Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
-Ephesians 5:21, NIV
My ex was into dancing and clubbing. She was far more extroverted than I was. Plus, having played football on a college campus for four years, I had my fill of booze-fueled socializing from my undergraduate days. It did not interest me then all that much, and certainly, it did not interest me after graduating.
A point of contention between us happened to be this difference on dancing, drinking, and clubbing. I was less than interested in engaging in such a lifestyle, and I realize in retrospect that it was highly unhealthy for our marriage for her to have engaged in that world as much as she did in the last years we were married.
I know from talking and communicating with others that this is not an uncommon area of difference between faithful spouses and their cheaters.
Da Tango Fiasco
Let me be clear: I am not opposed morally to dancing in general. In fact, I did swing dancing as a single before meeting my first wife. It was very enjoyable. I do not see dancing as inherently sinful.
That said, I was highly uncomfortable with my (now) ex engaging in Tango dancing lessons without me. I pretty much green-lighted any other dancing lessons but expressed that I wasn’t comfortable with that type of lessons with my (now) ex. The reason behind my discomfort with Tango was over how it is a dance designed to be a sexual expression between the partners as I understand it.
Now, I understand some couples might be fine with it, but it was a line that bothered me because of this understanding. I did not want a strange man (or men) engaging in a sexually-charged dance with my wife while I was not even present!
Like setting any boundary with a cheater, this upset her. Furthermore, she nearly immediately enrolled in Tango lessons when she moved out from our home.
This came up with the Christian lay counselors we were seeing. I will never forget how they responded. They tried to frame it as my ex merely doing this to get “exercise.”
These blind guides missed the big F@*# YOU! message my ex was sending me by choosing this particular dance over all others.
They did not call out the contempt that action signaled. Instead, they facilitated it encouraging my (now) ex to treat my concerns as crazy objections and thereby my feelings as completely unimportant. That mutual submission piece went out the door on this one.
Looking back, I can see how I could have better framed my objection over the matter focusing how it made me feel rather than telling her not to do something. I am older and more mature than I was in that moment. However, I also see how that whole fiasco was indicative of the heart level issues in the now defunct marriage.
When one partner completely disregards the other’s feelings on a matter treating those with utter contempt, the marriage will not last for long, IMO.