When Quiverfull Submission is Harmful?

When Quiverfull Submission is Harmful? August 30, 2019

We take a break in this week’s looking at Debi Pearl’s warped ideas on the brain to peruse this, a post from The Transformed Wife chatroom. Lori Alexander is still busy with her husband Ken and his recent illness. Ken has left the hospital and is better thanks to modern medicine, antibiotics and the dedicated doctors and nurses at the hospital. I hope they were all women. This lady in Lori’s super secret chatroom is a perfect example of when Quiverfull submission is harmful.

One of the biggest lies that creates large amounts of suffering in QF is the notion that if you just submit hard enough, submit right enough and righteously enough then God will soften the heart of your unbelieving spouse and change him. Turn him into a good Christian man that revers you, change the abuse into praise and love.

Never happens. I have literally never seen this actually happen in my years in QF. What I have seen is ladies doing a version of mental or spiritual game of Twister trying to make it happen. All the while piling guilt upon themselves. Putting up with mind-staggering amounts of abusive behavior from men. The abuse escalates.

Even the ones married to Christians will do the total submission in hopes of changing their man. I believe this is one of the biggest driving forces behind women dragging their families into Quiverfull cults. Imperfect marriage? Instead of attempting to go to marriage counseling, talking to your spouse, or just about anything else they go into the submit and pray mode. Sometimes with awful consequences.

I’ve removed the lady’s name and photograph because I have no wish to add to what must be monumental amounts of stress.

I hope this guy has his life insurance paid up because this sounds like it’s not going to have a very good outcome.

The friend that sent this to me said that it’s a sad day when you cannot share your cares and concerns with your husband. I would say also it’s a sad day when you’re not allowed to express any concern for his health either. Part of being married, believers or not, is sharing burdens and concerns, leaning on each other to get through medical crisis.

Blood in the urine and years of high blood pressure is a crisis, make no mistake! Likely if he had treated it earlier it would not be a crisis now. But we all know how in Quiverfull people avoid the doctor like a plague carrier, and only go when something is a crisis. Like Ken Alexander ignoring his Lyme rash and weeks of symptoms to develop Lyme related heart arrhythmia.

You know, there are times when being the quiet submissive wife just does more harm than good. This is one of those times. So many worrying things here, starting with the fact that he’s clearly been ignoring health issues for a long time, to her not even being allowed to know about this.

There are times for you to barge in and say, “No! You’re not hiding this. We’re going to the doctor together and you are getting treatment!” You go with him, you keep him honest from downplaying the symptoms. You barge in to save his life.

I’ve done it. My husband has one kidney, started urinating blood. I fought him like a wildcat over getting immediately to his specialist and having a very painful test run to make sure it was not a return of cancer. He wanted to ignore it, and soldier on, which is another toxic thing our society teaches men. To be stoic, not go to the doctor, suffer in silence. I was not having it. We went, cancer was ruled out and the original problem fixed.

A few people have suggested Lori Alexander like solutions involving diet. Diet is important, but in this situation it’s like offering a used bandaid to a fresh rattlesnake victim.

No, this is stand up to him territory. Unless you want to bury him. Please do not check your common sense for the sake of submission.  You hold the power to make a difference in a situation like this!

This is why I like to call The Transformed Wife’s chatroom a roach nest. They give out bad advice, bad medical advice, and lead people to do dangerous things.

Edited to add more from the chatroom. Oh man dead men walking!

It might not be your choice for your husband to die, but you are clearly speeding things along by being oh so submissive.

Lori Alexander talked in her book “The Power of the Transformed Wife” about husbands dying from their own poor health choices, trying to say as a submissive woman you can have no say in this. But that’s a load of you know what. Help if you can!


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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Friend

    This happens outside Christianity too: one spouse absolutely refuses to see the doctor. Yes, the additional problem is the wife submitting to the reluctant patient because God put husbands in charge.

    A submissive wife might be able to say, “I honor you as head of our family. I don’t know what the children and I would do without you. God gives us pain (bleeding, etc.) as a sign of illness. Luke was a physician. Will you please pray about this? I am afraid right now. At least if you went to the doctor, we would know what’s going on. That would help with my fear.”

    Is that submissive enough?

    Here’s what hubby and I do. We have an agreement that we will force each other to go to the doctor if need be. One time I felt too s1ck to go to the ER, and my husband let me try to sleep for a little while, long enough for my condition to worsen. We now have specific criteria for taking action: temperature, heart rate, inability to keep food down, etc. And the phrase “too s1ck to go to the ER” now means “we’re going to the ER.”

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    …and that is wise! We have a similar agreement. I don’t understand those that allow their spouse to get even sicker. Even Lori took Ken to the ER, even as she said in her book that if a man gets ill or dies from some fault of his own like diet or illness it’s on him.

  • Littleblueheathen

    Maybe on some level these chatroom ladies know that’s their only way out, but they have to put on a concerned face.

  • Jim Jones

    These ladies should be trying to up the life insurance on these idiots2.

  • Jim Jones

    I hate to see these bad versions of submission.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    I know some one, no not me, “a friend of mind”, that if the eyeballs aren’t bleeding then there’s no need to go to the hospital. He deals with off and on stomach issues, and has gone to check it out after it got bad. Blood, X-Rays, stool all came back negative, so no need for follow-ups. Family and friend often asks and he shrugs it off.
    Have you seen a doctor?
    Yes, I have seen a few doctors in my life.
    No, recently.
    Oh…

  • Friend

    Well… whatever works. Whatever gets the dying man to the doctor instead of making him even more stubborn.

    I don’t know of a good version of submission.

  • Jim Jones

    I can recommend several books!

  • persephone

    Lori probably realized that her happy little house in San Diego would be sold out from under her by her sons, after she was quickly packed off to a senior retirement community. Far away.

  • persephone

    I’m sure that with some of them it is, especially that RN. I’m very suspicious about her comments.

  • Tawreos
  • firebubbles310

    Congrats!! She looks so happy. Such a beautiful smile. May your home be covered in dog hair for many years to come.

  • Friend

    Yay! Yay! Yayyyyy!!!!!!!

  • Tawreos

    I just got most of the hair from the last one cleaned up so it was time to add a new source. =)

  • AFo

    It scares me that no one sees their complete inability to have this discussion as a problem. This is the result when your whole marriage model essentially encourages mind reading over real communication.

  • firebubbles310

    The foundation of a happy home.

  • Polytropos

    So the wife must dedicate her entire life to making the husband happy, and this is supposed to make him change? Why on earth would he change if he’s getting what he wants? Wives who do this are literally reinforcing all the wrong behaviours.

  • Saraquill

    I was rather submissive with the non-Christian Michael Pearl, as he was a manipulative, gaslighting turd1 who twisted me into this position. Even then, I would piss1 him off as I am still me, and he hated reminders that I am my own person.

    He had depression he refused to treat, as he claimed being in love was all he needed. I told him quite a bit this was a bad idea, but he insisted he knew better. Non-Christian Michael Pearl also had untreated glaucoma. According to him, it was his dad’s responsibility to get him health insurance, justifying not-Pearl’s indifference to seeking medical care.

  • Saraquill

    The kind with a strong focus on consent and safety measures.

  • Jenn H

    “It might not be your choice for your husband to die, but you are clearly speeding things along by being oh so submissive.”

    I can’t tell if this is a bug or a feature of QF ideology, mostly because I’m not sure what status widows have in this culture.

  • Jennifer

    I hate to feel a little satisfaction at that thought..

  • Jennifer

    No kidding. Or rather, obedience.

  • Jennifer

    I thought the same thing. If she doesn’t want him gone, she’s alarmingly resigned to the possibility of him croaking if “God wants it”.

  • Quinsha

    I remember one time my mom, for days, had lain on the couch with pain shooting down her leg. She did not want to go to the doctor. My father finally got tired of it, picked her up, carried her to the car, and took her to the ER.

    The diagnosis?

    Kidney infection.

  • Nea

    I’d worry less about the social status of a widow and more about the financial status of someone who isn’t educated, hasn’t been allowed to work, and probably doesn’t pay the bills being thrust2 into financial responsibility for a large family.

  • Ann Lunsford

    Both Ken and her deserve everything like that and worse.

  • Jenn H

    Depends on whether or not the kids have left home and how close he is to retirement then.

  • persephone

    Come sit with me. We can be petty bishes together.

  • Jennifer

    I’ll get the scones!

  • NikkiofAmystika

    Congratulations!
    *gives Boqika virtual ear-scratches*

  • B.E. Miller

    I remember (way back when I worked at AT&T) there were several women there who used to complain that their husbands didn’t want to go to the doctor.

    But they definitely weren’t of the ‘submissive’ variety. They used to joke about having to chase their husbands down, lasso them, tying them to the hood or roof of the car… (IRL, it was more like they were the ones who made the appointments, gave the doctor office all pertinent insurance information, and went with their husbands to the doctors, because otherwise hubby would skip out if left on his own.)

  • B.E. Miller

    And with safe words!

  • lady_black

    I’ve literally had to wait until my husband was too weak to resist, to get him to the doctor when he needed to go. Once from an intestinal infection, and once from a sinus infection.
    His usual response to “We’re going to the doctor” is “I don’t need to go to the doctor.” I have no idea why, and I’m a nurse, too. I don’t want to treat him like a child, and I don’t put up with him treating me that way either. The excuse he gives me is “If I see a doctor, they’ll want to run tests on me and they’ll find something wrong.” Like that would be a bad thing.
    Actually, in the midst of an illness, doctors don’t do that unless they aren’t sure what they’re dealing with. In other words, if you go because you have the flu and are having trouble breathing, the doctor isn’t going to send you out for a colonoscopy. He’s going to give you antibiotics, probably oral2 steroids, and maybe an inhaler to open your airway. If and when you go for a yearly checkup, he/she will suggest the colonoscopy. You’re free to suggest you have no family history of colon cancer and ask for Colo Gard instead (which I did myself, and it’s no big deal).

  • lady_black

    Wow! No other symptoms?

  • Quinsha

    Don’t know, you have to remember that I was 16 at the time, in charge of my siblings, keeping the house clean, and homework. My mom worked at the factory. Father disabled and an alcoholic.

    All I remember was that she did not want to go to the doctor, and my father finally taking her there anyways.

  • lady_black

    Ah. The reason I asked is because usually with that there will be high fever for sure, and usually pyuria. The pain is typically in the low back/flank, and there will be shaking, chills, nausea and possible vomiting. If the infection migrates to the bladder, there will be abdominal pain.
    I’m not doubting how much you remember. I’ve just never seen a person with a kidney infection who wasn’t very, very ill in a way you wouldn’t let go for more than a day. You would know something was seriously wrong, even if you didn’t know what, and the more time that goes by, the sicker the person becomes. She’s lucky she didn’t get septic.

  • Quinsha

    She was very ill. Couldn’t go to work, could barely walk. I think she was so ill that she did not want to live.

  • lady_black

    Now, that sounds more like it. I have pain that radiates down my leg sometimes. It’s sciatic. But I don’t feel ill.
    I’m glad your dad picked her up and made her go to the hospital. Ignoring that could be fatal.