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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why is it so hard to leave him? Is it sexual sin? Or something else?

I've written long and often about some of my past loves - those sweet Christian boys who seem to chronically ditch the DTR talk.  (DTR stands for define the relationship.)  There are a bunch of sexual purity and abstinence pushers who are teaching a false gospel that everything boils down to sex leading people into or staying it bad relationships, but that isn't always the case.

I have no idea who Sandra Turton is, but she got this wrong.  The biggest reason why we don't leave someone often has nothing at all to do with the physical pleasures of sex.  In fact, often people are staying with someone even when sex is painful or there might not be any sex happening at all.

One of the biggest heartbreaks in my life was pining over My Non-Dating Dude who absolutely broke my heart. The thing is, he never touched me except to hold my hand in prayer or give me a hug in greeting or in parting.  Hugs and holding hands are no big deal in and of themselves.  What was really a big deal was how often along with the constant phone calls, talking about the future, spending time with his family, and spending every weekend together.

Yes, sometimes when a woman feels she has defiled herself, she gives up.  In this case it is because she thinks she is no longer worth anything, not because sex is so tempting or so awesome.  Anyone remember Elizabeth Smart, the girl who was kidnapped?  She credits her abstinence only education for making her feel that her life was worthless because she had had sex.  She was taught that sex made a person like a used piece of chewing gum and no one would want that.  What a horrible feeling!  There wasn't an exception given for those who were unwilling victims.  Everyone is placed in the same bag.

I can understand why proponents of abstinence to teach us to wait.  I talked to a high school counselor who told me that the best way to guarantee a girl's graduation from high school is for her to wait until after graduation for her first sexual experience.  However, in Christian circles the wisdom of waiting until marriage has been perverted into making people feel bad who should not, particularly a child who was victimized by an adult.

No matter what you have done or when you think it OK to have sex, know that the Lord is forgiving of sins.  But please do not take on sin and guilt that is not yours to bear.  While Elizabeth Smart may have stayed with someone who was abusing her, it isn't the sex itself which is so appealing.  Staying with someone longer than you should is a function of a negative self image.  Sometimes it may well be cause by the used chewing gum syndrome, but know the difference.

And about those non-touching relationships?  This has more than anything to do with the good girl syndrome of not wanting to rock the boat.  You might find yourself stuck in one of these go-nowhere relationships but be paralyzed by fear.  Talking about it may ruin the relationship.  However, a relationship based on dishonesty isn't a proper relationship.  By keeping silent you are being dishonest with yourself and with the other person.

It's time to fish or cut bait sometimes.  And dishonesty isn't the way to do it.  In a real relationship there is a great deal of give and take.  Successful relationships take some transparency in terms of expressing your feelings and tastes in everything from what restaurant to eat in for a date to what house to buy as a married couple.  If you can't negotiate that simple barrier of telling your friend you like him or her as more you deny yourself the relationship you could have either by ditching this one to find someone who returns your feelings or helping the relationship to transition to the one you want.

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ChristianDatingResilience said...

Good job. Thank you for your post.

SavvyD said...

Thanks for stopping by!