Robert D Pemberton

A beginning


January 2016

To the Women in my life

I’ve met several women who, when their husband asked for Marriage, they were saying “No no no no no!” on the inside, and said “yes.”

The No’s were all their valid worries – about character, strength, etc. Not just fear of the unknown – but a valid tangible fear of the known. Can I really live with this? But many women find the fear of disappointing someone is overpowering. Can you say no? It would crush his soul and break his heart!2014-01-21 00.08.24

A few posts I read about this, along with a friends post about feminism, cultural immodesty coupled with shaming women who nurse in public brought all these thoughts to the forefront.

All of this culminated in a discussion at the dinner table with 8 of my 10 children. The other two are semi-permanently not there – a topic for another time.

We discussed confidence in women. How to say no to something coming down the road by deciding now. We discussed addictions: chemical, food, behaviors, etc. We talked about how all strengths come with a weakness.

The following is my own philosophy on the idea that all strengths have inherent weakness. The focus here, is on how women’s strengths can undermine them.

The strength of women comes in their nurturing. They give service.
Imagine if all women had a strong “NO” for service and nurturing? What would it be like? All those hours kids need tutoring: help with school projects, advice on friends, discovering interests, etc. What if Mommy-nature said “no” to these bids for nurturing? You don’t want to disappoint them. Your empathy moves you. Your compassion motivates you. Its more than sympathy. You ache with their aches…so of course you will sacrifice. You will teach. You will stay up in the night holding the baby so she can sleep – and you won’t. You will do the hard thing you don’t want to do…swallow your “No” and say “Yes.”

So it becomes part of the nature of a woman who is willing to be a mommy. You contemplate it, know it is work, swallow your “No” and say “yes”. And the kids are forever grateful for it. Husbands worth their salt are also grateful and express this as often as they can.

But this compassion becomes a weakness when someone else, to whom you really owe no allegiance, makes a bid for your time. Mommy brain contemplates it, decides its not really an outcome you want, forms a No and then you see that look…and the look is real. Sometimes feigned, but rejection for men is real. Very real. The empathy kicks in. The compassion. You feel their rejection for them. You feel it as if it was you.

If you add in the natural need for security, support and companionship, then it drives harder. If the bid for attention is coupled with any kind of possibility for romance or relationships it takes on another whole level. What can giving in to the bid for a kiss give you? Is it that for a moment the feeling of being appreciated, needed and adored? If he does things just to get what he wants – and your heart can feel the difference – then you’ll get burned.

Or is there really no chemistry and a kiss is truly stolen solely out of sympathy?

The need for human intimacy is real. Its real for women too – just for subtly different reasons. But without the dedicated commitment of a good person who is willing to go the distance, a kiss is the door to getting badly burned. But don’t give up by giving in to feeling bad about it.

This is why Men need to learn to be Gentlemen. We’re different. We’re focused, logic oriented and objective driven. We’re not emotional (illogical, as we might put it), and its ok for us to be different. We typically aren’t driven by empathy, compassion and nurturing – some of us are, but not typically. We universally lament our inability to understand women. But there are things, handed down by good Fathers, that should help. The trick isn’t to understand every thought and action. Thats like making sense of every wave and gust of wind. No, the trick is to try and feel the motion of the water, the level of the tide and the phase of the moon – metaphorically speaking. Understanding her shifting moods and fickle needs is part of life. Love her for it. Laugh it off. What does she have to put up with you?

It used to be that you didn’t touch a woman unless she invited you in – that’s what my Father taught me. You didn’t even look beyond noticing her as a person. “A woman is like a rose. You will always notice they’re beautiful.” But noticing doesn’t justify contemplating acts or touching.

A Gentleman will not take advantage of a Woman’s need for companionship and nurturing. He won’t use his larger frame, physical strength or assertive nature to coerce her.

He won’t play games.
He won’t say he needs no strings attached affection.
He won’t ask for a kiss from a woman he is not committed to. To do so is almost cruel, if you understand her nature. He knows what a kiss means.

While women tend to carry around water – nurturing, healing, life giving.
Men carry around fire. It’s persistent, hot, greedy and consumes. Logically he knows this – if he’s an adult then he’s dealt with it for years – maybe a decade or two. Unlike women, he’ll carry it his whole life.

The kiss is ignition of fire. He hopes to ignite her flame…all very normal and natural. This is why a gentleman doesn’t do it – not with a woman he hasn’t committed and sworn to give his life to. Too many boys think they are men and have the right to the affections of a woman – but the moment her water is bringing new life out of his flame, the boy wants to run…he laments his responsibility and she is devastated. The Gentleman never put her in that position in the first place.

What does a Gentleman do? How do you know?
– If he’s willing to build a castle around you, so you can nurture in safety
– Put food on your table so you can succor your babies
– adorn you with robes worthy of -your station – Mother, Wife, Friend

Then he is showing outward signs of that commitment.

It takes more than this to make a Good man.
– If he allows you your emotional outbursts, your mood changing like the tide and
– your fickle whims.
Then he is showing inward signs of commitment. He may be a Man worthy of your attention – and maybe that kiss.



A Mother’s Love

These thoughts. These feelings. These words. THIS is why we hang on so long. So long passed the day we know we should have left. Passing the days without hope. Our children’s innocence and security hangs in the balance. Their availability in our lives – before we split them into two households – is so necessary for them to thrive.

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