Vox weighed in on the sex denial spreadsheet that has gone viral with his post Mortification Game:
The fact is that she’s feeling incredibly humiliated and defensive. And since in women, defensive crouches are followed by instinctively sexual responses, if he maintains his frame, the chances are that she’ll return from her trip more sexually willing than before. (Personally, I doubt he will, he’ll probably contact her too soon, apologize profusely, buy her flowers, and they’ll be back to their old routine within a week.) But what he has inadvertently done is to introduce Mortification Game to a worldwide audience, Mortification Game being a subset of Dread Game.
Dread Game isn’t for healthy relationships, but it can temporarily improve unhealthy ones and buy them time to fix things. This spreadsheet isn’t indicative of immaturity, but rather desperation combined with a desire to save his marriage while honoring his wedding vows. It would be much more effective for him to have simply gone radio silent and had sex with other women while she’s gone; the sexually hypercompetitive nature of women would likely have her sensing his subsequent indifference to her deprivation upon her return. But he chose not to do that, instead he plunged once more into the gap to try to salvage what looks like a fairly hopeless cause.
Vox has clarified that just because he pointed out that having sex with other women would likely have been more effective, that doesn’t mean he would advise a married man to do so. But even without the husband cheating, sudden radio silence could be a very effective tool. It isn’t guaranteed to work, but it is hard to imagine it would work worse than continuing to beg for sex. As Cane Caldo advised in Tacomaster Desires Steadfast Love:
In the meantime, TM, do not ask that woman for sex.
My wife found an example of radio silence working on the women’s confession site Scary Mommy yesterday:
I never wanted sex with DH. Always with the excuses….too tired, too sweaty, on my period, maybe coming down with a cold…now he stopped asking. So worried he found somebody who actually wants sex with him.
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Note that a husband using radio silence game hasn’t violated the two part test I included in Headship Game. A husband causing his wife to feel discomfort about her sin isn’t unloving, it is in fact the opposite. He also isn’t sinning or encouraging his wife to sin by no longer begging for sex. The moral problem with Dread Game as (generally defined) isn’t the dread, it is the mechanism typically used to create the dread. Cheating on your wife, carrying on inappropriately with other women, or threatening to cheat on your wife isn’t consistent with the role of a Christian husband. Ceasing to (inadvertently) provide your wife a sense of comfort in her sin isn’t sinful, and it is in fact loving.
Likewise, Dread Game is loving when practiced by a mother on her married daughters, as Mentu’s mother did:
Take good care of that man, or some other woman will!