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ADVICE: Dear Angel

I try to be a good Christian wife and mother but my family doesn't make it easy. My husband (Paul) and my children (boy 7, girl 14) treat me like the servant girl in the manor.
Paul works hard and makes a halfway decent living. I say halfway because I have to work part time to have any money for myself or the children. Additionally Paul insists on saving a large percentage of his pay and mine for "our golden years."

Your husband is living in a long ago time when women were the property of their husbands.

The children aren't badly spoiled but they take their behavioral tips from Paul who expects me to do all the house chores and all the care of the children. He takes out the rubbish once a week and occasionally plays with our son and tells everyone how he "shares" the household responsibilities with me. The children can be very loving and enchanting but more and more they are like Paul, cold, ordering, demanding, sneering.

I was taught that the woman was subservient to the man and sex wasn't mentioned but the unspoken message was that it was included in the subservience. I was also taught that sex was sinful and was for the creation of children. We cannot support and do not want any more children but Paul only believes in the first teaching about subservience and not about sex being a sin only for creating children. He takes no measures for protection and wants his satisfaction quickly and off to sleep. And he wants it often. I have never had any "joy of sex." Never.

I use a diaphragm but I'm not allowed to mention it to anyone because it's "sinful."

I feel desperate, like I'm trapped in a hole and suffocating.

Please, please help me.

A Christian Wife

Dear Christian Wife:

Your letter is shocking but not uncommon. So many women of all faiths, races, nationalities could and do write similar letters.

Your husband is living in a long ago time when women were the property of their husbands. You have a clue you are not his property but you don't know what to do about the terrible situation you are in.

Being a good Christian wife and mother doesn't include your family emotionally abusing you or your husband sexually abusing you.

It is commendable that your husband makes a halfway decent living but if he is really a Christian man, he would not make his wife work outside the house for her and the children's spending money.

God, nature or both gave us all the ability to have pleasure from sex. It is my belief that it is not a sin for a man or a woman to enjoy sex as long as both parties are consenting. It is also my belief that it is a sin for any woman (or man) to have to have sex without pleasure. From your letter it seems you are unhappy about your marital bed status. If your husband is forcing you to have sex (using either physical force or mental force,) that is rape and it is against the law.

Your first step is to get some professional help from some outsider such as your clergy. I don't know your particular circumstances but some clergy are fantastic and nurturing and some are hopeless. If you feel your pastor would not be right for you, then you must seek paid counseling. Use some of your earnings for this lifesaver.

You are in a very deep hole. Professional counseling for you is a vital and important first step. Do the counseling and hang in there. Let me hear from you again.

Blessings my dear.

I care,

Angel

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