Is and Why Lust Conquering Love in Matrimony?

“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and cherish, till death us do part.” Book of Common Prayers – Solemnisation of Matrimony.

 After the priest administers these vows to the bride and groom, he solemnly declares the Biblical dictum: “What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” – Mathew XIX- 6.
Despite this, the traditional indissolubility of marriage is taking a beating, with divorce rate galloping by the year. What goes wrong is reflected in the following anguish:

I cannot love as I have loved,
And yet I know not why;
It is the one great woe of life
To feel all feelings die.
 - Philip James Bailey, English poet (1816-1902).
Part of the reason for love to fade out is the passage of time and staleness setting in:

“Men are April when they woo, December when they wed; Maids are May when they are maids, but sky changes when they are wives.” – William Shakespeare, English dramatic poet (1564-1616) in As You Like It.
Spouses also look for variety and novelty. As John Gay, English poet (1688-1732), says:

Variety is the source of joy below,
From where still fresh-revolving pleasures flow,
In books and love the mind one end pursues,
And only change the aspiring flame renews.
 - John Gay, English poet (1688-1732).
“For variety of mere nothings gives more pleasure than uniformity of something.” –Jean Paul Richter, German novelist (1763-1825)
The problem of dead love and the quest for novelty and variety has accelerated over a century since the death of Bailey and others noted above. When it is within the matrimonial bond, it manifests itself in divorces which are increasing by the day. Behind these divorces are extra-marital affairs. The latest confirmation of this comes from a survey which hints at Britain being a nation of love cheats, with one in five people indulging in extra-marital affairs. The online survey by the research firm ‘’ questioned 3,000 people and found that one in six people had a long term affair and one in 25 people had been in love with someone else for more than five years. Men were worst culprits, with 22% admitting secret love, compared with 15% women. A poll spokesman said: “Even in a happy relationship, it’s possible to have a wandering eye or crave affection from another. For those who can’t control their lust, this usually leads to an affair and the start of a marriage breakdown.”
Why is this so? An insightful answer is offered by Linda Blair, a writer and clinical psychologist, in an article, commenting on the survey, in Guardian (London) under the title “Relationships: Mistaking love for lust”. Here are some of her insights.
It is generally accepted in psychological circles that more people in the western world today are feeling unhappy and dissatisfied, particularly with regard to their relationships. Divorce rates are rising, with reports of startlingly high rates of loneliness and unhappiness. What could be behind this? “There are, I believe, three reasons why dissatisfaction is so rife today. The first – and possibly the most critical is our misunderstanding about what it means to be ‘in love’…When people are in love, we imagine that they are constantly preoccupied with the thoughts of their beloveds, and that they  want to nothing more than to be with that person.”
Actually, however, these feelings don’t describe love at all. They describe lust which is an initial physical attraction to another person. It is overwhelmingly powerful. When we are madly attracted to someone else, it is because we sense they would make an excellent genetic match, someone who would allow us to produce the strongest and healthiest offspring. Lust is all about the survival of our DNA. It is not about long term compatibility, about “happy ever after”.
Love, on the other hand, isn’t an immediate feeling. It grows over time and is akin to friendship than a coupling. Love is the desire to extend yourself – at whatever personal cost – for the purpose of nurturing growth and furthering the dreams of another individual. Love is effortful; it involves personal sacrifice, and it grows slowly. Love is not about “me” –what I can have? – it is about “you” – what can I do to make your life richer? When we separate love from lust in this way, it is less distressing to note that one in five people (in the above-noted survey) desire someone other than their partner. They are simply confusing lust for love.
Linda Blair asks: why so many people are feeling dissatisfied? She says that we find it difficult to differentiate between what we have and what we imagine we could have. This, together with the advertising mantra that “you deserve better”, has led many to believe that “better” is outside of us, somewhere, if only we can find it.
The third reason, according to Linda Blair, why so many of us are feeling dissatisfied is what we are constantly reminded of the myriad options from which we can theoretically choose. We are repeatedly told that “there’s a whole world out there, just waiting for you”, and that your current relationship isn’t working, you simply need to leave it, because there would be plenty of others to choose from. Instead of making us feel rich, this suggestion of infinite choice leaves us feeling uncertain when we finally do choose a partner. Instead of setting to work to bring that relationship alive, we may start to wonder if we really have chosen the “right” one. May be we should search a bit more, for a bit longer. This doubt stops us from truly committing.
A better way to live, says Linda Blair, is to stop searching outside of the self for someone who can “make” you happy. The key to contentment has nothing to do with what you do or don’t have. It’s all about what you decide to do with what is already yours.
John B. Monteiro, author and journalist, is editor of his website (Interactive Cerebral Challenger).
By John B. Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Prakash Pinto, Bejai/Mumbai

    Tue, Aug 17 2010




  • Suzaan, Kuwait

    Sun, Aug 15 2010

    Actually Divorce has become very fashionable now.You dont like a person in your relationship,you dont work on it.You simply give up and move on.People dont want to give relationships the time it needs ,the work it needs.Living in a very materialistic and an ultra expensive world,makes life between 2 partners very mechanical and trying to get away on a holiday is not optional anymore with the soaring prices of everything.So couples just let everything be and let life of their marriage die.CHildren do bring a variety among couples until they become independent and dont need their folks interfering in everything anymore,then the couples are back to square 1,bored with each other and dont know what to do.There should be workshops,or retreats where couples are taught joint things and ventures to indulge in,to bring about the spice of life.

  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Sat, Aug 14 2010

    I always appreciate You mr. Monteiro for soul searching articles. This indeed has expressed the chemistry of Love life.
    If options and solutions would have discussed more, i feel most of the readers would have understood your thoughts better and would have got an answer for the silent questions.
    My Wholehearted appreciation for the lovely article.

  • Theo D'Silva, Kadri/Toronto

    Sat, Aug 14 2010

    Dear Readers,
    According to me love and lust goes together in matrimony. The lust is very very important in marriage to keep the marraige going. Remember is love has many meanings. But lust is a personal relationship of love. So, for a successful marraige personal realionship of husband and wife plays a great role from day one until death.
    thanks, theo.

  • Langoolacharya, Belman/USA

    Thu, Aug 12 2010

    adshenoy, mangloor,

    WELL SAID, materialism superceeds everything else...

    Children dont respect their parents, when they become parents, expect their children to respect them!!!



  • Ronald, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 12 2010

    adshenoy is right. That is the right vow for this and future generation.


    Thu, Aug 12 2010



    Thu, Aug 12 2010


  • Allwyn D'Souza, Udyavara, Tunisia

    Thu, Aug 12 2010

    Wow, what an article.
    Thank you Mr. Monteiro for presenting us with such a beautiful article. Your definition of love is truly an eye opener. If all of us understood this true meaning of love, our married lives would have been so much more healthier. There is more joy in giving than receiving. And love is all about giving, caring, tolerating, patience, and so on and so forth. Also, in our married lives, we need to listen to our partner patiently. Very often we talk more and don't have the patience to listen. Hence, we are unable to understand the needs and desires of our partner. Most couples misinterpret lust with love. They feel that they love each other but it's merely a physical attraction and relationships based on merely lust don't last. The proof is the escalating divorce rates of today.
    Thank you again Mr Monteiro and please present more articles on this subject. Hopefully it will create awareness and will be helpful in cementing our married lives.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Thu, Aug 12 2010

    Perhaps todays marriage vow should read "To have and to hold from this day forward, for better not worse, for richer not poorer, in health not in sickness, and conditionally to love and cherish till DIVORCE us do part.”

  • Dr.Anand & Geeta Pereira, Sakleshpur/Kadri

    Thu, Aug 12 2010

    Thank you for this timely article.
    Correct us if we are wrong, the Institution of marriage is no more "SACRED" . Commercial interests outweigh sacred truths.

Leave a Comment

Title: Is and Why Lust Conquering Love in Matrimony?

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.