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Friday, May 23, 2008

I Less Than Three My Wife

I've always thought that the cheesy, I ♥ My Wife, Promise Keepers' bumper sticker was a freaking lame attempt at convincing oneself that their love life doesn't suck. What changes between the time a couple is having mad, passionate, freaky dorm room college sex, and married "I look like hell because I've been at work all day and my job sucks and if I don't get laid this week I'm going to go postal" sex? Sure, circumstances change and most of the time those circumstances change us so much that we can completely lose focus of each other and our once passionate romance.This leaves a couple held together by only superficial business arrangements, like debt repayment and housing arrangements.

I don't want to live my life like that and I don't understand why anyone else would want to either. Perhaps that's why men cheat. Men are animals when it comes to sex, so the biological element of reproductive desire is a relevant motive. But, there is also a need among men to be the rock on which a woman depends, and the object of her desire. Most ordinary men don't really want to be playboys. The just have a genuine psychological need to have one woman that will swoon at their touch or hold on tight after sex.

Some women may have cliché, "white knight" fantasies about men. Male fantasies aren't much different, only more explicit, more animal. There may be more subtext apparent in romance novels than Letters to Penthouse, but I think that's because men are prone to pragmatism. Women want to know why the cowboy has the milkmaid in the woodshed. Men just want to be the cowboy. The desire is reciprocal, and if shared, mutually beneficial.

So, if our deepest desires are evident on the pages of mainstream romance novels and role-playing porn, why is it so damn hard to bring that romance into a marriage? I don't understand. At what point did we lose sight of that goal of a romantic relationship? Our fantasies don't change, so why then do they cease being a priority? Our lives have become so cluttered with selfishness and consumerism, bad habits and vices that we start to ignore the things that could bring true fulfillment to our lives.

Fear, is another emotion that destroys our ability to romanticize our relationships. Fear, specifically a fear of failure, sensationalizes risk. By closing ourselves off, making ourselves less vulnerable, being dishonest with ourselves and our mates about what are true desires are, we mitigate that risk. We keep ourselves safe from the pain of rejection and humiliation that comes with being sexually shut down. I will admit, it is immensely more devastating for me to get shut down by the woman I love than it was to get rejected a stranger in public when I was single.

Some people will say that they just want to love and be loved. I want to desire and be desired. I want to romance and be romanced. I love my wife, but I know she needs more than that. We can be better together, I'm certain of it. The desire is part of us and so we shouldn't ignore it, repress it, or sabotage it. We should do things to explore our desire for one another, and in doing so become closer to each other.

I want to be her white knight. That doesn't work when I'm so caught up in my own distresses, because I'm not available to rescue (for lack of a better term) her from hers. I think the goal need to be moved from mere marriage (arrangement) survival to a goal of romance and unbridled passion and romance. This means, of course, that I'll have to stop playing it safe or being self absorbed, and start learning how to be the object of my woman's desire.

FYI: The title comes from the txt slang: I<3U