CTBHHM: Debi Pearl and the Sex-Obsessed Babysitter

Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 65-67

Debi starts with a letter from a reader.

Dear Pearls,

My heart is heavy. I desire with my whole heart to bring our children up in the ways of God (they are ages 2 and 5). My deep concern in this—my husband has been deceived into thinking that various TV programs and commercials are not harmful to him or the children. He lets the fact that they are humorous dismiss the fact that they are crude and subtly being used to chip away at the spirit of our family. I have to work part-time in the evening, and I worry what is being shown on the idol of TV in our home. I have shared my concern with him (and, sorry to say, have nagged him too), but he is just not as convinced as I am about this issue. This has led to my being resentful and angry at him to the point where I feel no respect or love toward him. I am committed to my vows, though. Can you offer any advice or help me in any way? I even feel I must have married the wrong man! He has many positive qualities, but I worry that these influences are causing him to stray.

Thank you for any help you can give.

Susan.

Any guesses how Debi’s going to respond?

Dear Susan,

Just imagine what it would be like if your husband just disappeared one day—no more bad commercials, no questionable TV, no warm beds, just lots of long, lonely nights and days of toil at a job away from the children.

This seems to be Debi’s fallback position. You’re annoyed at something your husband is doing? Well just imagine how shitty your life would be if your husband left you, and be happy you have him! What do you think would happen to an actual therapist if she tried using this argument? Your husband’s drinking habit is wearing on your relationship? Just imagine how your life would be if he left you, and be happy you have him! Yeah, I’m not seeing that lasting long.

The children will not be with their father watching TV; they will be with a baby-sitter who is taking care of them for money. You will wonder if the baby-sitter is having her boyfriend over for a little sex in the bedroom while the kids watch TV alone.

Dude, if you’re worried you have a bad babysitter, get a new one. There are lots of responsible teenage girls quite ready to babysit your children. Yes, you have to pay them. But no, they’re not all out having sex on the job. Also, if having a babysitter who might (off clock) be sexually active bothers you that much, I’m pretty sure there are lots of little old church ladies quite ready to babysit. Also, and maybe I’m weird like this, but when I leave my kids with a babysitter I don’t generally spend my time away from them wondering whether the babysitter is having someone over for sex. But again, maybe that’s just me.

The young children will cry when you leave for work, and the older children will be glad to see you go so they can exercise their new found liberties.

Actually, my kids rarely cry when I drop them off at daycare. They get used to it, and actually, they quite enjoy the socialization and all of the learning activities they experience there. As for the older children part of Debi’s statement, if you don’t view your relationship with your kids in the adversarial police state way that Debi clearly does, you really don’t have to worry about them sneaking off to “exercise their new found liberties.”

The car has something wrong with it, but you can’t take a day off to get it fixed. Money is in short supply.

Look, I know that lots of single moms live in poverty, but single mom =/= poor the way Debi clearly thinks it does. It is actually more than possible to be a single mom and not be destitute.  But then I think we’re getting to the root of something here, because Debi doesn’t believe in either women going to college or women having jobs, meaning that in Debi’s world, women have neither career training or work experience. And in that world, a divorce is going to be financially devastating for a woman. If you spend all your life depending on your husband’s income and have no job skills that transfer anywhere besides Walmart, single motherhood is going to suck (at least initially).

I would argue that women should have career training and job experience, even if they choose to stay at home while their children are small, for exactly this reason: if women don’t have those things they’re rather stuck, and very susceptible to Debi’s line of argument here. They may be in unhappy or even abusive marriages, but they will likely literally not have any way out that doesn’t lead them through financial destitution (though, once again, there are ways for the most uneducated of single moms to find a way out of financial destitution, they’re just not simple or easy).

I understand why Debi is making this argument and why it scares the pants off a lot of women (or skirts, I suppose). But I think it’s important to note that these threats likely don’t apply to women who have college degrees and work experience. My own mother, for instance, would have had no problem picking up the pieces after a divorce. She had training in a useful career and some work experience (before I was born). And the career she was trained in was one that made decent money, and didn’t require long hours. The dour life Debi is laying out here wouldn’t have been her experience. But then, like I said,t hat’s because she had a good college degree and work experience before she started staying home with her children.

You will discover that the social circle for a divorced woman with kids is rather small.

I’m actually not convinced this is true. The evangelical megachurch I attended growing up had support groups for single moms, and there were lots of them, and they met regularly and had, from what I could see, quite the social life. But then, the evangelical megachurch I grew up attending, even with its young earth creationism and all the rest, is probably rather liberal compared to what Debi’s used to.

Then the kids get the flu, and the babysitter refuses to work because she is not going to take the chance of catching the flue for a few measly dollars.

So . . . you take time off until they’re better. Sure, I get that that’s not always simple, especially if you work an hourly job, but lots of families with two working parents have to deal with that too. Including mine. It can be tough, but you make it. You really do.

For a year or two, your ex gets the children for the weekend. You have no control over what they do, but you are too tired to care anymore.

Oh good grief.

In time, the child support you thought was required by law stops coming, because your husband has left the state with another woman.

Look Debi, I realize you’re not a legal scholar or anything, but I’m pretty sure you still have to pay child support even if you move out of town.

Now, Susan, let’s come back to the present. If you continue to dishonor your husband, the above scenario will likely become your own personal nightmare—soon!

I will say this for Debi—she doesn’t try to mask her threats as anything but what they are!

People will ask you why he left you, and you will righteously tell them that he got involved with another woman. The truth is, you ran him off because he watched commercials you declared unrighteous. You left his heart. And, he has left you emotionally—all because of your “playing the Holy Spirit.”

In other words, this whole thing is Susan’s fault. Susan has been concerned about the bad influence the television her husband is letting the children watch will have on both the children and on her husband, and Debi’s response is to blame Susan. Of course it is. In Debi’s world, everything, and I mean everything, can and should be blamed on the woman. Your husband is exposing the children to harmful influences on the television, and you’ve told him how you feel about this? How dare you contradict him in front of the children!

Now I want to be clear: I think Susan’s concerns about her children watching television are probably rather silly. From what I read here and from what I know of fundamentalist and evangelical culture, I suspect the things she’s talking about are pretty innocuous. But when it comes to evaluating Debi’s advice, this doesn’t really matter, because as Debi makes clear later, she (Debi) agrees that the television Susan’s husband is showing her children will almost certainly do them long term damage.

Let’s step back and look at what is going on here for a moment. Susan has concerns about the media exposure her children are receiving, and her husband doesn’t share those concerns. It sounds like either the husband is blowing Susan off and not listening to her, or Susan is not willing to actually listen to her husband’s view of things. Either way,what it looks to me like Susan and her husband really need is to sit down and work this out, being willing to listen to each other, try to understand each other, and find a compromise they can all be happy with. In an egalitarian marriage, that is what would happen; the solution here is communication, cooperation, and a compromise both parties can agree to. And if this is not possible, well, perhaps the couple is not compatible and the two would be happier separating and finding partners who share their hopes, dreams, concerns, and passions.

But what Debi is doing here is acknowledging that Susan is right in her concerns and yet still managing to put all of the blame for the situation on her. Why? Because Susan is” dishonoring” her husband.

Remember, you told me you didn’t feel love or respect for him, and even wondered if he was the right man for you after all. You have telegraphed your thoughts to him and, be assured, he is wondering the same thing about you now.

Telegraphed . . . telegraphed . . . where have I seen that word before? Oh right. Here:

When you tune in to electronic pornography you have established a two-way link with the spiritual underworld. When you lie in bed at night and conjure up wicked images, the devils won’t stop with your mind; they will gleefully rush into the bedrooms of your children and assault their little souls and bodies. Evil thoughts will come to their minds – thoughts you have been thinking that are telegraphed to them by the devils. Your defenseless children will be taken captive, and you are the one that threw the gate open to the enemy.

Knowing how the Pearls have used this word in the past makes me suspicious that Debi’s use of it here is not meant simply to be taen as a metaphor of sorts, but rather literally.

The Devil would love to steal your children’s souls. He will not do it through your husband’s TV; he will do it through your dishonor. 

See? It’s Susan’s fault. SUSAN’S FAULT!

The boys may have a difficult time with their sexual drives as a result of the commercials  but many young men have survived this in spite of the increased temptation. Few survive an unstable marriage where Mother resents Daddy. … Just think, if you had lower expectations, you would permit yourself to love and honor your husband, and the children would be better for it.

It’s interesting that Debi is so nonchalant here about Susan’s sons being exposed to sexual messaging and partial nudity in commercials given that later in the book she tells a story about a teenage boy who . . . actually, I’ll stop there. Spoilers. The point is, Debi is about as far from soft on anything that could possibly resemble porn or sexual messaging as you can get, so her carelessness about it here surprises me.

I also wonder how far Debi takes this suggestion that Mother resenting Daddy is worse for the children than whatever Daddy’s doing that Mother is resenting him for. What if Daddy is spending the family into poverty, so that the children wear ill-fitting rags and go hungry? What if Daddy has bursts of anger that sometimes turn physical? What if Daddy is a workaholic who never interacts with his children? Is Mother resenting Daddy still worse than any of that?

So back to Susan’s story. To put it simply, the trouble is that Daddy is doing something Mother isn’t okay with and because of that Mother resents Daddy. How does Debi suggest we fix that?

I am not suggesting that you should have lower standards. In fact, your husband obviously should have higher standards, but your nagging and criticism have the opposite effect of producing righteousness. Ideally, if you could hold your standards, hold your tongue, and hold your man, in time you might be able to put forth an appeal to him that does not offend. As things are today, you will continue toward divorce, or you will get on the road toward a heavenly marriage by honoring your man. It’s a no-brainer.

Debi

“Hold your tongue and hold your man”? Really? That doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable marriage. Also, what is “an appeal to him that does not offend”? Debi doesn’t say. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that later when a writer advises her husband against buying the more expensive washing machine and Debi says . . . oh wait. Spoilers. Point is that simply making an outright suggestion to your husband or offering your advise is not okay with Debi. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that “an appeal to him that does not offend” is some sort of passive aggressive hinting or simpering. As opposed to, you know, just sitting down and talking about it.

Once again, Debi ignores the suggestion that if a woman is feeling resentment for her husband she maybe just possibly should look for the root of that resentment. Debi would much rather deal with the symptom—the resentment—than with the cause—the reason for the resentment. I mean, it would be totally possible to say “your resentment is disproportionate to the problems you describe” or “your resentment sounds like it’s making you into an unhappy person” or “you’re not handling your resentment in a healthy fashion” and suggest that Susan might benefit from introspection, or from talking to a therapist, or from reading some books about self care. But that’s not what Debi is doing. Instead, she’s saying that Susan’s resentment and nagging is “dishonoring” to her husband and that the solution is for Susan to simply “hold her tongue.” Not, you know, actually deal with the problem.

And finally, for someone who thinks she knows how to have a heavenly marriage, Debi sure seems to want to put a wall between husband and wife. Communication? Ha. Ha ha. Debi doesn’t believe in communication. That would be too egalitarian.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

    People still really think that? Like, that devils are real and that watching porn will let them into your house to hurt your kids? She’s actually saying for-real demons will hurt people and she’s not joking?

    That is so, so foreign to anything I’ve ever dealt with …

    • BabyRaptor

      Oh, it’s true.

      My fundamentalist grandparents (they raised me) wouldn’t let me get the required medical shots for school until the state threatened to kick me out, because they believed that medicine was Satan’s tool for undermining the health God gives people.

      The Elders of our church gave them permission to adhere to the state’s demands because my grandmother was undergoing cancer treatment at the time (I have no idea why that was okay, but my booster shots weren’t.) and my grandfather worked, so home school wasn’t an option. But they refused to take me to a doctor unless my life was in danger my entire life.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        That sucks. *Internet hug*

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon

    These are the kinds of solutions that result in women being abused.

  • thalwen

    Interesting given the evangelical obsession with “porn addiction” and the evil liberal media. I guess none of the worldly evils matter as long as there is a woman not treating her husband like he is God (which would be idolatry in my book and I don’t think the Bible is fond of that).
    But yes, another bit of terrible advice and another “letter” which reads like it was penned by Debi herself which doesn’t do anything for women reading her book looking for real solutions to their marital problems.

  • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

    I’m surprised she didn’t place some of the blame on the mother working and leaving the kids home with dear old Dad.

    • BabyRaptor

      Which brings up an interesting question: What would Debi do with a letter from a woman whose husband commanded her to work outside the home? If she were to stick to her narrative, she couldn’t condemn the woman, because her owner told her to.

      • phantomreader42

        If I thought for an instant that these letters were from real people, I’d suggest writing one like that as an experiment. Seeing how she deals with the shrapnel from the resulting Logic Bomb might be entertaining.

  • Steve

    Sounds like another letter she wrote to herself

  • Saraquill

    With how she makes marriage seem so appalling, it’s a wonder how anyone she talks to goes through with it.

    • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

      That’s a good point. I was raised to follow the whole complementarian/submission tripe, though not nearly to this extreme, and I got to a point in my marriage where I decided that if this was marriage, then permanent singleness was better. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one who was chafing- long story short, after some introspection and communication hubby and I are both happy, egalitarian feminists. :) And no, he doesn’t feel unmanly or disrespected. On the contrary, he knows that I’m his best friend, I have his back, and I won’t let him do stupid S**t. Egalitarian partnerships are the greatest.

  • Kit

    I really wonder what Debi thinks of modern family law? I mean, in particular, spousal support? In my jurisdiction, when a woman has essentially never worked outside the home and has no skills to support herself and her kids, she often gets a larger support award for a period of time so that she can get skills and begin supporting herself… Moreover, family law doesn’t just kick in at divorce. For example, this quote inspired a thought:

    “I also wonder how far Debi takes this suggestion that Mother resenting Daddy is worse for the children than whatever Daddy’s doing that Mother is resenting him for. What if Daddy is spending the family into poverty, so that the children wear ill-fitting rags and go hungry? What if Daddy has bursts of anger that sometimes turn physical? What if Daddy is a workaholic who never interacts with his children? Is Mother resenting Daddy still worse than any of that?”

    Part of my jurisdiction’s family law includes a provision stating that you can bring an action for division of property in a marriage without getting divorced in the event of “improvident deprivation” or loss. This is meant to counter the problems that occur when one partner (generally the husband) holds title to most of the property but develops Alzheimers or something and begins to make highly unwise decisions as to what to do with the property. Actually, how does Debi see ANY situation where the husband develops mental illness and effectively becomes unable to be “head of the family?”

    • http://sylvia-rachel.livejournal.com sylvia_rachel

      I suspect her answer would be deeply unhelpful and would would perhaps involve a claim that the husband’s mental illness is in some way (a) a divine punishment for some kind of sin and (b) the wife’s fault. :(

  • http://sylvia-rachel.livejournal.com sylvia_rachel

    Wow.

    I’m also surprised that Debi doesn’t start out by blaming Susan for going out to work in the evenings. But she sure makes up for it later in her reply :S I am increasingly convinced that she’s just making all these letters up, but I still can’t help putting myself in the shoes of the letter-writer and imagining how I would feel if I’d written that letter and then received that reply. Every time I think we’ve plumbed the depths of Debi’s capacity for being mean, insulting, unhelpful, and unfair, whoosh! down we go some more. Ugh.

    It’s amazing how she goes on and on about the need for wives to “honour” and respect their husbands, while at the same time portraying those husbands as having the brains of a snail and the emotional maturity of a toddler. Seriously, why should I respect or honour a man who leaves me for another woman just because I asked him not to let our toddler watch so much TV?!

    Oh, but I forgot: because PENIS.

    • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

      LMAO

      Yes, this is incredibly insulting to every decent man.

      It should be completely intuitive, also, that any spouse, of either gender, who will leave if you don’t do what they want when they want SHOULD NOT BE YOUR SPOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  • Red

    So now we’ve gone beyond the “ignore your husband when he annoys you and be submissive” talk to “ignore it when your husband is sinning/badly influencing your children, and be submissive” talk.

    Good grief. And I thought this train couldn’t get any crazier.

    Debi’s worship of male domination is something she doesn’t even try to conceal in this book. She does everything but hold up a sign saying “Sin, pain, and disobeying God are actually LESS bad than a woman not being a slave to her husband.” From what I can tell, she places belief in that hierarchy even above her belief and trust in God……and then tries to use the God she’s just de-throned as the justification behind her advice? WHAAT? 8[

    This is why I’m surprised that this book has ever gained any traction. I mean, I know things are weird in the super-conservative world. But even some of the most disjointed and unhealthy hierarchical groups I’ve seen would at least PRETEND that wives have an ultimate authority to God rather than man, and would at least PRETEND that placing trust on anything but God is a bad thing to do (even if their actions contradicted it). Debi doesn’t even pretend.

  • http://thegloriousliberty.blogspot.com TheGloriousLiberty

    Hey, now, that comment you made about the little old church ladies simply isn’t true. Lots of them have perfectly good sex lives.

    How do I know this? You really don’t want me to answer that question. I certainly didn’t want to know.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      Hehe. It’s an open secret that nursing homes are struggling with skyrocketing rates of STDs. Some of them even have bowls of free condoms available, just like some high schools, to try to get people over the embarrassment hurdle of buying them.

  • Tamara

    Whenever my husband and I would have marital or child problems, the deacons at our church would talk to us. And it was always my fault. Even though they would tell my husband certain things he should do (and he wouldn’t do it) it was still my fault. They would ask, “How are things going?” And I would answer, “My husband is still being mean to the kids.” And then a deacon would rebuke me for criticizing my husband. And another deacon would accuse me of particular acts of disobedience which I was not doing. He did not even try to verify the “rumors” he heard. “Oh I heard you were listening to bad music,” he would say. I finally got up from the meeting and walked out. In another meeting, all I could do was cry. At that point, another deacon accused me of being that nagging wife in Proverbs. Oh thank God I am not in their clutches anymore.

  • Matthew Hines

    I’d take issue with Debi’s child support assertion.

    I have worked as a tax preparer, and there were several times where I encountered single moms who are expecting delinquent child support from their ex. If need be, the IRS often will with hold any refund your ex receives, and use it toward back child support. I had one male client who was facing this situation where where he wouldn’t get any of his refund because he owed back child support. So, Debi is incorrect in this assertion.

    • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred H

      Plus, a number states will garnish the wages of a divorced parent who doesn’t keep up with their child support. Granted, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get the state to do it in an individual case (plus, said parent has to have/keep a job for there to be any wages to garnish).

    • Emma

      I found her statement on child support slightly ambiguous. Does she mean that child support obligations magically disappear when the ex moves away/hooks up with someone else? Or is she referring to the fact that people tend to get far less child support then they are legally entitled to?

    • Red

      Agreed–but then, she doesn’t care about being accurate. Her goal is to get scared women to believe her with no questions asked.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Yeah, I mean she’s clearly just pulling stuff out of her ass to scare the crap out of women. I mean “The baby-sitter will have sex in your bedroom!” Come on. Besides nice old church ladies and normal, responsible teenagers, surely there are some nice, Christian, purity ring-wearing teenage girls out there who’d be available for babysitting? Or does Debi expect a good Christian girl to refuse to babysit because that would be aiding and abetting a woman in the sin of not spending every waking moment attending to her family or something?

      She’s just trying everything but the kitchen sink and it keeps getting wilder and wilder. In her next doom-saying letter about the Horrible Specter of Divorce I expect to see something like “While you are exerting yourself helplessly and hopelessly in an attempt to open your own jar of pickles, since you have no man around to do that for you anymore, you will accidentally elbow the bottle of 100-proof vodka that the depraved babysitter left on the counter, tipping it over onto the gas burner you carelessly left on because you were so distracted by thoughts of your ex in the arms of his slutty young secretary, causing your kitchen to burst into flames and your crappy duplex to burn to the ground with you and your children inside!”

      Come on, Debi! Let’s see just how creative you can get!

      • C yborgAbeLincoln

        Hah! Awesome.

        “Because your poor womanly brain is incapable of understanding the complexities of a lawn mower, the grass around your dumpy duplex will grow and grow, eventually turning in to a jungle. This will be attract wild animals and fornicating druggies. The animals will come in contact with left-over needles and you and your 17 children will be unable to leave the house for fear of being attacked by a coked-up syphilitic coyote. All because you burned the meatloaf, driving your husband into the arms of a better cook. However, Michael has used his Greek knowledge (did I mention he knows Greek?) to confirm that the meatloaf recipe that God has left for us in the KJV is both nutritious and hard to overcook.”

    • Kit

      In my jurisdiction, you can also get short prison sentences (typically served over weekends) for refusing to pay child support or get your driver’s license suspended. Harsh, but at the same time … people should really just pay their child support.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    “Telegraphed”? So the devil is stuck in the 1950s…?

    By the way, I was also really surprised at Debi saying “The boys may have a difficult time with their sexual drives as a result of the commercials but many young men have survived this in spite of the increased temptation.” Seems like the exact opposite of everything ever taught ever about purity and modesty.

    • Kate Monster

      Literally EVERYTHING about the Pearls is stuck in the 1950s. Well, not the real 1950s. A poorly written sitcom from the 1950s.

  • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

    All these nasty things that happen when a woman is divorced leave me wondering how the hell women who are widowed are meant to survive until another man comes along to pick up their pieces and be their leader again.

    And of all the random internet coincidences, check out this post on APracticalWedding – about a woman who practiced sacrificial love, and where it got her in the end.
    http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/02/leaving-a-bad-relationship/

  • mesha

    I was also wondering what Debi thinks happens to a widowed woman. Other than not being entitled to child support (although, the children may get survivor benefits from social security), how different is being widowed than being divorced when you’re talking about being a single mom?

    What does a quiverfull woman do if her spouse dies and she is left with five or six children under the age of 18? Particularly if she was homeschooling and not working outside of the house. What would the father do if his wife died and left him in the same situation?

    • Cathy W

      Based on what I’ve seen in rural families in the 1800s, which seems to be the social milieu the QF/Patriarchy movement seems to find ideal: Remarry as fast as humanly possible, or move back in with parents or a sibling. Having a son old enough to work would buy a widow some time, and a daughter old enough to keep house and take care of the children would do the same for a widower.

      • Cathy W

        (the relevant similarities I see between the QF/Patriarchy and the rural 1800s – marriage is about financial support for a woman and a housekeeper/childbearer for the man more than love; the ideal family had a lot of kids; it was difficult for a woman to support herself.)

  • Shari

    Is this Debi person really, for certain, a woman? What woman would say things like this? She must have been emotionally abused her entire life to hate herself so much.

    • Rosie

      Well, there was a time when I might have said these things, and I am really a woman. I was raised in a conservative evangelical household and I took the teachings I received to their logical and consistent conclusion. It wasn’t pretty.

      • Shari

        That’s really sad. My sister joined an evangelical church a few years ago and I can see her heading this way now. Of course it works out great for her husband! I just hope she snaps out of it before she gets in too deep. Lately she’s been making comments that make it plain that she thinks I’M the crazy one for feeling like I should be considered just as much of a person as my husband….I wish there was something I could say to help her.

      • Rosie

        I’m very sorry to hear that, Shari. My sister is still in that worldview (though she’s never taken it to the extremes that I did, and appears to have a good and pretty functionally-egalitarian marriage). A couple of weeks ago we were talking and it came up that this book by Debi Pearl pretty much encapsulates all the teachings that kept me from recognizing that I was in an abusive relationship prior to the actual rape. And my sister has read this book (and has it in her house)and thought it wasn’t that bad, that it contained some good advice. And she has six daughters. It made me so angry I almost couldn’t speak for awhile.

  • Kate Monster

    Dear Debi,

    I have a deeply important problem in my marriage that I have considered carefully and with lots of prayer and worry, but still cannot seem to solve. What should I do?

    Sincerely, Kate

    • Kate Monster

      Dear Kate,

      First of all, your problem is stupid, and I’m going to ignore it. Let’s talk about some things that actually matter, like why you’re a terrible wife, failed Christian, disappointment to Jesus, and at fault for everything that happens in your life. When your husband leaves you for some nympho and you starve to death in the streets like an extra in Les Miserables, you’ll have no one but yourself to blame. It’s a no-brainer.

      Debi

      PS: Your dowdy clothes and ungrateful manner make you morally culpable for your husband’s porn addiction (which is *t o t a l l y* a real thing). And stop dressing like a whore; you’re causing your brothers in Christ to stumble.

      • Karen

        You had me until you mentioned “an extra in Les Mis.” Debi Perl would never, ever do so something so unGodly as watch a movie, see a musical, or a read a novel.

  • Iris

    >>There are lots of responsible teenage girls quite ready to babysit your children. Yes, you have to pay them. But no, they’re not all out having sex on the job. Also, if having a babysitter who might (off clock) be sexually active bothers you that much, I’m pretty sure there are lots of little old church ladies quite ready to babysit.<<

    Since we want to do away with the gender stereotypes I'd just like to point out – there are also responsible teenage *boys* ;) Or possibly little old church men. Not in the Debi-verse, though.

    Anyways, I'm not going to say a lot about Debis resopnse as it can be summed up in one word: bullshit.

  • Josh Lyman

    Geneder essentialism alert!
    Boys can babysit as well.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Not in Debi’s world! I should blog about that…

    • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

      Heck yes they can. Our kids’ best babysitter was a guy. He was responsible, the boys LOVED him, and we paid him enough that he would drop everything if we wanted him. :)

  • Judy L.

    Am I missing something here? Why does Debi assume that a ‘good Christian’ man is going to leave his wife for another woman when that man has made VOWS TO GOD to stay married until death?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      I think some of these women are married to “worldly” husbands, or at least husbands who aren’t *as* Christian as them.

  • ako

    Wow, she really has contempt for men, doesn’t she? She seems absolutely convinced that men are completely unwilling to deal reasonably with sincere well-intentioned criticism, or being married to an actual human being (who, you know, inevitably have moods and unpleasant emotions), and also don’t actually care about their children at all, ever. She portrays men as incredibly selfish, and expecting to be constantly catered to and indulged, even when they’re in the wrong, or they’ll eagerly abandon their families, toss aside their marriage vows, and leave their kids to starve. She doesn’t seriously consider the idea that men might love their wives and children. I’ve never seen this level of man-hating from someone who actually wants to be around them before.

  • damianarose

    Are any of these letters actually written by women other than Debi herself? I don’t think so…. Debi clearly needs to see a therapist since not only does she like to demoralize women but she is a man hater too! I have known a lot of guys and I cannot think of one who would leave you because you hate the TV he watches! Why in the Land of Debi is communication such a foreign word? Its not complicated and it is a whole lot easier than simply swallowing all your issues and being silent. I really resent the protrayal she gives to single moms, it is simply scare tactics. Half my friends have been a single mom at least once and I can’t say any of them are worried about a sex starved baby sitter, working at Walmart, wearing cheap clothing and being resented by their kids. I am a single mom, sure I struggle, but honestly I struggled when I was married to an abusive asshole…I’d rather struggle by myself thank you.

  • Leni

    Wow. I’m sort of late to the party here, but I just fount this series and I couldn’t stop reading them. Definitely a train wreck that I can’t look away from. I read pretty much the whole series and just… wow.

    Aside from the whole super creepy submission/dominance thing, and aside from the profoundly disturbing way in which this whole thing reads like she’s trying to convince herself, I think the thing that bothers me most is the the absolute and total disregard for individuality.

    Life is precious, but you aren’t: you should abandon whatever talents and dreams you have in order to fulfill a role god knows you don’t want to fulfill. The whole message is to disregard what god gave you in order to please other people. Probably they see this as some sort of a test, but mostly it sounds like living a lie. I mean, your husband might not know what you’re thinking behind that Stepford Wife smile, but god sure as hell does.

    I’m having a difficult time articulating how profoundly misanthropic and disturbing all of this is. But whatever these creeps are doing, it is not celebrating a culture of life. It’s celebrating a culture of absolute uniformity, arbitrary hierarchy, cruelty and self-sublimation. It’s repulsive beyond words.

  • FlowerGirl

    Hi, its me again. Um. I am a Christian and I am not sure how to be this person she describes. If I tried any of this stuff my husband would look at me like I was on drugs. Actually, I recently made the mistake of telling one these folks that ascribe to Debi’s viewpoint that actually disagree with my husband and in front of the kids! I had no idea I should not be doing this. When I asked him if it bothered him he looked up from his book and said, “When have you ever been any different?” Is it possible to turn into this meek person after a lifetime of thinking and arguing and analyzing the minutia of life? Just wondering.