I have alluded occasionally to the problems my wife and I have had in the past. I thought I might put a bit of background to it.
I am a very passionate person, physically demonstrative even in public, high sex drive, I like deep intimacy with my partner. I would spend quite a lot of time with her, lots of hugs and kisses, talk a lot... Some of my wife's friends are somewhat envious of her as she gets so much attention without even asking for it, while some of them are a little starved. You get the drift.
My wife is very different. She is fairly passionate but not about relationships. She used to be more guarded with her heart, opens up with friends less, tends to sit back and watch rather than dive in to the thick of things. Her passion is most obvious over food and holidays. She was also very repressed. Openminded for sure, and very accepting, but for herself repressed. She tells of a coffee shop she walked past for years on her way to work. Every time she wanted to walk in and try the cakes, but never actually did. She has a lot of stories like that.
Over the last few years our differences had grown to be the source of a huge problem between us. I need intense intimacy, she gets it from just being around which makes me feel like I am invisible. I need lots of passionate, different, exciting sex, she is happy with what she gets and has a lower sex drive. As the early years passed these problems became huge, tore us apart and almost caused a divorce more than once. Only our deep and fundamental love (and a hell of a lot of hard work) got us through those years. Many times we were so angry we had forgotton love, forgotten friendship, and all we could see was resentment and anger. Beneath it was still love else we wouldnt have bothered, but it was easy to forget for long periods. Almost all caused by a difference in our emotional language and our sexual needs.
I have come to the conclusion that to someone like me, someone who needs regular physical, verbal, intimate emotional affirmation and celebration of love, a relationship with a cooler headed less demanding person is not going to be easy. We worked at it for years, and eventually when things got so bad we were staring into the abyss, suddenly the nearness and horror of where we were began to combine with the hard work and foundations we had been building, and we started to climb out of the mess we were in. There had been green shoots and successes before but never sustainable. However once it started in earnest the climb was swift. We are so in love these days, all over again. Its like a knot in my heart how much I love and care for her, and the memory of the problems acts as a warning to us both to keep up the effort.
What effort? To talk, to care about the other persons deep needs and desires. To remember to take the her need, though it may seem trivial or pointless to me, and make it my own need. To treat it as importantly as my own. And she does the same. If one of us wasnt pulling our weight this would be the road to resentment, believe me I know. But when we both do it its a shining path to a deeper happier love I could never have imagined. It wasnt easy for us to get here but this is sublime.
By the way my wife has been blossoming over the last few years. Her confidence in herself, her openness with friends and with me, her sensuality and sexual experimentation, her passion.... The passionate and exciting person I suspected was there is shining out and I am surprised at how bright she has turned out to be. She is full of surprises these days. Relationships are very hard work, people underestimate that, but the effort is so worth it!