The Wife Identity: Dissonance between the Sexual and Emotional Self
Men want the lady in public and the sexual paramour in the bedroom. Men see these as separate identities in their immature frame. But as they mature, a more integrated perspective develops. As a woman, you may have adopted this as an expectation of self in relationship. You may have accepted this split because society seems to support it. Trauma also supports identity splits. Yet, healthy relationships are only possible if both parties mature toward a more integrated identity. If the identity has little dependence on the other, it is even more sustainable. If it outlines a space for compatible, complementary relationship, it is even more healthy.
The challenge most men and women face is that they have some trauma that clouds their identity development. Trauma responses can be the result of past relationships of all kinds or fairy tale-like expectations. Trauma responses can even stem from intense, unfulfilled longing that makes it difficult to accept and understand others and an inconsiderate insistence that they resolve their own trauma.
The Woman & Sexual Dissonance
Simply stated, women are just as interested in sex as men are. The differences are semantic and romantic. Semantically, words, context, and the narrative surrounding the relationship are important to a woman. Romantically, the immediate prior experience, post coitous expectations, and memory created by the moment in the relationship are important to a woman. She wants consistent narrative and created experience to demonstrate consistent caring and unconditional love. The physical act is a confirmation and consummation of an emotional reality she can rest within.
Trauma can disrupt or render immature the expectations a woman has of her mate. The need for a consistent narrative and created experience remains, but it may be colored and altered by a felt need to hold the mate at a safe distance, a hesitance to reveal her true self, or an attempt to adopt the mate’s emotional approach to coitous. What is missing in this recolored, altered reality is the risk required in resting within the consistent caring and unconditional love of the other. Sex without the resting is inherently dissonant, less satisfying, and less sustainable for the relationship.
The Woman & Emotional Dissonance
Strong, independent woman. This is the single most misunderstood construct in relationships. The strength of a healthy individual, male or female, resides in their integrity. It is demonstrated in their ability to create, develop, and maintain healthy, authentic relationships. Healthy people are vulnerable, open, and growth-oriented. They risk, They make decisions and distinguish between relationships that support growth and those that are harmful. Most strong women have a sense of nurture hard wired into their relational style. They are curious, engaging or observant, and willing to share emotions or tangible goods. The independence is a self reliance that supports individual self-development and autonomy. It is what supports an individualized, unique definition of self.
Trauma typically attacks emotional intelligence and poisons self-reliance until it is toxic. Nurture is denied and replaced with self-protection. The need represented by curiosity remains, but it is suppressed for fear of being outed as weak and dependent. Independence becomes an insistence that one can achieve alone, while denying the truth that achieving, as a goal, is inferior to experiencing.
The fact is lost that human strength is found in character. A woman’s strength is her power to engage the world authentically with influence and with naked, social, and political power. A woman’s independence is her intuition about people and the world around her unfiltered by outside lenses. The ability to make up her mind in concert with her heart is the superpower of a woman.
The Woman & Consonance
Many women have experienced some level of trauma in their lives while navigating relationships and developing their identity. The question is whether they have resolved the trauma. A related question is has the resolution honored their authenticity and autonomy. In other words, is the resultant presentation of self free from ego defenses and logical fallacies meant to self-protect?
Can you risk openness to your truth and acceptance of your mate’s development journey? Do your journeys combined create opportunity for the life you want? Will the realizations, corrections, criticisms, and struggles along the journey add to the experience or ruin the potential memories? Consonance is a call to respond to trauma with healing, to inform authentic sexual interaction, to risk for curiosity’s sake in a quest to increase emotional intelligence. Consonance is a fully-integrated sense of self with an allowance to continue in collective growth and development.