Throwing Stones and Gnawing Bones

For those who don’t know, I am running these sites with just enough technical skill to accidentally keep them functional.

Every once in a while, I discover emails and messages in my back office that apparently are absorbed into the system by osmosis or magic. I have no idea where they came from, and occasionally, how to respond.

On today’s adventure of poking around back there to verify new email subscribers, I found a few nice ones.

Most of them go one of three ways.

“Hi, I am a spammer who wants to embed some inappropriate advertising into your site.”

Or…

“I found your site recently and it has been so helpful.”

And my favorite…

“You arrogant jerk! Blah, blah, blah. Bible reference. Blah, blah, blah. Here’s why you’re wrong. Blah, blah, blah. Stupid henpecked idiot…” And so on.

I pretty much quit responding to that last type after wasting months going back and forth with a few knuckleheads. For a while, I was asking the same question to each. “How does your wife feel about it?” I would ask them to bring the wife into the conversation before we continued. So far, nobody has stepped up to that one.

Except one guy. Then he aggravated her so bad she gave up.

Two big issues are missed when these guys attack me and my ideas.

First off, their attacks are not giving the impression that have any degree of humility. It is possible that we are all a little off. There are things I know today that I didn’t know yesterday. I might have had an opinion, or even a belief, but now I have facts. I learned something new and made a positive change by learning to listen. Humility can admit it doesn’t know everything and instigate conversation without hostility.

Yeah. I know. Crazy idea. Right?

Eight years ago I would have argued with me, too. I was wrapped around fragile ideas, random theology, and twisted ideas of what marriage was supposed to be about. Trying to change my ideas and beliefs resembled trying to wrestle an old soup bone from a dog.

The only safe way to do that is to offer the dog something better. A freshly grilled pork chop will wash away those desperate desires for a dry bone. Traditional marriage ideas had become a dry bone to me. I couldn’t get any nourishment from them and the effort left me worse than before.

Understanding this marriage thing from my “fresh grilled” perspective kept us alive. Thanks again to Joel and Kathy Davisson for helping me past that. They faced off with this old dog and made it happen.

The other big issue these guys are not considering is my almost-infinite compassion for folks fighting the same demons we did. I am trying to help, at my own expense, to teach you guys a few things that saved my family.

If I was the (insert derogatory insult) that they think I am, why aren’t those comments visible? I am the site administrator here. I will always have the ability to get the last word.

But, lucky for them, I made a decision several years ago that I would not publish comments, names or email addresses of the guys who attack or insult me. So far, I am pretty sure they are all closed or deleted. I think that’s called “covering” someone.

How funny would it be to have a woman reading along and suddenly her husband’s name pops up with an abundance or reasons why he is superior to her? Even funnier if they were teachers, pastors, or marriage counselors who were allowed to vent their angst into my blog and really show off what they think they know.

One of the last ones almost crossed the line. I even showed my wife the entire conversation. I told her that if he made one more attempt to “educate” me, I would publish the entire conversation. He just demonstrated too many of the recurring delusional concepts about marriage that continue to oppress women, all by himself. It would have been very educational. Fortunately for him, it ended before I made him famous.

I am wide open to conversations. Maybe you have relevant information, maybe you just have a confused opinion. Either way, we can talk. Maybe you can teach me something, maybe I have something that you need. We will never know if you turn defensive and fight for that old soup bone.

In Georgia, we had this amusing phrase. “If you throw a rock at a pack of dogs, the one that barks is the one you hit.”

Pretty simple. If the challenges on this site, the 21 Days book, or the Better Man book trigger something in you, think about why. Maybe it just hit you square in that hard head. Maybe you are the exact guy who it was meant for. If God and the bible are as solid as we think, I don’t believe either will crumble under truth. Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Let the dark ages go.

Maybe something struck a nerve with a concept you feel passionate about or have more experience than I do. Great. Let’s hear about it. Maybe it triggered anger or made you flare up with the need to set me straight. Don’t care. We can exchange ideas and walk away smarter. Or, you can come out swinging and lose my interest.

Do it enough and I can just turn you over to the readers who get it and let them correct you. Some of us actually care about growing and moving forward. You might turn that mediocre marriage into something amazing, if you are willing to listen and think.

I don’t invest countless hours and pay for this site just to be a jerk. I am voluntarily submitting my mistakes and failures to help you guys avoid the pain I caused my own family, and myself. We are all still learning. We have not arrived. The journey is not over.

Feel free to register for my email updates and maybe send me a message. You can also comment on any of these posts. I just get to moderate which ones go public.

Use the signup form up top and I will email you my latest tirades as soon as they are available. If not this one, the next might be just for you.

Thanks for letting me rant.

M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.

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