Making Your Desire Authentic by Wanting It Desire comes in many forms, but in order to truly want something in your marriage you must first choose to have it. Here’s how. BY WENDY STRGAR
Wanting to be intimate is a courageous act.
“ Over the years, I came to understand desire as a courageous form of wanting.”
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. ~ Dr. Seuss
Sexual desire issues are an integral part of long-term relationships. In the 26 years of my own marriage, I have visited all sides of the desire fence. Whether it was wanting intimacy more than my spouse, not feeling wanted enough by my him or not wanting him or intimacy at all, each machination was painful and created ripples of injury throughout our entire marriage. The potential for rejection got to be so painful that not asking at all became the discomfort zone we lived in. At the time, I didn’t understand all the meaning I attributed to our desire issues; I only knew the shame and dwindling self-worth that felt suffocating each time we broached the topic.
Over the years, I came to understand desire as a courageous form of wanting. It takes real courage to want in an intimate relationship because at the root of wanting is a willingness to feel deprivation. This is why wanting someone or something can be so powerfully motivating. Wanting and desire are perhaps our most powerful trajectory of self-fulfillment. When our desires spring from our best selves, it means we are confident in knowing we don’t need to have everything we want, while ensuring trust in ourselves that what we do want will be fulfilling enough to choose it.
Not all desire is created equal and sometimes it can often hold our spouse and our relationship hostage. Healthy desire is not possessive and jealous. It doesn’t seek to control and change your spouse—it comes from a true longing for the other person just as they are.
In my early 20s, I didn’t have enough of myself to risk this kind of wanting. I needed to be needed more than I wanted to be wanted. This is one side of the classic dilemma that plays out in some form in most early marriages. It’s often met by the other partner who doesn’t want to want. Instead of actively choosing their relationship, they are drawn into circumstances where someone wants them more so they don’t have to risk longing or rejection.
Many couples never find their way out of this desire conundrum and miss the simple yet essential step that makes desire truly authentic. Perhaps the most critical aspect of wanting something is having the guts to choose it. Making deliberate choices are the building blocks of self-creation. The act requires giving up all the other possibilities and committing to a direction. Many relationships struggle and wither because one or both partners are unable to choose. When I think of the metamorphosis in my own marriage, the simple act of choosing was the most pivotal moment.
Desire that comes from conscious choice is potent. It carries the potential of real forgiveness, which allows the present to be different from the past. Passionate desire cannot be forced or manipulated, but instead is a byproduct of free choice. This was the doorway to healing in my own relationship. Coming back to my desire without the fears and shame that had long been associated with it was one of the most liberating and courageous choices I ever made. We get better at desire as we age, and as we do the work that comes with learning to want and choose, it becomes the basis of a successful marriage.
Wendy Strgar is the founder of GoodCleanLove.com, which provides products and advice for sustainable love. If you have questions about products or toys send them in and Wendy will be happy to share her knowledge. When visiting the website, use coupon code NEWSITE08, to enjoy a new year 15 percent discount. You can follow Wendy on Google+.