Psychology of Love: Marriage and Sex – Excerpts 4 and 5
4. Time Keeper of Love
According to psychologist Elaine Hatfield, there are two basic types of love, compassionate and passionate love. Compassionate love is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust.
Compassionate love develops out of feelings of mutual understanding and shared respect for one another. Passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction and taking risks. I think perhaps this would be Liz Taylor and Richard Burton; or Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The passionate of us only hold onto to love from six to thirty months. Ideally, most of us want our passionate love to lead to compassionate love which lasts longer but it seldom does. Love is hungry for forgiveness, faithfulness, hugs and kisses, mutual respect, kindness, and longevity.
Taking love for granted only leads to undernourished souls who become bored and anxious to move on. When couples and loved ones grow intellectually and emotionally apart, “splitsville” is inevitable.
From Mark Twain’s book titled, Following the Equator, “We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there.” There is great wisdom in loving others. There is also great wisdom in getting dumped. I often look back at my past years, again and again, trying to find the one moment in time when I settled for loving rather than being loved.
I finally came to the conclusion that those like me are chosen to devote our lives to doing the impossible. We know we have a choice but we still dance to the melody of “If you can’t be with the one you love, and then love the one you’re with.” We should be given credit for the courage it takes to give more love than we receive.
No one has the right to say what is and is not a valid love or romantic relationship. Only you can be the judge of that. Based on the value of your relationship, love has many forms and many faces and all are special.
Everyone knows that more than fifty percent of all marriages fail. I’ve heard comedians say everybody has the right to be miserable in marriage referring to the same gender love affairs.
I can understand the biblical rejections to same gender unions. But I have also read that homosexuality is found in over 450 species; but homophobia is found only in one.
“To understand is to forgive, even ourselves,” says Alexander Chase. So, whether a couple is made up of two women, two men, or a man and a woman, or some other mention it shouldn’t matter to others. Marriage is about love and forgiveness, not gender or sexual orientation.
It is our diversity that makes the world a fascinating-go-around. Carrie Underwood, a popular songstress said, “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I definitely think we should all have the right to love publicly the people that we want to love.”
5 – Slippery Libidos
Chances are if you have lost communication in the bedroom, you have probably lost touch in other aspects of your life. Even Freud originally defined libido as a lust for life not lust for sex. In a silvery blend of our hopes, dreams and fears are written our trials and errors in determining who we are and who we want to bed. Our Sexuality is a big part of who we are whether we want to accept it or not. You cannot learn to romance others by reading books, taking notes and/or memorizing techniques.
It is about getting to know ourselves, paying attention to what feels good, and then following our intuitions wherever that may lead. Who do you long for? Do you know why? There are many of us acting like cats, quick to coitus but slow to monogamy. When the moon shines and all the clubs are alive with music, body language will take you by the hand.
All of us can make their sexual experiences both more fulfilling and more pleasurable. Good sex can open up many doors we never knew closed. Sometimes all we need is a gentle push to open up and share our feelings with others whether they respond or not. It is like cleaning of heart. In all cases, you have got to give yourself permission to be sexual. Nothing could be healthier when partners are truly and joyously connected in every way.
Of course, being asexual is not the same as celibacy, nor does it equate to being uninterested in sexual relationships altogether. We can’t help who we love. We can’t love who we want.
Any form of celibacy for different periods of two weeks, a month or a year, allows us to explore ourselves outside the eyes of another. All of us have to face the fact that we are living in such a sex-crazy society. Discovery Fitness & Health tells us that, “People who have a good sex life feel better mentally and physically.”
From a practical standpoint, there’s less time for quality sex and intimacy. I’m not going to write about HIV the disease that has taken so many by surprise after sexual relations. That is a whole book in itself.
There are specific sexual drawbacks to loving as we get older. These include sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular conditions, arthritis and rheumatism, and a host of other problems. Statistics tell us that “adults on average, have sex about 61 times per year, or slightly more than once a week,” according to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center.
Marital status and age are key influences in sexual satisfaction. It is true monogamy is constraining and seemingly impossible due to our DNA. Jerry Springer has shown us there is a lot of fighting over who-beds-who? Many on his show illicit sex very indiscriminately. The problem being, once trust is broken, it can be forgiven but never forgotten. Maybe, faithfulness should be contracted and strictly enforced or even prosecuted.
Stephany Alexander, relationship expert says, according to an adultery poll of over 5,000 women, where 52% or more said that adultery should be prosecuted in courts. In early 2007 an Arizona court prosecuted two married adulterers for the first time in over 30 years.
Gloria Steinem, the well-known feminist says, “Power can be taken, but not given; the process of the taking is empowerment in itself. What defines us is the courage and confidence to take control quietly or loudly.” Statistics tell us that most of us experience at least five long relationships in our lifetime.
But statistics also tell us that an astounding 40 percent of women in this country experience no or very low sexual desire. In some cases, low libido has clear medical causes; but in other cases, the decline or absence of sexual desire stems from a combination of emotional and physiological cases. If you have ever been victimized or traumatized sexually, it’s important that you receive the help you need.
The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists is a trusted source for finding a therapist or counselor in your area who will help you work through any kind of trauma or abuse.
I will admit my earthen body still yearns to be held again with or without the hot anticipation of his sex. I like to fanaticize turning back the clock and guiding once familiar lovers to my secret places. I am a woman cloaked in love not less nobly than any other. I desire to be irresistibly desired to assure myself that “I am a woman.” It is true, I am wounded from underprivileged beginnings and unfulfilled dreams.
Whatever your love status, it is true, “God gave us two ears to hear, two eyes to see and two hands to hold. But why do you suppose God gives us only one heart? Could it be because he wants to humble us into perpetually searching for our one true love?