This post is another about what Hal and Jenny Hunkle authors of ScreamFree Marriage (affiliate link) would call “Authentic Self-Representation” (ASR), and Dr. David Schnarch (affiliate link) would call “integrity.”

Often in marriage we’ll choose to accept the unacceptable in the name of peace all the while realizing that what we are really doing is showing a lack on integrity about our “true self.” In other words, instead of telling the low drive spouse that what they are offering is not acceptable we will gladly accept it enabling their low drive. As I’ve mentioned before the high drive, low drive dichotomy isn’t “just about sex” but it is in the sexual relationship that this dichotomy is likely to cause issues in many marriage particularly if you are married to a stubborn, immature, selfish, jerk. Why? Because if you are married to someone that is low drive in yard work, house work you can hire someone to do those jobs. If you are married to someone that is low drive for laundry then visit the dry cleaners. If you are married to someone that is low drive for cooking there are tons of tasty alternatives. However, if you are married to someone that is low drive in sex what moral alternatives are there? What is a suitable substitute for passionate sex with one’s spouse?

My dear wife lives with three men. Me, and my two sons. Frankly, I think I’ve improved quite a bit about picking up after myself, putting dishes away, etc. but I still have some things to work on to meet my wife’s standards for cleanliness and order. We’ve tried and tried with the boys but they are low drive for putting their dishes, laundry and just about anything else away (I guess we need to change how we relate to them about this issue). I’m high drive for washing clothes but I’m low drive for getting it folded and put away, so the boys come by that honestly and I need to do better to please my wife and to model better behavior for my sons (controlling myself). My wife has let me know that my lack of motivation to keep things clean and orderly to her standards is unacceptable and we’ve communicated that to our sons until we’re blue in the face. I credit my own improvement in the area of picking up after myself (more self control) to my wife’s fortitude in not accepting the unacceptable from me or our sons. Yes, we’re still working on meeting her not unreasonable standards but we’ve made some progress.

Are you gladly accepting unacceptable behavior in your marriage for the sake of peace? Where does person and marital growth come into the equation?

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