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The Difference Between Lust and Love

How do I get to "Love" (vs. "Lust") in my marriage?

GYE Corp. Thursday, 02 February 2012

"YishuvHadaas" asks

I've seen various mentions on GYE about the difference between lust and love. One person mentioned that lust is Hashem's tool for encouraging marriage, but after marriage, lust should be relegated to the side and be replaced by true love.

After 2 1/2 decades of marriage - I don't think I have ever gotten beyond lust. I would be very interested in hearing any practical advice for how to start moving in this direction. Sometimes I see someone with a very unattractive wife (maybe she's very heavy) and I sense that they have a good marriage. I marvel at how they can have a good sexual relationship - because I don't think I could do that if my wife became very unattractive. This type of situation reveals to me how far I remain on the "lust" side of the equation - and I very much want to move to the "love" side of the equation. Is that possible?? Doesn't there always have to be - at least to some extent - the lust factor??


GYE replied:

On this page (at the bottom) you'll find a few great links from "Dov" to answer this question... I particularly suggest reading the piece called "currency of marriage".


After reading some of the links, "YishuvHadaas" responds:

Thanks for the reply and links. I see that often it boils down to the "me centered" world of selfishness. Lust is pure selfishness; doing or fantasizing about doing for the self. Our society promotes the self.

I will try to do for my wife without doing it just because it is my obligation (which unfortunately I think has been my motivation over these years). When obligated, or when I feel obligated, or when I feel if I don't do I'll be "punished" by her reaction, then I do. It's hard to break away from the "self" after all these years.

B"H - we have had a good marriage, well - certainly not bad, (maybe just "very functional"?) It for sure could be much better - and I could cry from thinking about all the years of "just going through the motions." HaShem wants - and has designed the universe - for our relationships with our wives to be intensely beautiful. Being on GYE has brought this concept anew before me - and has caused me to again believe that it can be accomplished. Life is too short to have an "automatic pilot" marriage. After almost 25 years - I was sort of resigned to living and dying - and leaving it at that. How often have I mentioned to others that our wives are a reflection of how we treat them? How often have I rationalized not following my own advice?

I will, bli neder, try to take the leap away from my "self" towards my wife.

Thanks for letting me write this out - it need it :-)