Are You Living your Passion?

Javier Bardem & Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love- but who sees Julia when there is Javier

For a few years now I’ve pondered issues of life after marriage, infidelity and its consequences, and the mythical changing wife. And I believe I’ve found the answer folks! Passion. Not in the bedroom, although that’s a welcome side effect.

Things sometimes change after marriage. Eagerness wanes, the giggles subside and life goes on. Before you realize it, monotony invites itself over (hopefully later rather than sooner) and stays. There are bills to pay, daily errands, to-do lists and – if you have kids – the world starts to revolve around your children. Eventually the individual is taken over by this group called family. If you are not aware, one day you will wake up and wonder what the hell happened to your life!

This theme is the basis of the phenomenally famous book, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (and the not-so-hot movie of the same name). Waking up one fine day and realizing ‘you’ has become ‘we’ and the milestone of marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be, then promptly leaving to re-find said ‘me’.

Both partners in a marriage can miss their ‘old’ selves, old friends and that freedom to explore any path without having to consider anyone else.

On an even deeper level I know that husbands also wonder what happened – especially to the sex!

Expectations can change after marriage and this may be especially so for women. Some invest their whole life in this union and in their husband, leaving little room for individuality. The day-to-day becomes your life and one day you ask yourself, “what is missing?” as you unconsciously munch on the last piece of chocolate cake.

This brings us to the next thread – infidelity. Yes, it’s horrible, unconscionable and devastating. We could go on about this for ages, but stop a second and think this aspect through. What are we looking for when we go outside our marriages to start a relationship or a successive string of one-night-stands? Is it love or is it something else? Think about that feeling of meeting someone new who thinks you are fabulous; think about the excitement and boiling blood. What keeps you enraptured even when you know what you’re doing is wrong?

Finally, the rumor of the changing wife: I call it a rumor to be safe when the bottles start to fly. But speaking from my own experience, I know my life and the lives of most of my girlfriends changed after we got married. I know because this is what we bemoan on our nights out. I also know this from my many conversations with married men.

The men wonder what happened to the love of their lives. What happened to the sparky, facety (Jamaican for rude), passionate, slightly lascivious, devil-may-care girlfriend they thought would be the perfect mate? Men, feel free to insert any description that was there before but now is gone.

This disappearance of self is the primary cause of women in their forties re-assessing their lives, with many opting to leave their marriage in search of what was lost.

I found a very interesting article about the way one woman’s life changed after her divorce. The change was so substantial she described the event as “libido liberating”. Her once-dead sex life was miraculously revived after her divorce. What changed for her and why?

The article I mentioned above sparked a loooong discussion with my friends on why some women feel so dead in a marriage, even to a perfectly good man. Their responses were quite insightful.

Some women felt their quest to be married was achieved on their wedding day, but then they were faced with ‘now what?’ Others felt they had to change in order to be a good wife and/or mother. Still others felt there was simply no room for them to be passionate about their own lives.

When I asked men about the possibility of a lack of passion, it hit the nail on the head. Some men said their wife used to be vibrant, ready to go anywhere and do anything, so full of drive and excitement. Now headaches and sexlessness pervaded their lives, making it easy for someone else “less burdened”, more exciting and curvaceous to tempt them. In short, the wife became boring and miserable.

The woman who went through a divorce in the afore mentioned article revived her life through a revival of passion. Her adventure and daring returned and her actively seeking out her life on her own excited her. That is what passion for life is all about.

In considering the need for passion both partners need to understand that their lives are still an expression of themselves rather than an appendage of the lives of their significant other. You cannot expect your life partner to be your everything, especially since you were by yourself, before marriage, living your life. For example, expecting them to be your entertainment, your storybook ending and your decision maker. It sets up a lot of room for unnecessary disappointment, especially if your partner doesn’t even know how much store you place in their every breath – he/she is only human.

All three of the areas, life after marriage, infidelity, and the changing wife/husband may boil down to one thing – a lack of passion. Passion revives the life after marriage. Passion invites your inner seductress and wanton behavior back into your bedroom. Passion brings back the love you have for yourself and the life you choose to live.

Passion may be found in little as well as big things, like buying roses for yourself just because, writing a blog or changing your career to something you can jump out of bed for. Now this is the recipe for success, not just from the standpoint of your marriage, but for the success of you, the person, not to mention achieving true happiness.

If you’ve found yourself asking the questions brought up here, the next step should be for you to revive your passion/s or find some new ones. Sit quietly and think about it – it’s your life. Why go through a harrowing divorce if you can achieve the same end within the marriage? What you’re looking for may be inside you rather than in Bali – although it is nice this time of year.

The quest for passion in our lives is a universal truth. Often times it is what is missing when you are unconsciously and aimlessly wandering through your day. So find it and grab it with both hands. Passion for life, passion for love, passion in love, passion for self and who you are.

10 thoughts on “Are You Living your Passion?

  1. Another excellent and insightful post, Dr. Tammy. It provides much food for thought and I certainly can agree with your assessments and how many men and women feel about marriage. I suppose I understand your conclusion that rather than leave a marriage or look to another man/or woman to fulfill something that is missing your marriage to find some passion in some other activity to fill in that passion. However, I guess I am saddened because it also seems to suggest that there may be no hope in reviving a marriage where the two parties are too busy or no longer interested in each other. I guess I am an optimist and would think that there are other things that the couple can do to spark it again.

    This week, I posted on my Facebook wall a link to a story about a 7 Day sex challenge for married couples. While certainly getting busy for a week wont necessarily save a failing marriage but it could do wonders for rejuvinating some lost passion among couples.

    Reading your post had me feeling blessed to have my husband of 11 years who I’ve been with for 17 and grateful that we’re still into each other just as much if not more than when we first met. If anything, thanks for an inspirational post.

    I still feel saddened by it somehow. Not sure why.

    • Jeneba, this post is about finding your passion in yourself. I find too many of us look outside and are constantly disappointed without knowing why. The “thing” that is palpably missing is inevitably you. I think your marriage is a great example of two people who still have the passion for their own lives as individuals as well as in a relationship with kids! remarkable and awesome. But there are others who would do well to consider that their lives are still an expression of themselves rather than the “other”. So many expectations are placed in your partner that should really be placed in yourself. You cannot expect your husband to be your everything, its unreasonable in my opinion, especially since you were by yourself before marriage, living your life. For example, expecting him to be your entertainment, your storybook ending, your decision maker. It sets up a lot of room for unnecessary disappointment especially if he doesn’t even know how much you place in his every breath- he/she is only human.
      The post is about rejuvenation of self so don’t be sad. Hopefully people will take stock of whats important now.

      • Aaaah. Okay. That is a perspective I had not thought about, but I agree, there are a lot of women (and men) out there who expect their spouses to satisfy their every need and wants. I guess I am spoiled or shall I say blessed to not be in that situation. And with that, I think this needs to be seen elsewhere. I would make it more clear in the intro and ending this point that you just stated here. If it wasn’t apparent to me, it may not be to other readers.

        I read a very long winded post the other day that took forever to get to the point and took so many twists and turns and unrelated tangents that I was annoyed. It was good for me to read that though because as a writer, it was a reminder for me to stay short, sweet and to the point in my own writing.

        I am guilty of meandering and doing “stream of consciousness” ranting in my writing. I need to do a better job at self-editing and asking myself, does this line or this point really advance the story at all for the reader? And if the answer is no, tweak it or delete it.


  2. Thought provoking as usual, Tammy. I wonder though whether at times the issue is not so much the absence of passion altogether from a marriage, but the absence of passion in some aspects of the marriage. The routine and rigour of life does, I think impose a measure of monotony, because so much energy has to be invested in simply maintaining key fundamentals like income-earning, looking after children, etc. I wonder also whether instead of combating routine, it is easier to incorporate “passion” into marriage, for example, by scheduled “date nights” and the like….just my two cents!

    • Hey Hilaire, good to have you back! I find that when we are passionate about our lives we will attract passion in our marriage. Yes there is everyday living but there is also everyday things that delight! Think about it this way- if you were to die tomorrow or get horribly sick suddenly, what would you like that last day to be like. It doesn’t have to be bucket list-ish but being delighted is a good thing and if you welcome opportunities for joy, wouldn’t it be great in your marriage?

  3. A well written, thought provoking piece, filled with insightful observations and just plain common sense. You delved into the reasons why marriages and relationships become stale and eventually die. Some relationships are like a job you go to only because you receive a salary, there is no enthusiasm, no passion. Reminds me of that Earth Wind and Fire song “After The Love Has Gone”

    • Hi Charles, Thank you for the compliment! I found this answer over the course of a few years even though at times it was right in front of me. Magazine articles talk about it but only from the point of view of sex and passion through sex. I suppose thats what sells but I felt there is more to it than that. Sex therapists do not talk about individual passion but more about passion in sex as well and psychotherapists spend so much time trying to conflict resolve that the very question of “are you enjoying your life” never gets asked. A poor sex- life is just one symptoms of how you feel about yourself and your life.

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