Sustaining Desire in Long-Term Relationships

For many of the couples that seek marital counseling, problems with intimacy and sex are often included on the list of things they wish to work on. Why is it that these concerns are such a common issue for couples around the world?


In the below TED Talk, psychotherapist and renowned relationship counselor Esther Perel shares her insights into why this phenomena is so prevalent in modern society. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her, and I see so much value in her perspective on this issue. Here, she shares with us her insights into some of the most pressing questions facing couples and marital counselors today: Why is it so difficult for couples to maintain desire in the long-term? What is the relationship between love and desire? And most importantly, “Can we love what we already have?”

So can we love what we already have? The answer is yes… but we must work for this. Consider the following questions and how they might apply to your own relationship:

  • When do you find yourself most drawn to your partner?
  • Which child are you?
  • When do you shut yourself down?
  • When do you turn yourself on?
  • What do erotic couples do that you can emulate in your own life?
  • Remember: “Committed sex is premeditated sex. It’s willful. It’s intentional. It’s focus and presence.”