I'm in the process of re-reading Schnarch, for depth. I've just started chapter two, again. Pondering things, I find that it probably is not the case of an either-or question, whether or not we desire out of emptiness or desire out of fullness. I think it's got to be a spectrum. I find myself examining my feelings for Laurel and missing her, and I realize that both forces, desire out of emptiness, neediness, and desire out of fullness are in play at various times in me.
Yes, I did despair. I did drop the ball, and it was not an isolated incident, either. Nevertheless, I was thinking it very possible to be a partner to her, to grow with her and love her, and find ourselves and have an enriching emotional and sexual life with one another. For her to tell me: "The trust is gone," is a pretty fair indicator that she disagrees with this assessment, yet each of us has used the words "I love you" with respect to the other. Each of us has what I would consider to be a collection of significantly positive experiences with the other. Has it all indeed come to naught? Is it entirely just desire out of emptiness that makes me feel rejection for this idea, or is there some core of real love I have rightly identified, desire out of fullness, that lies behind this rejection of the idea that all of this has or ought to come to naught?
You met Bill and Joan in Chapter 1. Let me tell you more about their private world so you can see how they lived out their issues and eventually found the passionate sex and intimacy they thought was beyond their reach.
Schnarch, David (2011-10-01). Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships (p. 53). Midpoint Trade Books. Kindle Edition.
Differentiation question or observation: I'd really like to understand why Laurel apparently feels that these things are beyond our reach, at least with us as a couple but I don't, or at least didn't. Obviously, our circumstances would at least tend to indicate fundamental error, on my part, at this point. The thing is, I never thought of our relationship being anymore significantly problematic than that of Bill and Joan from Schnarch's book. In fact, I would say that it was probably a lot less problematic, in many respects. I don't see either of us as being weaker or less intelligent than Bill and Joan.
Obviously, either party to a relationship can falsify the claim that the relationship is possible, or workable, just by deciding so. Should the mere fact that she has decided be "enough" for me? Should I just let these kinds of questions drop, in my mind as being ultimately beyond my reach, given the fundamental alone-ness of the individual and the inability to talk to my wonderful, erstwhile correspondent, or is there something productive in knowing more of her reasoning and thinking? I suppose that the point is also moot, given that she does not wish to talk to me.