Friday, February 3, 2012

There speaks a man

Munson, a commenter at HUS, strikes an admirable example:
I don’t believe anyone, anyone, wants to “play” at having intercourse and relationships. I believe, as Kahlil Gibran said, that even when we search solely for pleasure, we find she has seven sisters, each more beautiful than pleasure. I wanted to bear witness that if you find that person, the one you will be with always, while you both will age, a part of you will stay 25 forever. And you’ll see that in them; yes, you’ll note the years and what they do in their passing, but you’ll also see them as they looked when you met them, that part will stay alive and you alive with that. Love can do that.

And it can do more. Last night my wife and I were returning home from getting Chinese food when my doctor called ; we pulled over, we had been waiting. The results of my CT scan were the worst possible news: metastasizing malignancies on my liver, from a yet undetermined source. Together we were confronted today with the implications of that. My wife and I have been of course crying and consoling today, but she has told me “I don’t care if we live in an apartment or a tent by the Boise River, all I need is you.” It doesn’t matter what I lose – my hair, my colon, my liver-I will never lose her, nor she me. The image I have of us is (a little corny) two rocky outcroppings joined together against the ocean; though wave after wave assail us, we’re still there. I hope each of you in this noisy point in your life finds that, finds someone who lives the vows of “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”
Best of luck to him in his upcoming battle. The remarkable thing is that despite the turn events have taken, it is clear that he regards himself as a lucky man. And the image he presents isn't corny at all, it is the epitome of the masculine marital ideal.


Anonymous said...

Munson probably didn't mean to say it, but he inadvertently revealed the one thing every individual needs to make a marriage work:

Commitment. The conscious decision to remain together and the will to see it through.

Neither chemistry, nor compatibility, nor fate, nor lust, nor sex, nor fun, nor experience, nor common desires, nor even love, will keep a man with a woman nor a woman with a man. Only a conscious commitment, decided on and renewed each day, will do that. If one cannot or will not do that, one's marriage will soon disintegrate.


Susan Walsh said...


I am so glad you shared Munson's comment. I was awestruck by the beauty of the prose, the sentiment, and as you've pointed out, his gratitude, not even two days after learning this terrible news.

Munson has asked to guest post, and I'm happy to provide the platform for anything he might wish to share. Stay tuned.


You are so right. Leaving is not an option. Trading up is not an option. Creating a living hell for someone else is not an option. The marriage must be immovable. Both parties must reaffirm this belief continually.

ROI said...

Wow, that is a sad but touching and awesome story.

And that is where I went wrong, dating and then marrying a girl from a broken home (4 times over, 2 for her mom, 2 for her dad) and she was never committed as she was always threatening to leave even before we were married. Sadly, I didn't know any of this stuff back then and thought I just needed to love her more. That that would fix her.

Oddly enough I had dumped multiple girls in the past for much lesser issues. Yup, I was dumb. She is starting to come around, but there is always that broken trust there, that she would be so willing to walk out because of some trivial issue.

Anonymous said...

This is what it looks like when a man and women bond sexualy, emotionally and spirtually. All three are needed. If you are to have marriage as it was intended you must have all three and you can't leave any of it out.

It is impossible to have a spirtual connection to a person you refuse to have a sexual connection with.

Anonymous said...

I have no words. I am so sorry for his illness, but he is blessed with life's greatest treasure: a wife, his companion, and she will never leave his side. Ever.

I say this as a man who is watching his marriage of 27 years disintegrate with no ability to change its course. I know very clearly how blessed he is, and I pray he will get better soon. A wife like that deserves a husband like him to be by her side for many years to come.

If anyone knows how to best survive and recover from being gutted, I am all ears.

Stickwick said...

What a lovely sentiment. Prayers of strength for Munson and his wife, to whom I wish all the best.

My husband and I are experiencing something similar, though not to the same degree. I was diagnosed with early stage cancer in November, and am still undergoing treatment. The most frustrating part is that it has put a (hopefully temporary) hitch in our plans to start our family. Prior to all this happening, I just assumed such a trial would put a severe strain on a marriage. Far from it. This experience has made a good marriage even better. It has shown me in no uncertain terms that I have my husband's unswerving love and commitment. I know exactly what Munson is talking about.

Anonymous said...


I've been quite curious about your take on Game for a while. Roissy says Game comes from some evolutionary source. I'm fairly certain you would disagree with that (though I never know for sure with your views).

Why does this man represent the male marital ideal for you? Where do you see the purpose and value of marriage coming from? Why should people get married? From where do you derive your answers to the above questions?

Quite curious about the answers...

SarahsDaughter said...

That was absolutely beautiful. "...two rocky outcroppings joined together against the ocean; though wave after wave assail us, we’re still there." - The two have become one.

Stickwick, I pray for you and your healing. You are such an inspiration in what you write. You will add this to the list of things your children will admire in you: brilliant, feminine, a wife of noble character, cancer survivor.

Stickwick said...

Thank you, SarahsDaughter. I'm honored that you think so. My prognosis is good, so we are very hopeful.

Munson's story brought to mind the love and dignity I see daily at the oncology center where I get my radiation treatments. The other patients are much older than I am, generally in their 60s, and many of them are accompanied by their spouses. The couples come in together every single day for weeks and weeks. Through all the ups and downs, they are so kind and gentle with one another. You know, it's tempting to get cynical about this world, but seeing such devotion just renews the spirit.

Charles said...

At anonymous: I am a man whose christian wife, a pastor's daughter, left for another man; breaking up an 18 year marriage to do this. I was one of those christian men brought up on the "servile leadership" model of husbanding; and it failed me.

My advice: before she gets competent legal counsel to help her harm you -- and harm you she will, despite anything you believe now about her. You will waste time if you try to comfort yourself in porn, alcohol. Pray daily for people in your fellowship -- if you are a believer -- who turn on you to harm you. Praying daily for them dissipates the harm that would come to you if you internalize these things.

Wendy said...

Prayers for you too, Stickwick.

Anonymous said...

My mother recently left her fourth husband after being together for less than a year. Eight months or so into the 'marriage' he was diagnosed and treated (surgery) for mouth and throat cancer, and she just wasn't willing to suffer(!?) the post-op rehabilitation and care period. Of course, rather than stick things out or even just admit her own weakness, the hamster spun up all manner of reasons why it was his fault - authoritativeness, emotional abuse, not full disclosure before marriage, etc. etc. etc.

Or so I am informed by family members.

Exhortations to honor one's parents notwithstanding, I have not spoken or had other contact with the woman in well over ten years. But I do keep in regular contact with and visit my never-remarried father, who is an honorable and truly Christian man in both word and deed.

SarahsDaughter said...

Sometimes the best way to honor one's parents is to learn what not to do and implement the opposite. Story of my life.

Anonymous said...


Ah, yes, the "servant leader" model. Lead her. Turn the other cheek. You must "love her as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her". This means, of course, you must put up with her bad behavior.

Funny how this never stresses the concomitant obligation upon the wife to FIRST submit to her husband and respect his leadership and decisions, thus obviating the bad behavior. She has an obligation to agree to her husband's leadership and dominance (much as the believer voluntarily submits to Christ's Lordship. Christ never forces Himself on anyone.). This never stresses that the wife also has obligations.

The servant leader model: The husband has all the obligations; the wife has none. He must lead her, tolerate her bad behavior, and provide for her despite that behavior. If the marriage is bad, it must be because HE is not leading her well enough. She is absolved of all responsibility.

I am sorry to hear this, Charles. This is one reason why Christendom gets a bad rap: "See! See!! The Christians are just as bad as nonbelievers!! So why believe?!"


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Cried my eyes out!

Anonymous said...


Your wife sounds like me about ten years ago. When you have so many people willing to walk out on you you have a very, very hard time trusting. The hardest to trust is the person that you love the most because that would kill you (you think).
If you are still married, pray. The only way that was healed in me was when I put my trust in God and not my Husband.

I love my Husband so much I literally thought my life would be over if he left me and because I had grown up with such horrible stuff I assumed he would. And I thought the only way to save myself was to leave first.

Don't give up. God can work. Pray hard because once she trusts God she will be committed to staying with you out of obedience to God. It won't matter if you are both human (and everyone is) the peace, the trust, the life will come from God.

Just wanted to give you hope. I am eternally grateful that my Husband stayed. He helped me heal. And I helped him in many areas.

I think that is the plan :)That in the END it was all worth it. Like giving birth to children :)


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