True Love Loves The Unlovely

True Love Loves The Unlovely January 11, 2014

by Suzanne Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

The chapter of Libby Anne’s review of Debi Pearl’s “Created To Be His Help Meet” I posted yesterday at NLQ: ‘The Tale of the Purple Flowers PJ Girl’ triggered me badly this morning. So much of it was utter ridiculous twaddle, the crap that if you actually believe it will wreak havoc with your relationships. It would take me days to point out everything wrong with Debi’s points if I were to break it down.

But the biggest lie that jumped out at me was this:

“…… you have no right to expect him to love you when you are unlovely.”

Bullshit. Double bullshit. Debi is talking about your husband loving you, how you have no right to an expectation of love if you are unlovely.

This is really the sickest and most twisted. In reality in marriages there are going to be lots of those ‘unlovely’ moments, even if you’re the most beautiful creature on this planet. You and your partner can’t help it. We’re all human and things happen.

Times when things are going haywire and aren’t all peaches and creamy are the moments where True Love is really shown.Those times when you have to rush him to the hospital or sit by his bedside for days on end in the hospital. Or you yourself gets sick or you have vomit in your hair for caring for a sick child. Perhaps you’re going through a major depression and cannot stop crying. Name a scenario that isn’t something flattering and there you go.

Those are the times when our bonds of love are put into action. I remember around twelve years ago when I was having bouts of asthma and pneumonia a night when I was changing the sheets on the marital bed as my husband sat at his desk. I started coughing uncontrollably before projectile vomiting all over the sheets, the bed and the bedroom. I started crying I was so embarrassed, feeling miserable physically on top of the embarrassment. My darling husband just sighed, told me to go clean up and he’d deal with cleaning up the vomit covered room and getting fresh bedding on the bed. I showered, he cleaned up. Yeah, I know my example is gross but I feel like it illustrates what true love does in those unlovely moments.

I wonder how Debi would spin that scenario? She’d likely say that Michael would leave the room as she apologized for the mess. She’d rush around cleaning it all and apologizing some more I’m sure. He’d been annoyed stomping around about her daring to be ‘unlovely’ around him.

Emotional ‘unlovely’ isn’t any different than the physical but with true love the response should be the same.

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Calulu is an empty nester lives near Washington DC with her husband, cats and various rescue birds. She works at a residential treatment center for children and is also the administrator of NLQ. Was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 7 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and  Calulu – Seeking The Light

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Nea

    Debi is, I think, repeating only what Michael has told her over and over – that he can’t love/respect/want her because she has… well, probably done anything that differentiates herself from a doormat.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That makes me feel so sad for her. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be valued and loved just the way you are. She’s in a rather tight bondage to Michael.

  • Nea

    I’d feel worse for her if she didn’t spit bile and judgement over everyone else. She is a victimizer as much as victim.

  • Jewel

    I agree with you so much. There are so many disturbing things about that passage of Debi’s book (and the whole book for that matter). Just the title of the chapter: “Pick a Girl With Low Self-Esteem (Really)” makes me cringe. Isn’t that what abusers do?

    Edit: Oops, I’m a dork. I realize I got 2 different passages/posts confused. But they are both equally cringe-worthy. 🙂

  • Jewel

    So true.

  • It’s even more disturbing to me remembering that they preach the exact opposite for the female response to man – we are ordered to respect them even if they are not respectable. So we have to justify our lovableness, but they’re worthy of respect and have a right to demand it from us no matter what, just by virtue of their male parts. That dynamic and that thinking spirals straight down into awfulness.

  • Amen, Suzanne. What you described is love. Why do the writings that sell well (CTBHHM) have so little overlap with the writings that actually speak truth?

  • Levedi

    Debi is so un-Christlike in her thinking. “While we were yet sinners, God loved us.” Isn’t grace all about God loving humans because he loves us, not because we have earned his regard? And aren’t Christians supposed to re-iterate that grace in all our relationships, especially marital ones?

    My toddler vomited on me for four days last week. He’s only 20 months – he has no idea of empathy. All he knows is that being sick makes him scared and being held makes him feel better, so the more he puked the more he clung to me. It was really, really gross. But that’s love. What Debi’s talking about isn’t love and it isn’t Christ. It’s spiritual slavery, the very thing Christ said he came to free us from.