Passionate Marriages

People often underappreciate the extreme strength and longevity of marriages based on a deep contradiction.

My ultra-intellectual, extremely sensitive father lived for 47 years with my mother who despises everything intellectual and is. . . whatever the opposite of sensitive is.

My ultra-liberal friend is happily married to her deeply religious husband who is a church elder in his very conservative denomination.

I also know an older couple where she’s a mega-MAGA prancing from one Trump rally to another and he’s. . . well, not a Bernie bro but more of a Bernie grandpa. They are not tolerating each other for the sake of the grandchildren. They are really into each other.

There’s also a militant vegan married to an aggressive meat-eater, and their bond will be unbreakable until one manages to convert the other into their foodie faith.

I’m extremely happy in my marriage to N who has the most neoliberal subjectivity on the planet now that Milton Friedman passed away and who sincerely doesn’t understand why the USSR had to fall apart.

To have a good marriage, you need to have a reason to engage with each other passionately beyond sex. It’s easy to get lost in the details of daily life and not have any passionate engagement. Sometimes a kid intuits a problem and obliges by developing issues that require the parents’ intense involvement with each other. But a smarter approach is to leave the kids in peace and develop an ideological contradiction that will necessitate long, intense, passionate debates from which no household chores, screens, friends or hobbies can distract the couple.

I don’t know if opposites attract but they definitely work great long-term.

5 thoughts on “Passionate Marriages

    1. My Dad was actually more Ukrainian than she is. She was all “I’m Russian” until 2014. But the larger point is true. We are not a sensitive bunch. I’m more sensitive than most but still not anywhere in the ballpark of a regular American. Which is both good and bad.

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    1. And the scariest thing, it’s not even a joke. Every attempt by the Russian nationalists to argue that Russia needs to define its borders ended in the death of Russian nationalists.

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  1. Honestly, most people don’t have the intellectual or emotional depth for a really passionate long-term connection. Two people have to be standalone individuals for there to remain enough interpersonal tension (because they are two disparate people) for lasting passion. I know way too many people who don’t actually have a personality, but something malleable and situation-dependent that kind of mimics personality. What’s there to turn you on when the flesh starts to soften?

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