Relationships, Part 16: Desire and Power

Whomever has more desire has less power.

This is the case no matter what you desire. If you go to a used car lot and find a car you desire, the moment you communicate that desire to the salesman, the price goes up. Whoever holds the object of desire gets to set the terms.

We see this in couples when one partner has more sexual desire than the other. Which is always. The one who has more desire always ends up doing the initiating, getting turned down, has to make concessions, has to buy dinner.

We see this when one partner likes a clean house more than the other. Which is always. The one who has more desire for a clean house ends up doing the cleaning.

When you desire, you end up taking risks; no matter what it is that you desire. You have to meet the terms of the person who holds your desires. Desire makes you vulnerable. Desire makes you weak. Desire creates the conditions under which you grow.

If we could behave like cavemen and bonk our women over the head and drag them by the hair whenever we want sex, then we would have no need for poetry, wine, music, finely tailored suits, or French cooking. We would have no need to get along, make compromises, or care about each other. There would be no need for civilization if the person who had the desire had the power.

It’s difficult when you are the person who has the desire. It means you have to grow. You may have to write poems, order a bottle of wine, learn to play music, get a suit, or learn to cook. It means you have to make compromises and care.

Some people would rather not have desire. They’d rather have power. Some people are in a marriage, not because they desire their partner, but because their partner desires them. This way they don’t have to pick, they don’t have to compromise, they don’t have to take risks.

People who are more differentiated, or adult, are more free to have desires.

If you take responsibility for yourself, if you can stand on your own two feet and are secure in your own self worth, then you have little to fear from desiring your partner. You can take risks because rejection is not an ultimate rejection. You can make compromises because your integrity is still intact. You can bargain because you have less to lose.

You don’t have to be a caveman and have power over your partner. You have power over yourself.

Click here to go to the entire Relationships series.


Published by Keith R Wilson

I'm a licensed mental health counselor and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor in private practice with more than 30 years experience. My newest book is The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad. I recently published a workbook connected to it titled, How to Make an Apology You’ll Never Have to Make Again. I also have another self help book, Constructive Conflict: Building Something Good Out of All Those Arguments. I’ve also published two novels, a satire of the mental health field: Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic, and Intersections , which takes readers on a road trip with a suicidal therapist. If you prefer your reading in easily digestible bits, with or without with pictures, I have created a Twitter account @theshrinkslinks. MyFacebook page is called Keith R Wilson – Author.

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