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Letters to the Editor

Marriage bond

May 20, 2008

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To the editor:

I continue to be astonished by the trash that appears in the "Annie's Mailbox" syndicated column, both in the letters submitted and in the responses. The column is a blemish on the otherwise family-friendly and respectful Lawrence Journal-World.

I usually pass over the column knowing it disgusts me, but the headline on (the May 12) column caught my eye. A wife was writing in on her disappointment that her premarital sex life was more active than her marital one. This situation beautifully illustrates the detrimental effects of cohabitation and premarital sex on the sacred bond of marriage.

This problem cannot be resolved by the husband getting his testosterone levels checked, as the authors suggest; but by the wife and husband examining the true meaning of conjugal love. By regularly engaging in sex outside of the commitment of marriage, they took advantage of each other and distorted the beauty of the mutual self-gift of the marital act.

Sex belongs in marriage because it is a bodily expression of the complete commitment of the marriage vows. When it is understood and practiced as such, the couple's relationship, on more levels than just the physical, will truly flourish.

Jessica Miravalle,

Lawrence

Comments

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 7 months ago

This is the letter of someone who has trouble reconciling deeply held beliefs with a feeling that they missed out on something that's growing increasingly hard to ignore.

guesswho 6 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know/remember the scene in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" where their respective therapists ask the couple how their sex life is? (paraphrasing here..)Annie Hall: "Constantly; three times a week"Woody Allen's character: "Hardly ever. maybe three times a week"

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 7 months ago

"There were instructions for how to use them properly, so as not to injure yourself or others. A certain order was prescribed."Difference between your metaphor and real life: no instruction book, no certain order, no "right" way to do things.And if you say the Bible, you're an idiot. I'm not calling you an idiot for the reasons you're thinking--though you'll likely disbelieve me, as in my experience the majority of Christians like to feel persecuted--but because no intelligent person can conceivably regard the Bible as a sex manual.

KS 6 years, 7 months ago

Judging from the posts, it ceetainly is easy to see what's wrong with America today.

jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

Okay, WTF?! If my post got pulled, they should pull the whole damned LTE, the language and content we're at the least equivalent to what I posted, and I think they were much worse.multiD" Thanks, but remember it wasn't sympathy, but desperation! kwahaaha

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

What if society doesn't allow certain types of people to marry?

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 7 months ago

"And we out-source to these people?"Yes. Because in a country with 1.13 billion people, 23 official languages, 1600 dialects, 2000 ethnic groups, and dozens of religions, the actions of one village should certainly be imputed to the entire subcontinent.C'mon, multi. You're one of my favorite commentors. You're better than that.

Erin Parmelee 6 years, 7 months ago

BrianR: I agree! Sex is sex before or after the ring is on your finger. Having sex with my husband before we got married didn't tarnish it after we did--it was always fun. Perhaps that is what the author is forgetting. The "beauty and gift" concept is very poetic, and if you feel that way (sometimes, or all the time) more power to you--but sex should be fun too.

jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

KS: I agree. The world would be a better place if we all just did things the way one person says that they should be done, because certainly all people are the same.

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

"I recently bought a set of jumper cables."People are going to hook them up wrong anyway. It should be widely circulated and promoted as to how to "safely" hook them up wrong.

George_Braziller 6 years, 7 months ago

I thought Queen Victoria was dead. What century is Jessica from?

deec 6 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the husband lost interest in sex with his wife because he is having it elsewhere. This would seem more likely than a sudden drop in hormones or some sort of mythical disrespect for marital sex now that its marital sex.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure why I find "true meaning" so incomprehensible but there you have it. I never trust the words of those who pull out the true meaning card. In my experience, it indicates either a tendency towards supreme arrogance or extreme compliance and I find both to be dangerous flips of human coin.Of course, I tend to believe that everyone is as profligately ignorant as myself!~)

Joe Hyde 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't know about anybody else, but cohabitation and premarital sex was always pretty sacred to me.Maybe that woman in the story suffers from a food allergy. Researchers a few years ago isolated a certain food that causes many women to lose their sex drives.The food? Wedding cake. With some brides, one bite is all it takes.

user_name 6 years, 7 months ago

Are you kidding me lady? Give me a break...

kthxbi 6 years, 7 months ago

I like Tetris too. Maybe I can combine them...

BrianR 6 years, 7 months ago

I've heard some crazy stuff before but this has to be near the top of the list.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Hey guess. Thanks for remining me of that hillarious scene from Annie Hall. I had a good chuckle. .

labmonkey 6 years, 7 months ago

Lets not castigate Jessica too much as after being married, I think she does have a point. I don't have any regrets (well except for some of the beer-goggle nights), but I do kind of wish I could be my wife's only as I am her only.That being said....the Bible was written in times where people married at 14, 15 years of age. Now I believe the median age is 27 for guys and 24 for women (much, much older in many cases). Waiting that long is not biologically practical as that is already past a guy's sexual peak and right at the best time biologically for a woman to conceive. If someone waits that long (by choice I mean, not because noone will have them), then I do commend them. But just don't shove it down other's throat.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 7 months ago

The LTE writer must subscribe to the old school of thought that instilled the idea that women had to have sex with their husband because it is their duty, that it is bad to enjoy sex, and that they should be ashamed of their naked body. There are an enormous number of people that walk the streets today that carry the mental scars of that line of thought control, that can't enjoy sex, that are unhappy in many aspects of their lives, etc. Thankfully, these social pressures are beginning to diminish and people can embrace the ideas that build strong character and personal responsibility and dispose of the fear and guilt.Let's face it, the "good old days" weren't really that good and came with a lot of unnecessary baggage. It's time to embrace the new reality of today, Jessica, and it's not bad. And, yes, people are not just content with merely the white picket fence, anymore.

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

I have reread this letter several times, and I still can't believe she wrote it. Why read the column if you don't like it, and then criticize what is in it? Doesn't make sense what so ever. I also googled and found the original column, and the answers (more than just testerone, btw) given made a lot of sense. More sense than the letter above.

salad 6 years, 7 months ago

(in russian accent) Tetris.....always with the Tetris.

samsnewplace 6 years, 7 months ago

salad I beg to differ with you, there are some wives out here that wish the same thing! It's not only the women who say no! And to Jessica the author, with more than one out of every two couples divorcing I am wondering what planet you are from in today's world? I can say it was better before the ring than after.

TheYetiSpeaks 6 years, 7 months ago

Just another example of why looking at things through an ultra-conservative, hyper-religious viewpoint is an exercise in futility. To try to simplify the most complex human emotion to a point where you can justify the rules being the same for everybody...is....well, a waste of time. Love and sex, and how they relate is very different for different people. Keep your lame guidelines to your own love life and I wont burden you with what works for my love life.

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, the author just condemned 97% of the people in the world, and we're supposed to be respectful?

Confrontation 6 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like someone is trying to justify the bad "relations" in her own marriage. If there's no action going on now that a couple is married, it has nothing to do with premarital sex. Maybe the wife gained 50 pounds and the husband became obsessed with Tetris. Maybe the husband is starting to become controlling like his father and the wife is starting to become controlling like her mother.

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, of course, what was the LTE writer thinking? Of course, it's correct to try before you buy it. And if things aren't perfect then you can always just return it, after all, there's no commitment. And even if there was, you can always return it, and get a better model. And should there be a baby, well, we can fix that too. And all those studies that say that cohabitation is correlated to increase in divorce:well that's just religious fundamentalism, and it's not a causal relationship, right? How dare anyone disagree with the 97%! Yeti "Just another example of why looking at things through an ultra-conservative, hyper-religious viewpoint is an exercise in futility." And you know this how? Actually, not to be disagreeable, but I didn't see the LTE mention the writer's political or religious viewpoint. You're making an assumption, based on your perceived ability to dismiss and belittle the LTE's viewpoint.

Romans832 6 years, 7 months ago

I recently bought a set of jumper cables. There were instructions for how to use them properly, so as not to injure yourself or others. A certain order was prescribed. Oh, what the heck. Hook them up any way you'd like. I'm sure they just don't want you to have any fun.

jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

salad 6 years, 7 months ago

Harderfaster (Anonymous) says: "Is once or twice every 2 days normal?"Most guys married more than 5 years are thinking, "Hell, I'd be happy to get it more than once a month..."Scientists have identified a substance that once ingested will cut a womans sex drive by 50% a year until it's gone:Wedding Cake. "I'm sorry, the author just condemned 97% of the people in the world, and we're supposed to be respectful?"True

jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

"And all those studies that say that cohabitation is correlated to increase in divorce:well that's just religious fundamentalism, and it's not a causal relationship, right?"There's nothing there to say that its a causal relationship, it might easily be simply a correlational one. Someone who cohabitates before marriage is highly likely to simply have a less sanctified view of marriage, and more likely to view divorce as a less horrifying option than someone who, at this point in our society, would wait until they are married to live together. And, I will note, that I don't disagree with anyone's decision to wait until marriage to cohabitate. The issue with this LTE is the self-centric view that only their method of living their life is correct, moral, or will lead to a happy married life. That viewpoint is insulting to me, not to mention totally false as a blanket statement.

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

Jonas said, "And, I will note, that I don't disagree with anyone's decision to wait until marriage to cohabitate. The issue with this LTE is the self-centric view that only their method of living their life is correct, moral, or will lead to a happy married life. That viewpoint is insulting to me, not to mention totally false as a blanket statement."Please, hear me out. I'm not meaning to "insult" you, and I will try not to. Okay, what if you had a friend who was abusing alcohol? Is an alcoholic and is literally abusing alcohol to the point of death. Would you say something? Does that make you "self-centric"? I would assert that it would be self-centered not to say something.Are you telling me, that everything in the sexual mores of society, as a whole, is beyond criticism? Serial monogamy, one-night stands, prostitution, pornography are all beyond reproach? How about the disposability in some relationships, which resembles consumerism rather than commitment? I understand that you have would some people would call a relativistic worldview. Your worldview sees all viewpoints as essentially equally good. (It's a bit of an over-simplification. I'm naming something so I can talk about it.) I have what you would call absolutist worldview, which is informed by, but not equivalent to, by my understanding of the Christian faith. (Also an over-simplification.) Part of the ethical makeup of a relativistic worldview is a view that it is wrong to have an absolute; that it is unethical to have a value that applies to everyone, everywhere. Part of an absolutist worldview is that is completely ethical to have a value that applies to everyone, everywhere. So we have a clash of values. I have noticed that folks that have an relativistic worldview get really, really upset whenever an absolutist speaks about ethics. But didn't the column discussed by the LTE talk about values? So why is it okay to express values that you agree with and not values that you don't agree with? I read the LTE. The LTE was just expressing a value that you disagree with. I don't think the letter was meant to insult or demean you or your marriage. And I apologize for any slight you felt, but not for the LTE's viewpoint.

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

Why would anyone want to just cohabitate when there are so many advantages to being married - especially the so called tax advantages being promoted by those who don't do their own taxes?

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