THESE THREE SPARK THE LOVE TRIAD POWERING the romance-companionate-union that marriage is become.
The three sides of the triad show us how love in marriage manifests itself—singular and in permeations of combination.
Passion – this is to play and the excitement of youth—but we don’t need to be in our youth (or the relationship in its “youth”) to enjoy it. Passion comes easily in romance. It’s re-creatable and ignitable during later phases, but it requires effort and time and the perfect mix made to measure for the couple involved.
Passion is often that ingredient missing in marriages gone “quiet,” routine breaking the excitable cast. Passion is often—though not always—the guy’s side, for he is often the key protagonist for sex—the obvious result and outcome of the heat of passion.
Intimacy – this is to “be” a couple, intrinsically involved with each other—it’s quality time and the right dialogue creating closeness. For this reason, it’s the typical default desire of the woman in the relationship—she desires deeper “connection.” Intimacy is the ingredient missing in marriages often troubled by emotional baggage, for if we’re not at home with ourselves, how can we be truly at home with our partners?
Could it be guys are most often troubled by baggage? Is that too much of a generalisation? Certainly there are cultural and genetic factors at play here.
And if passion is non-existent intimacy is the last roll of the dice for rational reason to stay together—if not for an unusually high commitment, very rare in this day.
Commitment – this is the very base of all lasting marriages. It goes beyond the previous two and stays when previously there was little reason to stay for lack of the former two.
But, positively, the former two—passion and intimacy—both shore-up commitment, benching and battering the walls of the marriage against worldly or spiritual intrusions. And commitment, also, reinforces passion and intimacy, giving them chances, opportunities and critical insight to re-vitalise the marriage during low times.
These Three & the Love Languages
When we consider that these three—passion, intimacy and commitment—interfold upon and through the love languages—words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time and gifts—to produce the reasons and the effects of love, we begin to understand how truly complicated the process of love is.
And this is not a bad thing. It ushers in the concept of relational identity!—the “specialness” of being a twosome.
Each person and each couple have their own unique DNA regarding the languages of love, these informing the levels enjoyed (or not) of passion, intimacy and commitment.
Markers of individuality are critical for all relationships, as identity is formed and allowed to morph to the satisfaction of the couple “owning” the relationship.
And still it remains...
Time and effort invested beyond the self, based in a pure motive to selflessly love, are the underpinning factors. And these reside at last in commitment.
In a word, faithfulness—the key relational determinant, always.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.