"I Just Wish He Would Have An Affair!" (More on the Pursuit of Eros!)

You can find the article with the above title, written by Monique Honaman, HERE, and of course you can find many blog post by me on this subject on the FPL blog Just do a search for "Eros" or "marriage" or "affair."

Here's the response I left for Monique:

Thank you for posting this, Monique.
Not only do I have an "opinion" about this subject, I have written about it often on my blog, and talked about it in the work that I do as a psychotherapist and teacher.

"Eros" - that "in-love" feeling that makes everything in life feel so wonderful - is a very powerful emotional force, perhaps the most powerful force human beings can experience. But here's the thing - like all of the great forces of nature, we cannot really control it.

Most people accept the fact that we can fall in love, that Eros strikes unexpectedly, often when we aren't even consciously seeking it, often with a person we might not otherwise imagine ourselves being with. That's why we use the word "falling" when describing the phenomenon.

Yet, few are as equally willing to accept that we can fall out of love in the same way we fall in love - unexpectedly and for no apparent reason.

This unwillingness unfortunately causes people to stay in relationships that have long-since lost their passion - and you are right, Monique, that's bad for them and bad for the kids - or it leads to people breaking up badly, i.e. - cheating on your partner as a way of seeking Eros elsewhere.

Yes, we very much need to change the "'till death do us part" syndrome and trsut the forces of love-Eros-and-sex at both ends of the journey.
Thanks, Monique!
Peter Loffredo, LCSW


Shakamazar said...

As I understand it -We all CREATE our own reality- which means we are creating these experiences for a reason -nothing is random or coincidence and nothing is "taken" from us without our consent. If your explanation were true-"Unexpectedly and for no apparent reason" Wouldn't it stand to reason that the person in question is living an unconscious life - at best? It seems to describe an adult deep in denial about their own intentions and with little or no self-reflection and no sense of their own ability to make choices. I echo these words...Choice, choice, choice. Choices, we all have them, every moment of everyday, we make them unconsciously or consciously it's your choice.
If you were to release any judgement or guilt and just let yourself be OK with falling in or out of love- couldn't it then be OK to consider the fact that we have chosen to do so?

A2person said...

I recently had a lengthy dialogue with a friend and mentor of mine about this very subject. Married to his wife for over 20 years, he described to me a sort of cyclical process of falling in and falling-out of love. "While I always *love* my wife, I am not always in-love with her," was how he phrased it and he went on to describe the cycle in which the two of them continually fall in-love and fall out-of-love only to fall in-love once again, and how they have built their relationship by enduring, accepting and celebrating this overall cycle together. This approach suggests that people are perhaps too hasty to end a relationship when eros/in-loveness initially fades. Moreover, it suggests that a capacity for a long term partnership is the ability to respect and care for a person during those inevitable troughs of "out-of-loveness." I'm wondering if you had any comment on this approach. There is, on one end of the continuum, a 'staying-in-a-relationship-long-past-the-expiration-of-eros' problem; but are there not also problems of impatience, seeking instant gratification, and premature romantic endings at the firs sign of trouble? (Especially for us me-me-me, now-now-now Millennials, it’s challenging to discern the difference!)


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