Mutual Intimacy Versus Selfish Intimacy

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True intimacy gives as much as it receivesThere’s a sheer way to determine if your intimate relations with your spouse are strengthening your marriage or detracting from it. Simply ask yourself the question, “Am I doing this for selfish reasons, or am I doing this out of love?” Said psychologist Victor Frankl, “The more a man tries to demonstrate his sexual potency or a woman her ability to experience orgasm, the less they are able to succeed. Pleasure is, and must remain, a side- effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself” (Man’s Search for Meaning, 77).

In other words, by focusing on the pursuit of pleasure instead of seeking to connect with your spouse, your desire will overshadow the very means through which you could otherwise achieve this desire. Frankl goes on to discuss one his patients, who struggled with trying to achieve orgasms:

“This anticipatory anxiety resulted both in excessive intention to confirm her femininity and excessive attention centered upon herself rather than upon her partner. This was enough to incapacitate the patient for the peak experience of sexual pleasure, since the orgasm was made an object of intention, and an object of attention as well, instead of remaining an unintended effect of unreflected dedication and surrender to the partner” (Frankl, 78).

Not only does selfishness fail to bring us genuine happiness, it prevents true intimacy and pleasure. The irony is that you’re probably more likely to get what you want if you forget how much you want it and focus, instead, on pleasing your partner. Trust me, the Law of Karma will works its charm on your spouse, and what goes around will come around!

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