my family. Following Suzanne’s advice, I should have walked over to her, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “That’s on you. I’m going to go through this day like a boss.” It’s obvious why Suzanne hates large families; she’s far too selfish to survive in such an environment.
As Christians, we are expected to minister to individuals like Suzanne. However, given the hateful nature of her comments, refusal to listen to the facts, and banishment of opinions different from hers, it is impossible to reach her. In this century, Christians have dealt with people like Suzanne by being civil or ignoring them, believing their incoherent and hateful ramblings to be no threat. But even people armed with fluffy pink hats will win when no one stands up to oppose them, and we have increasingly seen the insane accepted as normal and codified into law.
In contrast, we note Jesus talking about “broods of vipers” (Matt. 12:34) and Paul telling his theological opponents to castrate themselves (Gal. 5:2). Similarly, what a difference it made when Brett Kavanaugh and the Covington Catholic boys stood their ground. Their opponents concocted ridiculous attacks on them, mocked their responses to those attacks, threatened them and their livelihoods– and failed.
In the spirit of fighting back, having been banned from Suzanne’s blog, I present my replies to her commentary below on the topics of the existence and agency of women who do not parrot liberal talking points, Christian sex, Suzanne’s patronizing response to my wife, and the need for CPS investigations.
Is Heidi Dave’s Sock Puppet?
Note how the supposed defenders of women cannot believe that my wife can think for herself. If a woman has a non-leftist thought, she has to be controlled by a man! This isn’t even a conservative vs liberal issue here — it is the sane versus the insane. My wife identifies as a classic liberal, but her thoughts are nothing like these leftist wackos.
Marital Sex is Yucky
Look, when you start off with calling my wife an abusive, toxic person, I think a little levity is preferable to recriminations. Plus, I’ll admit I know that the thought of a wife happily having sex with her husband is like kryptonite to leftists. The proper way is for wives to demean their husbands’ sex drive and hand out sex like candy when their husbands do what they want.
Sex is a wonderful gift from God for married couples, yet these women are repulsed by it. We are not commanded by God to go to counseling. We are commanded to have sex with our spouse. Why is it that even Christians focus on watching movies together, watching sports, or doing other “bonding” activities and neglect this greater gift from God?
Disappointed she didn’t comment on my size—leftists can’t even insult correctly. It’s possible that this comment and another about enjoying 5 minutes of “joyless Alexander-style” sex were just throwaway insults, but this kook may really believe she can deduce our sex life from my wife’s blog.
Suzanne Patronizes My Wife
(My comments are italicized)
“Thanks for showing up and replying. I was pretty sure you didn’t exist based upon several factors.
Factors like an affinity for incoherent conspiracy theories, poor reading comprehension, and shoddy analytical skills.
First, how old are you and how long have you been married?
Hey, you finally realized that you should just ask questions instead of making assumptions!
Your advice to never to go to any type of counselor…
My wife and I never gave this advice.
…really sounds like something straight out of the mouth of someone younger, uneducated or very sheltered and male.
Zero for four; my wife is none of these things.
All this time I’ve been reading and approaching your words as something by someone at least 30….When you get to post 30 years and no divorce let me know and I might listen.
Done and done.
Even Lori Alexander claims that only older women should be handing out life advice. I don’t necessarily agree with her, but I think if you are going to hand out marriage advice it behooves you to be married a long time successfully first.
Who’s Lori Alexander? (Note from Heidi: I read Lori Alexander, but Dave’s only heard of her from me.)
You need to gently remind your husband that the First Amendment exists
and that disagreeing with someone on what constitutes healthy and unhealthy mental hygiene breaks no laws.
You learn something new every day.
As much as I disagree with much of what you say on your blog does not mean I would not support your right to do so. Any time you post on a public forum, like a blog, you are opening yourself up to public scrutiny.
Really, my wife was foolish not to expect to have been called abusive, toxic, and a danger to women.
Particularly in the press. As a daily columnist with Patheos I’m going to dissect why I think something does not seem right. I am all for healthy relationships and against anything that even gives a slight appearance of abuse.
Abuse like your blog posts?
You have two choices, admit and realize that not everyone is going to love you and applaud your words. Or go offline. That’s it. EVERYONE that writes gets enormous pushback and that’s how it is. Me, George Will, Patty Davis, Andrew Hall and all of the other Patheos writers and everyone else in the universe. It’s life.
I think Suzanne feels guilty about what she said to my wife, and she’s trying to deflect. Clearly, my wife knows that people were going to disagree with her, given that the first sentences of her blog post were “If you consider yourself a feminist, you won’t like this post. Be warned! Heck, maybe I’ll offend you if you don’t consider yourself a feminist….”
This is not about disagreement. This is about basic civility.
Now that we have all of that out of the way I have to say I have some concerns.
So do I.
The big thing we’re for here in NLQ is keeping people out of abusive relationships of all kinds, spousal, faith community, you name it.
Relationships with Suzanne?
Here’s were [sic] I’m hoping I’m wrong.
There was something you weren’t wrong about?
But…. your husband is the one that reacts to disagreeing with your blog…
No. I react to you being uncivil to my wife.
…and his replies here seem to hold a hint of menace. I hope, and pray, that you’re not in a controlled against your will situation here. His making sure you post here seems rather convenient.
You just asked my wife to “stand up for her own words”! Now her reply suddenly means that I’m controlling her.
Please, if you are in a relationship that holds any manipulation, control or abuse, please do not settle for it.
Wow, that escalated quickly. You try to defend your wife, and suddenly you’re an abuser. She’s not making a strong case for counseling.
There are people that would be willing to help you.
Not you, since you banned her right after this comment.
Your words in your blog worry me because they seem to come from a place of control and manipulation.
No woman who thinks differently from you could possibly be thinking for herself!
There are very few women out there whose reaction to saying something is wrong react that sex is needed or wanted, or that a woman’s feelings do not matter at all. That’s what abusers say.
But that’s not what my wife said.
“Hello, CPS? I’d like to report some children in danger from their mother. I’m not sure if she exists or she’s actually her husband, but the kids are definitely in danger.”