Few fires burn hotter than the one kindled by lovers. For lovers whose history includes the inevitable wounds brought on by misunderstanding, poor judgment, and inattention, the fire of passion is a mixed experience. The compelling desire to connect can be matched by the equally compelling need for self-protection. Caught up in this intense push-pull, couples are torn by opposing needs and desires. It's as if they were two burn victims trying to make love. Their hearts draw them to each other but the experience of pain when touched brings an immediate withdrawing response.
Both sides of this dilemma deserve all the attention they can get. Any attempt to deny the validity of either the desire or the pain will only result in a skewed picture of the whole. Some say arriving at this this dilemma is precisely the point of a committed relationship--that a committed relationship is the only thing that offers the crucible necessary to resolve the paradox of desire and pain.
Few experiences test the strength of a relationship crucible like the intensity of desire and pain brought together. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It does, however, appear that successful resolution is almost always characterized by courage, patience, compassion and respect.
Jake Thiessen, PhD
I've been working with couples for a very long time. And, I love it! This blog is my attempt to communicate some of the things I've learned over the past 40 years.