The Madonna Whore Complex & Its Impact on Marriage


There are many types of men in the world and their sexual preferences vary wildly. There is one niche, however, that has been prevalent through the ages. It’s the sexual complex that Tony Soprano was arguably afflicted with. This is the Madonna Whore Complex.

In this article, we’re going to delve into the Madonna Whore Complex. We’ll find out exactly just what it means. As well as look into what are the causes of it, and most importantly, the effect it can have on a marriage or relationship.

Defining the Madonna Whore complex

The Madonna-Whore complex is a term that finds its way in the psychoanalytic
literature. Coined by Sigmund Freud – the founder of psychoanalysis, it is something that is still present today. Helen Singer identifies it as the following:

“The inability to maintain sexual arousal within a committed, loving relationship”.

What is meant by this is that some men are able to see women only in two ways –
the first kind is the sexual type of woman, while the second is the pure and “good” girl
that they have to marry. For them, a woman can never be both.

This is not to suggest that the people who have this psychological complex are not sexually attracted to the first type of women. Quite the opposite – they find them beautiful and share an extreme attraction and desire to have a sexual encounter with them. But at the same time would never respect them enough to marry them. Because in their view they are impure and not worthy enough to earn the title “wife” who would give birth to their children.

The Madonna Whore Complex & Its Impact on Marriage

What they would consider as a wife is the exact opposite. Usually, it is a woman, usually not interested in sex, who is willing to do all the stereotypical for the gender things such as give birth, raise kids, cook, clean and be a good and pure housewife without any dirty back thoughts.

What role does the Madonna Whore Complex play in a marriage?

Aside from being extremely misogynistic, such a black or white kind of situation can be extremely damaging. Particularly for the marriage of the person who shares this view. When putting asexuality aside, no person in the world can suppress their sexuality and desire forever.

The Madonna Whore Complex & Its Impact on Marriage

It might work for a while, but in most cases, sexual repression would lead to extreme personal stress. Or worse in the case of infidelity. This is true not only for the person who shares this view but also for the woman who is perceived as a “Madonna”.

Just like men, women have sexual desires as well. If they do not get their needs satisfied by their husbands, they might be tempted after some time to look for that somewhere else.

Even if it is possible, it is rather rare that women are okay with being perceived as the virgin Mary. As in a woman whose main role in life is nothing more than being a good housewife for her husband.

The role of Culture and Religion in Madonna Whore Syndrome

The Madonna-Whore Complex is especially present in some cultures or religions
where sex before marriage is forbidden. In a case where a girl has sex before she
gets married, she is automatically labeled as a “whore”.

Back in the olden days, this was the reality for almost all women, regardless of their culture or religion. People were forced to accept the idea that a woman who is sexual is automatically dirty and shameless. Sex was nothing but an act to make babies.

The Madonna Whore Complex & Its Impact on Marriage

Therefore, taking pleasure out of it was perceived as a very shameful act. However, as sad as it is, this type of attitude still persists today. Some people are still unable to realize that a woman can be both. As in a good mother and wife, who is also sexually active.

Some parents continue to raise their children with the idea that a “good” and a “pure” woman is the one who is uncomfortable with sexuality or nudity and is extremely modest. They argue that this is the only way how a woman can show self-respect.

On the contrary, if she shows signs of promiscuous behavior, she loses her self-
respect and subsequently the respect from the society. She is no longer viewed as worthy of being a wife. This way of thinking is very prominent in very traditional and Christian families. Where traditionally sexuality is neglected and not to be spoken of.

Men with this complex are so focused on finding the perfect and pure wife with who
to have the perfect marriage that they forget the true meaning of life – happiness.
Unless you are asexual, which is totally okay, marrying a person who does not share
your sexual desire leads to a feeling of void and unfulfillment. You cannot help but
feel that something is missing, so you eventually end up feeling bitter, divorced or stuck in an unhappy marriage.

Sex as Key for a Happy Marriage

The truth is that having a good sexual relationship with your partner is one of the main factors that lead to a happy marriage. The study carried out by Galinsky and Waite shows that sexual activity in a relationship leads to higher marital satisfaction. This is because sexual activity serves as the mediator between physical health and marital quality.

The Madonna Whore Complex & Its Impact on Marriage

This is precisely the reason why men who have the Madonna-Whore complex are
way more likely to end up in an unhappy marriage. They connect femininity with
purity and forget that a woman is not as simple as they perceive her in their minds.

Related Articles to the Madonna Whore Complex

They refuse to see her as someone they would have sex with just for the sake of satisfying their sexual desire. After a time, this leads them to feel sexually frustrated
and unhappy.

However, in conclusion, the following sentence should not be forgotten. A woman can be both – a good wife who has self-respect and who also happens to be sexually active.

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