There’s a forum at Christian Forums called “Marriage Ministry”. The advice given ranges from brilliant analysis of the needs and beliefs of those involved, to painfully inappropriate pat answers, to platitudes that may or may not even suggest a potential relevance to a poster’s question.
If your marriage isn’t quite the American Dream, you will find no comfort here. The people giving advice often come across as playing house with Ken and Barbie. The number one problem faced seems to be the terrifying possibility that a man might look at pictures of naked women. Apparently, some horrifyingly dysfunctional people might enjoy this. The kinds of questions the people I know have faced in their marriages are not at issue. We see no wrestling with what vows mean, or how to deal with a sick or dying loved one. We don’t see people talking about dealing with taxes together, or spending problems, or wanting to move to another state; instead, we have five or ten pages of reassurances that your husband is essentially cheating on you by having female friends.
The very thought of talking about a spouse’s struggles with, say, being bisexual or gay, or transgendered, produces nervous laughter. The advice given would go straigh past “bad” into “offensive and cruel”. Oh, your spouse isn’t Christian? Into the “unequally yoked” ghetto you go, where you sit around with other people who have never in two thousand years wondered what the word “unequally” was doing there, if Paul meant to say “do not be yoked with unbelievers”.
Needless to say, attacks on spouses are fairly common, and tend to be made without regard for the dim and distant possibility that a married person might care about his or her spouse, and take it personally. Oh, and by the way, broken bones are not an excuse to move out in this forum; you should just be properly submissive.
It’s not all this bad, but the bad is deeply ingrained.
You can either laugh, or cry. Or both. The best way to do both is to get stinking drunk, and that implies a drinking game.
Section 1: Abuse of forum.
- Magenta or pink font: Drink.
- Script font: Drink.
- Both in one post: Chug.
- Java “countdown” applet: Drink.
- Spoiler tags used to hide reference to sex: Drink.
- Long threads about underwear: Drink.
Section 2: Abuse of Bible.
- Assertion that everything in a post is just the Bible, not the poster’s own opinion: Drink.
- Reference to “unequally yoked”: Drink.
- Outright made-up “I’m sure it’s in there”: Chug.
- Reference to man as “head of house”: Drink.
- … justifying abuse: Chug.
- … justifying rape: Chug, then cry.
- Any citation to Revelation: Drink.
- Recommending Bible as cure for “lustful thoughts”: Drink.
- Insisting Song of Songs is not about sex: Drink.
- Use of term “submissive”: Chug and purge.
Section 3: Abuse of authority.
- Dogmatic advice from user married less than five years: Drink.
- … less than one year: Two drinks.
- … not married yet: Chug.
- … not even dating: Everybody chugs. (Priests are exempt.)
- Insistence that you make sure a counselor is specifically a “Christian counselor”: Drink.
- Promise Keepers: Drink.
- Dr. Phil: Drink.
- Dr. Laura: Drink.
- Dr. Ruth: Drink.
- Dr. Dobson: Chug.
- Dr. Dino: Chug and purge.
Section 4: Abuse of language.
- Misspelling “advice”, especially as “advise”: Drink.
- “I will prey for you” or variants: Drink.
- “unequally yolked”: Chug.
- More than two SMS abbreviations (“u” for “you”, et al.): Drink.
- Calling sex “love” to avoid saying “sex”: Drink.
- Gradeschool euphemisms for sex: Drink.
Section 5: Abuse of users.
- Assertion that poster’s spouse isn’t “really” Christian: Drink.
- Assertion that real Christian would not have this relationship problem: Drink.
- “When you’ve been married longer, you’ll know”: Drink.
- “I pray God will open your eyes”: Drink.
- Telling someone to never have sex again with their spouse because you think it’s sinful: Drink.
- Condemning poster to hell: Drink.
- Condemning poster’s spouse to hell: Drink.
- Protestants bashing Catholics: Drink.
- Catholics bashing Protestants: Drink.
- Orthodox complaining that they feel left out: Chug.
Bonus section: Adultery and suspicion.
- Defined to include hugging: Drink.
- Defined to include any touching at all: Drink.
- Defined to include friendship: Drink.
- Posting extracts of spouse’s email you “accidentally” found: Drink.
- Installing spyware in the hopes of “accidentally” finding email. Drink.
- Calling spouse to “check up”: Drink.
- … more than six times a day: Chug.
- Demanding that spouse not have opposite-sex friends: Drink.
- Demanding that spouse not have same-sex friends: Chug.
- Telling another user to do any of the above: Drink.
- Suspecting your spouse of an online affair: Drink.
- … for no reason: Drink twice.
- … because you’re the person the affair is with: Chug.
Extra special bonus section: Sex.
- Assertion that the Bible prohibits birth control: Drink.
- Assertion that the Bible prohibits masturbation: Drink.
- “Lust is okay within a marriage.”: Drink.
- Hesitant questioning about non-vaginal sex: Drink.
- … after you’ve tried it: Drink.
- … because you think birth control is immoral: Drink.
- … and you post pictures: Chug.
- Freaking out about existence of pornography: Drink.
- … calling it “addiction”: Drink.
- … being jealous because you’re not in it: Drink.
- … wondering why withholding sex isn’t reducing spouse’s interest in porn: Chug.
Date: 2005-03-22 23:11:51 -0600
A recepie to go blind if I ever saw one!
Date: 2005-03-22 23:44:46 -0600
Ye gods, Peter. That’s hilarious!
Date: 2005-03-23 12:34:34 -0600
Re: Recommending Bible as cure for “lustful thoughts”: Drink.
I suppose it’s too much trouble to post: “I just tried that and opened my Bible to Songs of Solomon… could someone please tell me the non-lustful interpretation of the following…?”
From: Rising Tree
Date: 2005-03-24 18:46:56 -0600
People are gonna get toasted if they actually follow this. And it would only take one thread to do it.
Such as this one.
From: ThePhoenix aka Alarum
Date: 2005-03-29 12:53:31 -0600
Wow, I guessed it was bad. I didn’t guess it was this bad. My brain is starting to collapse.
P.S. I found your journal by reading Fireball’s journal off Kagerou. Small world?
From: Fear and Trembling
Date: 2005-04-29 21:29:00 -0500
I think this post was totally inappropriate - I haven’t drank this much in months, ewven weeks …
From: judy clauson
Date: 2006-08-19 06:35:19 -0500
hello i just want a new life we are newley weds and i want a fresh start we both believe in GOD and i want my husband to be with me sober when i go through my surgey on my lung cause i smoke