Emotional Incest: The Junior Wife

[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]
by Sierra

Libby Anne has begun a series on Emotional Incest at Love, Joy, Feminism. In her latest post, she also links Hugo Schwyzer’s striking analysis of the problems with the “Daddy’s Girl” myth and princess culture. The following is my attempt to confirm and add more perspectives to the issue they are bringing to light.

As a child of a believer and a nonbeliever, I walked a confusing and sometimes torturous line between the prescriptions of my church and the realities of a divided household. Additionally, I was the only child, and female. For the first couple of years after my mother joined our fundamentalist church (while my age was still in the single digits), we basked in fellowship and preoccupied ourselves with the joys of home. Fundamentalist culture is extremely good at fostering an environment that feels like shelter, with clearly-defined expectations and an emphasis on the “simple life” – about which I’ll write more later. So for the early years, I happily did my homeschool lessons, read books, played outside, and ran to the door yelling “Dad’s home!” whenever his pickup truck began the descent of our long rural driveway.

Then puberty hit like a bombshell.

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Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1c Men are Fragile, Women are Manipulative Fools

by Incongruous Circumspection

In Part 1b we listened in as Gothard tried valiantly to describe the differing outlooks on life that, according to his understanding, men and women exemplify. It needs mentioning again here that Bill is relying on no practical experience. He has never been married. It makes sense that, being he has propped himself up to be a guru in every area of life, and the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of worshipers at his feet, he would make vast, overarching, easily wrapped up in a square box and neatly tied with a silk bow, conclusions for very complex issues in life. One of those issues is human nature. It cannot be pidgeonholed, no matter how many verses you abuse.

Let’s lean in to hear Bill Gothard describe the perfect cheerleading bear rug – the good wife.

*****

[Be enthusiastic about your husband’s achievements. Sharing his excitement is more important than sharing his work. Your husband needs and wants your faithful, loyal, and enthusiastic support.]

Poor, poor men. We have no self-esteem. If we do something good and a woman is not there to jump up and down, clapping her hands in utter joy, we are spent, and cannot continue on in this life. Even if the woman is exhausted from making meals, doing dishes, washing laundry, cleaning the house, schooling the fourteen children, and otherwise doing everything a stay-at-home perfect wife and mother should be doing, as quoted in a hen-pecked Proverbs 31, if I walk through the door, excited about the penny I found on the street and the subsequent rock candy I was able to buy with it, my wife would be expected to throw her arms around me and give me a thousand kisses, exclaiming her enthusiastic excitement for my success.

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Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1b – Women? Goals? Who Are YOU Kidding!

By Incongruous Circumspection

In Part 1a, we witnessed Bill Gothard call a woman who does not obey her husband in everything, never questioning any decision he makes, a “fool”. He based this epithet on a woman while referencing Ephesians 5:22 – 24. Of course, I uncovered the fact that Bill was flat out lying. That passage says nothing of the sort.

Let’s continue discussing Gothard’s first Basic Need of a Husband ([A man needs a wife that is loyal and supportive]).

Gothard continues to expound on the above basic need by stating the following:

[Realize that your husband’s perspective is different than yours.]

Wow. Bill is really smart. Put two or more people together and you have differences. But let’s not give him any credit. That’s not what he means. Patriarchy (the religious philosophy that Bill Gothard bases all his materials on) and the Authority Doctrine (P/AD) requires distinct differences in men and women in order to prove that women need a man to rule them.

[A man’s goals often involve long-range achievement. Therefore, a man is willing to sacrifice short-term convenience in order to meet an important long-term goal. However, a wife’s perspective usually centers on short-term goals associated with her responsibilities in the family and home. During times of pressure, a wife should keep the “big picture” in mind. Accept difficult situations from God without giving Him a deadline to remove them]

While reading the above, did anyone think about sex? I would posit that most men have short term goals in mind when it comes to rolling around between the sheets. Well, of course, he probably wants to last a while, but that can still hardly be called “long term”. But Bill protects himself from this argument because he cleverly uses the words “often” and “usually” when referring to a man’s “goals” and a woman’s “perspective”.

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Why Courtship Fails: A Male’s Perspective

by The Graduate

As a young man in my early twenties who grew up in conservative homeschool circles, I was excited to return home after spending four years in a Christian college. I had very little experience in dating and hadn’t been in a relationship in college, but I had a good degree and a solid career lined up in front of me. My parents were excited too, because they hoped that I would be able to easily find a bride among the many single homeschool girls my family knew. I was a willing participant to their plans, but I soon found out that even with the right credentials, it was still impossible for me to come against homeschool patriarchy and perfectionism.

According to Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips, a girl who has spent her entire life preparing for marriage under unquestioning submission to her father should expect to have almost too many young men seeking to win her hand. Eventually, her father would choose the right one for her. Her future husband would be a paradox: ambitious and hard-working and able to support a family, yet fully under his parents’ authority and living in their house without going to college. He would be an intelligent, independent critical thinker, yet he would agree unquestioningly with every belief of his parents and church.

Most of my family’s friends subscribed to these philosophies. But as their daughters approached their late teens, these families began to realize, either consciously or subconsciously, that many of the required attributes of a “godly young man” are mutually exclusive. An ambitious, hard-working young man is going to want to go to college, or at least live at a level of independence from his parents unacceptable to Gothard and Phillips’ teachings. And any truly intelligent and critical-thinking suitor is not going to agree with his parents on everything – especially if his parents are die-hard ATI-followers.

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Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1a

by Incongruous Circumspection

In the Introduction, we looked into the general idea that Bill Gothard is trying to get across in this series. He attempts to list seven basic needs of a husband and seven, also, of the wife. We discuss the flaw in this logic, which is, Bill treats life as if all men and women are exactly the same. Worse yet, Bill positions this series, as well as all of his “truth” in all of his materials, as the non-optional, unquestioned, standard for finding favor with God.

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