Strength is a Turn-on
Keeping the heat and passion alive in a long-term love relationship is essential to its survival, and the lack of heat and passion is the common source of complaint among married couples. The quality of strength is a major component in succeeding at doing so. Simply put, strength is a turn on. It is our strengths which keep our partners interested and engaged. Strengths become an asset when they are not damaged by weaknesses or hurtfulness.
The trouble is that in a long-term relationship, partners’ faults, flaws and weaknesses become more of a focus, and are more a part of partners’ awareness than in the relationship’s beginning. In long-term relationships, since togetherness is challenged by experiencing someone over the long haul and the effect of a partner’s choices habits and behaviors is cumulative and is more likely to have a deleterious effect, as the fallibility and humanness of our partner is glaringly clear…no matter how successful that person my be in their professional life.
Just as in the newspaper where good news is unusual, it is the failures and problems which get attention. That is our challenges as partners, spouses and lovers; to make the effort so that our strengths are experienced by our loved one rather than our failings…and this is possible so long as our failings don’t cause pain to the other. It certainly is not about hiding our flaws, but of growing so areas of our weaknesses are transformed into areas of our strengths.
Strength alone is nothing without a characteristic to which it is applied. Yet each characteristic alone is worthy of admiration…but when put together with other strengths, becomes a turn-on, when we are experienced by our partner as a strong person. Such as strength of integrity, strength of humor, a strength of discipline, strength of nourishing, strength of love, strength of intellect, strength of kindness, strength of compassion, strength of health, strength of beauty, strength of ethics, of morals. Each of these is a likely turn-on for someone, especially when first getting to know someone. When combined with other characteristics, it can become strength of character…or experienced as a strong person.
Throughout the marathon that is a marriage being experienced as strong helps to maintain the attraction that your spouse has for you. If you notice that when anyone points out some kind of turn on, or an attraction, at its root is always some kind of strength that the other possesses. If we no longer get turned on by another, such as our spouse, it is certain that we are not experiencing our spouse as strong in an area of our relationship that is vital to us.
Remember when you first met your spouse? After that point that you were aware of the attraction, you began making the effort to display your strengths to that person…that is because we all instinctively know that strength is a turn on. Strength attracts. This fact needs to be acted upon during your long-term relationship, but well beyond first meeting a person by hoping to make a good first impression.
Andrew Aaron, LICSW 508-997-609 x106.