Can Husbands Rape Their Wives? Exploring Martial Rape

“When it is the person you have entrusted your life to who rapes you, it isn’t just physical or sexual assault, it is a betrayal of the very core of your marriage, of your person, of your trust.”

One form of rape that is rarely discussed it marital rape. Just because two people are married it doesn’t mean that they have the right to use, abuse or violate one another. We as wives need to meet our husband’s sexual needs. Husbands need to be sensitive, patient and understanding towards their wife’s feelings, desires and needs also. Sex should never be forced in marriage. Please read this article and share your thoughts.

Also to celebrate Restoration Week for my blog, please click the link below to read a woman’s testimony of how she survived years of spousal rape.

If you have been a victim of spousal rape, please seek help from your pastor, doctor, a social worker or the police. No one has the right to force themselves on you. No means no!

Marital Rape was only made a criminal act in the UK in 1991? Up until then it was considered impossible for a man to rape or sexually assault his wife. To quote: “A husband cannot rape his wife unless the parties are separated or the court has by injunction forbidden him to interfere with his wife or he has given an undertaking in court no to interfere with her.” (The Law Made Simple, The Chaucer Press, 1981)

Rape is rape, regardless of the relationship between the rapist and the victim. It can be a total stranger; someone you recognise by sight, but have never really communicated with; someone you know superficially, a neighbour or a colleague; a friend, a boy-friend or a former boyfriend; a live-in partner, or a former partner; someone you are married to or have been married to in the past.

The main differences between stranger rape and marital rape

Stranger rape is usually a one-off, someone you don’t know, with whom you don’t share any experiences or history. When the assault happens, there can be no doubt as to what is happening: that it is Rape (though even in such situations the victim will often wonder what she has done to precipitate the assault and will blame herself). In marital rape the circumstances are very different. It is – quite apart from a physical and sexual violation – a betrayal of trust. Here is a person whom you thought you knew intimately, with whom you share a history, a home and quite often children. Here is a person whom you have made love to on a frequent basis often over many years, with whom you have shared your most intimate secrets and fears, and whom you believe to love you, want the best for you, who would never intentionally hurt you. Marital rape is so destructive because it betrays the fundamental basis of the marital relationship, because it questions every understanding you have not only of your partner and the marriage, but of yourself. You end up feeling betrayed, humiliated and, above all, very confused.

Another problem victims of marital rape face is that such instances are rarely a one-off, but a repeated if not frequent occurrence. This can be a huge issue to the victim, because she will feel as though she has somehow ‘asked for it’ by staying or putting herself in the situation where it can happen again. Also, once it has been tolerated on a number of occasions, she may question her right to then act upon it.

The problem of defining marital rape as Rape

Many women who are victims of marital rape have great difficulty in defining it as such. The traditional idea that it is impossible for a man to rape his wife and that somehow, in taking our marriage vows we have abdicated any say over our own body and sexuality, basically denied ourselves the right to say ‘no’, is still prevalent amongst wives as much as amongst their husbands. A wife being raped will often question her right to refuse intercourse with her husband, and while she may realise that legally it now constitutes rape, there are many reasons which may prevent her from perceiving it in such a light.

We prefer to see it possibly as a communication problem (did I make it clear enough that I did not want intercourse tonight), we may see it as an act for which the man is not fully responsible due to his nature (men have a biological need to have sex and if there is a woman next to them in bed when they are in the mood they just cannot help it), we may see it as a misunderstanding (although I told him I didn’t want to, maybe I gave him the wrong signals somehow), we may have religious issues which question our right to refuse intercourse (I have got to submit myself to him and accept his will above mine as my Lord and Master).

Basically, as wives being raped by our husbands, we look for every reason, every excuse to deny it is Rape because we do not want to accept the alternative: it is Rape, he is hurting and humiliating us with intent, we can no longer trust him, turn to him in comfort, gain reassurance and protection from his company and our home is no longer safe.

To read this article in full and learn more about spousal rape, checkout this link. http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Articles/maritalrape.htm

To read a woman’s personal journey of restoration from marital rape, checkout this link http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Personal/raperecovery.htm

Submissive Wife vs Stepford Wife

I know many people think that submission is a four letter word. In today’s society, people think a woman is weak or spineless if she is submissive to her husband but that is further from the truth. People don’t have an understanding about what submission is and what the bible says about it. A godly submissive wife is not a Stepford wife like in the movie Stepford Wives. Here are the definitions of a submissive wife and a stepford wife.
 
A Stepford Wife is 1.) Used to describe a servile, compliant, submissive, spineless wife who happily does her husband’s bidding and serves his every whim dutifully. 2.) Can also be used to describe a wife who is cookie-cutter & bland in appearance and behavior. Subscribes to a popular look and dares not deviate from that look. This term is borrowed from the fictional suburb of Stepford, Connecticut in Ira Levin’s 1972 novel, The Stepford Wives, later made into movies (in 1975 and 2004). In the story, men of this seemingly ideal town have replaced their wives with attractive robotic dolls devoid of emotion or thought. Click the link below to read more about stepford wives. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stepford+wife
 
Main Entry: sub·mis·sion
 
Merriam-Webster defines submission as 1 a : a legal agreement to submit to the decision of arbitrators 2 : the condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant 3 : an act of submitting to the authority or control of another.
 
What does being submissive mean: A submissive wife has the inclination and attitude of willingness to yield to a husband’s authority and follow his leadership. She wants her husband to take the initiative in the family and she is glad when he takes responsibility and leads with love. But submission also says, “It grieves me when you venture into sinful acts and want to take me with you. You know I can’t do that. I have no desire to resist you. On the contrary, I flourish most when I can respond joyfully to your lead; but I can’t follow you into sin, as much as I love to honor your leadership in our marriage. Christ is my King.”
 

What the bible says about marriage and submission

Ephesians 5:22-33 (The Message)

22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

 25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

 29-33No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

After reading the definitions of both types of wives, the narratives and the Ephesians passage about submission, I believe the differences are quit clear. I am honored to submit to my husband because A) I know that I am pleasing God and following His word, B) I know that my husband lives to please God. He has the Holy Spirit on the inside of him and he would never purposely lead us in the wrong direction, C) Our home is peaceful because we understand what the bible says about marriage and we both know our roles in the family. Submission is not a bad thing, especially when you marry a man who has an intimate relationship with Christ, is not trying to control and dominate you, who is mature, kind, wise, prayerful and willing to seek God until he gets clear direction regarding the family’s business.

Even though I am a submissive wife, I do have a mind of my own and I freely voice my thoughts and ideas to my husband respectfully. I don’t spend every minute of each day waiting on my husband hand and foot BUT I do take pleasure in serving him and taking care of him. He also takes pleasure in making me happy and taking care of me. Marriage is a partnership, we’re a team.

What Does Submission Not Mean:
 
1. Agreeing with Him in Everything
2. Refusing to Make Choices at Odds with His Choices
3. Avoiding Every Effort to Change Her Husband
4. Putting Her Husband’s Will Before Christ’s Will
5. Getting Spiritual Strength From Her Husband
6. Acting Out Of Fear
 
 
 
Married women, I encourage you to read the bible and find out what the word says about you and your behavior towards your husband. Surround yourself with other women that love their husbands and cheerfully submit to them. If you are having difficulty with submitting to your husband, pray and seek God. Ask Him to give you peace, patience and the ability to be the wife that He called and created you to be. Submitting isn’t always easy but it is a must.
  
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Why Did I Get Married

 I know lots of people have seen the movies Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too. I saw both movies and thought they were entertaining. I can’t say they changed my life or taught me things about marriage that I hadn’t already heard before. The movies did stress the importance of forgiveness, communication, fidelity, honesty etc. I thought both movies had good messages.

When I ask myself why did I get married, the answers were pretty simple. I wanted to get married because I wanted companionship. I wanted a man of God who was faithful, loving and hard-working and fun. A man who I could share my life with and raise godly children with. I wanted to have a marriage that represented Christ and was an example to others. I wanted a wonderful husband to go to bed with each night and wake up next to each morning. I wanted to get married to a man who would make me better and a man who I would make better. These a few of the my reasons.

It always confuses me when I see married couples who act like their still single. In those situations I ask myself, what was the point of them getting married? If people are going to live like they are roommates who occasionally have sex, why did they get married? Some married folk don’t want to share their time, money, career, ministry, body etc with their spouse. They want to have separate friends and separate lives. The problem is, most people don’t understand what marriage is all about when they say I Do!

Marriage is about becoming one. It’s no longer about whats yours and mine, its ours. We need to share and collaborate and be a team. We are in this together, sink or swim, good times and bad. We are to love, cherish, respect, honor, submit, serve, give, give, and give some more to one another. If you don’t want to do these things PLEASE DONT GET MARRIED!!!

Our church and many other churches provide premarital classes or counseling for their congregation and those in the community. It’s really important that all couples seek counseling BEFORE walking down that aisle and saying I Do! So many topics are explored in premarital classes and each topic is explored from a biblical perspective. We wanted to know what the bible said about marriage, sex, raising children, discipline children, in-laws, husband and wives responsibilities, etc. Our church, Word of Faith, does an awesome job of teaching what the bible says about everyday issues and how we can apply the word and walk out the scriptures in our everyday lives. Were all supposed to live according to the word and allow God into all areas of our lives. He is not just an on Sunday God. We need His guidance in all areas.

I’m so thankful that we had and have godly examples of strong marriages around us, the Bible as our guide and the teachings from our church and singles ministry about the purpose, joys and challenges of marriage. Too many people get married blindly for the wrong reasons and their marriages end quickly. Even Christians are getting divorced at an alarming rate these days.

Messages to Singles

I encourage single folk to ask themselves, why do I want to get married? Ask those around you that are saved and happily married about what they enjoy about marriage and what challenges they have faced. Pray and seek God about what needs to be changed and sharpened on the inside of you regarding your preparation for marriage. There are pros and cons to singlehood, married life and parenthood. Remember to be content in all stages of life and don’t let anything cause you to feel anxious about when your time will come. We must all remember that God knows best!!

Here are some secular quotes about marriage that I thought were sort of interesting. Any thoughts?

Quotes on Marriage from About.com

1) “A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendships, all the enjoyment of sense and reason – and indeed all the sweets of life. – Joseph Addison

2) I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make my marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.” – Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life

3) “Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom

4) Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” – Joanne Woodward

5) “We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” – Ellen Goodman

6) “Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.” – Samuel Johnson

7) “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.” – Goethe

8 “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.” – Don Fraser

9) “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin

http://honeymoons.about.com/cs/wordsofwisdom/a/marriagequotes.htm

Question: Married folk, what were the top 3 reasons why you got married? Single folk, why do you desire to get married?

What the bible says about marriage:

Ephesians 5:22-33

22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.