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Robertson Tells Man to Divorce His Wife for Lack of Sex

If Pat Robertson didn’t own the 700 Club, he would have been fired long before now. And I really can’t imagine why he still lets himself answer viewer questions because he continually embarrasses his co-workers with his answers. His latest is telling a man that he should divorce his wife because she doesn’t have enough sex with him and it might be because she was molested as a child.

Comments

  1. Seth says

    Robertson’s speculating inappropriately, but it sounds like he’s *trying* to say that the two of them should seek marriage counseling to see if they can reconcile their sexual incompatibility *instead* of getting a divorce (he says ‘technically, you have grounds for divorce, BUT…’) The offensive nature of this ‘advice’ was that he seemed to blame the woman for having a different sex drive than the man (and made some wild speculation about her reasons for having a lower sex drive), not that he planted the idea that divorce was a possible outcome of sexual incompatibility.

    Sexual compatibility is very important in an intimate partnership, and if the two (or more) partners have irreconcilable sexual differences, they should honestly consider some kind of separation. There is nothing disgusting nor appalling about that; the disgust comes when one partner (typically a woman) is forced to have more or less sex than she’s comfortable having in the name of saving the relationship. Indeed, spousal rape is one of the primary reasons that divorce should be legal, safe, and as frequent as necessary.

  2. Alverant says

    I can’t/won’t watch the video, but how often is too often. Maybe the guy is just being greedy and expects/demands his knob be polished daily or has some other unreasonable demand. I agree if their sexual differences aren’t reconcilable the couple should split, but compromise has to come from both sides (and we all know which side Robertson expects to do all the compromising).

  3. D. C. Sessions says

    No, I won’t watch it. I can’t afford to replace this monitor and the keyboard is already a spare.

    However — did anyone catch a hint of how old this couple is? Because, frankly, there are a whole bunch of age-related issues that can play into sexual relations as couples get older. Among others, when men start to realize that they’re not 20-something any more a lot of them try to overcompensate by increasing their sexual expectations. Or, of course, trying to prove their declining virility by shopping (if only in fantasy) for a trophy wife.

    Speaking personally: after being together for decades and being past 60, there are a Hell of a lot of things that matter more than sex in a relationship. At least, if it’s a good one to begin with.

  4. Sastra says

    I watched the video and think Seth #2 may be right. The situation is that the couple has been married a few years, has only had sex a ‘handful’ of times, the wife flirts with the husband all the time but won’t or can’t continue. If you take the extraneous religious crap out of it Robertson’s basic advice is that it sounds like the woman has some sort of internal conflict or problem and they ought to get counseling. And frankly, if this doesn’t work divorce might be a realistic option.

    Would he give different advice if it was a woman complaining about her husband? I don’t know. Maybe not.

  5. idahogie says

    Seth @ #2 is right.

    Your headline is very misleading … bordering on dishonest. Robertson is a buffoon, and anyone writing to him for marital advice is just asking for trouble. However, Robertson most definitely DID NOT tell the guy to divorce his wife.

  6. scenario says

    This is one of those issues that’s a minefield on far left social justice websites. IMO if the difference is great like partner A wants sex once a day and partner B once a year, it can be a serious issue in the relationship. If there are other issues, it may be best to separate. Both sides should discuss this issue openly.

    On a different social justice website, I said that people in an intimate relationship should discuss this type of issue. I was told in no uncertain terms that if the person with the greater sexual desire even tried to discuss it they were pressuring their partner for sex. Pressuring a partner for sex is rape. The partner with the greater desire should just shut up and make no indication that they are unhappy. Even a sigh or an unhappy look when a partner says no to sex is the moral equivalent to rape.

  7. Seth says

    There are lots of potential ways to reconcile sexual incompatibility, including reassessing the value of sex in the relationship, such as potentially “opening it up” for one or both partners to get the amount and kinds of sex that they need without having to go through a nasty separation of an otherwise-fulfilling partnership, or for the partners involved to compromise to some kind of middle ground, or assessing where the discrepancy comes from (is it there from the beginning? Is it something that developed over months or years?).

    Ultimately, the answer is for partners and potential partners to have frank, open, honest discussions about sex and sexuality, their experiences, their desires, their expectations both as individuals and as partners. It sounds like the couple in the linked video did not do this before they got married, which was unfortunate and foolish of them, but very typical of conservative religious people (especially young people who are horny and think they need to get married to get off).

    If you have sexual hang-ups, if your partner wants more (or less) sex or different kinds of sex than you’re comfortable with, you need to be able to talk with them about it. If they will not entertain an open, honest discussion, you probably need to see a counsellor or some kind of therapist. If your partner won’t do *that*, then yes, it’s time to DTMFA.

  8. lorn says

    Pat Robertson: Living proof that God doesn’t talk to people, guide their hands, inform their opinions, provide wisdom.

  9. says

    I didn’t hear him advising divorce. As for grounds for divorce, some form of no-fault divorce is allowed in all fifty states, so if he was talking about legal grounds for divorce, it’s pretty much irrelevant. Legal annulment is a different matter, but I think that if the marriage has been consummated, the lack of sex subsequently isn’t grounds for a legal annulment.

    As for his comments and advice, one thing worth noting was the perception of the wife being seductive then rebuffing. IF this is indeed happening, there’s something to look into there. Lots of possibilities, but something pretty screwed up is going on. That’s if the husband’s perception is correct, which I’d never assume just on his brief say so. You’d have to work with both people to sort out what might be going on in that regard and to uncover the dynamics of seduction and refusal if it’s actually happening. Again, I could come up with a number of hypotheses, but Robertson’s speculation about etiology is off base. Something like that could be going on, but it’s far from the only possibility that might explain the behavior. I could come up with many hypotheses, but you need to explore it with the parties to the relationship to maybe determine what might be behind behavior of that kind.

    It is also possible that something is going on that couldn’t be sorted out, and divorce ultimately could be a reasonable course of action, but that’s far from the only possible resolution.

    I’ll credit Robertson for recognizing the need for professional help, but it may not be only the wife that should seek help. On one level it’s both who need help if one is unhappy, but there may be deeper more persistent underlying individual problems in play, and therapy might ultimately be most beneficial individually for one or the other party, but you can’t figure that out with just the information the husband provided in his question. I might advise him to begin by asking his wife if they could both go to counseling because he’s not happy and maybe they could figure out some changes that they both might need to make, for the sake of their relationship. I think Robertson’s emphasis on “her problem” is a poor way to respond with so little information at his disposal. It probably reflects his own groundless assumptions about marital challenges. But you don’t have to be religious or conservative to give misguided or unhelpful advice. Everyone brings family and folk theories of relationships into their adult lives and even therapists must be constantly on guard for the biases these theories bring to judgment of other people’s problems.

    As for whether people should push themselves to have sex? It all depends on why there’s a discrepancy in level of interest in sexual activity. Sometimes pressuring the other person or oneself is a bad course of action and sometimes it can be helpful. Again, you’ve got understand what’s happening to know what’s helpful. The assumption that such pressure always amounts to rape or some subspecies of rape is relationally idiotic and political formulation, not informed by the complexity and range of differences in dynamics of relationships and what actually can be helpful depending on the circumstances of the relationship. Likewise, the idea that its always right to pressure a partner or pressure oneself is an equally naive approach.

    Religious teachings and politics aren’t good guides to relational well-being. They address other interests and concerns that are often more about the believer than they are about sound approaches to the wide array of dynamics and individual differences that affect stability and satisfaction in relationships.

    Me: Northwestern Family Institute trained for couples therapy, some Gottman training, some sex therapy training with Domeena Renshaw (Google), trained in grad school family and marital and Northwestern divorce mediation training three years ago. I’ve been around the block personally and professionally and not flying by the seat of my pants on this subject.

  10. Artor says

    And I really can’t imagine why he still lets himself answer viewer questions because he continually embarrasses his co-workers with his answers.

    I would assume that immunity to embarrassment is a requirement for working under Robertson. And nobody except us ebil atheists ever tells Pat he’s fucked in the head. And what would be the point of owning something like the 700 Club if not to spout whatever gibberish comes to your senile, addled mind?

  11. neuroguy says

    @10:

    I was told in no uncertain terms that if the person with the greater sexual desire even tried to discuss it they were pressuring their partner for sex. Pressuring a partner for sex is rape. The partner with the greater desire should just shut up and make no indication that they are unhappy. Even a sigh or an unhappy look when a partner says no to sex is the moral equivalent to rape.

    And this is why sometimes so-called advocates for social justice are really full of shit and need to be told so in no uncertain terms, for they impede, rather than help, the cause of social justice. Fine, Partner A isn’t entitled to sex from Partner B. But Partner B is also not entitled to any sort of a relationship with Partner A, and he/she is also not entitled to his/her partner not seeking and getting sex elsewhere, and if Partner B makes it known that one or both will happen in the event Partner A fails to satisfy his/her needs, too bad.

  12. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    far left social justice websites.

    Ha!

    IMO if the difference is great like partner A wants sex once a day and partner B once a year, it can be a serious issue in the relationship. If there are other issues, it may be best to separate. Both sides should discuss this issue openly.

    Your opinion applies to any relationships you have. Individuals have every right to decide for themselves what their wishes are for sex in a relationship they’re involved in and how much importance they place on it.

    On a different social justice website, I said that people in an intimate relationship should discuss this type of issue. I was told in no uncertain terms that if the person with the greater sexual desire even tried to discuss it they were pressuring their partner for sex. Pressuring a partner for sex is rape. The partner with the greater desire should just shut up and make no indication that they are unhappy. Even a sigh or an unhappy look when a partner says no to sex is the moral equivalent to rape.

    Uh huh.

    Link please.

  13. scienceavenger says

    In my very unscientific personal experience it seems that women who were molested as children have greater, rather than lesser, sexual appetites. Either that or molestation is far more prevalent than I thought it was.

    It also seems to me that mouch sexual inhibition in American culture is both unhealthy and driven by religion, even if the person in question is not particularly religious themselves. Our culture is rivaled only by those in the Muslim world for sexually unhealthy attitudes, and I fear (re: #10 above) that some of those who rightly battle for more respect for women in our culture mistake unhealthy sexual prudishness for liberation. There’s a reason so many Bible-belt cities (like mine) are also titty-bar havens.

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