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A Place to Rest
Peregrine John summed it up best on Jacquie’s blog comments recently:
We want to relax. We want to be open and honest. We want to have a safe haven in which struggle has no place, where we gain strength and rest instead of having it pulled from us. We want to stop being on guard all the time, and have a chance to simply be with someone who can understand our basic humanity without begrudging it. To stop fighting, to stop playing the game, just for a while.
We want to, so badly.
If we do, we soon are no longer able to.
This is a realization that men don’t make until they are in a ‘love relationship’ with a woman. For men this is (should be) the catalyst for maturing beyond that want for an idealized unconditional love. At that point they come full circle and understand that the conceptual love they’d hoped they could return to (or could be) with their mother doesn’t exist in the woman he’s ‘in love’ with, and ultimately, never really existed between he and his mother from his infancy to adulthood.
There is no rest, there is no respite or reprieve from performing, but so strong is the desire for that unconditional love assurance that men thought it prudent to write it into “traditional” marriage vows – ‘for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and obey, forsaking all others until death do you part’ – in other words, a pledge of unconditional love in spite of all circumstance. Those vows are a direct plea for insurances against a female hypergamy that would otherwise be unfettered were it not made in the context of being before God and man.