Insuring Desire

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 thirty years of my own marriage I have visited all sides of the desire fence. Whether it was wanting intimacy more than my partner and not feeling wanted by my partner or not wanting my partner or intimacy at all, each machination was painful and created ripples of injury to our entire relationship. 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 didnít understand all the meaning that 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 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 is perhaps our most powerful trajectory of self -fulfillment. When our desires spring from our best selves, it means that you have enough of your self to feel the lack of not having what you want and it means that you trust that acquiring what you want will be fulfilling enough to choose it.

Not all desire is created equal. When our longing comes from our weakness and is driven by a deep internal lack, it can often hold our partner and our relationship hostage. †Healthy desire is not possessive and jealous.† It doesnít seek to control and change your partner, it comes from a true longing for the other person, just as they are. In my early twenties, I didnít 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 developing relationships.

It is often met with the other partner who doesnít want to want. Instead of actively choosing their relationship, they are drawn into circumstances where someone wants them more so they donít 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 hadnít been able to choose. †When I think of the metamorphosis in my own marriage, choosing was the 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, it is a by-product 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 have ever made. We get better at desire as we age and do the work that comes with learning to want.

Insuring Your Love
Love Redeems




Hanna Barney
Hanna Barney5 years ago

love is more than just sex drive. true it can come out of it, but do not confuse sex desire and love desire. there is a huge diference. sure, sex desire can have a profound effect on love desire and vice versa, but they are different. sex desire is physical, love desire is emotional/mental. insuring sex desire doesnt mean insuring love desire.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

The title of this article is Insuring Desire and there is no way to do that. All problems with relationships seem to have sexual desire at the root. And when you think about it, what else is there? Why do men and women couple in the first place? When I was in my twenties I didn't like sex, I associated it with pain, and I didn't care about being desired either because I WAS desired. I was "wanted" but I didn't want to be "wanted" then. Only after I wasn't wanted anymore did I suddenly desire to be wanted. Does that make sense? I settled for men who were in love with me (I guess) but I wasn't in love with them (and I didn't know any better) and therefore I never knew what good sex was. After my divorce I met a hot young dude and fell madly in love and discovered sexual excitement for the first time in my life. If was all about MY desire for him, I got to "choose" for the first time in my life, I wasn't "chosen". The crash of losing my heart's desire was the most devastating thing I ever experienced. But I agree that sexual desire is the root cause of relationship problems and cause a lot of unhappiness. Sex is healing and if there is no sex then the people are just friends and companions.

Chad A.
Chad A5 years ago

Desire problems in my relationships (other than short-term health and stress things) have always been related to deeper relationship issues that have gone away when they are faced and worked out.

Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

This is half true for me... I think some people need to claim their desire and others need to stop pushing false desire and own up to their honest needs and feelings.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Clementine, sex drive is the ONLY reason men and women get
together in the first place. Sexual desire in turn causes love
and the reason that drive is born into us is procreation, survival of the species. The hormones that cause the sex drive diminish with age and have to be replaced if people want to
maintain it. And you have to be with the right person as well.

Ferrell Bullock
Ferrell B6 years ago


Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


Clemente S.
Clemente S6 years ago

I always thought that if you truly love somebody, you will let go of him/her, otherwise you love yourself more than him/her. I always thought that there still need to certain extend a fair amount of selfishness and possessiveness in order to longing for someone for such a long time. Its easier to let go then to hold on to something as there is no responsibility that guarantees you can treat him/her better than without you.

Anyway, I think perhaps at the beginning, sex drive can maintain the relationship for a while, after people got old, there is less a market to remarry if divorced, hence it is better to stay together, also we prefer our children not to have single parents, hence reasons to hold on to a relationship, and if we can understand the consequences, we might treat our relationship with more respect, as after all, we are in a long haul, might as well make our lives easier along the way ....