In Chapter 20 of Every Man’s Marriage, Stephen Arterburn explains that when he was dating his wife Sandy she found the idea of holding his hand revolting:
When Sandy and I were dating, I attempted to hold her hand one night. She jerked back and said that the thought of holding my hand kind of made her sick. She said it in the nicest way possible, but for whatever reason, I simply wasn’t appealing to her.
Arterburn claims in the introduction that when he first married her he was a backwards thinking he-man traditionalist, and only learned to be a Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG*) after she threatened divorce, thus “reviving” the marriage. But in Chapter 20 we learn that he was a sniveling SNAG from day one. His reaction to finding out that she found him revolting was to LJBF himself. Arterburn continues:
My temptation was to lick my wounds and walk away. Instead, I told her that I wasn’t in this relationship to hold hands or do anything else but be with her. Well, that obviously had an impact on her because we eventually did hold hands. Furthermore, we eventually got married.
Arterburn tells this story as an example that proves the SNAG model the book is selling really works, as well as an example of God’s providence. Because he was obedient to God during their courtship by LJBFing himself, he was prepared by God for his unexpectedly sexless marriage. This helped him double down on stupidity:
It is amazing how God lays things out in our lives that make sense only years later. This was one of those weird things…
When we finally married, I was shocked to find that sex was a painful experience for her. She wanted no part of it. I was humiliated, felt like a failure, and had no idea what to do. Then I remembered the hand holding incident. I went back to that place and realized that I had to be of the same mind now that I was then.
After years of applying the methods Arterburn and Stoeker teach in the book, it has all been worth the wait:
It would take years to work out the problems, but the end of the story is that we’ve had some wonderful sexual experiences in recent years that we never had in our earlier years. It was worth the wait and worth my learning some new things about her–that sex could be something she would actually want versus dread.
This is just one more example of the danger of the heretical model Arterburn and Stoeker are teaching in the book. Instead of helping other men avoid making the mistakes the culture was teaching, they doubled down on the mistakes and presented them as coming from God. Simply put, the new religion they invented is not only not from God, it doesn’t work. Women aren’t turned on by men who submit to them. A woman’s sexual desire isn’t stimulated by a man complying with her soul essence as it sets the terms of oneness. It is all nonsense.
At some level at least Arterburn had to know what he was writing wasn’t true. The book the quotes above are from was published in October of 2001. In the introduction to Every Single Man’s Battle Arterburn explains that some time in 2002 he learned that Sandy was cheating on him, and when he confronted her on it she filed for divorce.
…I had arranged [a trip to Australia] to celebrate our twentieth anniversary together, trying to mend what had been so very broken for twenty difficult years. I had thought we were making progress, and as I walked that beach with my wife, I presumed she felt as close to me as I did her. Alas, that simply was not the case. The betrayal had already occurred, and she was making plans for divorce…
Many readers of Every Man’s Battle will be stunned to discover that my marriage ended in 2002…
*My words, not Arterburn’s.