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Creating Long-Term Passion

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Creating Long-Term Passion

I believe in passionate marriages, even as more and more books come out in support of the idea that monogamy is nothing but a political structure, I beg to differ.  Done right, making love to the same person for decades can be an exploration of depth and surprise that is literally mind blowing.  I know this is not the norm in our culture but I also feel it is important to bear witness to the wonder of love that works.

I love David Schnarch’s evolving treatise on this topic because it looks at the hard work of relating in a realistic and straightforward approach.  Unlike many writer/therapists he uses the couples who don’t succeed as role models as much as those who do.  What’s more, is that he is able to do that without judgment. His approach which he has coined Crucible Therapy is different from conventional therapy in that it emphasizes individual personal growth  rather than communication skills or compromise/ negotiation as the goal of therapy.

He calls relationships “people growing machines” and this he believes is what makes a relationship passionate over time.   He builds the foundation of  his newest book,  Intimacy and Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship around what he calls the Four Points of Balance in a relationship.  All of the dynamics in the relationship from its daily functioning to it’s sexual capacity is based on the couple’s ability to successfully differentiate from each other.

The first point of balance in intimate relationships is the development of the Solid Flexible self.  He defines this quality as the ability to be clear about who you are and what you’re about, especially in the face of someone else demanding you conform to their expectations.  This is where real independence is born,  when each partner in the couple has the clarity and courage to be themselves and not  be giving up themselves or what they love for the other person. This tendency in couples of becoming more like each other is actually what kills the passion in a long term relationship.  Allowing real differences to live between you is where passion is born.

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Read more: Ask the Loveologist, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Relationships, Sex, Spirit

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


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11:05AM PDT on Jun 27, 2015

Remaining monogamous and supporting the relationship respectfully and with joy is a CHOICE one has to make every single day. If you choose not to do that, they you will not succeed, but that's not because the concept doesn't work. It's because you two chose not to work at it.

6:54AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

love is hard work to make it last is even harder but if it is worth having it is wworth working for

5:06PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Hear, hear!

11:38AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Thanks so much for sharing! I think a fair amount of work goes into long-term relationships - there are so many couples out there who are together for all the wrong reasons, which often leads to one or the other person being heartbroken. True relationships take time and hard work...

7:21PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

There has to be COMMUNICATION AND COMPROMISE on both sides.Each cannot remain on opposite ends in thinking,they have to come together somewhere in the middle--otherwise,it will be quite distant........even in sex,there's COMPROMISE--unless,you're assaulted!

11:30AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Thanks for bringing that book to our attention. When one is presented with such simple and logical truths, and if one sticks to them, it makes partnership more workable.

4:39AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

I'm not sure why dr. Schanrch is appearing so recurrently lately here. Although this story was passable, the adio interview and other article were not of my liking at all: someone who speaks of "normal marital sadism", says communication deters personal growth and yet insists to grow you must negotiate (how without communicating, I wonder?) has a too different perspective of what a natural relationship is to my own.
Thanks Tom Mccurry for suggesting alternative readings.
Bernadette P. said it for me: a marriage (as any relationship) requires a daily contribution of love and work to it. And for it to really work, the contribution can not be unilateral.

3:44AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Interesting article. I'll add the book to my "to-read" list. Thanks !

10:37PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

relationship needs effort wen you build the foundation....and once that is based, relationship becomes effortless

2:26PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

love the one you're with; unless they are antisocially disordered, there is always a lot in there that's lovable, as you continue to love what's inside of yourself at the same time---its unending discovery.

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