James T. Horning © 2014
Note: The following article is largely excerpted from the book WINNING AT THE GAME OF WIFE by James T. Horning.
What is desire? Desire is a strong feeling of wanting. It’s the hope, wish and expectation for something that is just out of your grasp. If desire is the wanting of something you don’t have, can you desire what you already have? This might just be one of the most paradoxical questions of our time.
We all have inherent needs for love, companionship and security. The desire to fill these needs compels us to engage in long term relationships with the opposite sex. We all also share the needs to experience adventure, excitement and anticipation. The desire to experience the fulfillment of these needs also leads us to engage with our polar opposites. Once we become addicted to the emotions of being in love which include love, acceptance, security, excitement, and anticipation, we do we have to do to “secure” the experience. We get married. After we’re married and the cupid chemicals wear off, we’re often left with security but diminished desire. What happened?
Well, a whole lot of things probably happened. You started putting more focus into your career. You started having children. You incurred liabilities that mounted pressure on your shoulders. You pursued the American Dream which generally requires you to prioritize everything ahead of your personal growth and relationships. The rose colored glasses you used to wear were replaced with brown tinted glasses. Your perspective changed.
The old cliche that opposites attract is oh so true. So what happens? Why does a man and woman (total opposites) fall in love and then get frustrated with their differences, fight over their differences and often get divorced over their differences? The answer is simple. They don’t realize that their differences i.e. problems, are actually blessings in disguise and evidence that they are probably perfectly compatible. They don’t understand, appreciate, embrace, and nurture their polarity. By polarity, I mean the inherent differences between a man and woman.
A big problem however is that in today’s two-income-family model, it’s difficult to have polarity when he and she are both career oriented, take turns with the kids, meals, dishes etc. In this scenario, polarity is lost because the lines between traditional roles in the household have become blurred. The blurring of the lines between sexes is epidemic. Women are wearing pant suits to the office in traditionally masculine roles while men are staying at home and going to yoga. The ugly truth of the matter is that women’s and men’s natures support traditional roles and not so much contemporary roles. As this article is not a treatise on human nature, I am speaking in generalizations of course. History, anthropology, social studies and current surveys prove this. Men, generally speaking, are attracted to women who exhibit feminine qualities and features. They want a woman that looks healthy and fertile with an hourglass figure. Am I right? Men prefer a woman that makes them feel manly; a woman that they feel like they can protect and be a hero for. In contrast, most women want a man that they perceive can provide for them, take care of them and protect them. They want a guy that appears tall, strong and capable. They want a man that makes them feel like a woman. Women like men who see what they want and go after it. Am I stereotyping men and women? Most certainly. But, don’t get me wrong. I think by now you know that I’m 110% in support of equality of the sexes and I honor women above all else in this world. A woman with a mustache should make just as much money as a man with a mustache. Don’t you agree? It’s just hard for there to be any passion in a marriage when she’s spent the day litigating a wrongful death case and you’ve spent the day in the operating room. I don’t think I’m off base here, do you?
Can you desire what you already have? The answer is really in the value you place on the object of your desire. If you continue to treat that which you have desired as if it is highly valuable and worthy of your focus, attention and desire, then you will continue to desire it. If you pursue your mate as if they are worthy of your pursuit and requiring your pursuit, desire will accompany your quest. Can you desire the man or woman that you already have? What makes you think that you have them?