Back in April, I wrote a post which contained a piece that is known as The Shot Across The Bow. Written by a husband who was explaining how he addressed the sexual refusal situation that had developed in his marriage, I presented it as an example, a model, for husbands to use in confronting the gatekeeping/refusal issue in their marriage.
My good internet friend and fellow blogger, Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, told me that she has always had a negative reaction to the piece, and in the course of our colloquy, she explained why it affected her so. In yesterday’s post, she went into painful examination of her reasoning, and her reasoning was more than reasonable, and is the reason for this post. (Doncha just love English?)
I need to re-address Job29Man’s Shot Across The Bow, (naturally, with my customary tact and equanimity), so here goes. If you are a husband in a sexless marriage and are thinking of using something akin to Job’s Shot, then be sure to….
BE A MAN, AND NOT A TOOL!
Let me refresh everyone’s memory as to the core of The Shot, as to exactly it calls for and what it promises:
I’m going to tell you my negotiating position. I am totally committed to this marriage. I will never, ever leave you. That’s not the man I am. I am not threatening you with anything because I have no intention of following through on any kind of ultimatum that involves me leaving you. Just not gonna happen. If you and I come to NO agreement today you will still have me as your committed husband until the day one of us dies. ~ Job29Man, Shot Across The Bow
There are several promises in Job’s presentation that may or may not be used in another who chooses to use this or to adapt it. Job promises Sarah no ultimatums and that no matter what she does or does not do, he will never divorce or separate. Every man is different and needs to decide for himself what is his breakpoint, his dealbreaker. But one thing in this speech that is central to its presentation and is not a negotiable is integrity.
The Shot is intended to be nothing more than the breaking up of the logjam that is hindering the entire marriage relationship. It not a mechanism for “getting lucky with the little lady.” If, in reading my Addressing the Sexless Marriage series, you were thinking “This is something I can use to get in her pants,” then you are a total dick who doesn’t know squat about being a Lover to your wife! (See? Tact AND equanimity, right?)
Are You A Man Or A Weasel?
One thing I learned years ago was the importance of being someone whom others could trust, someone whom others know that integrity and honest dealing are your hallmarks. I realize that, today, we seem to put a lot of store in “wiggle room”, and being able to keep our options “open”. I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that that is bovine effluvia!
Whenever I hear someone try to parse out their previous statements, usually what comes to my mind is Bill Clinton saying, “Well, it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.” Guys, I’m sorry but that’s just crap, and if this is what you’re doing, you’re just serving up a big, old crap sandwich!
I see so many writers who are telling wives that they need to show their husbands respect, that they shouldn’t be saying things about their husbands to others, talking disrespectfully to them, etc. While I can say “Amen!” to those statements, I always want to add a little paragraph at the end of these articles that says “And men, be worthy of that respect!”
I’m telling you straight up, one of the quickest ways to piss away your wife’s respect is to use weasel words, parsing out how what you promised wasn’t what you meant, etc. If somehow you have failed to live up to your promise, then admit it. Apologize for failing to live up to your word, tell her you are recommitting to live by your promise and ask her to help you keep to it. And then live it.
Integrity is a great concept. It should be one of the top qualities of every Christian man. Someone should be able to look at you and whether they agree with you or not, have to say, “He walks in integrity.” Did I say “Christian man”? I need to apologize, because that’s not quite accurate. What I mean to say is that it should be one of the top qualities of every Christian, whether man OR woman.
My wife and I watch Longmire on Netflix. Set in Wyoming, it’s about a sheriff in a rural county near an Indian reservation. In one of the episodes, one of the characters, Henry Standing Bear, tells the sheriff about how Cheyenne warriors would fight. According to Henry, these warriors would take a length of rope and tie one end to a stake, and drive the stake into the ground. Then they would tie the other end of the rope to their leg, so that they could not retreat. They were making the statement that this was where they would win or die. “This far and no further.”
As I’ve tried to make clear, in several posts, the Shot Across The Bow is not a magic bullet, a panacea for a sexless marriage. All too often, it can mark the onset of Armageddon, and what will likely ensue is anger and argument. However, if you decide that you are going to change your marriage, for good or ill, and like Popeye, have reached the point where you say, “That’s all I can stands ‘cause I can’t stands no more”, then the Shot is for you. The End of Normal Life is for you. Like the Cheyenne rope, they are statements of “This far and no further.”
That said, be a man of integrity and follow through on your word. Your promises must be supported by your actions.
Don’t wait for delivering the Shot or End of Normal Life to start being a man of integrity. Start living in integrity now. If you need to, ask your wife where you have failed her, if you have any unkept promises between you.