Love is a fever. When a man is in love, he endures more than at other times; he submits to everything.
These are the words of Friedrich Nietzsche. However, the very act of marriage sometimes serves as an antipyretic, bringing down love’s fever to a tepid state. Then, the man begins to treat the woman he wooed and won like a piece of furniture – comfortable, useful and preferably long-lasting.
No marriage can be durable without that priceless ingredient called intimacy. Without its unifying strength, the marriage is likely to be unstable, and in danger of collapsing.
Marriage is a state of interdependence. Two imperfect human beings enter into a contractual obligation to mutually love and cherish each other. They strive for a oneness that excludes all others from their inner intimacies and physical relationships.
This interdependence, however, is extremely difficult for a man. He needs to be in control of every situation. By becoming a part of another human being, he feels threatened and believes it will diminish his stature.
Intimacy doesn’t mean loss of personality. In spite of differences in character, temperament and background, the husband and wife must interact and influence each other until, over the years, it becomes impossible to think of one without the other. It is a process of growth which is perfected gradually, provided there is mutual caring and sharing.