I have many readers that are Christians and have had a variant on the below email several times now. The topic of the blog is marriage, but as full disclosure I am an atheist, so you may take from this what you will.
I’m thinking more strategically now – and working out regularly. I’m trying to be relentless about checking anything that could be construed as a lack of confidence – and trying to not wear my emotions on my sleeve as much as I do. I feel I do need to project a cheerful strength more: in dealing with the kids, in brushing off rejection like its no big thing (instead of trying to psychologize her, etc), in more eagerly and vigorously taking on home improvement tasks (in the past: I’d rather read a history book…)
Not sure the MAP as you put it will work for me, as its sink or swim. I don’t think I could ever leave my wife. I’m a Christian, and I don’t even want to think that way (not being a chump here: its almost 100% certain my wife would not leave me either) – God is either going to answer my prayers, or I’m just going to be miserable (though I’m thinking things can certainly improve).
Being Christian does complicate things in running The MAP. I was a Christian so do completely get the framework that you are working from.
By being a committed Christian you are hampered in doing what I suggest. For sure you can do most of it, but when push comes to shove, I think you forcing the issue to a divorce for a lack of sex in the marriage is against Christian beliefs. Which by my approach means you have essentially declawed yourself as you have no ultimate threat to reach for. Oneitis is divinely mandated.
Hopefully though, because she is a Christian too, she has taken on board the divine mandate of staying married as well. So she’s declawed as well… so hopefully it’s an even balance as she is required to have Oneitis as well.
But then being mandated does nothing to get the juices going between her legs either. It doesn’t make either one of you want the other sexually… all that needs to come from attraction and comfort building. So the MAP does work for that.
Regardless of a perceived sin/heaven/hell/immoral consequence… your marriage is an earthly legal construct and there can be earthly consequences for failing to continue to attract your wife. I’ve seen “good people” of all religious viewpoints, or lack thereof, turn absolutely feral on their spouse when they come into contact with someone that actually does attract them.
So despite having lived a life of faith, you may one day find yourself dealing with an unfaithful situation.
I believe you are foolish to rely on a shared religious framework to maintain and justify the continuation of your marriage forever. Shared beliefs certainly do provide a positive influence on your marriage, but there are other influences to account for as well. If you are a husband, you must to some degree actively continue to court her for the entirety of the marriage… or risk its failure.
So if you believe, by all means trust in God. But also work out, make good money and when she is ovulating… hit it like you mean it.
There was once a man who was on his way back home from market with his camel and, as he’d had a good day, he decided to stop at a mosque along the road and offer his thanks to God.
He left his camel outside and went in with his prayer mat and spent several hours offering thanks to Allah, praying and promising that he’d be a good Muslim in the future, help the poor and be an upstanding pillar of his community.
When he emerged it was already dark and lo and behold – his camel was gone!
He immediately flew into a violent temper and shook his fist at the sky, yelling:
“You traitor, Allah! How could you do this to me? I put all my trust in you and then you go and stab me in the back like this!”
A passing sufi dervish heard the man yelling and chuckled to himself.
“Listen,” he said, “Trust God but, you know, tie up your camel.”