Grab your riding gear (kit?) and your best tracking dogs, we are in for a hamster hunt. Being a gracious host, we won’t just be chasing one hamster, but two!
That cloud of dust you see was kicked up by the hamsters of two women Christian bloggers. They’re darting around, rationalizing how Christian women can marry men they don’t really love and everything will turn out just fine (for the women).
Haley kicked off the excitement with her latest in a long series of posts arguing the benefits of marrying a man she isn’t in love with or attracted to. This latest post is titled Companionship vs Sexual Attraction. In it she quotes Hana, another Christian blogger who will be competing alongside Haley in this hamster double. Hana’s hamster has turned out an impressive piece of rationalization, titled “Nothing but Heaven itself is Better than a Friend… Haley opens her post with two quotes from Hana:
“…close friendship, where two people share common interests, a compatible sense of humour, and similar intelligence, etc. When a man and a woman are close friends in this way, the importance of sexual attraction seems to fade. Sexual attraction is still present…Still, sexual attraction becomes less important when a man and a woman are truly close friends.”
She then made an even more provocative statement:
“As long as you’re somewhat attracted to him or her, why not marry your best friend?”
Why not? Because you will make him miserable, and are very likely to commit the sin of divorce. By advising women to do this, she is putting them at great risk for the sin of divorce, and even worse further threatening the institution of marriage while it teeters on the brink. Alte informs me that good rhetoric includes both anecdote and data. I’ve already done that (also here), so I won’t bother rehashing it here.
This seems like a pretty far cry from Dalrock’s and Badger’s insistence that a woman feel “head over heels” for any potential spouse, but in my opinion, it seems like a good recipe for a stable, enduring marriage.
If women are able to grow in attraction to a mate and will feel more attracted and more attached to him once they have sex, and the woman at least meets a man’s minimum physical attractiveness requirements, and there is a preexisting emotional/intellectual bond and the two enjoy each other’s company, then that sounds like pretty solid grounds for marrying (assuming there are no red flags in other areas).
God willing, you’re both going to be old and achy a lot longer than you’re going to be young and hot, so it’s worth investing in someone who will still be fun when your collagen production has reached its nadir and you can’t see each other clearly up close without bifocals anyway (not that you would necessarily want to, due to the wrinkles).
I’ve only been with my wife for 18 years, so I hope Haley will look past my lack of experience in the matter. But as a mere youngster, all I can say is my marriage is nothing like what marriage is when she closes her eyes and imagines it. I haven’t checked my collagen production, but I can still see my wife just fine without bifocals; she’s still hot. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Athol would say the same thing about his wife too (that is if it weren’t bad game form to do so).
Next Haley offers an anecdote. It turns out that there is a man who Haley thinks would under different circumstances be a good marriage match for her because he doesn’t repulse her:
Speaking anecdotally, I had a friend who fit this description. We attended the same church and got along swimmingly. It was very easy for us to have lengthy conversations, and our senses of humor meshed well. We weren’t superclose friends, but I could tell that we were on the same wavelength. After knowing him for a couple of years, I started to think that if he hadn’t been married with kids, he was someone I probably could have married. I didn’t feel “head over heels” for him. I didn’t even have a crush on him. I wasn’t physically attracted to him (but whatever my minimum standard of physical attractiveness was, he met that, because I wasn’t repulsed by him). He was just someone I got along with really, really well.
Nowhere does she consider what she would have done to this poor man had she had the opportunity to marry him. She would have stolen his best chance at happiness, not to mention his current wife’s chance at happiness. And don’t worry, if Haley ever does stoop to marry a man worthy of the high praise of not being repulsive, she won’t make the mistake of giving him a big head by telling him how non repulsive he is. She assured us of this in her previous post, Why women are afraid to pump up men’s egos. Feel free to read the whole post, but I would say you can boil it down to: The men she is attracted to she resents for being successful, and the men who aren’t successful she resents for not being attractive.
And women think to themselves, “I’m working a full-time job and still living respectably, but I’m supposed to tell this guy how wonderful he is and bring him his slippers?!?”
Yup, that is the kind of love and adoration married-guy-who-didn’t-ask-anyway missed out on by marrying a woman who actually loved him.
But so far in this hunt I have been neglecting half of its quarry. My deepest apologies to Hana, I haven’t forgotten you. Hana appeals to the fear of lost opportunity to choose when rationalizing why it is ok for Christian women to trick men into loveless, sexless marriages:
If the person you’re dating walked out of your life tomorrow, how much would you miss him? If you’d miss him for a little while and then fill the void with other friends, maybe he’s not “the one.” If you’d miss him deeply and for a longer period of time, though, then maybe you have a friend worth committing to for the rest of your life.
Yes! Because marriage is only about what you, as the woman, want! Hana bolsters her argument further in the comments section of Haley’s post by offering an anecdote. While she evidently hasn’t actually witnessed a case where a woman married a man she didn’t love and it all turned out well, she once knew a guy who after being the victim of a frivolous divorce still managed to be happy after marrying a woman who didn’t divorce him:
Here’s a little anecdote: I know someone who, if not an alpha, is as close to an alpha as I’ve ever seen. He married a very beautiful girl who, several years later, left him…for his sister’s husband. She wasn’t a Christian when they met; she claimed to have become one, but obviously the conversion was only surface-deep.
Not long after they divorced, he married a Christian woman who is demonstrably less attractive than his first wife, though not unattractive. He seems very happy and, judging from his behaviour, attracted to his second wife. But I bet that if you had put the two women side-by-side when he was younger, he would have gone for the woman who was more attractive (his first wife).
The point I’m making is that you don’t have to compromise attraction completely – you just have to factor in other things (in this case, character), because they are what keep your relationship strong for the long haul.
Since we know God made man and woman exactly the same, if the marriage worked just fine for a man, it should work just fine for women, right?
Take over for me fellow hunters, I’m exhausted.
Note: Hana has written a response to this post: Head-over-Heels