Let’s face the fact that fundamentalist Christianity in North America is basically a sex cult.

That’s Alyssa Wakefield’s conclusion in Part 2 of her story on the Bare Marriage podcast! Listen to last week’s episode, where she explains how she was groomed to obey her father and have an arranged marriage to a man she didn’t know, wasn’t attracted to, and was 10 years older than her. And how it ended up being abusive.

On today’s podcast  you’ll hear Alyssa share how she was raped on her wedding night, and how she had to let her husband use her body several times each day–even when she was sick. You’ll hear how even with 8 kids she had to have sex with him every Sunday before church, or he may be tempted to lust after the women in church who were all dressed up.

And you’ll hear Alyssa’s parents’ reactions when she wanted to get out and realized she was in trouble. Is it normal to want to die? Is it normal to be raped like this? “Oh, Alyssa, maybe you’re going through menopause. Oh, Alyssa, just submit more.”

This was riveting, and we need to hear her story (so similar to the Duggars!), because what’s scary is how mainstream this actually is. Yes, her story is extreme. But it’s a difference of degree, not a difference in kind. Our churches teach things on this spectrum, and it needs to stop.

So listen in!


Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

0:00 Preview and Context for today
2:45 Alyssa continues her story
5:15 The beginning of getting out
12:30 The truth shining through
19:00 Post marriage and healing
25:25 What happened when Alyssa divorced
30:55 Alyssa talks ‘modesty’
38:00 Is this just a sex cult?
40:20 Final thoughts on the theology
44:00 Interview with Sarah McDugal and the TraumaMamas app

I’m so grateful for Alyssa Wakefield!

She was so brave to tell this whole story. I gave her the choice to not use video, or to not use her real name, but she said that she wanted to reclaim her own story. For years she was presented at homeschooling conferences as the poster child for betrothals and courtships. There are videos of her story, as if it’s a fairytale.

But it was all a lie, and she was just saying what she was being told to say.

Last week and this week, Alyssa told her story the way she wanted to.

And if you have any words of encouragement for Alyssa, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure she gets them!

If you’re a mama leaving an abusive marriage, or you have friends who are, you need the TraumaMamas app!

My good friend Sarah McDugal created an awesome app for moms in trauma, mothering kids with trauma, trying to navigate leaving an abusive marriage and all that entails. Dealing with custody. Finding a  job. Finding a place to live. Talking with your biological family. Dealing with your children’s trauma. Dealing with your ex.

There’s a totally free version with a ton of resources, and you can pay a small amount for an upgrade and open up so much more.

Sarah tells us about it after Alyssa finishes her story, and I know there are moms in Alyssa’s situation who need this app! 


What if you don't need to control your kids and punish your kids to raise great kids?

Let's look at evidence-based parenting methods that WORK that bring life, rather than break our kids' spirits. Plus they're easier on you!

Join us for a FREE webinar June 21 with Wendy Snyder from Fresh Start Families. Start your new parenting journey!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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