Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Click here to see List of Swedenborg's Writings

Inventory of Confessions

"A mere verbal confession that one is a sinner is not repentance." Swedenborg's TCR 516

    I husband, will circle the items that constitute my confession that I have been engaging in those lowly acts on a regular basis and that now I wish to stop, by first, recognizing my brutishness, and second, holding it in aversion for the sake of God and a heavenly life with my wife.  One way I can show my honest intention is to print this document, circle the items, and ask my wife to help me fill in what I left out.

    I also realize that it's not up to me to tell her to fill out a similar list for herself because our situations are not parallel, and for me to ask her to do that would be insulting her and thus contrary to the intent of this confession.

    TCR 535  When anyone is giving thought to any evil and intending it, he shall say to himself, "Although I am thinking about this and intending it, I will not do it because it is a sin." By this means the temptation injected from hell is checked, and its further entrance prevented. It is strange that anyone can find fault with another for his evil intentions, and say, "Do not do that because it is a sin," and yet find it difficult to say this to himself; but this is because the latter touches the will, but the former only the thought nearest to hearing.

    From True Christian Religion 555 by E. Swedenborg

    I also dedicate myself to keeping these lists up to date so that I will write all those additional items that do not yet appear, but of which I'm guilty.

  1. I upset her by raising a topic at the wrong time
  2. In our conversations, I initiate most of the topics
  3. When we talk, I pursue my perspective on the topic rather than hers
  4. When I get upset in our exchanges, I raise my voice and put on a mean face
  5. When I'm under stress, I don't mind taking it out on her
  6. When I'm very angry, my body assumes a threatening posture towards her
  7. When I feel that she is driving me nuts, I stay away from her
  8. When I think she is not paying attention, I punish her by making her feel bad
  9. When I feel nagged, I think it's OK not to answer her
  10. If in a discussion, I feel that she is getting irrational, I put her down in my mind
  11. If I get annoyed at her, I don't mind showing it
  12. I refuse to take responsibility for her feelings
  13. I criticize her when I feel she deserves it
  14. I hate it when she pouts because of something insignificant I did to her
  15. I hate it the way she keeps bugging me when I won't do something her way
  16. Sometimes I think she is a bit lazy
  17. I think she tends to deliberately exaggerate our difficulties
  18. I often think it's unfair the way she mostly wants things her way
  19. When things get impossible with her, I just walk off
  20. When I leave or come home, she wants me to make a big fuss over her, and I hate that
  21. When she has PMS, I try to stay out of her way
  22. I don't mind embarrassing her in public if she gets on my nerve
  23. When I drive, I don't tolerate her telling me how to
  24. I put my loyalty for our children ahead of my loyalty for her
  25. I show my impatience when I am shopping with her and I think she is taking too long
  26. When I get mad at her, I stay mad longer than one hour
  27. When I make her cry, I wait more than five minutes to come to her rescue
  28. I let weeks go by without making her dance with me even though I know she wants to
  29. I let days go by without giving her a shoulder and neck rub even though she would want one
  30. I let a whole day go by without giving her at least one kiss or hug
  31. I often change topics without satisfying her
  32. I frequently conveniently forget something I agreed to do
  33. I neglect her and exploit her in many different ways
  34. I betray her in my mind by ridiculing her, belittling her, saying No to her
  35. I try to keep certain information about myself from her so she won't be able to get to me by using it to pressure or fight me
  36. I retaliate when she's just doing her job pointing to my resistances and lack of cooperation
  37. I flatulate at my pleasure without consideration for her feelings or sensibilities
  38. I belch out loud in her presence without excusing myself, like a savage
  39. I expose her to my bad breath from poor oral hygiene
  40. I expose her to my body’s unpleasant acrid odors from sweating and not washing
  41. I often present my scratchy unshaven face to her knowing she doesn’t care for it
  42. I touch her with dirty finger nails
  43. I let my nose and ear hair grow until they show despite her protest about it
  44. I walk around the house in dirty shorts and sneakers not caring about her
  45. I leave my clothes lying around for her to pick up
  46. I never pick up after her, expecting her to do that
  47. I don't launder my dirty linen and often don't bother thanking her for doing it for me
  48. I am mostly oblivious to washing dirty dishes, leaving the kitchen chores to her
  49. I expect her to take care of the bills and criticize her if she makes a mistake or is late
  50. I don't call her when I'm late coming home, ignoring her fears and insecurity
  51. I neglect to express my appreciation for a thousand little kindnesses she does for me all day long
  52. I don't mind staring at other women when she is with me, and I don't hide it from her
  53. I stare at other women when she is not with me without trying to remind myself that my wife wouldn’t like that
  54. I'm not upset if I forget to do something I promised her, and I don't try to own up to my mistake and make her feel better about it
  55. I fail to give her dependable and regular orgasms due to my incompetence
  56. I fail to massage her body every day, though she likes it, needs it, and feels it as closeness
  57. I sometimes criticize her body parts
  58. I fail to play with her hair, though she told me many times she likes that and makes her feel secure
  59. I often fail to comment appropriately on her appearance, clothes, jewelry
  60. I sometimes criticize her looks
  61. I make her wait when she calls me to the meal table
  62. I make her late when she's anxious to get there on time
  63. I often enter a room where she is and do not acknowledge her presence
  64. I often show insufficient enthusiasm for her proposals, hints, plans
  65. I lie to her when I decide it's OK to do that
  66. I let her believe a lie sometimes to avoid an argument
  67. I don't laugh at her jokes
  68. I have not bothered to learn how to walk close with her without bumping into her
  69. I have not bothered to learn how to drive without making her anxious about my driving
  70. I have not bothered to learn how to find something at home without asking her (e.g., a light bulb, a battery, a clean bed sheet, a tax record, etc.)
  71. I have not bothered to learn how to buy her tampons without having to ask her the size
  72. I have not bothered to remember what her doctor's name is and what medicines she takes
  73. I don't feel responsible for running out of things at house parties--that's her problem
  74. I don't feel responsible for getting us to a social engagement on time
  75. I don't feel responsible for keeping up appropriate social appearances and do all the expected rituals like birthdays etc.--that's her job
  76. I don't feel responsible for planning and preparing for a party we throw.--that's her job
  77. I don't feel responsible for taking care of Christmas gifts.--that's her job
  78. I don't feel responsible for taking the cats to the vets for their shots, but I complain when she doesn't
  79. I make her responsible for overdrawing our checking account
  80. I don't feel responsible for taking our clothes to the cleaners
  81. I sometimes forget our anniversary date
  82. I often discount what she says and perceives, even though I know from the Doctrine of the Wife that she speaks and perceives from the Lord
  83. I raise my voice above hers to force her to relinquish her demand
  84. I am task-involved in discussing something with her, and pay no attention to how she feels during the discussion, simply ignoring her frustration and suffering
  85. I often ignore where a discussion was left off, so she gets the feeling it's hopeless because there is no cumulative progress--so she has to start from scratch each time
  86. I often forget things that are important to her that she doesn't want me to forget--but I act like I have forgotten anyway. Further, I don't act like my forgetting is a big deal and I act like she is a stickler or nag because she insists on it
  87. I don't try to find out what she thinks about many things because I don't make the effort to find out, so that she is left with the injurious feeling that I don't care about her and that I'm not interested in her
  88. I raise my voice at her and intimidate her physically (like throwing, banging, or hitting, etc.) so that she feels fear from me as if I were a stranger
  89. I criticize her, which makes her feel that I do not like her
  90. I don't always help her when she needs help, thus letting her figure it out for herself--which gives her the feeling of not having a friend
  91. I have sex with her without making up for my prior insults or quarrels--this makes her feel like a slut, but I act like it's not a big deal
  92. I use my male prerogatives to satisfy myself in sex without wanting to know or making the effort to find out, whether she has been satisfied. Also: acting incompetent in satisfying her due to my self-involvement or, self-limitations that I show no signs of wanting to get rid of
  93. I rebel against her desire to know my every move and don't tell her details about my schedule so she has to wonder where I am and when I'm coming home. And worse: sometimes lying about what I do or covering it up because I want to retain my independence or because I decided it's not her role to keep tabs on my comings and goings.
  94. I resent her for wanting to micro-manage my time or activities and going along with that resentment instead of fighting it as illegitimate and evil
  95. I involve myself with activities that exclude her automatically so she feels like her connection to me is broken, e.g., having lunch with an ex-girl friend; going to a bar with the boys and spending time there instead of coming home to her; spending a lot of time at some hobby in which she cannot participate or in which I don't want her to participate; etc.
  96. I embarrass her in public, or to her friends or company, or to the children; making a scene and spoiling the decorum and mood she wants to set or maintain
  97. I keep away from her at parties and gatherings, sticking with the boys or the men, avoiding the women's talk as abhorrent; or, if participating, then taking over and dominating the conversation or focus
  98. I don't mind letting a whole day go by without complementing her or her appearance or her work; taking her for granted, and making her feel that I'm taking her for granted instead of treating her like I think she is special
  99. I relentlessly pursue my topic, insisting on my opinion or judgment, suffocating her with my dominating power and rigidity and selfishness
  100. Sometimes I act like I don't want to have sex when she proposes it
  101. I refuse to give her veto power over what I want to wear, then embarrassing her by what I wear as if that decision is mine entirely
  102. I act disinterested in her aesthetic side so she ends up feeling neglected and needing friends who will give her attention
  103. I leave wet towels in the bathroom for her to pick up, like she were my slave, and then not acknowledging her charitable deed on my behalf
  104. I jab my fingers into my wife's ribs, and claim I'm just tickling, when really it's to make her flinch and struggle to pull away
  105. I procrastinate in self-destructive ways (e.g. not getting forms filled out by a deadline, not taking care of needed repairs), then act like she's responsible for the remedies to the situation (like rushing to the post office for me)
  106. (add your own)

All of us are born with a tendency to every kind of evil, and if we do not partially remove evils by repentance, we remain subject to them, and if so cannot be saved.  Swedenborg's TCR 520


Quoting from Swedenborg's Conjugial Love:

CL 55. To the above, I will add two Memorable Relations. First: A melody of the utmost sweetness was once heard from a heaven where wives together with virgins were singing a song, the sweetness of which was like the harmonious flowing forth of the affection of some love. Heavenly songs are nothing else than sonorous affections, that is, affections expressed and modified by sounds; for, as thoughts are expressed by speech, so affections are expressed by songs. Angels perceive the subject of the affection from the symmetry and flow of the melody. There were many spirits about me at the time, and from some of them I learned that they had heard that sweet melody and that it was the song of some lovely affection, the subject of which they did not know. For this reason they made various conjectures, but in vain. Some conjectured that the song was an expression of the affection of a bridegroom and bride when betrothed; some, that it expressed the affection of a bridegroom and bride when going to their wedding; and others, that it expressed the honey- moon love of husband and wife.

[2] An angel from heaven then appeared in their midst and said that they were singing the chaste love of the sex. But those standing around asked, "What is chaste love of the sex?" The angel answered: "It is the love of a man for a virgin or wife of beautiful form and becoming manners--a love free from any idea of lasciviousness--and the like love of a virgin or wife for a man." Saying this, the angel vanished. The singing continued, and because they then knew the subject of the affection it expressed, they heard it quite variously, each one according to the state of his love. Those who looked chastely upon women heard the song as something harmonious and sweet; but those who looked unchastely upon women heard it as inharmonious and sad, while those who looked upon women with loathing heard it as discordant and harsh.

[3] Then suddenly the plain on which they were standing was changed into a theater, and a voice was heard, saying, "Investigate this love." And suddenly spirits were present from various societies, and in their midst several angels in white. These angels then spoke, and they said: "In this spiritual world we have inquired into all kinds of love, not only into the love of a man towards a man and of a woman towards a woman, and into the reciprocal love of husband and wife, but also into the love of a man towards a woman and of a woman towards a man. Moreover, it has been granted us to pass through societies and make investigation, and thus far we have not found the general love of the sex to be chaste, except with those who from love truly conjugial are in continual potency, and these are in the highest heavens. It has also been granted us to perceive the influx of this love into the affections of our own hearts; and we clearly felt it to exceed in sweetness every other love except the love of two married partners whose hearts are one. But we beg you to inquire into this love, for to you it is new and unknown. By us in heaven it is called heavenly sweetness because it is pleasantness itself."

[4] When they then discussed the matter, those spoke first who could not think of chastity as pertaining to marriages. They said: "Who, when he sees a beautiful and lovely maiden or wife, is able so to restrain and purify from concupiscence the ideas of his thought as to love her beauty and yet in no way desire to taste it if permitted? Who is able to change the concupiscence innate in every man into such chastity--that is, into what is not himself-- and yet love? Can love of the sex, when entering by the eyes into the thoughts, stop at the face of a woman? Does it not instantly descend to her breast and beyond? The angels spoke empty words when they said that that love can be chaste and yet be the sweetest of all loves, and that it can exist only with husbands who are in love truly conjugial and thence in pre-eminent potency with their wives. When they see beautiful women, can they any more than others keep the ideas of their thoughts on high and hold them in the air, as it were, so that they do not descend and press on to that which makes that love?"

[5] After these, those spoke who were both in cold and in heat; in cold towards their wives and in heat towards the sex. They said: "What is chaste love of the sex? When chastity is added to it, is not love of the sex a contradiction? and what is the contradiction in the addition, other than a thing from which its predicate is removed? and that is not anything. How can chaste love of the sex be the sweetest of all loves when chastity deprives it of its sweetness? You all know wherein the sweetness of that love lies; if then the conjunctive idea associated with the love is banished, where and whence is its sweetness?" Other speakers then took up the matter and said, "We have been with the most beautiful women and felt no desire; therefore we know what chaste love of the sex is." But their companions, who knew their lewdness, answered: "You were then in a state of loathing of the sex from lack of potency, and this is not chaste love of the sex but is the last state of unchaste love.:

[6] Indignant at hearing these sentiments, the angels asked that those would speak who were standing on the right or at the south. These then said: "There is a love of man and man, and of woman and woman; and there is a love of a man for a woman and of a woman for a man. These three pairs of loves are entirely different from each other. The love of man and man is as the love of understanding and understanding; for man was created and thence born that he may become understanding. The love of woman and woman is as the love of affection and affection, the affection being the affection of the understanding of men; for woman was created and is born to become the love of man's understanding. These loves, that is, the love of man and man and of woman and woman, do not enter deeply into the breast but stand without and merely touch each other; thus they do not inwardly conjoin the two. Therefore, two men fight each other with an abundance of arguments like two athletes; and sometimes two women fight each other with an abundance of concupiscences, like two stage players fighting with their fists. But the love between man and woman is the love between the understanding and its affection, and this enters deeply and conjoins.

[7] Such conjunction is the love itself. Conjunction of minds and not at the same time of bodies, that is, the striving towards such conjunction alone, is a spiritual and thence a chaste love. This love exists only with those who are in love truly conjugial and from this in eminent potency; for, by reason of their chastity, they do not admit the influx of love from the body of any woman other than their wife; and, being in supereminent potency, they cannot but love the sex and at the same time hold in aversion what is unchaste. Hence they have a chaste love of the sex, and, regarded in itself, this is interior spiritual friendship which derives its sweetness from eminent but chaste potency. They have this eminent potency by reason of their total renunciation of whoredom; and because the wife only is loved, it is chaste. Now because with them that love does not partake of the flesh but only of the spirit, it is chaste; and because, at the same time, from an implanted inclination the woman's beauty enters into their mind, it is sweet."

[8] On hearing this, many of the bystanders put their hands to their ears, saying, "These utterances hurt our ears; the words you have spoken are empty nothings." They were unchaste. Then the singing from heaven was again heard, and now sweeter than before. But to the unchaste it grated so discordantly that, because of the harshness of the discord, they threw themselves out of the theater and fled, a few only remaining who from wisdom loved conjugial chastity.

Back to the Index of Swedenborgian Marriage Handbook for Husbands

Back to Glossary of Swedenborg Related Concepts
Back to Leon James Home Page
Swedenborg Home Page Hawaii
e-mail button

Source pages

Authors: Leon James &  Diane Nahl Webmaster: I.J. Thompson