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Emotional Blackmail

How is your relationship reflecting love? Read the words posted on the left and ask yourself, "Does he (or she) show me this?" Does love exist if only one or a few are demonstrated in your relationship, or does the failure of one part of the scripture mean the whole thing unravels?

Read it again and tell me where sex comes into play? It's not there. Does that mean Sex is not the same as love? That is correct. Sex is sex and love is love. Sex is the ACT of coming together and can be an expression of love, but it can also be just sex. It can be forced upon another (rape) and it can be demanded from a spouse or sexual partner as payment for staying in the relationship. When one person forces sex on someone they are supposed to love, they are NOT showing love to that person and eventually the relationship will end badly.

I meet women who has a sexually demanding husband or boyfriend. By the time these women come to therapy, they have been "giving in" for years. One woman said she is "forced" to do things that cause her great pain, to the point of needing medical care, and yet her husband refuses to see that he is doing anything wrong. On top of the physical pain, he messes with her head because he partially quotes scripture by referring to the first four words:

"Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,

so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.

Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you

because of your lack of self-control."

1 Corinthians 7:5.

The problem with quoting scripture is that you must read it in context and do your part as well. You can't pick and choose portions of it where is sounds beneficial to one, and refuse to follow it at other parts. This is a great way for non-Christian's to hold hostage a Christian who is not well versed in the Bible, but wants to be a good wife. Through guilt, shame, and fear the woman "gives in" because the consequences for refusing could be even more serious to herself and to her children (separation, divorce, homelessness). When a man knows you will not leave because you have no financial means to leave, he knows he will get what he demands.

Notice the part where it refers to "mutual consent." When someone is forcing another to have sex there is no consent. They are being emotionally manipulated; they are being controlled, disrespected, and abused. There is no love in forced sex-it is rape. Period! And when someone you are supposed to love is raping you, how can you "desire" that? It is the worst form of abuse one person can do to another because the pain goes deep into your soul and tears at the fabric of all that should be good about the expression of love between a man and a woman.

If a man is unable to "love" his wife according to the LOVE scriptures, he has no right to demand she give him sex. The measurement for love is not determined by the giver- "I love my wife!" it is determined by the receiver, "My husband loves me, and this is how he shows me."

Notice the first two requirements of LOVE are Patience and Kindness. If you are impatient when it comes to sex, or you are unkind in your lovemaking...then it's NOT love. Men, try loving your wife FIRST and maybe this change will have a positive result in your "love life."

Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers is addressing the subject of healthy versus unhealthy sexual contact through an educational series that covers many aspects of sex. Starting in May, we will be discussing EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL: how to recognize it and how to avoid it. Sigh up today to participate in the 8 week long class. It may save your marriage, and it may save your life.

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